The main differences between CBD and CBG
The plant of Cannabis produces more than 200 different cannabinoids, each with multiple effects and uses. Clinical research and recent studies have revealed and demonstrated the therapeutic potential of THC and CBD under specific conditions, but researchers have also developed an interest in other cannabis compounds including, precisely, the cannabigerol (CBG).
However, the promising characteristics of this cannabinoid are attracting not only medical researchers, but also companies in the industry, interested in the peculiarities of this element.
THE PARENT MOLECULE
According to the researchers, CBG is the “parent” or “stem cell” of many other cannabinoids, since it is its direct chemical precursor. The conversion process of CBG into these molecules is called “cannabinoid biosynthesis”. That would be to say that specific enzymes transform CBG into other elements. All cannabinoids initially exist in the plant as cannabinoid acids. High temperatures trigger a reaction known as decarboxylation, which removes a carboxylic group from each molecule. This reaction, for example, turns THCA into THC and CBDA into CBD. According to this logic, CBG exists as CBGA in the live plant.
CBD AND CBG: SIMILARITIES AND DIFFERENCES
CBD and CBG have multiple similarities and differences, but since CBD studies are much more advanced than those of his close relative, we will limit ourselves to taking a closer look at what has been discovered so far.
• BOTH CBD AND CBG HAVE NO INTOXICATING EFFECTS
Unlike their notorious cousin THC, the cannabinoids CBD and CBG have no psychotropic effect, but instead act as antagonists blocking the effects of the CB1 receptor (present in THC and the main cause of the psychotropic effects of this cannabinoid).
Due to their non-psychotropic nature, CBD and CBG are the ideal candidates for clinical study, since for many THC action it is considered an undesirable effect.
• BOTH CANNABINOIDS SHOW POTENTIAL AGAINST INFLAMMATION
Studies have shown that both CBD and CBG have anti-inflammatory functions, but in different situations. In fact, CBD reacts better against diseases such as Alzheimer’s disease, but also against inflammation of the retina and kidney tissue, while CBG has been found to be very effective against symptoms of disorders such as colitis.
• ANTICONVULSANT EFFECTS OF CBG REMAIN UNEXPLORED
It is now known that CBD has excellent anticonvulsive properties, which have been tested on several occasions, more precisely in rare forms of childhood epilepsy, including Dravet syndrome and Lennox-Gastaut syndrome. On the CBG, unfortunately, nothing has yet been discovered in this field, so it is not known whether or not this cannabinoid possesses such properties.
• CBG MAY IMPROVE APPETITE
Contrary to what many believe, it is not only THC that causes the so-called “chemical hunger”. In fact, a 2016 study confirms that even cannabis extracts without THC can induce hunger. An excellent remedy without unwanted effects to awaken the desire for food in those who, for example, suffer from lack of appetite.
The authors of this study explain that the main cause of this improvement in appetite could be the CBG itself. CBD, on the other hand, can reduce hunger and this effect was discovered during one of the epilepsy tests and was found in 19% of the participants.
AN UNNECESSARY CONFRONTATION?
Although the research on Cannabis cannabinoids is still limited, it is still very useful to compare the various peculiarities of these molecules to better understand their possible applications. Unfortunately, because of the current lack of information, it is not yet possible to draw any concrete conclusions from these comparisons.
Thanks to a future research of high quality it will be possible to make much more accurate comparisons on the characteristics of these fascinating molecules.
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