In a few short years, CBD oil has quickly gone from a niche supplement to one of the world’s most popular wellbeing products. But what about CBG oil? As this lesser-known cannabinoid becomes more widely available, lots of our customers are asking: what’s the difference between CBD oil and CBG oil? What does CBG oil do? And which one is best? Read on, and we’ll answer all those questions and more!
What’s the difference between CBD and CBG?
You may already know that CBD, or cannabidiol, is a cannabinoid found in hemp and marijuana plants. The plants contain more than 120 different cannabinoids, including THC (the psychoactive compound of cannabis), and a huge variety of other phytochemicals like terpenes, flavonoids and fatty acids.
CBG (cannabigerol) is also a cannabinoid, but it’s a little different to CBD and THC. It’s actually a precursor to both, which means that the plant breaks down CBG to make CBD and THC, as well as other chemicals.
Both CBD oil and CBG oil are made from hemp plant extract. Young hemp plants are high in CBG, but by the time the plant is mature, most of that CBG has been broken down and turned into CBD and other substances. So CBG oil is made from juvenile hemp plants, while CBD oil is made from mature plants.
How do CBD and CBG oil work?
CBD, CBG and other cannabinoids act on your body’s endocannabinoid system (ECS). This system keeps your entire body working in a state of balance, regulating functions like appetite, sleep, reproduction, mood, metabolism, immune function, inflammation, and many more.
Endocannabinoids, or your own internally produced cannabinoids, are the chemicals that keep this system running smoothly. They travel all over the body, attaching to receptors to trigger certain actions. And when they’re done, specialised enzymes break them down.
External cannabinoids, like those from the hemp plant, can mimic your own endocannabinoids in various ways. For example, some can bind to the same receptors to trigger a similar action. Others can affect the behaviour of enzymes to change how quickly they break down other cannabinoids.
Some cannabinoids, like CBG, can do both. As well as attaching to receptors all over the body and brain, CBG stops enzymes from breaking down an endocannabinoid called anandamide (we’ll talk about why that’s so important in a sec!).
Others, like CBD, are a bit of a mystery. Scientists know that CBD does certain things in the body, but they haven’t yet found out exactly how. Does it act on some receptor we haven’t found yet? Is there an enzyme reaction we don’t know about?
This highlights the fact that there’s still a lot we don’t know about cannabinoids and the ECS. It was only discovered in the 1990s, so researchers are learning new things about the ECS every day. Keep this in mind as we move on to the benefits of CBD oil and CBG oil; we can tell you what the research says so far, but we can’t make any guarantees about how either one will affect you.
What are the benefits of CBD oil?
Lots of people turn to CBD oil because they say that it helps them with chronic pain and inflammation. What does the research say?
In a large-scale review in 2018, researchers mentioned various studies that suggested CBD had strong anti-inflammatory and analgesic (painkilling) effects, and could also reduce painful muscle spasms. This has been shown to be true in rats and mice, and some early human trials are showing promising signs that we might experience similar benefits.
The review authors also discussed how CBD regulates certain pathways involved in pain. In some animals, this has been shown to reduce the perception of pain along with signs of anxiety – another reason people turn to CBD oil.
Some reputable organisations, like the US National Institute on Drug Abuse, support CBD for those suffering from anxiety and stress. Another large review found that CBD eased symptoms in a wide range of anxiety disorders, which might mean that CBD can also help with associated conditions like insomnia.
Other possible benefits of CBD oil include:
- Regulating REM sleep and reducing fatigue.
- Enhancing libido and sexual pleasure.
- Relieving pain from fibromyalgia.
What are the benefits of CBG oil?
The possible benefits of CBG oil are related to an endocannabinoid called anandamide. Also known as “the bliss molecule”, anandamide is heavily involved in pleasure and mood.
CBG slows down the enzyme that’s responsible for breaking down anandamide, keeping it active in the body for longer. Thanks to a genetic mutation, the happiest populations in the world have been found to have naturally low levels of this enzyme, suggesting that anandamide really does make a difference to your overall sense of wellbeing. Scientists are now exploring whether this positive effect can protect you against mood disorders like depression and anxiety.
Anandamide is also a potent anti-inflammatory. It’s involved in regulating pain pathways, and it’s been shown in various animal studies to relieve inflammation from conditions like periodontitis, multiple sclerosis, inflammatory bowel disease, vasculitis.
In theory, researchers think that CBG might help people suffering from inflammatory pain by boosting the effects of anandamide. People who already take CBG oil for pain and inflammation do say that it helps to ease their symptoms, so we hope to see more research to back this up in the near future.
So which is best – CBD oil or CBG oil?
The best choice depends on what’s most important to you.
It takes far more hemp plants to create CBG oil than it takes to create the same amount of CBD oil. It’s also trickier to extract CBG, and the hemp has to be harvested at a very specific point to gain the maximum yield. As you can imagine, that makes CBG oil more expensive and harder to get than CBD oil.
There’s evidence to suggest that both CBD oil and CBG oil might help with pain, inflammation and mood, and we’ve heard good things from customers. CBG is a relative newcomer so there’s more evidence behind CBD oil. If scientific backing is important to you then, you might prefer CBD oil, but it’s important to note that neither one has been scientifically proven to treat pain or mood disorders.
CBD oil and CBG oil only appear to be toxic in extremely high doses, far beyond what you’d reasonably be able to take. We don’t know of any serious side effects from normal doses of either one, although you might have some digestive discomfort if your dose is on the higher side. They can affect medications though, so talk to your doctor first if you’re taking any prescription drugs.
A common question about both CBD oil and CBG oil is: will it get me high? The answer is no for both! THC is the cannabinoid responsible for getting you high, but you’ll only find miniscule amounts in CBD oil and CBG oil – nowhere near enough to create a psychoactive effect.
Really, the major differences between CBD oil and CBG oil come down to price and research. If you’re on a tight budget or you prefer a research-backed product, CBD oil is probably the better choice. Otherwise, you can’t go wrong with either one!
Want the best of both?
Go for a full-spectrum CBD oil, like this one. Full-spectrum means that the oil is made with all of the natural compounds from the hemp plant left intact. That includes CBD and CBG. When you take all of these compounds together, as nature intended, they amplify each other’s effects. This is known as the entourage effect.
Full-spectrum CBD oil also contains a tiny amount of THC. Don’t worry — this is a legal amount that won’t get you high! But if you don’t want to take any THC at all, go for a broad-spectrum CBD oil like this one instead. It’s essentially just full-spectrum CBD oil with the THC removed, so you still get to enjoy the benefits of CBD, CBG and the entourage effect. Check out our online store here for more quality full-spectrum and broad-spectrum CBD/CBG oils.