Humans have an elaborate, extensive, and complex Endocannabinoid System (ECS). It threads itself throughout the brain and body winding around glands and organs and permeating muscles and skin. Receptors designated CB1 and CB2 work busily along the system to manage health and wellbeing.
They do not work exclusively, but CB1 receptors generally work in the brain and nervous system while CB2 receptors work with the immune system. It may be an oversimplification, but you might picture these receptors as tails at the ends of neural cells. They are supposed to send or receive sparks across the minuscule gap or synapse between cells.
Injury, inflammation, or infection interrupt the regular neurotransmission of messages along the systems. THC is known to bind with receptors to facilitate transmission from one cell to another and/or manage the reception (reuptake) of messages. CBD is believed to run interference allowing receptors to work as intended without confusion by the immune system.
Hemp has only traces of the psychoactive and intoxicating THC, but it remains a great source of CBG and CBD.
All about CBG –
CBG (Cannabigerol in Figure 1) is one of those minor cannabinoids. While THC and CBD claim all the attention, cannabis contains scores of cannabinoids, chemical compounds loaded with varied properties. There are 480 identified chemical compounds in cannabis, but scientists have only picked 66 as worth studying.
CBG was the first cannabinoid synthesized in the 1960s making it the “mother” of all cannabinoids. Forbes points out that it is so expensive to produce, “it’s been dubbed the ‘the Rolls Royce of cannabinoids.’”
Cannabigerol (CBG) converts to THC and CBD six to eight weeks into the flowering cycle. And, while it exists in trace amounts in most cannabis strains, hemp cultivators have developed strains with higher yields of CBG.
It appears to deliver a mechanism of pharmaceutical action. It interacts with CB1 and CB2 and increases the production of anandamide (N-arachidonoylethanolamine), a naturally occurring brain lipid referred to as “the bliss molecule” because it influences appetite, depression, fertility, memory, mood, and sleep. CBG may obstruct GABA uptake to reduce anxiety and relax muscles.
As of 2019, there have been no clinical research experiments with CBG. That is, all the research has used lab animals. Biochemical Pharmacology (2013) found CBG administered to mice showed promise for treating Irritable Bowel conditions. Journal of Neuroimmune Pharmacology (2012) reported on an in vivo study finding CBG reduced Multiple Sclerosis-related inflammation. Neurotherapeutics (2015) covered tests on mice indicating CBG improved the motor control in Parkinson’s disease. And, there has been additional research, but it will be a long time before clinical studies recommend CBG as a human therapy.
That means CBG will not be available to the public. It takes such a large mass of hemp to produce the CBG, the cost remains high. Existing supplies are valuable to researchers and available to Big Pharma research and development. So, it does not present competition for CBD.
All about CBD –
Unlike CBG, CBD (Cannabidiol in Figure 2) is found in large quantities in hemp strains. In marijuana, the ratio of THC to CBD is important to customers looking for psychoactive experiences from the THC or sedation from the CBD. The most popular marijuana strains fall in the middle of these two extremes.
However, CBD has confirmed anti-spastic properties. They have been developed into an FDA approved prescription pharmaceutical for treating Dravet syndrome and Lennox-Gastaut syndrome, forms of recalcitrant epilepsy.
You can infer from this success and additional tests underway that CBD may have applications for other spastic conditions. The long-term clinical research on human subjects has moved the perception of CBD health benefits forward. For instance, the University of San Diego’s Center for Medical Marijuana Research has a study underway of “the effects of cannabis on pain and the potential benefits of CBD tinctures in the treatment of autistic children.”
The Center is also exploring the impact of CBD on common motor disorders and in early therapy for psychosis. More studies are at work on CBD’s impact on anxiety, blood pressure, cancer, liver damage, pain, PTSD, and schizophrenia. And, there is a new earnestness for using CBD to offset addiction to tobacco smoking and to opioids.
Unlike CBG, hemp-derived CBD is readily available everywhere. You can find lotions, capsules, and beverages developed around CBD. Our full-spectrum CBD oils are lab-tested for quality, purity, and assurance they contain minimal and legal traces of THC.
Do you see the difference?
The market for CBD products is expanding rapidly. Thanks to the U.S. approval for growing and cultivating hemp, the interest in its history and promise is driving customers to the legal market in retail centers and online. CBG also has the potential for medical applications, but research is well behind the CBD success. They are not competing for sales, and they both appear to have distinct medical properties. You might want to keep an eye on both.