The BioPhiles 003: CBD hemp flower vs CBG hemp flower?
CBD Hemp Flower versus CBG Hemp Flower: How do they differ and what are the benefits?
A guest post by our friend Meagan Pilawski, M.S. - Medical Cannabis
Check out her work with the Medicated Pamphlet here.
We’ve heard a lot about the benefits of CBD hemp flower in the past years, but what is this “CBG” that has been trending lately? There’s a few key differences. Let’s review below:
First, how does it develop on hemp flower?
Both CBD oil trichomes and CBG oil trichomes, found on hemp flowers, come from the precursor cannabigerolic acid (CBGa) and are developed over the lifecycle of the hemp plant. As the hemp flowers start to reach maturity in the fall, CBGa oil trichomes (the raw acidic version of CBG) are converted by natural plant enzymes into a unique ratio of three major cannabinoid precursors; tetrahydrocannabinolic acid (THCa), cannabidiolic acid (CBDa), and cannabichromenic acid (CBCa). Any amount of CBGa that is not converted into one of the aforementioned precursors or other minor cannabinoids is formed into CBG through a process called decarboxylation. This ratio is determined by the genetics of the plant as well as cultivation practices and is one of the ways Hemp is different from Marijuana, even though they are both a species of Cannabis.
Because of this process, the majority of cannabis strains typically hold very tiny amounts of CBG. However, thanks to master plant breeders and growers, we have found ways to produce higher yields of pure CBG in hemp flowers. The optimum extraction window in order to preserve the highest amount of CBG is generally done between week 6 and week 8 of the flowering cycle. It takes a delicate hand.
Neurologically speaking, CBG elicits its therapeutic effects directly through interaction with CB1 and CB2 receptors in the brain. This differs from CBD, which mainly operates at the 5-HT1A and TRPV1 receptors. CBG has been shown high potential in studies to slow the proliferation of certain cancer cells, as well as reduce inflammation, kill drug resistant bacteria, and help combat pain. CBG has also displayed profound digestive benefits, suggesting that it may make a useful treatment for IBD and Chrohn’s disease. Like CBD, CBG is non-intoxicating, and can also be used to inhibit unwanted psychoactivity from THC.
CBG can be consumed in tincture, whole hemp flower, vape, or even topicals. From a consumer standpoint, CBG smokes similarly to CBD, but some users report a more focused effect from CBG flower.
CBD is one of the primary compounds found in cannabis. From a basic pharmacodynamic standpoint, CBD works mostly through indirect interactions with the ECS (Endocannabinoid System), and demonstrates low affinity at CB1 and CB2 receptors and exerts little to none agonistic behavior. This lack of agonistic activity at the CB1 receptor accounts for the lack of neuro-active effects that takes place with THC administration. In over words, this is why CBD doesn't get you "high."
In fact, at high doses, CBD demonstrates antagonistic activity at CB1 and CB2, essentially reversing the effects of THC. Ongoing research suggests CBD can help alleviate symptoms of epilepsy, spasticity, and act as an analgesic, possibly secondary to its documented anti-inflammatory effects, or activity within our endogenous opioid system. CBD can be used topically, vaped, smoked, or taken in tincture, oral, or even suppository form!
More links to scientific papers can be found on our CBD Chill page.