The world of hemp is evolving faster than many thought possible, with new practices in breeding methods and formulation processes allowing us to access more of the properties of the plant than we even knew existed just a few decades ago. One of the most exciting advancements is the focus on CBG, or cannabigerol, another cannabinoid that actually acts as the precursor to CBD, with its own exciting variety of properties to explore.
One of the best sources of CBG is CBG flower, which naturally yields high levels of the cannabinoid so that we can experience its effects in a raw, pure and highly bioavailable form.
So, how does CBD flower compare to CBG flower, and which one of the two is more likely to give you the specific hemp effects that you’re seeking out?
First, let’s start with CBD flower, which is the more common of the two that you’ll find on the market. CBD flower is another term for hemp flower, which is the raw, flowering buds of the hemp plant in their most natural form. They are referred to as “CBD flower” because these buds naturally produce an extremely potent level of CBD (cannabidiol) compared to other cannabinoids.
CBD flower comes in a rich variety of sativa, indica and hybrid strains, based on their terpene profiles, but what they all share in common is that they give you powerful serving of CBD, which offers a lot of valuable properties such as these below:
- Effects on Mood: Studies have found that CBD may offer stress relief and an increase in serotonin based on the way in which the cannabinoid attaches to CB1 receptors in the brain that balance mood through the configuration of neurotransmitters.
- Relief from Physical Discomfort: Many researchers have found that cannabidiol offers both analgesic and anti-inflammatory properties, which enable it to potentially offer aid to those in physical discomfort. Anti-inflammatory properties can reduce the inflammation response that causes pain and swelling, while analgesics can make the nervous system less responsive to painful events.
- Appetite Support: Many studies show that another effect of CBD is improved appetite which can simultaneously increase food cravings and make the act of food more pleasurable to the brain.
- Sleep: A lot of people say that they experience improved sleep when taking CBD at night, likely because the cannabinoid plays a role in melatonin production, which is a neurotransmitter that plays a critical role in our circadian rhythm.
- Neuroprotective Properties: Researchers are currently exploring the effect that CBD may have on symptoms of epilepsy including the frequency and severity of seizures, as the cannabinoid acts as a neuroprotectant that may strengthen neurons and neural pathways in the brain.
- Impact on Digestion: CBD may provide regulation pertaining to inflammation of the digestive tract which is associated with a variety of chronic digestive symptoms and conditions such as IBS and colitis.
Cannabigerol is a fascinating cannabinoid that was discovered in the 1960s, around the same time as CBD. It’s known as the “mother cannabinoid” because it is the precursor to CBD, along with THC and CBC (cannabichromene). CBG only exists in the buds of the hemp plant prior to their flowering, as the flowering process enables a chemical reaction that splits CBG into a number of individual cannabinoids.
Therefore, in order to breed CBG flower, the buds must be picked from the plant right before they flower, when CBG levels are the highest. This takes a bit more work, as the timing needs to be just right.
CBG flower is always going to be identified as such, and comes in specific strains that are not the same as the strains of hemp that contain high levels of CBD. There are fewer CBG strains than there are CBD strains, as CBD flower is simply more popular at the moment. However, the promising capabilities of CBG are encouraging breeders around the country to develop new strains of CBG flower to diversify the pool of breeds, each with its own terpene profile and consequent effects, flavor and aroma.
Because CBG is the precursor to CBD, CBG flower is going to contain strong concentrations of cannabigerol rather than cannabidiol. However, like CBD flower, it’s going to be completely non-intoxicating, while it’s also completely federally legal.
So, what are the properties of CBG that make it stand out? Well, to understand, we need to talk a bit about cannabis chemistry. CBD attaches pretty evenly to both CB1 receptors in the nervous system, and CB2 receptors in the digestive and immune systems. This means that its effects are uniquely widespread and balanced throughout the body. CBG also attaches to both CB1 and CB2 receptors, but with a stronger emphasis on CB2 receptors, and thus stronger effects within its corresponding systems. Some of the known properties of CBG include:
- Antibacterial Effects: CBG is known to have antibacterial effects, and these may be particularly powerful. The cannabinoid is being studied for its impact on antibiotic-resistant bacteria.
- Bladder Regulation: CBG binds to cannabinoid receptors found in the bladder at an impressive rate, giving reason to believe that it may balance bladder-related processes.
- Anti-Inflammatory Properties: CBG’s most common use comes from its anti-inflammatory activity, which seems to be one of the most powerful in all of the hemp plant. This would mean that it would be a great choice for those who are specifically seeking out the potential anti-inflammatory effects associated with the plant. Its affinity for CB2 receptors in the immune system seem to have the ability to decrease the inflammatory response.
- Analgesic Properties: CBG also has analgesic properties, which can reduce the way in which pain receptors in the nervous system react to painful stimuli.
- Appetite Stimulant: Like CBD, CBG seems to work as a potential appetite stimulant, which could be useful to those who struggle to maintain an appetite that allows them to consume enough food each day.
- Energy Effects: Researchers are exploring the potential that CBG has to increase daytime energy, thanks to its impact on anandamides, which are fatty acid neurotransmitters that activate during the day to keep us physically and mentally motivated.