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CBD vs. CBG hemp flower - how are they different?

October 20, 2020

CBD vs CBG Flower - Modest Hemp Co.

CBD vs. CBG Flower

Have you been hearing about hemp flower and are curious about its potentials? Are you confused between CBD and CBG hemp flower? Are you curious what the different benefits of CBD and or CBG may be? Maybe you’ve been scouring the internet looking for reviews about smokable hemp flower and just don’t know where to turn?

Let’s break this down and your general questions in a direct manner so you don’t have to scroll through Reddit arguments subreddits to figure this all out. 

What is Hemp Flower

Hemp originates from the Cannabis family in general, however that category of the Cannabis plant is broken down into three families: Cannabis Sativa, Cannabis Indica, and Cannabis Ruderalis all holding very similar physical characteristics to the naked, non professional, eye when grown and cultivated. It used to also be widely considered that only two families existed from the cannabis plant: Indica and Sativa, however Ruderalis, has now been used and described separately with the growing popularity of products like CBD and CBG - which Cannabis Ruderalis offers plenty of.

Cannabis Ruderalis is grown, cross bred if desired, cured and cultivated by US farmers all over the country and world. These farmers handle the process from growing the female hemp plant down to the cultivation of the final product. And what is that final product you may ask? Well, depending on the grower’s specifications, products like CBD and CBG hemp flower are cultivated and finish their growth cycle within five to seven weeks. [1] And there you have it! 

What’s the difference between CBD flower and CBG flower? 

The Growth Process:

When the Cannabis Ruderalis plant begins to grow as an infant, the major cannabinoids that are first present and develop are cannabigerolic acid (CBGA). [3]

As the plant continues to cycle, CBGA begins to convert into three major cannabinoid precursor compounds: tetrahydrocannabinolic acid (THCA), cannabichormenic acid (CBCA), cannabidiolic acid (CBDA). Once those enzymes have been formed, they can be converted by thermal decarboxylation where those compounds are degraded down into consumable form. CBD originates from the enzyme, CBDA and CBG originates from the original enzyme CBGA. [2]

As a better visual, we like to think of  plant as an upside down pyramid. Inside that pyramid is all of the molecular make up of the plant.What is CBG - Modest Hemp Co. Now, imagine if CBGA were all concentrated to one corner of the pyramid. CBGA would sit at the tippity top of that pyramid - but upside down. Because CBG helps create the other cannabinoids, very very little is left over afterwards, however the fundamental breakdown of CBGA resides in all enzymes - thus the rest of the pyramid relying on its nutrients. 

Extracting and Cultivating

The process in the growth of the Cannabis Ruderalis plant explains how and where the different enzymes like CBG, CBD, CBN and others are found, however the farmer’s ingredients, process, production, and cultivation can all change the strain of the hemp flower. [3]

CBG is a much harder enzyme to extract from the plant than CBD is. This is because hemp contains a very small amount of CBG in comparison to its counterpart, CBD; by about 20 to 1. Therefore, cultivating and extracting CBG requires the use of special equipment and machinery that is very different from the typical delivery mechanisms that you’d find when extracting CBD; making CBG much more expensive to cultivate and present.[3] 

We know now that CBGA is the original enzyme in which all other enzymes occur. It would then make sense that only a very small portion (the small piece of the pyramid) of CBG-A is left after the plant utilizes that molecule while growing for its enzymes. You only can give as much as you have, right? CBGA is no different, and therefore very little CBG is left at the end stage of the plant's growth, cultivation, and extraction.  

Hemp Flower and Strains

CBG flower buds are very delicate and the buds of CBG flower often appear smaller than CBD flower. The physical characteristics are so miniscule, however, that it is difficult to determine the type of hemp flower via the naked eye. With that said, almost all manufacturers will list if their product is high in CBD or high in CBG with the analysis of THC and CBD/CBG on their packaging. 

Because so many different cannabis strains occur in the industry now by genetic processes, new and exciting CBD and CBG flower strains are popping up left and right. By cross breeding, breeders are now able to design many unique strains that weren’t on the market before now; more often seen in CBD, but now becoming more available in CBG flower strains as well. 

How CBD and CBG interact with the body

Did you know that your body contains an entire receptor system called, The Endocannabinoid System? What does this mean? You have receptors (for simplicity sake, we’ll only refer to your body’s CB1 and CB2 receptors even though there are many more) that accept and interact to the cannabinoids in the cannabis plant. [3]

The Endocannabinoid System & CB1 & CB2 Receptors

If you click the link above, you can read more in detail specifically about the Endocannabinoid System and how it operates in your body. 

So now you know: your body is filled with cannabinoid receptors: brain, organs, glands, connective tissue, etc. that all interact and bind to cannabis molecules. CBD and CBG interact differently to the CB1 and CB2 receptors differently. 

The CB1 receptor is important as its main role in the body is to maintain homeostasis in the body. [5] Homeostasis refers to equilibrium and stability in the physiological sese. Meaning, the sense of, “feeling stable and steady,” and not mind altering like its counterpart, THCA. 

Although it is known that these cannabinoids react differently to your receptors, the effects of CBD and CBG have yet to be fully studied, understood, and confirmed by scientists. CBG appears to have potential benefits that seem to be unique to the cannabinoid specifically, however, no clinical trials have concluded definitive research. There have been interesting and promising studies focusing on: glaucoma treatment, antibacterial properties, possible help with IBS and colitis, and more when using cannibergol (CBG). [4] 

CBD also appears to have potential benefits, but keep in mind, none of these have been confirmed by scientists, however research has been conducted on the following subjects for CBD use: anxiety and depression, arthritis, seizures, etc. With all of that said, time and research will tell whether both CBD and CBG offer the same results or even if the combination of both offers enhanced results. [5]

Personal Preference

When you ask certain users, they’ll tell you that they use CBD and CBG flower for a slew of reasons and they might also tell you that the product affects them in different ways or even the same ways! For instance, although not as much research is found on CBG and anxiety, we know many customers that prefer CBG flower over CBD flower for such issues, some even like to mix both CBD and CBG flower for enhanced effects. 

Keep in mind, if you are completely new to hemp oil, flower, capsules, etc. make sure to speak with a doctor first! Some medications can interact negatively with these cannabinoids, so you want to make sure you’re not putting yourself at risk just to try out a new and popular product. 

In Conclusion

We hope you have learned a little bit about CBD and CBG and their similarities. Although much more can be said about CBD and CBG, we hope you have gained a better understanding of hemp flower and how that better influences your purchasing decisions. 

[2] ruderalis
[3] ruderalis/
[4] marijuana-research/introduction-to-the-endocannabinoid-system/

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