Cannabidiol (CBD) and cannabigerol (CBG) both have their own unique medical benefits, and when used together, you can get the best of both worlds as well as an interesting entourage effect.
Below I will discuss each of these cannabinoids separately, and then explain why taking them together is the best way to use them. Cannabigerol (CBG) is the first cannabinoid produced by the cannabis plant and is referred to as the “parent” of CBD and THC.
So let’s take a look at CBG. This cannabinoid inhibits GABA uptake more effectively than THC or CBD. GABA is the main inhibitory neurotransmitter of the brain. This explains why CBG may be more beneficial than both CBD and THC to treat anxiety, muscle spasms, chronic lower back pain, and sports injuries.
CBG is also known to stimulate the alpha-2 receptor. Alpha-2 receptor stimulation has a relaxant effect on muscles and blood vessels. This explains why CBG decreases blood pressure, improves ischemia of the heart, and reduces the intensity of opioid and alcohol withdrawal symptoms. When CBG binds to the alpha-2 receptors in the prefrontal cortex, it helps to improve working memory and executive function. Other benefits of alpha-2 stimulation include treating inflammatory bowel disease and colitis.
Additionally, CBG blocks the 5HT1A receptor while stimulating the TRPV1 and TRPV2 receptors. Blocking the 5HT1A receptor has been shown to improve learning and memory in rodents. As a result, CBG is now being studied as a novel treatment for Alzheimer’s disease. Activation of the TRPV1 receptor, which is also seen in capsaicin, makes CBG a viable option for reducing pain. Activation of the TRPV2 receptor can reduce pain, but it also regulates glucose levels (the goal of diabetic management), improves heart cell function, reduces seizure activity, and helps our cells fight and destroy bacteria. On that same coin, CBG blocks the TRPV8 receptor. Therefore, similar to menthol, it decreases sensitivity to cold and reduces cold-induced inflammation.
A few more notes about this cannabinoid, CBG stimulates PPARgamma resulting in a decrease of pulmonary inflammation caused by asthma. CBG also stimulate GPR55, and as a result, there is a reduction in inflammatory pain and neuropathic pain. Furthermore, there is improvement in bone strength and bone mass. And finally, CBG inhibits keratinocyte proliferation when used topically, CBG can successfully treat psoriasis.
CBG has similar activity to CBD
Just like CBD, CBD inhibits AEA uptake, consequently increasing the “feel good” or “bliss” hormone in the body. Also like CBD, CBG binds to the CB2 receptor. The benefits include stimulating the immune system to fight infection and helping the intestine to control inflammatory bowel diseases, such as Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis. It can also reduce the symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome.
Unlike THC, CBG has minimal activity at the CB1 receptor.Therefore, CBG will not get you high and cannot lead to paranoia or anxiety if taken in excess, which is on par with CBD.
Now, let’s briefly review the benefits of cannabidiol which include (but are not limited to) the following: Reduces pain, controls symptoms of depression, decreases reperfusion ischemic injury – such as after a stroke, reduces symptoms of Parkinson’s disease, works as an anti-arrhythmic, reduces inflammatory diseases of the skin like psoriasis, and it reduces inflammation and pain related to rheumatoid arthritis.
It also protects the brain during a stroke, prevents osteoporosis, decreases swelling and pain after a sports injury, reduces the addiction caused by cigarettes, opioids, and alcohol, it acts as an antipsychotic, increases alertness and the ability to focus and concentrate, gives one a deeper and more restful sleep, controls acne, decreases the symptoms of schizophrenia and autism spectrum disorder, and it can be used to treat epilepsy.
Take Home Point
Using CBD and CBG together makes more sense than using CBD alone as you benefit from the added benefits of both, no side effects, and no high. Combining cannabinoids to achieve different benefits is known as the “Entourage Effect” and is typically much better than using each compound on its own.
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