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Is CBG Really Better For Anxiety Than CBD?

Did you know that cannabis plants produce more than just CBD and THC? That’s right. Cannabis plants actually produce a group of more than 113 naturally occurring compounds called cannabinoids.  CBG (cannabigerol) is the newest cannabinoid to be researched for its medicinal properties and studies from highly reputable research organizations are coming back with surprising results. CBG appears to have significant benefits for pain relief, relaxation, and especially anxiety.

What is CBG?

Interestingly, all cannabinoids including CBD and THC start out as the compound CBG.  As the cannabis plant matures, a natural chemical process takes place that changes CBGA (CBG’s acidic form known as cannabigerolic acid) into any one of the 113 cannabinoids found in cannabis plants at the time of harvest. When this natural chemical conversion process within the maturing plant is finished, nearly all of the plant’s CBGA has been converted into other cannabinoids leaving only about 1.4% of the plant’s cannabinoid content in the form of CBG.

Although CBG comes from the cannabis plant, it does not have any psychotropic effects. That means CBG doesn’t get anyone “high.” CBG is not a scheduled substance by UN Convention and is generally legal around the globe. CBG is a potential medicinal compound that may have powerful anti-anxiety and analgesic (pain-relieving) benefits. 

CBG Benefits

Unfortunately, research into CBG (and all cannabinoids) has been severely delayed because of cannabis prohibition. “The War On Drugs” has had significant impacts on the ability of universities and medical research organizations to get federal grant funding in the U.S. for scientific research or even find quality CBG material to use in medical studies. But with a number of U.S. states legalizing cannabis cultivation and federal legalization of hemp, CBG is finally making it into several university research programs and the hands of consumers who need it. 

CBG Benefits For Anxiety

Medical studies have shown that CBG may be especially good at relieving anxiety. CBG benefits for anxiety symptoms are multifaceted. CBG interacts with an important regulatory system in your body. That system is called the endocannabinoid system (ECS).

The ECS is tasked with maintaining the chemical balance within your body. It can affect emotions, motivation, pain sensation, and symptoms of anxiety. In fact, all cannabinoids interact with the ECS. That’s the key to their effects. Cannabinoids like CBG function as signaling agents within the ECS to turn on and off specialized subsystems. In doing so, they change the chemical balance in your body leading to changes in how you actually feel.

CBG, in particular, affects how your body responds to a natural compound in your body called adrenaline. Adrenaline is known as a chemical that can make your muscles tense up and give you a boost of energy when you get startled but it also has an important role in anxiety disorders. It’s believed that in individuals with anxiety, adrenaline causes something called hypervigilance. Hypervigilance is the feeling of always “being on edge” or always on guard for threats from your environment. While that can be useful in a threatening environment, the truth is that threats to our safety from our environment are rare. If you always feel like something in your environment is threatening to you, that is likely to have unhealthy outcomes. 

That’s where CBG helps with anxiety disorders. CBG is the only known cannabinoid to block the uptake of a certain type of adrenaline called noradrenaline.  By disrupting the absorption of noradrenaline, CBG may have the ability to relieve physical symptoms of anxiety like muscle tension as well the mental and emotional symptoms of hypervigilance, a key component of anxiety’s overall symptom profile. CBG may have important implications for the treatment of anxiety disorders such as Panic Disorder, PTSD, Social Anxiety Disorder, and Generalized Anxiety Disorder. 

Can CBG truly treat these anxiety disorders? Exactly how effective is it?  The answer is not yet clear mostly due to the delay in medical research into cannabinoids as a result of prohibition. But, as research has now started, significant breakthroughs are expected within just a few years. If you’d like to try CBG for anxiety relief, it can be found online and at local dispensaries. It’s known to have a good safety profile with few side effects.