CBD. THC. CBG. Buds. Flower. Nugs. Hash. Extracts. Wax. Terpsolates. Kief. Hemp. Delta-8. Pollen. Sativa. Indica. Not to mention the thousands of strain names copyrighted and used for marketing and to differentiate the different kinds of effects each strain possesses.
Then there are the multitude of ways to consume all the variations derived from the cannabis plant. Vaping. Smoking. Cooking. Drinking. Dabbing. Topical Cream. Tinctures. Oils. And the list goes on.
It’s all just so confusing. Can’t we just focus on something simple? Yes. The best way forward is to take it one step at a time. The only way to eventually master all four hundred and twenty of them. Today’s lesson will examine specifically CBG and Delta-8 and the similarities and differences between them.
Two Sides Of the Same Cannabis
Both CBG and Delta-8 flowers are derived from the cannabis plant. Before diving into exploring the two compounds, it is essential to know a little bit about how cannabis interacts with your body.
Did you know that the human system is already equipped to welcome and interact with compounds derived from cannabis? Probably not. Because most of the publicized studies have been commissioned in service of misinformation about cannabis. Only now is the civilized world beginning to open its mind to the healthy possibilities offered by the cannabis plant.
You see, the human body has a built-in mechanism for interacting with cannabis derived compounds. It’s called the endocannabinoid system. It’s a biological system which is equipped with receptors that bind to cannabinoids.
Can-nabinoid It Be?
The endocannabinoid system was only recently discovered in 1988. Research is still preliminary and only two primary cannabinoid receptors have been identified as of this writing, named, simply enough, CB1 and CB2. The CB1 receptors are found primarily in the brain and nervous system, while CB2 receptors are found in the immune and digestive systems.
Did you know that many of the compounds derived from cannabis are found in health and beauty products? It’s true!
Now that you are a bit more educated about the endocannabinoid system, time to explore the compounds, in alphabetical order.
Delta-8 is one of the most exciting new minor cannabinoids and is generating a lot of interest on the market. While Delta-8 has a similar structure to and delivers similar effects as THC, it is not the same thing.
Before going any further, to avoid confusion, Delta-9 Tetrahydrocannabinol is the compound that gets you ‘high’ in the stereotypical sense. Eight, not nine. Don’t mix them up.
Although Delta-8, like Delta-9, is psychoactive, it doesn’t get you high like THC. It can produce euphoric feelings, but with less intensity. This makes Delta-8 more desirable for medical patients.
Calling Big Bang
This is where it gets a bit more scientific, but don’t tune out! Just pretend it’s a character from “The Big Bang Theory’ talking. Molecularly speaking, Delta eight and nine differ by one carbon atom. So while both compounds both bind to the CB receptors, they do it in different ways, due to their unique pharmacokinetic metabolism and properties.
Recent studies have shown that Delta-8 can help mitigate the side effects of chemotherapy, especially nausea. Mice who were administered the compound showed improved cognitive ability and weight loss. Another study displayed effectiveness in treating inflammation of the corneas, helping to reduce the pain experienced by patients.
Delta-8 is one of the hottest cannabinoid derivatives on the market for a couple reasons. The cannabis plant doesn’t actually produce much Delta-8, but during a CBD boom in recent years, producers discovered they could synthesize Delta-8 from excess CBD in hemp flower, through molecular isolation and selective breeding.
In addition, Delta-8, being derived from CBD, is technically allowed under the 2018 Farm Bill. It has not yet been prohibited federally, so it is legal to receive in the mail. However, state laws are shifting frequently and Delta-8 has been prohibited in some states.
As a fairly recent discovery, all studies of Delta-8 are preliminary, so some health and safety issues should still be considered. It is recommended to start with small doses, gradually increasing dosage based on what your body tells you.
You Have To CBG It To Believe It
One key difference is that CBG is where Delta-9 comes from! CBG stands for Cannabigerol acid, not to be confused with CBD, or cannabidiol. In fact, CBG is responsible for the production of CBD too!
‘Bigerol’ is an appropriate name because CBG is bigger than all the rest of the compounds. It’s the granddaddy of all those compounds! That’s right, CBG acid is the compound found in the cannabis plant which synthesizes all the other compounds, including CBD and THC.
CBG was first discovered in 1964 by two Israeli chemists. CBG is rare, since it is broken down into compound derivatives and the plant does not retain much CBG after synthesization. Thus, farmers often harvest the CBG from the cannabis plant early, before it can be converted into CBD or THC.
A Binding Situation
CBG binds with both the CB1 and CB2 receptors and activates them. Endocannabinoids are formed and these molecules help our internal functions run smoothly. In addition, CBG stimulates the production of the neurotransmitter Anandamide, which is responsible for pleasurable sensations, regulating sleep, encouraging appetite and relieving pain.
Studies are showing that the benefits of CBG are many. First and foremost, it helps reduce inflammation. It can act as an anti-bacterial. It helps with glaucoma, inflammatory bowel disease, reducing cancer cell growth and improves bladder functions.
CBG can be consumed as a powder for drinks, topicals, lotions, ointments, tinctures and chocolates, mmm. Who doesn’t wish life was like a box of CBG chocolates?
In conclusion, these are the basic similarities and differences between CBG and Delta-8.
- Both compounds have been found to be effective in medical treatment.
- Both are compounds which are found in the cannabis plant.
- Both compounds can be smoked, vaped or consumed in an edible.
- Both compounds are facing legal challenges.
- Both require further study.
Those are the similarities. Two main differences remain. CBG is the ‘parent’ of all the derivatives found in the cannabis plant. Therefore, it is produced in a much bigger quantity. Delta-8 is not. It is mostly man made through an extraction process.
Secondly, CBG itself is not psychoactive, meaning it won’t get you high. Delta-8 is psychoactive, but not with the same intensity as THC. Therefore, it produces a less anxious effect.
One last tip – the cool kids call it D8! The cannabis derivative world is now your oyster. Enjoy!