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CBG is said to have even more health and beauty benefits than CBD – but what actually is it?

Image: Unsplash
Image: Unsplash

While most of us have heard of CBD by now, not many can say the same of CBG. Over the past five years, CBD has taken the beauty and wellness worlds by storm for its high antioxidant levels as well as its potential to help alleviate anxiety, calm the mind and help insomnia, but now, CBG is being dubbed as even more effective ingredient, and still totally legal. But what actually is CBG? And is it really any different from its popular predecessor?

First things first, it's important to understand exactly what CBD is. CBD (it's full name is Cannabidiol) is a type of cannabinoid, which is a group of chemical compounds derived from the cannabis plant. CBD is non-psychoactive, meaning it cannot make you high (the reason cannabis makes people high is because of a totally different cannabinoid called Tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC, which is illegal in the UK).

Many believe that CBD has many health and wellness benefits, namely relieving feelings of pain, stress, depression and anxiety as well as helping to reduce insomnia. It can be taken as a tincture, an oil or a supplement and is widely available in health stores and some pharmacies as a form of alternative medicine. However, it should be noted that the Food Standards Agency (FSA) has recently published a list of sanctioned ingestible CBD supplements following a review into whether manufacturers have tested their products sufficiently and proven they are safe. The list of products that the FSA has validated as safe, or as “awaiting evidence”, can remain on the market and can be found here. Any product not mentioned on the list will need to be immediately removed from the market and shouldn't be consumed until proven safe.

While we should be wary of ingesting cannabis-derived health products, CBD have been approved for use in topical skincare for its high antioxidant properties that helps to reduce damage from environmental aggressors like pollution, and is commonly found in everything from night creams to bath oils. CBG shares similar topical benefits but is far less common that CBD.

What is CBG?

CBG (it's full name is Cannabigerol) is yet another cannabinoid. Interestingly, CBG is the precursor to many other cannabinoids, including CBD and THC (the acidic form of CBG breaks down to form the base molecules for the other cannabinoids), so some people refer to it as the mother of cannabinoids.

What are the benefits of CBG?

Unlike CBD, which has been widely studied, there is little definitive scientific research on CBG (so far!). Preliminary findings from in-vitro and other studies have suggested that CBG could have a number of health benefits, including reducing inflammatory conditions like colitis and helping to prevent brain seizures and epilepsy.

Part of the reason cannabinoids are thought to be so effective is because the human body has its very own endocannabinoid system, which helps to regulate things like sleep, memory, mood and appetite. Our bodies produce endocannabinoids, which bind to the endocannabinoid receptors in the system to help regulate these various bodily processes. Due to the fact that cannabinoids from cannabis are chemically very similar to endocannabinoids, our bodies are also able to recognise them and utilise them efficiently, although the exact mechanisms of how the body processes each individual cannabinoid is still being researched.

While much is still unknown about CBG, we do know that it is high in antioxidants and has anti-inflammatory properties when applied topically, much like CBD. In a first of its kind study, researchers found that when applied topically, CBG could clinically promote skin health by reducing the appearance of redness and improving barrier function better than a placebo thanks to its including antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, anti-acne, and anti-aging properties. Not only that, but they also found that CBG outperformed CBD in in vitro tests.

We'll certainly be keeping an eye out for more CBG beauty revelations and health benefits. Watch this space!

This article was originally published on Glamour UK.

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