CBG vs CBD – What Is The Difference?


CBG Vs Cbd - Everything You Need To Know

Cannabidiol (CBD) and cannabigerol (CBG) have generated a wild buzz in the cannabis industry. This article discusses the differences between CBD vs CBG. 

Like CBD, CBG is a cannabinoid produced naturally in marijuana and hemp plants

The two compounds are non-intoxicating, meaning that they won’t get you high. 

But unlike CBD, which exists in abundant amounts, CBG is a minor cannabinoid, which means that it occurs in trace amounts in the plants.

Extensive research has been done on CBD and its therapeutic effects

Comparably, studies into CBG are minimal. 

Nonetheless, we know that the two compounds interact differently with our body’s endocannabinoid system (ECS) to deliver various therapeutic effects.

What Is CBG?

Cannabigerol is a naturally occurring cannabinoid in cannabis plants. 

It occurs in very low concentrations (often less than 1%) in nearly all cannabis strains. Hence, it is considered a minor cannabinoid. 

Generally, CBG is produced in its acidic form cannabigerolic  acid, aka CBGA. 

Besides being the precursor to CBG, CBGA is also considered the mother of all cannabinoids.

That’s because other cannabinoids like tetrahydrocannabinolic acid (THCA), which is the unactivated form of THC, cannabidiolic acid (CBDA), and cannabichromene acid (CBCA) are derived from it. 

Specific enzymes in the cannabis plants known as synthases break down the acidic form of CBGA, converting it into either THCA, CBDA, CBCA, or other different cannabinoids.

When exposed to heat, CBGA is converted into CBG, in the same way, CBDA or THCA are converted into CBD and THC, respectively. 

This means that the more CBD there is in a mature cannabis plant, the lesser the levels of CBG and THC, and vice versa. 

Currently, breeders are experimenting ways to obtain higher levels of CBG, for instance, through genetic manipulation and cross-breeding different cannabis strains

Researchers also extract higher concentrations of CBG from young cannabis plants by identifying the best extraction time, usually about 42 days into a 56-day flowering cycle.

How Do You Use CBG?

Just like CBD, there are numerous ways that you can consume CBG. Perhaps the most common CBG products are CBG oils. 

CBG oil comes in the form of tinctures or droppers.

They are pretty easy to consume to experience all the benefits of CBG. 

CBG Tinctures

Consuming CBG oil in the form of a tincture provides a higher bioavailability. 

The tincture comes with a dropper that makes it easy to administer and control your dosage. 

CBG tinctures also provide a faster onset of effects than other consumption methods like edibles.

CBG Capsules and Softgels

Many consumers prefer CBG softgels because they mask the taste of CBG and provide a consistent dosage.

But unlike tinctures, capsules have a delayed onset of effects.

That’s because they must first pass through the digestive tract and liver before being absorbed into the bloodstream.

CBG Vapes

Smoking enthusiasts prefer to inhale CBG directly.

CBG vape oil can be used in vaporizers or even vape pens.

This consumption method is growing in popularity because it is straightforward and delivers the fastest onset of effects.

What Are The Benefits of CBG?

CBG delivers its effects by interacting with the receptors in our ECS. 

Unlike CBD, which has a relatively low affinity for our endocannabinoid receptors, CBG binds directly to the CB1 and CB2 receptors

It is thought to enhance the function of anandamide, a lipid neurotransmitter that regulates appetite and sleep, alleviates pain, and enhances pleasure and motivation.

Preliminary research suggests that CBG may help treat various symptoms. 

A 2013 mice study found that CBG can effectively reduce inflammation and associated diseases like inflammatory bowel disease.

In a 2014 study on rats with colon cancer, researchers found that CBG may effectively reduce the growth rate of cancer cells and other tumor growth.

Following a study on cats with glaucoma, researchers noticed that CBG helped reduce eye pressure while increasing aqueous humor outflow, a water-like fluid that fills the space in front of the eyeball to maintain eye pressure and provide eye nutrition.

A study on mice (2013) found that CBG could effectively reduce inflammation and associated diseases like inflammatory bowel disease.

A 2015 study examined the use of CBG to deliver neuroprotective benefits on mice with Huntington’s disease.

The researchers found that the cannabinoid possesses neuroprotective properties that can protect the nerve cells in our brains from damages.

During a recent study examining the antibiotic potential of cannabinoids, CBG was found to possess antibacterial properties against MRSA, a type of bacteria infection that is resistant to drugs.

What is CBD?

Cannabidiol often referred to as CBD, is a natural compound in cannabis plants. 

It is the second most prevalent cannabinoid after delta-9 THC, but unlike tetrahydrocannabinol, CBD will make you high, and it will not make you fail a drug test. 

Although first isolated from cannabis plants in the 1930s, CBD only recently seized the limelight in the 1970s when scientists took an interest in its anticonvulsant abilities.

Since then, the therapeutic benefits of CBD have been widely studied, and anecdotal reports continue to back up its medicinal potency. 

CBD is mainly sourced from hemp plants, and thanks to the 2018 Farm Bill, it is considered federally legal in all 50 states. 

However, in some states where recreational marijuana is legal, CBD can be extracted from marijuana plants.

Such CBD oil may contain higher levels of THC beyond the legal limit (0.3% THC).

While on the market, you will notice that CBD oil is available in three different forms, CBD isolate, broad-spectrum CBD oil, and full-spectrum CBD oil

As their names suggest, CBD isolate contains pure CBD only, while full-spectrum CBD has all the hemp plant compounds, including less than 0.3 percent THC which contributes to the entourage effect.

How Do You Use CBD?

CBD oil is made by combining the compound with an appropriate carrier oil like MCT oil, or avocado oil.

CBD Tinctures

CBD oil can be bottled and sold in the form of a tincture, which is consumed sublingually by placing a few drops of the oil under your tongue.

This method delivers a fast onset of effects because the oil is absorbed directly from the capillaries under the tongue into the bloodstream and brain.

CBD Capsules

CBD also comes in the form of a capsule, which is the best option for people looking to maintain a consistent amount of CBD in their system.

Because the capsule must first pass through the digestive tract, CBD benefits are felt after about 30 minutes or more.

CBD Vapes

You can also consume CBD in a vape pen.

This method delivers  the best benefits of CBD almost instantly because the compound is absorbed rapidly from the lungs into the bloodstream.

What Are The Benefits Of CBD?

The potential health benefits of CBD have been studied rigorously, and the results gathered so far are auspicious. 

Researchers aren’t very sure how CBD interacts with the ECS.

But they believe that it delivers its effects by activating the CB1 and CB2 cannabinoid receptors and preventing the breakdown of endocannabinoids, allowing them to have a better effect on our bodies.

While scientists are yet to find out exactly how CBD works, research shows that CBD can help with numerous symptoms, from alleviating chronic pain and nausea, reducing anxiety and depression, treating opioid addiction and epileptic seizures, providing neuroprotection, and more.

Keep reading to find out more about CBG vs CBD.

Similarities Between CBG and CBD

CBG is regularly compared to CBD because they share significant similarities. 

For instance, they both deliver therapeutic benefits by interacting with the CB2 and CB1 receptors in our endocannabinoid system, but in different ways. 

But perhaps the most notable similarity between CBG vs CBD is that they are both non-intoxicating, meaning that they will not alter your state of mind or cause the euphoric high of THC.

Although THC delivers numerous therapeutic benefits, it is mainly undesirable for most consumers due to its intoxicating effects

In fact, THC is largely controlled in many places, and only a few states allow it for recreational use by adults of legal age. 

But CBG and CBD have been found to reduce the psychoactive effects of THC.

They also influence the mind in a way that reduces the unwanted side effects of THC like anxiety, paranoia, and sedation. 

Like many other cannabinoids, CBG and CBD are also consumed in similar ways, like vaping, tinctures, capsules and softgels, topicals, edibles, and more. 

Once the two compounds are absorbed into the human body, they provide therapeutic benefits like helping with cancer by inhibiting abnormal cell proliferation.

Differences Between CBG and CBD

Note that because it is not as popular as CBD, clinical trials and peer-reviewed studies into the potential health benefits of CBG are limited.

But there are many other major differences between CBD and CBG that you should know about…

The most apparent difference between the two cannabinoids is their concentration in the cannabis plants.

Unlike CBD, which occurs in high concentrations, only a little CBG is produced in the plants.

This makes both its research and production on a large scale time-consuming and challenging.

CBG and CBD have different molecular structures.

This is the reason why the two cannabinoids interact differently with our body’s cannabinoid receptors to deliver unique benefits.

While CBD delivers its effects through indirect interactions with the receptors, CBG has been shown to bind directly with CB1 and CB2 receptors in our brain.

In a study done on rats, the effects of CBG were found to increase appetite.

On the flip side, CBD does not cause munchies and is not known as an appetite stimulant either. 

An earlier study by Psychopharmacology compared how CBG and CBD influence our 5-HT1A serotonin receptors.

Interestingly, CBD was found to have an affinity for the 5-HT1A serotonin receptors, activating them to provide anti-nausea effects.

On the other hand, CBG acted as an antagonist/blocker at the same receptors.

CBG vs CBD - The Bottom Line

CBG has not been widely studied, and further research and human trials are still required to prove its benefits.

However, we know how CBG vs CBD compares.

And although the therapeutic relief provided by the two compounds is strikingly similar, their differences are also worth noting.

Some of the main differences between CBG vs CBD is their availability in the cannabis plants and how the two compounds interact with CB2 and CB1 receptors in the central nervous system.

CBG binds directly with the receptors, while CBD influences them indirectly.

Additionally, CBG acts as an appetite booster, something CBD is not known for.

The growing interest in CBG means that the cannabinoid will be researched more rigorously, and it will become widely available in many dispensaries.

In fact, CBG is already available in many full-spectrum CBD products.