CBG vs CBD: How Are They Different?


Although nothing definitive has been found about CBG, the little that is known inspires enough optimism to make manufacturers begin to focus on how to optimize CBG levels in their products.

CBD has long been the darling in the limelight for its numerous purported wellness benefits. Recently however, another non-intoxicating cannabinoid has been making headlines as a potential therapeutic product. Cannabigerol, or CBG, is a less abundant cannabinoid but has garnered increased curiosity and interest due to its similarities to CBD. In this post, we will discuss CBG vs CBD, their differences and how they may complement each other.

What is CBG?

CBG is one of the 100+ identified cannabinoids found in the cannabis plant. CBG is a non-psychoactive and non-acidic cannabinoid that is produced when heat is applied to the CBGA (cannabigerol acid) molecule of the cannabis plant.

CBGA, which is an acidic, and inactive form is then changed through a process known as decarboxylation and becomes CBG.

Another way to think of CBG is as one of the compounds found in the early stages of the hemp plant. This is why it’s sometimes referred to as the “mother cannabinoid” or the “stem cell” of the cannabis plant. CBG is the first of the cannabinoids to take form before being used as the base through which other compounds, such as THC, CBD, and CBC, are formed. 


Cannabigerol is relatively new to the public and because it’s only available during the early developmental stages of the hemp plant, it isn’t a common cannabinoid found in large quantities. That said, it’s recently garnered increased interest and is being studied for its pharmacological properties. 

Although nothing definitive has been found about CBG, the little that is known inspires optimism. Enough optimism to make manufacturers begin to focus on how to optimize CBG levels in their products.


Even though both CBG and CBD originate from CBGA, CBD is distinct from CBG. CBD is the more popular of the two. It is a chemical compound that is extracted from the Cannabis Sativa plant. CBD is currently being used in managing a spectrum of health conditions.

There several similarities between CBG and CBD. Foremost, both compounds are non-psychoactive which means they will not elicit the “high” feeling associated with THC. Both are derived from the cannabis plant and interact with the body’s endocannabinoid system.

The endocannabinoid system (ECS) is an intricate system of cell receptors, enzymes, and endocannabinoids.  The ECS controls a wide range of biological functions: sleep, mood, temperature control, immune response, pain and pleasure perception, fertility, memory, and appetite. Our bodies naturally create their own endocannabinoids, which then attach to either our CB1 or CB2 receptors in order to signal an alert that certain areas within the body are out of balance and need attention.

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Both CBD and CBG have access and interaction with the CB1 and CB2 receptors of our ECS.

As for the differences, the chemical structures of both CBG and CBD are different. They also occur at different levels within a mature cannabis plant. CBD can be found in large quantities within the cannabis plant (20%) and is often referred to as a significant cannabinoid. CBG, on the other hand, occurs in trace amounts (1%) and is seen as a minor cannabinoid. 

As mentioned earlier, one other key difference between the two is that CBG is one of the initial compounds available in the cannabis plant. CBG, as it matures, is converted into other cannabinoid forms like CBD.

However, the main difference lies in the way both compounds effect the body’s endocannabinoid system. CBD has a relatively low affinity for cannabinoid receptors and acts mostly by indirect interactions with the endocannabinoid system. Conversely, CBG directly interacts and binds to both the CB1 and CB2 cannabinoid receptors in the brain and endocannabinoid system.

Potential benefits of CBG

Because CBG interacts with the body’s ECS similarly to CBD, it is believed that it may provide some potential health benefits such as:

  • Anti-Inflammatory: CBG is believed to have strong anti-inflammatory properties. (Study)
  • Antibacteral and antifungal: potential treatment for methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA). (Study)
  • Neurodegenerative Conditions: that CBG was “extremely active as neuroprotectant,” and also increased the levels of antioxidant defense. (Study)
  • Glaucoma Treatment: CBG and related cannabinoids may provide therapeutic benefits to patients suffering from glaucoma. (Study)
  • Bladder dysfunction: CBG as a potential therapy for bladdwer dysfunctions. (Study)
  • Appetite Stimulant: CBG interacts with the molecular targets that are involved in the regulation of appetite. (Study)

While these studies are promising, it’s important to remember that all were done in the lab with mice or animals and they don’t confirm the benefits of CBG. Additional research is needed to fully understand how CBG works in the body.

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How CBG and CBD complement each other

CBG and CBD may have different health benefits and slightly different ways in which they work within the body . By using CBD and CBG together, you may get the added benefits of both, no side effects, and no high.

Combining cannabinoids to achieve maximum benefit is often known as the “Entourage Effect” and is typically better than using each compound on its own.

How to use CBG oil products

If you are interested in trying CBG, the most common form is CBG oil in a tincture. Currently, most products on the market are a combined CBG + CBD product. Pay close attention to the ratio of CBG to CBD that is in the bottle. Typically, you will find a 1:1 or 2:1 ratio. Depending on your need, you can choose the proper ratio although we always recommend starting low and moving up when needed.

As far as reputable brands, both CBDfx and Pure Hemp offer excellent CBD + CBG tinctures on their sites.

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