CBG vs. CBD: Differences, Benefits, Uses & More

CBG vs. CBD: Differences, Benefits, Uses & More

CBD is quickly becoming synonymous with hemp just as much as THC once was years ago. Thanks to the research available and an ever-expanding, consumer-based CBD industry, people are becoming more aware of CBD, hemp, and the benefits of both.

But even though CBD is one of the most studied and widely recognized cannabinoids, it isn’t the only beneficial component synthesized in Cannabis sativa. Several pieces of online research have indicated that CBD is even better when coupled with other cannabinoids.

One of these “coupling” hemp compounds is gaining more attention as research becomes available; and that cannabinoid is CBG. While analyzing CBD vs. CBG, both cannabinoids show similar characteristics. But CBG also carries a few unique qualities that make it as desirable as CBD hemp extracts.

But before we get into any comparisons and contrasts between CBD vs. CBG, here’s a quick overview of what these two cannabinoids are exactly:

A blue gloved hand holds up a clear dropper bottle of cbd oil

What Is CBD?

Cannabidiol (CBD) is one of the leading compounds found in hemp; it makes up about 40 percent of hemp’s composition. It’s a non-intoxicating phytocannabinoid – meaning it’s a plant-synthesized chemical that cannot produce a “high” or euphoric feeling.

CBD molecules work with our bodies’ endocannabinoid system (ECS) by binding or communicating with CB2 cannabinoid receptors. These special connectors attach to our peripheral nervous system and help regulate various physiological functions with muscles, immune cells, skin, and other organs.

The letter cbd are spelled out with little blocks that sit among a pile of cbd capsules

What Is CBG?

Cannabigerol (CBG) is another non-intoxicating phytocannabinoid. While it’s probably the most unusual hemp extract currently, it has a central role in the development of CBD and other known cannabinoids.

CBG is regularly referred to as a “mother cannabinoid”; this is because it is the first phytocannabinoid synthesized in hemp that converts into other plant-based cannabinoids.

The compound starts in its 2-carboxylic acid form called cannabigerol acid (CBGA). As hemp matures, this component begins to convert into three others: tetrahydrocannabinolic acid (THCA), cannabidiolic acid (CBDA), and cannabichromenic acid (CBCA).

After the conversion, there’s only a small amount of CBGA left – less than one percent. And when hemp begins its decarboxylation process, all those compounds drop their carboxyl acid and become the cannabinoids we commonly recognize: THC, CBD, CBC, and CBG.

Because a mature hemp plant contains low levels of CBG, its extraction requires much more effort compared to CBD. Cultivators would either need to harvest hemp before it fully matures, or grow enough hemp plants to yield a significant CBG during the extraction process.

And since there is less CBG to go around, research about this particular cannabinoid is limited; however, similar to CBD, CBG also works by attaching to the receptors that make up the endocannabinoid system. In comparison, CBG can bind to both CB1 and CB2 receptors rather than one over the other.

What Is The Difference Between CBG vs CBD?

Although both compounds are non-intoxicating cannabinoids found in Cannabis sativa, they also possess unique capabilities and are different in regards to their chemical properties:

Properties CBG CBD
Non-psychoactive
Extracted from hemp
Binds to both cannabinoid receptors
Abundant amounts found in hemp
Works with endocannabinoid system (ECS)
Offers wholesome benefits
Converts into other cannabinoids
Present only in hemp’s early growth cycle
A diagram of the human body demonstrates the different systems that work with cbd

Which Offers Better Benefits?

We mentioned earlier that CBD molecules typically communicate with CB2 cannabinoid receptors and that these receptors connect to the peripheral nervous system (PNS). The PNS reaches various muscles, limbs, skin, and other biological systems, including the immune system.

CBG also attaches to CB2 receptors in addition to CB1 receptors, which connect to our central nervous system (CNS) that includes our brain and spinal cord. It would be better to determine which cannabinoid fits your needs rather than which benefits are more significant than the other.

Scientists have observed CBG working to lower the psychoactive effects produced by THC. And in some cases, it’s shown to be useful in alleviating the adverse feelings associated with consuming high amounts of THC.

CBD and CBG both offer beneficial attributes individually. They also work together synergically to enhance each other’s benefits, which is why most CBD oils labeled broad spectrum or full spectrum contain both cannabinoids – allowing for the entourage effect.

Keep in mind that isolating CBD from hemp is much more common than isolating CBG – meaning that it’s easier to research CBD because of its availability than CBG. That doesn’t mean that CBG is less useful but that studies confirming its benefits are sparse.

A dark haired woman sits on the couch with her eyes closed and holds her head as her children play

CBG vs CBD For Stress: Which Is Better?

A recent survey indicated that CBD for stress is the top-rated reason why people use CBD oil or, at the very least, become interested in CBD as an option for relieving stress. Studies have shown CBD having the potential to counter the intensity of stress responses by lowering the blood pressure and dilating blood vessels.

These cases also highlight how CBD reduced other indications of stress, citing reports from human participants that suggest CBD is useful for lowering the nervousness associated with public speaking.

Regarding both CBG and CBD for stress, both cannabinoids attach to receptors that indirectly affect the brain’s chemistry that’s involved in stress-related issues. And CBG working alongside CBD may help boost CBD’s unique attributes with stress because of the entourage effect.

However, no concrete evidence supports one cannabinoid better than the other with relieving stress.

A man in a white tee shirt rests on his side fast asleep in bed

CBG vs CBD For Sleep: Which Is Better?

Nearly one-third of Americans aren’t getting the proper amount of sleep, which can lead to long-term complications. And using CBD for sleep is becoming a choice alternative in comparison to conventional, over-the-counter methods.

But does CBD make you tired?

CBD isn’t typically recommended primarily for sleep; however, it can help promote relaxation and calmness without any intoxication, grogginess, or disturbed sleep. CBD sleep aids, which combines CBD with melatonin and other sleep-inducing substances, allows CBD to unwind the body as the melatonin – a natural sleep hormone – works to lull you to sleep instinctively.

Because there isn’t much research about CBG for sleep available, nothing says whether or not CBG has a notable effect with sleeping. But due to the entourage effect, CBG could enhance CBD's calming properties and help promote healthy sleep habits together.

A human body all in blue shows the skeleton underneath with red highlights for pain points

CBG vs CBD For Pain: Which Is Better?

CBD for general pain and soreness lists as the second top reason people choose to get into CBD oils. And according to a consumer study, almost 40 percent of the people surveyed reported that CBD was effective with minor discomfort caused by exercising regularly.

The muscle groups and joints that we consistently workout during regular fitness routines make up part of our peripheral nervous system. And because CBD molecules communicate primarily with CB2 receptors connected to that system, CBD may have a direct effect that can soothe minor soreness.

One of the best benefits of managing soreness with CBD is that you can use both internal and external methods. With CBD topicals, you can apply them to the affected part of your body and feel relief almost immediately, depending on your severity of discomfort and the size of the sore area.

Or you could ingest CBD or take it sublingually with the use of CBD tinctures, capsules, or gummies. Using these internal methods regularly either in the morning or evening, you could reduce the amount of delayed-onset muscle soreness that is common with physical activities.

Research also shows that CBG is useful with minor soreness and discomfort – particularly with swelling in the skin. With the combination of CBG and CBD, like in several broad spectrum or full spectrum CBD products, you’re receiving two components that are beneficial for mild physical aches.

Which Is Better For You?

The results from using CBD, CBG, and other cannabinoids can vary based on our body types, lifestyle, and other physical qualities. And because these two particular cannabinoids work best together than individually, it’s better to figure out which one closest fits your needs or use when comparing CBG vs CBD.

They both naturally occur in Cannabis sativa and share some of the same characteristics. However, they are still different in composition and offer unique benefits based on limited research. If you want to learn more about the potential benefits of CBG, CBC, and other cannabinoids, check our educational blogs for more information about non-CBD cannabinoids.

And after becoming more knowledgeable about CBG vs CBD vs CBC’s differences, the more confident you’ll be with purchasing CBD or hemp-based products that best suit your needs and achieve personal goals.

Have You Tried CBG?

Have you tried CBG? Do you find it enhances the effects of CBD? Or maybe you’re just curious about this cannabinoid? Let us know your experience by connecting with us on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram!