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

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

You’ve heard of CBD - but what about CBG? Learn the differences between CBD vs CBG and what benefits they have to offer you.

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 from the Cannabis sativa plant. You may be surprised to find 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.

What Is CBD?

Cannabidiol (CBD) is one of the leading compounds found in hemp, making up about 10 percent (or more) of high-quality hemp’s chemical composition. It’s a non-intoxicating phytocannabinoid – meaning it’s a plant-synthesized component that cannot produce a “high” or euphoric feeling commonly associated with another compound called THC, or tetrahydrocannabinol. THC is sometimes included in CBD products, but only in small amounts, up to the 0.3 percent permitted by law. CBD products’ labels will specify whether or not they include THC.

CBD molecules work with our bodies’ endocannabinoid system (ECS) by binding primarily with CB2 cannabinoid receptors. These special receptors are connected to our peripheral nervous system but appear in our muscles, immune cells, skin, and other organs. This built-in biological system catalyzes CBD benefits for health and wellness and creates the demand for a variety of CBD products that we now have available to us.

What is CBG?

Cannabigerol (CBG) is another non-intoxicating phytocannabinoid. This unique hemp compound plays a central role in the development of CBD and other known cannabinoids.

CBG is regularly referred to as a “mother cannabinoid” because it is the first phytocannabinoid synthesized from 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, including 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 amount of 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.

CBG vs CBD: How They Compare

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:








Extracted from hemp



Binds to both cannabinoid receptors


Abundant amounts found in hemp


Works with the endocannabinoid system (ECS)



Offers wholesome benefits



Converts into other cannabinoids


Present only in hemp’s early growth cycle



CBD vs CBG: 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) comprising our brain and spinal cord. It would be better to determine which cannabinoid fits your needs, targeting the areas of greatest concern to you, rather than which benefits are more significant than the other.

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 higher availability than CBG. That doesn’t mean that CBG is less useful, but that studies confirming CBG benefits are more sparse.

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. The properties of CBD are quite attractive when combined with an overall stress management strategy that includes things such as meditation, exercise, a healthy sleep pattern, and other calming techniques. But what many people do not know is that CBG can also play a role.

Regarding both CBG and CBD for stress, CBG working alongside CBD may help boost CBD’s unique attributes with common stress because of the entourage effect.

However, no concrete evidence supports one cannabinoid being better than the other with regards to relieving stress or promoting a more calm demeanor.

CBG vs CBD for Sleep: Which Is Better?

Nearly 70 percent of Americans report that they aren’t getting the proper amount of sleep, which is critical to our health. Using CBD for sleep, especially as part of a calming evening routine, is becoming a choice alternative in comparison to conventional methods.

But does CBD make you sleepy? Technically, when taken in normal amounts, no. CBD helps indirectly and best when in combination with other substances like melatonin. CBD in combination with THC may give you a bit of a drowsy feeling due to the inclusion of the THC, but there is only a small amount of THC in some CBD products, specifically those labeled as “full-spectrum.” When CBD products are taken as directed, drowsiness isn’t commonly reported.

So why do people associate CBD use with sleep? Because CBD may help promote a sense of relaxation and calmness, and with promising reviews, people feel confident using CBD products to help them maintain a healthy, regular sleep cycle. Reviews give us anecdotal evidence and help to develop an idea of consumer responses to certain products, like CBD sleep aids.


Reviews for cbdMD sleep products



When used in combination with other things like controlling the time and intake of caffeine and minimizing exposure to light sources for that crucial hour before bed, CBD sleep aids, which combine CBD with melatonin and other supportive botanicals, could provide the sleep support you are looking for. CBD supports relaxation while melatonin – a natural sleep hormone – works to lull you to sleep.

Because there isn’t much research available about CBG, specifically, the jury is still out on CBG’s potential effects on your sleep. The perception is that through the entourage effect, CBG helps to support CBD, and together they may have more influence.

CBG vs CBD for Pain: Which Is Better?

Almost 40 percent of people surveyed reported that CBD was effective with minor discomfort caused by strenuous exercise.

The muscle groups and joints that we consistently work out 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 be of help.

One of the best benefits of managing soreness with CBD is that you can use both internal and external methods. With CBD topicals, specifically, those that also contain proven pain relievers like menthol, you can apply them for targeted relief.

Or you could ingest CBD via CBD tinctures, softgels, or gummies. Using these internal methods regularly in the morning or evening or both could help to reduce the amount of delayed-onset muscle soreness that is common with physical activities.

With the combination of CBG and CBD, like in many broad-spectrum or full-spectrum CBD products, you’re receiving two beneficial components. It is hard to say that either CBD or CBG is better than the other, but in combination, they may be more effective.

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. Because these two particular cannabinoids work best together rather than individually, it’s better to figure out which one more closely fits your needs when comparing CBG vs CBD. Fortunately, the decision may be moot as combining them may be best. Many CBD products combine the two in their formulations.

They both naturally occur in hemp 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 the more knowledgeable you are about CBG vs CBD differences, the more confident you’ll be with purchasing CBD or hemp-based products. You can then choose the CBD products that best suit your needs and achieve your personal wellness 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 experiences by joining the conversations on our Twitter and Facebook pages.

Originally written by: William Carter