Understanding the Difference Between CBD and CBG

What is CBG? Ultimate Guide to CBG vs CBD

  • January 10, 2021

Familiarizing yourself with the cannabis lingo? Then go beyond the popularly known concepts and dig into the lesser-known side too. While THC and CBD have increasingly become a common understanding among CBD enthusiasts, not many dive into the minor cannabinoid called CBG. 

CBG has been a lot around in recent times. As the research on cannabis is increasing, more aspects of the plant are unfolding and CBG is one of them. So, without further delay, let me guide you through this new compound that has entered the market. 

What Is CBG?


Cannabigerol or CBG is one of the many chemical components of cannabis. It initially exists in cannabis in its acidic form called cannabigerol acid or CBGA. 

This lesser-known compound is in fact the most important chemical of cannabis. Why? Because CBG is the reason why other essential cannabinoids exist. CBG is the very first cannabinoid to exist which creates THC, CBD and CBC. It is the reason why CBG is often called a ‘mother cannabinoid’ or ‘the stem cell of cannabinoids’.

As the plant matures and decarboxylation occurs, different enzymes act upon CBGA to create either of the three cannabinoid acids: THCA, CBDA and CBCA. With more decarboxylation, these acids turn into their respective cannabinoids THC, CBD and CBC. 

So how is CBG formed? With everything that’s left of the CBGA after the decarboxylation process. In the end, a cannabis plant contains no more than one percent CBG. This is why CBG is referred to as a minor cannabinoid. 

Extraction Process 

Since CBG is very scarcely present in cannabis, it can be very tricky to extract it from the plant. For industries that focus on CBG extraction, time is very crucial. It is only in the early stages of plant growth that companies can extract CBG successfully. Otherwise, the plant matures and most of the CBGA turns into other cannabinoids. So the more THC and CBD in cannabis, the lesser will be the percentage of CBG.

Considering the small window and the effort that goes into extracting a small amount of CBG is the reason why it usually comes with a high price tag. It is one of the most expensive cannabinoids to be precise. 

Medical Benefits of CBG

Medical Benefits of CBG

Since the discovery of CBG, it has been in great demand in the healthcare sector. Just like THC and CBD, CBG has its own medical benefits. Similar to other cannabinoids, CBG reacts with the CB receptor of the endocannabinoid system and affects several physiological functions. The research regarding the medical prowess of CBG is still ongoing. But of all the information that is available to date, CBG can be associated with the following medical properties. 

  • Anti-inflammation: Some researches show that CBG treatment reduces the levels of pro-inflammatory cytokines. It also helps in relieving pain caused by inflammation due to inflammatory bowel disease. 
  • Anti-bacterial: CBG is found to be effective against the resilient bacteria MRSA in mice.
  • Antidepressant: Studies find that CBG has been more effective in comparison to other cannabinoids like CBD and THC to inhibit the uptake of GABA and thus lower clinical depression.
  • Analgesic: In comparison to THC, CBG has more potent analgesic properties. It can also help as a muscle relaxant for spasticity.
  • Neuroprotective: CBG has the ability to reduce oxidative stress and protect the nervous system. It can also improve motor deficiency and prevent the degeneration of neurons in mice with Huntington’s disease.
  • Prevents Growth of Cancer Cells: The biggest medical contribution of CBG is its ability to inhibit the growth of many types of tumor cells. 
  • Reduces Eye Pressure: CBG has the ability to reduce the intraocular pressure caused by Glaucoma. 

CBG and CBD: What’s the Difference?

It’s very easy to confuse CBG with CBD. But, though both cannabinoids have tremendous medicinal benefits and other similarities, they are very different from each other. So let’s compare CBG and CBG and understand their similarities and differences.

Similarities Between CBG and CBD

For starters, both CBD and CBG are cannabinoids found in cannabis. They have therapeutic properties that can help in providing symptomatic relief for several medical conditions. CBD and CBG work in the body by reacting with the endocannabinoid system. But, neither of them is intoxicating like THC. So you won’t get a high after consuming CBD or CBG. 

CBG and CBD are usually used together in a product to enhance the medicinal properties. You can find several oils and chewable tablets that contain both these cannabinoids. 

Differences Between CBG and CBD

Now that you are familiar with the similarities between CBG and CBD, let’s review the other side of the coin and learn about the differences between the two. 

Though CBG and CBD are both found in cannabis, the former is the precursor of other cannabinoids including CBD. As we have discussed already, CBGA is the ‘stem cell’ that leads to the creation of other cannabinoids. So CBD wouldn’t really exist without CBG.

Unlike CBD, CBG is not an abundant cannabinoid. Where CBD can be anywhere from 10 to 20 percent, CBG only makes for less than one percent of the total chemical composition of cannabis. But this scarcity doesn’t lower the demand. So as the demand goes up, the price rises as well. 

We know that CBG and CBD interact with the endocannabinoid system of the body. But the way they do it varies. CBD affects the endocannabinoid system without activating the CB receptors. Rather it works indirectly by activating the TRPV1 receptors which control different body functions like inflammation, temperature etc. In the case of CBG, the cannabinoid reacts directly with both CB1 and CB2 receptors to stimulate the endocannabinoid system.

Since CBD has been known to the public for a very long time, the research and scientific data on it is vast enough. As for CBG, its new discovery is the reason why research is still insufficient. Though some surprising evidence exists regarding the benefits of CBG but more research is necessary for making any concrete conclusions. 

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