CBG Vs. CBD: 4 Things You Should Know


Cannabidiol (CBD) is one of the most well-known compounds in the cannabis industry and consumer market. It’s used for a variety of purposes in prescribed medical treatments as well as recreational use in regions where it’s legalized. 

However, CBD is only one of more than a hundred different cannabinoid extracts in cannabis plant strains. Others include Delta-9 tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and a lesser-known compound called cannabigerol (CBG) that’s shaking up the business and the medical cannabis industry as an emerging new product ingredient. 

Though similar initials and properties might cause some confusion, learning about how CBD and CBG are different can guide your future purchasing decisions. 

Here are four things you should know about CBG and CBD: 

What Is CBG? 

CBG, which stands for cannabigerol, is one of the natural compounds called cannabinoids produced by the hemp and Cannabis sativa plants. The process of acquiring CBG begins with a hemp plant that creates cannabigerolic acid (CBGA), which is the acidic form of CBG. 

Once the hemp plant matures, it breaks down the acidic form of CBGA into cannabidiolic acid and tetrahydrocannabinolic acid, which form CBD and THC. Thus, CBG in its acidic form can be seen as a precursor ingredient to making other cannabinoids. 

Furthermore, CBG is found in lower concentrations in the young hemp plant, sometimes as little as 1% in a cannabis plant strain. Due to the incredibly low yield of CBG, it’s a rare ingredient in cannabis products. 

However, with preclinical research showing potential health benefits, the commercial cannabis industry has begun producing consumer products for the market. These are capsules, sprays, teas, and oils placed in a CBG tincture that are now being sold at dispensaries. 

What Is CBD? 

Cannabidiol (CBD) is another type of cannabinoid just like CBG and is the second most prevalent compound in cannabis. Its high concentrations found in the hemp and cannabis plant, as well as decades of research into its medical properties, have made it a common ingredient in cannabis consumer products once it’s extracted.

While it’s a psychoactive compound, it doesn’t contain large amounts of THC and therefore can’t produce the ‘high’ sensation associated with marijuana use. Additionally, there are several types of CBD produced for different products. 

These include the full spectrum that contains other cannabis compounds, the broad spectrum that contains no THC, and CBD isolates that consist of cannabidiol alone. Many of these products are available for medical use as part of a medical marijuana program. 

How Do CBG And CBD Differ? 

These types of cannabinoids have similarities, such as being compounds found in cannabis and hemp plants. However, their differences and effects are what make them valuable for various uses. 

The fundamental difference lies in their molecular structure. This means their arrangement of carbon, hydrogen, and oxygen molecules is unique. Therefore, their reactions and how they bind with cannabinoid receptors in the body are not the same either. 

Moreover, this difference affects their absorption, efficacy, and water solubility rates. Another important difference is their effects on the body’s receptors

Some studies have shown that while CBD can act as an activator of certain receptors to stimulate its anti-nausea effects, CBG can act as a blocker to prevent the effectiveness of CBD and thus produce an opposite effect. 

Therapeutic Benefits Of CBG Vs. CBD 

As previously mentioned, the differences in molecular structure and effects on receptors mean they could have distinct therapeutic benefits. That said, more evidence is needed on the effects of CBG on humans since most studies and research are currently at a preclinical stage. 

However, preliminary results so far indicate that CBG can be useful for treating certain neurological disorders, such as Parkinson’s disease and multiple sclerosis. Additionally, it’s shown to be a promising appetite and digestion stimulant and can be useful as a strong antibiotic. 

Meanwhile, with plenty of research done on CBD and its use within medical marijuana programs, its benefits can include chronic pain and anxiety relief as well as an anti-inflammatory treatment. 

It’s also known to help reduce the symptoms and disorders of medical conditions such as Alzheimer’s disease and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). 


Both CBD and CBG are cannabinoid compounds found within cannabis and hemp plants. While CBD comes in higher concentrations, CBG is found in smaller quantities and its acidic form is used to produce CBD. Furthermore, both have been shown to have medical benefits, with CBD being more of an activator and CBG a blocker. 

They’re different in their chemical arrangement and effects on the body’s receptors. They can be taken to treat various medical conditions with CBD more on the neurological side and CBG with fighting diseases and controlling certain bodily functions. 

CBG as a new interest is likely to become a popular ingredient in cannabis products in the future, just like its CBD counterpart. 

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