CBD vs. CBG: what is the difference?

Did you know that CBD’s sales are expected to grow by 21% from the time between 2021 and 2028? CBD has taken our nation’s marketplace with a lasso, and many people are experimenting with this newly crazed substance. 

But, a lesser-known hemp product to some people is CBG. CBD and CBG are quite similar, but there are some differences that you should know before experimenting with either. 

In this article, we’ll explore the difference between CBD and CBG is, which one is best for you, and where to buy them. 

What is CBG?

Cannabigerol (CBG) is a cannabinoid that is generally found in strains of cannabis that contain high amounts of CBD and low amounts of THC. Like CBD, CBG has is a non-psychoactive compound, meaning that it produces no high (like its THC counterpart). Something interesting about CBG, though, is that it can actually block the feeling of paranoia felt by THC.

This effect happens because CBG is a buffer that acts with cannabinoid receptors in the brain the same way CBD does. 

CBG is extracted from young cannabis plants (such as hemp) because the young variations of this plant typically contain very high amounts of CBG. With this in mind, it doesn’t come as much of a surprise to know that levels of CBG reduce as the plant matures. 

Yet, despite CBG mostly coming from young plants, the compound is generally regarded as the mother of cannabinoids. Why is this?

Well, other cannabinoids such as CBD and THC, derive from cannabigerol acid (CBGA). CBGA is an acidic form of CBG. In many aspects, CBG is known as the precursor to CBD and THC.

Up close, the CBG flower has a whitish hue to it. This white hue indicates the plant’s young age.

Most cannabis plants contain a small amount of CBG. In fact, mature cannabis plants only contain around 1% of CBG compared to CBD which ranges in amounts from 20-35%.

What Does CBG Do?

CBG, like CBD and THC, is processed in the human body’s endocannabinoid system, which contains receptors. These receptors accept a molecule called endocannabinoid, which plays a role in regulating our sleep, mood, appetite, and memory.

Endocannabinoids are naturally produced by our body during activities such as exercise. The names of the receptors that receive this endocannabinoid are called CB1 and CB2 receptors. CB1 receptors are found in the central nervous system, while CB2 receptors are found in the peripheral nervous system. 

Cannabinoids like THC o fit perfectly into these receptors, which gives the feeling of an extreme high whenever consumed. However, CBG and CBD do not actually fit into these receptors, but rather bind to a different location on the receptor.

Instead of giving a high, CBG and CBD produce other feelings. Listed below are some potential cbg benefits that one might experience:

  • Elevated moods (antidepressant properties)
  • Analgesic (painkiller)
  • Reduces inflammation 
  • Can potentially help relieve glaucoma 
  • CBG has shown signs of promise as a cancer-fighting compound

The Difference Between CBD and CBG

The biggest difference in CBG vs CBD is that CBG comes straight from young cannabis plants. As mentioned previously, matured cannabis plants contain extremely small amounts of CBG but higher amounts of CBD. 

CBG and CBD share some similar uses, but CBG is known for having even smaller amounts of THC. Why is that?

In order to get CBD, the CBG’s structure has to be slightly shifted from CBGA (the acid we mentioned earlier).

With CBG, there is no need to alter the structure of the compound’s DNA, so there are usually much lower doses of THC in the compound. While some strains of CBD (especially those derived from hemp plants) contain very small doses of THC (<.05%), CBG doses contain almost no THC at all.

Regardless, both versions (except CBD full spectrum) won’t show up on typical drug tests for use of THC.

Now one thing to consider is the relative unavailability of CBG. As we are aware now, CBG is only really present in larger amounts in young cannabis plants. Because of this, it’s harder to get your hands on CBG than CBD.

Naturally, the price of CBG is a little bit higher. But CBG has become quite the hot topic lately, so the market is starting to introduce CBG in much higher quantities.

Which is Right for Me?

You might be wondering whether CBD or CBG is better for you. They are typically pretty similar in their uses, so the difference is not extravagant. 

However, CBG has a much more prominent effect on the body’s neurological system. This affects issues or symptoms such as anxiety, depression, mood swings, focus, and more.

CBD has a greater effect on the body’s physical status. So in this sense, CBD roll-ons and hemp lotions usually prefer to use CBD in higher amounts because it can help relieve pain and inflammation. 

Both CBD and CBG help relieve anxiety. CBD is better for mild anxiety cases, whereas CBG has a greater effect on it. Research has even shown that CBG is linked to increased levels of dopamine which helps reduce anxiety and depression. 

CBG itself even binds to the specific endocannabinoid receptors in the brain.

So if you’re wondering if you should use CBG or CBD, take into consideration what symptom you’re trying to alleviate.