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CBD vs CBG - What is the Difference Between CBD and CBG?

CBD vs CBG - What is the Difference Between CBD and CBG?

For the past years, there's been more and more focus on Cannabis, its compounds and whether or not they are good for consumption. This is a valid question for anyone to ask, because the history of Cannabis and more importantly CBD vs CBG is a recent one.

In 1976 in Amsterdam, Cannabis got legalised for consumption in coffee shops. Following that, in 1996 California became the first US state to legalise Cannabis. Then, in 2001 Canada became the first country that regulated the medicinal use for Cannabis. And from there on, the world started accepting and legalising Marijuana more and more. Nowadays 42 countries and 35 of the United States have legalised the medical use of Cannabis, making you wonder if this is the right or the wrong approach. Let’s talk a little more about CBD and CBG and their effects as Cannabis active ingredients.

What is a cannabinoid?

The Cannabis plant contains many compounds called cannabinoids. They interact differently with the human body after consumption due to different molecular structure. Some of the compounds like THC have hallucinogen effects and others like nonpsychoactive cannabinoids - CBD or CBG - have stimulant effects on the body.

There are at least 144 known compounds in the Cannabis plant. THC, CBD and CBG sound very interesting and scientific, but what exactly are they? 

These compounds are complex substances that interact with cannabinoid receptor, specifically CB1 and CB2 receptors, in our body and stimulate different effects, some of which we perceive and some of which we do not.


Study shows some of these therapeutic effects include:

  • Relaxation
  • Stress relieving
  • Reduced anxiety
  • Improved appetite
  • Reduced inflammation (1)
  • Other therapeutic effects

THC CBD and CBG are showing promising results when it comes to so-called cannabis medicine. Although clinical studies are still required, some preliminary research indicates potential benefits in helping with bladder dysfunctions (2), colon cancer (3), Huntingtons disease (4), improving immune response of the body (5) and fighting against staphylococcus aureus bacteria (6) among others.

What’s important to understand is that different cannabinoids have different effects on the human body. The Tetrahydrocannabinol also known as THC has the main psychoactive effects Marijuana is known for. Two other compounds - Cannabigerol CBG and the Cannabidiol CBD - are classed as nonpsychoactive cannabinoids that do not display intoxicating effects. However, these are not the only differences between CBG, CBD and THC.

What is CBD?

Cannabidiol CBD C21H30O2

Cannabidiol is a phytocannabinoid first discovered around 1940. The British chemist Robert S. Chan discovered the structure of the fully formed Cannabinol (CBN). Two years later, Roger Adams, this time an American scientist discovered the cannabidiol CBD.

Up until the early '60s, the study of cannabinoid acids was pretty difficult, because no one has determined which compounds react in which way with the human body. In 1964 Dr Raphael Mechoulam discovered that THC was responsible for the euphoric and psychoactive effects associated with the consumption of Marijuana. This eliminated CBD from the list of mind-altering cannabinoids.

From that point, the research continued with more studies conducted. In the '80s, Dr Mechoulam and his team started studying CBD as a treatment for epilepsy (7) and had amazing results. The medical studies continued and in 1996 Cannabis got legalised in California, starting a new wave of research and enthusiasm for it.

CBD brings potential benefits to the human body. Chronic pain (8) and anxiety (9) are just two of the afflictions CBD is related to helping with. Cannabidiol was also approved by FDA for treating symptoms of epilepsy for its calming effects on the nervous system (10). It can be consumed in different forms like tasty infused edibles or concentrated tinctures.

What is CBG?

Cannabigerol CBG C21H32O2

Cannabigerol is another cannabinoid with no psychoactive effects on the human body. It was also discovered in 1964 by Dr Raphael Mechoulam when it was excluded from the list of mind-altering cannabinoids. At the same time, its pharmacological properties started being recognised.

CBG interacts with the CB1 and CB2 receptors in the endocannabinoid system in our body. It shares with CBD its anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial effects. The Cannabigerol has also shown good results in fight against glaucoma (11) and inflammatory bowel disease (1). Other benefits of CBG are also tested as protection against neurodegenerative diseases because of its anti-inflammatory properties. Anti-tumour effects of CBG were studied in 2019 in prostate cancer, where CBG stopped cancer cells and inhibited the growth of tumours (12).

The studies surrounding CBG started at a slow pace because of the substance’s low concentration found in most Cannabis plants. However, once benefits of CBG have been established more attention was put on CBG production.

Most of the CBG available is extracted from hemp plants because of the prohibited status of Marijuana. Because hemp lacks some of the cannabinoids found in Marijuana, the CBG extracted from it offers weaker effects when reacting to other cannabinoids.

Cannabigerol can be found in edibles, tinctures and even crystals or concentrated powder, and it can be administered in a similar way to CBD.

Cannabis active ingredients effectiveness spectrum

CBD and CBG are the active ingredients of cannabis, but they have other things in common. Both of them are chemical compounds of the same substance and none of them has psychoactive effects. This makes them unsuitable for users looking for the recreational high. Their similarities come from the fact that CBD is a derived compound of CBG. This is also the reason why these two compounds work so well together. CBD increases the effects of CBG, an action known as the "entourage effect".

The differences between CBD and CBG come from the concentration of each compound in the Cannabis plant. CBD accounts for up to 40% of the plant's extract. CBG accounts for 1% of the plant’s extract which makes it a “lesser cannabinoid”. This also results in CBG prices being higher because of the small supply available.

What consumers should focus on is not what makes these two compounds different, but how you can get the best results from using them in a complementary manner.

If you’re looking for a good combination between CBD and CBG you can browse our inventory of quality products. Make sure you consult a specialist before you buy CBG and CBD products and start experimenting with any supplements or medicinal compounds.


CBD vs CBG study sources: