The cannabis Sativa plant is full of over 124 different cannabinoids. You are most likely aware of CBD and THC. Another cannabinoid is gaining popularity, and it’s CBG, or cannabigerol. There are some differences between CBD vs CBG, and although the differences are slight, it’s important to know them.
THC and CBD are the two most common compounds of the cannabis plant. Most of us are relatively familiar with these two ingredients.
In this article, we’ll make sure you leave with the information you need to know about CBG. This will aid you in making decisions for purchasing CBD or CBG products.
Let’s get started!
*All information on this page is intended for educational purposes only. The FDA has not approved any claims on this page. These statements are not intended to diagnose, treat, or cure any diseases or illnesses. Seek advice from your primary care provider if you have further questions about how your body may benefit from CBG or CBD.
What Is CBG?
Cannabigerol (CBG) is another non-psychoactive compound of the cannabis plant.
While it isn’t new, we are just beginning to learn more about this therapeutic cannabinoid.
What is a cannabinoid?
A cannabinoid is the term used to describe the natural chemicals within the plant. It means ‘plant chemical.’ Cannabis is not the only plant species to contain these therapeutic compounds.
There are several. Some of the more popular plants that have cannabinoids include:
- Black Pepper
- Black Truffles
Interesting, isn’t it?
Okay, let’s get back to discussing CBG vs CBD.
CBG is a non-acidic form of CBGA (cannabigerolic acid, or an acidic form of CBG). CBGA transforms into CBG when exposed to time and heat. This is also the case with many cannabinoids, to include CBD and THC.
Related article: Full Spectrum CBD vs Broad Spectrum CBD
Unfortunately, CBG is not widely available in the cannabis plant. In fact, most cannabis genetics only posses 1% of CBG in the whole plant. This is known as a trace amount.
Although there isn’t much CBG in cannabis plants, there is still a lot we can gain from extracting it.
What makes finding out more information about the effects of CBG very difficult, is the fact that very high CBG strains do not exist – yet.
The only way we can mass produce CBG heavy products is by using time and heat to degrade the CBGa into CBG. As you can guess, this takes a lot of effort and a lot of…time.
If you are able to find a very high CBG isolate, for example, I guarantee you that you’ll notice the hefty price tag it comes with.
One thing to keep in mind when comparing CBG vs CBD, is that CBD products are much more widely available.
CBG and the Endocannabinoid System
Our body contains an Endocannabinoid System (ECS). This system is made up of multiple receptors located in the entire body. Cannabinoids can interact with these different receptors in our body.
The two primary receptors are called CB1 and CB2 receptors. These receptors are located all throughout our bodies. They are readily available to process different cannabinoids.
Check out this chart on the different receptors and where they are found:
Our body also generates it’s own cannabinoids naturally. These cannabinoids interact with these receptors.
It may look like these CB receptors are scattered all throughout our bodies, and while they are, a vast majority of them are in your brain, brain stem, and spinal cord. They help establish a cell signaling network.
When this happens, the effects of CBG, or other cannabinoids, may improve different bodily functions. Some of these improvements revolve around pain, inflammation, appetite, and obesity.
THC is one of the more popular cannabinoids, followed by CBD. These are also prone to interaction with the CB1 and CB2 receptors.
CBG may also interact with these receptors, resulting in similar relief.
Similarities of CBD vs CBG
Perhaps the most significant similarity between CBD vs CBG is the fact that CBG is non-intoxicating. You see, the medical field prefers non-intoxicating and non-psychoactive substances. They are much less susceptible to abuse.
While THC may offer similar therapeutic benefits, it’s main drawback is the fact that it is highly psycho-active. For this reason, it is heavily controlled all across the world. Only a few states have legalized THC for recreational use.
Related articles: Comparing CBN and CBD
Other cannabinoids, like CBD, are federally legal within the United States thanks to the Farm Bill of 2018. This bill made hemp and hemp-based products legal, as long as they contain less than 0.3% THC content.
Both CBD and CBG may treat various issues despite some potential pharmacological overlap.
These cannabinoids may affect the mind in a way that results in the reduction of anxiety and depression while increasing mental clarity.
Also, CBG and CBD both activate the CB1 receptors, but in different ways.
Differences of CBG vs CBD
Keep in mind that since CBG is not as popular as CBD, not as many peer reviewed studies have been conducted. That said, there are still some differences we know about.
Related: What is the Difference Between CBD and THC?
An obvious difference between these two cannabinoids is their content within the cannabis plant. CBD is much more abundant. CBG only exists in trace amounts.
This makes studying the effects of CBD rather difficult.
Studies show CBG has a potential to increase the appetite in rats. On the other hand, CBD isn’t known for its’ appetite stimulating effects.
CBD works through indirect interactions with the endocannabinoid system receptors. It doesn’t share a bond with cannabinoid receptors.
In contrast, CBG makes direct contact with CB1 and CB2 receptors in the brain.
CBG and CBD have different molecular structures, too. Since CBG has a different molecular structure, it may bind with the body’s cannabinoid receptors in different ways. This gives it the potential to act differently in regards to relief.
Psychopharmacology came out with some great research on CBG in 2011. It compared the possible ways that CBD vs CBG interacts with our 5-HT1A serotonin receptor.
CBD, interestingly, gives us anti-nausea relief via its affinity for the 5-HT1A receptor. This simply means it can activate the 5-HT1A receptor.
CBG does the opposite. It acts as a 5-HT1A receptor antagonist, or blocker.
A lot of these differences between CBG and CBD are not something you will notice. The similarities in therapeutic relief are strikingly similar.
Similarities in Relief Between CBG and CBD
These claims of CBG’s potential benefits/relief haven’t passed through any clinical trials, yet. However, some early studies have shown CBG as an effective option to offer different forms of relief.
Remember, the research is somewhat lacking when it comes to effective CBG studies.
Related article: Differences of CBC and CBD
Most of the similarities we know of in CBG vs CBD come in the form of similar relief.
Let’s go ahead and recap what forms of relief CBG may offer.
Studies on Glaucoma and Relief of Intraocular Pressure
CBG may show a therapeutic potential for the treatment of glaucoma through its’ vasodilator and neuroprotective effects.
Antibacterial Properties of CBG
CBG has promising results in the treatment of Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus Aureus, or MRSA – a type of staph infection.
This cannabinoid might be an antibacterial agent for MRSA and effectively performs in the areas where traditional antibiotics usually fail.
GABA Reuptake Inhibition
CBG hinders the GABA intake that results in muscle relaxation, tension relief, and sensations of calm and peace in the body and brain.
Related: What is CBN?
This potential benefit of CBG could help to diminish anxiety and stress if done properly. This is a very exciting area of CBG relief that I hope they conduct more research on in the near future.
Huntington’s and Neurodegenerative Diseases
Research on mice shows CBG might be a practical choice for the treatment of neurodegenerative diseases.
CBG, as a neuroprotective compound, normalizes the unusual genes connected to brain degeneration.
Inflammatory Bowel Disease and Colitis
Cannabigerol, as a compelling choice, may help in reducing the effects of colitis.
A study has shown positive results in managing abdominal pain, joint pain, cramping, diarrhea, poor appetite, weight loss, and nausea while treated through cannabis.
Research here is slim, but looks promising. We simply need more studies in this area.
CBG’s ability to treat inflammation just may be the next biggest thing in the health and wellness industry.
We actually have receptors in the different layers of our skin that cannabinoids, like CBG, can bind to in an effort to offer different forms of relief.
Skin diseases and problems are extremely common in the United States. Roughly 1/3 of adults in the US suffer from skin diseases.
You can find CBG in topical CBD products.
If CBG can help this population, it will definitely become more popular – and quickly.
Key Takeaways in Discussing CBD vs CBG
When discussing CBG vs CBD, most similarities are going to come in the form of relief. Remember, a lot of the things we know about CBG still require more clinical trials to prove.
The only differences you are probably concerned about is the availability of CBG in the cannabis plant (much less CBG than CBD) and the fact that CBG may act as an appetited stimulant, while CBD isn’t known for this.
Finally, CBG directly interacts with our CB1 and CB2 receptors. CBD indirectly acts with them. That means CBG can, theoretically, offer even more different forms of relief than we know about.
Again, we need to conduct a lot more research on CBG before we can know anything with 100% certainty. What we do know, is CBG is in many different types of full spectrum CBD oils, and some of the benefits of the CBG may be felt in ways we simply don’t understand – yet.