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CBG vs CBD: Understanding Their Differences & Possible Benefits

Written By Ellese Symons Apr 2nd 2024
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CBD is the most popular of the many potentially beneficial cannabinoids extracted from hemp flower, but not your only option. Growing consumer interest in the individual effects of the plant's most noteworthy minor cannabinoids inspired the creation of products featuring enhanced concentrations. Within a short amount of time, CBG developed a loyal following. 

Today, CBD and CBG are known for having considerable health and wellness potential. But they work in different ways. Whether you're a first-time buyer or have been enjoying the same rotation of hemp-derived CBD products for years, it's only natural to wonder how they compare. Once you're clear on their subtle but significant differences, it's easy to see why so many people are hesitant to choose one over the other. Instead, they keep them both within reach. 

What Is CBD?  

The oil extracted from hemp flower contains numerous cannabinoids, terpenes, flavonoids, and other phytonutrients. CBD (cannabidiol) is the most abundant of the many active cannabinoids. Cannabis researchers credit CBD's diverse range of potential benefits to its ability to interact with multiple molecular targets, including the receptors of the largest regulatory system in the human body, the endocannabinoid system (ECS).1 

What Is CBG? 

CBG (cannabigerol) is the active form of cannabigerolic acid (CBGA), the first of more than 113 cannabinoids produced in the plant. That's why CBGA is considered the "mother" of them all. As crops mature, natural plant enzymes convert CBGA to CBDA, CBCA (cannabichromenic acid), and THCA (tetrahydrocannabinolic acid).2 Heat and sunlight convert those acidic precursors to CBD, CBG, CBC, and THC. By the time crops are harvested, CBGA/CBG concentrations hover at around 1%.3 

CBG vs CBD: The Significance of Their Chemical Structures 

The chemical composition of CBG and CBD are the same. Both cannabinoids are made up of 2 oxygen, 21 carbon, and 30 hydrogen atoms. However, there are slight differences in how their atoms are arranged. The differences in their molecular shape impact how they assert their influence on the ECS receptors throughout your body and brain, CB1 and CB2.4  

The molecular shape of CBG allows the cannabinoid to bind with your ECS receptors. CBD, on the other hand, has an indirect effect on CB1 and CB2 achieved through multiple pathways.5 It does not bind. Although CBG is not as well researched as CBD, preliminary studies suggest its effects are stronger.6 

CBD vs CBG: Potential Health & Wellness Benefits  

Based on the results of our 2019 CBDistillery® survey, most respondents report positive results using hemp-derived CBD for relaxation, better sleep, pain, stiffness, and inflammation after physical activity, and mild or temporary anxiety. Their claims are supported by animal studies, lab results, and a steadily increasing number of clinical trials. 

In a report published in 2019, for example, nearly 70% of participants reported better sleep during the first months of a large case study.7 In an analysis published in Neurotherapeutics, researchers credit the cannabinoid's indirect activation of CB1 and serotonin (5-HT1A) receptors for its calming, relaxing effects,8  and a report published in Sports Medicine – Open highlights biochemical and physiological effects potentially beneficial for athletes.

Although multiple sources suggest CBG has a stronger effect than CBD, it's not as well-studied. We do know, however, that the small amount of CBG in full spectrum hemp extract helps enhance CBD's overall potency by contributing to a phenomenon unique to cannabis called an "entourage" effect.10 Although the research remains ongoing, current evidence suggests possible benefits for calming mild or temporary anxiety, supporting mental focus, and easing discomfort after physical activity.3 

CBG vs CBD: Potential Side Effects and Safety Profiles  

Any substance you put into (or on) your body has the potential to cause side effects, including hemp-derived cannabinoids. However, CBD is generally well-tolerated by most people and has an impressively low risk of causing (mild) side effects. The World Health Organization found "no evidence of public health-related problems," including chemical dependency.11 But some CBD users do experience dry mouth, nausea, fatigue, or changes in appetite.12 

While there's less research devoted to the possible side effects of CBG, it's generally regarded as just as safe as CBD. The main difference appears to be side effects related to appetite. CBD typically has little to no effect. Animal studies suggest CBG could be an appetite stimulant.13 

Although CBG and CBD pose little risk of causing adverse effects, they're generally not advised for people with certain health conditions. They're known to interact with (or interfere with the metabolism of) several over-the-counter treatments and prescription medications.14 If you have concerns (or questions), contact your healthcare provider. 

Product Recommendations: Factors to Consider Before Choosing Between CBG and CBD  

With the growing popularity of CBG oil tinctures, softgels, and gummies, people naturally assume reports suggesting the cannabinoid is stronger than CBD makes CBG the better choice for supporting overall health and wellness. While there's no denying that you'll find numerous reports of impressive results from CBG users, it's CBD that researchers credit for supporting homeostasis. 

Instead of choosing between them, consider taking full advantage of their synergistic relationship. The expert botanists at CBDistillery® developed a selection of products featuring the therapeutic potential of several minor cannabinoids. Current evidence suggests that modifying the cannabinoid profile of full spectrum hemp extract to a 1:1 CBD to CBG ratio ultimately enhances the properties of each cannabinoid,15 meaning the combined effects of CBG and CBD in the following products could be just what you need to achieve the results you're hoping for. 

CBDistillery® ommm distilled CBG + CBD Oil Tincture 

CBDistillery® ommm distilled CBG + CBD Oil Tincture gives you 500mg of CBG and 500mg of CBD per 30ml bottle, an amount that breaks down to 17mg of each cannabinoid per serving. In a 2022 CBDistillery® study, participants reported an impressive reduction of mild or temporary anxiety with our 1:1 CBG to CBG ratio, results more effective than any other treatment they've tried in the previous year. We suggest holding the tincture under your tongue for a minimum of 45-60 seconds before swallowing.   

CBDistillery® ommm distilled CBG + CBD Gummies  

CBDistillery® ommm distilled CBG + CBD Gummies are a delicious way to experience everything the combined effects this synergistic combination has to offer. Our CBG-infused gummies have just enough natural orange flavor to complement the terpene profile of our full spectrum hemp extract. Since every gummy supplement gives you a consistent pre-measured serving of hemp-derived cannabinoids, they're ideal for home use and travel. You get 30 gummy supplements in every jar. 

Why Choose CBDistillery® Hemp Derived CBG +CBD Oil Tinctures and Gummies  

For years, CBG products were nearly impossible to find. Harvesting crops for minor cannabinoids just wasn't practical because it takes about 20 times more hemp flower to extract GBG than needed for an equal amount of CBD. At CBDistillery®, we overcame the challenges of isolating and extracting CBG, CBDA, CBN, and THC by investing in state-of-the-art technology and harvesting select crops before their CBG levels decline. 

Through it all, we've never wavered from our commitment to our customers. Our products are made with naturally cultivated non-GMO hemp, we rely on the cleanest extraction methods available, and our products are third-party tested and quality assured. Plus, every product we offer is backed by a 60-day satisfaction guarantee. If you could benefit from adding hemp-derived cannabinoids to your daily routine but aren't quite sure where to begin, consider taking our 3-minute CBD Product Quiz or requesting a personal consultation

References 

  1. Marzo, V, Piscitelli F. (2015) The Endocannabinoid System and Its Modulation by Phytocannabinoids. 12, Neurotherapeutics 692-98. https://doi.org/10.1007/s13311-015-0374-6 

  1. Komarnytsky S, Rathinasabapathy T, et al. (2021) Endocannabinoid System and Its Regulation by Polyunsaturated Fatty Acids and Full Spectrum Hemp Oils. 22(11) Int J Mol Sci 5479. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms22115479 

  1. Ohwovoriole T. (2023) What Is Cannabigerol (CBG)? Very Well Mind. 

  1. Herndon J. (2022) Key Differences to Know About CBD vs. THC. Very Well Health. 

  1. Komarnytsky S, Rathinasabapathy T, et al. (2021) Endocannabinoid System and Its Regulation by Polyunsaturated Fatty Acids and Full Spectrum Hemp Oils. 22(11) Int J Mol Sci 5479. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms22115479 

  1. Hello MD. (2020) CBG: Is This Cannabinoid More Powerful Than CBD? 

  1. Shannon S, Lewis N, et al. (2019) Cannabidiol in Anxiety and Sleep: A Large Case Series. Perm J 23: 18-041. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6326553/ 

  1. Blessing E, Steenkamp M. (2015) Cannabidiol as a Potential Treatment for Anxiety. 12(4) Neurotherapeutics 285-836 doi: 10.1007/s13311-015-0387-1. PMID: 26341731; PMCID: PMC4604171 

  1. McCartney D, Benson M, et al. Cannabidiol and Sports Performance: A Narrative Review of Relevant Evidence and Recommendations for Future Research. 6(1) Sports Med Open 27. https://doi.org/10.1186/s40798-020-00251-0 

  1. Nahler G, Jones T, et al. (2019) Cannabidiol and Contributions of Major Hemp Phytocompounds to the "Entourage Effect"; Possible Mechanisms. J Altern Complement Integr Med 70(5) PDF download 

  1. World Health Organization. (2020) Cannabidiol (CBD) Critical Review Report. PDF https://www.who.int/docs/default-source/controlled-substances/whocbdreportmay2018-2.pdf?sfvrsn=f78db177_2 

  1. Bergamaschi M, Mateus R, et al. (2011) Safety and Side Effect of Cannabidiol, a Cannabis Sativa Constituent. 6(4) Curr Drug Saf 237-49. https://doi.org/10.2174/157488611798280924 

  1. Brierley D, Samuels J. (2016) Cannabigerol is a Novel, Well-Tolerated Appetite Stimulant in Pre-Satiated Rats. 233 Psychopharmacology 3603-13. https://doi.org/10.1007/s00213-016-4397-4