The number one question that we get asked by people, is “what is the difference between CBD and CBG? This is such a tough question because there is so much conflicting information on the actions of CBD and so little information available on CBG. You might read one article that tells you that CBD is better than CBG for easing inflammation, but then you read another article that claims that CBG is better. When scouring the internet, it seems that you find yourself reading 10 articles and then averaging the consensus. To save you the time, we’ve done our best to compile the basics from our own research and knowledge in this blog post. We hope you find it helpful!
Getting Down Grass Tacks
The bottom line is that they are different cannabinoids. CBD is considered a “major cannabinoid” because it, along with THC, are the most dominant cannabinoids found in cannabis flowers. Usually, cannabis is either dominant with THC or CBD and has several other “minor cannabinoids” also present.
CBG is considered a minor cannabinoid because there is often so little of it found in cannabis plants – usually only 1% CBG – while there can easily be up to 25% CBD or THC. Even though it is a minor cannabinoid, there is research that suggests CBG is just as effective, if not more-so, than THC in fighting pain and inflammation. Since the health benefits of CBG have recently become more understood, cannabis breeders have worked hard to create cultivars of hemp that can reach 15-20% CBG.
CBD and CBG have different molecular structures. The way that the carbon, oxygen, and hydrogen are arranged in the two compounds is different. This is an important difference because the structure of CBD prohibits it from binding directly to the body’s CB1 and CB2 receptors, whereas CBG can bind directly to them. It’s because of its ability to bind with the CB1 receptor that CBG is known to be such a powerful mind and body relaxer.
The reason that the user gets high when they consume THC is because that molecule is binding with their CB1 receptor, which is in the brain. CBG is naturally non-psychoactive, and it binds to the CB1, which is why it shares THC’s calming, soothing, and sedating effects. It also binds with the CB2 receptor in our skin and in our nervous system, which makes it very useful for easing inflammation topically.
The Similarities Between CBD and CBG
CBD and CBG share many characteristics. They are both non-psychoactive and each can counteract the psychotropic effects of THC. They both have anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, analgesic, and neuroprotective actions. Studies show that they each are helpful when dealing with anxiety, depression, inflammation, nausea, and sleep disorders.
The Differences Between CBD and CBG
CBD is known to have anti-anxiety, pain-relieving, anti-nausea, and sedative qualities. It has been used to help treat inflammatory diseases, epilepsy, Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, and it is helpful at treating addiction and the symptoms of withdrawal.
CBG is known to have anti-depressant, anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, and antibacterial qualities. It has been used to help treat MRSA, glaucoma, Huntington’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, multiple sclerosis, irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), and is helpful at stimulating the appetite, regulating blood pressure, and for treating bladder dysfunctions. It is showing great promise by showing anti-tumor properties when tested in mice. And although CBD got its claim to fame for helping to treat epilepsy, recent studies are suggesting that CBG may be even more helpful.
The Early Days of CBD
After the country caught wind of CBD helping a little girl with Dravet Syndrome, a rare form of epilepsy, the United States began to see CBD products on the shelves almost everywhere (albeit, illegally in most states). With this saturation of CBD products, we believe a lot of people bought products that they had assumed were legit, but who knows – the ingredients may have read, “hemp seed oil” and not “cannabidiol oil”, or it might not have had any ingredients listed at all. Buying CBD back then was tricky unless you knew what ingredients to look for or purchased products directly from the farm. Many manufacturers of CBD and hemp products weren’t complying with the FDA’s regulations, and they weren’t getting cracked down upon until the signing of the 2018 Farm Bill, when hemp officially became legal in all 50 states. We believe that because of this gray, free-for-all moment with CBD, a lot of people gave CBD a shot, but unfortunately, they didn’t end up getting the results that they had expected.
How CBG Distinguishes Itself from CBD
While CBD does have helpful actions associated with it, its inability to bind with the CB1 receptor makes it notably different than CBG. By binding to the body’s CB1 and CB2 receptors, it is believed that CBG can enhance the body’s ability to strengthen the function of anandamide. Anandamide is a naturally occurring endocannabinoid that our bodies’ produce on-demand, to help maintain homeostasis. It is a neurotransmitter that functions as a signaling messenger for CB receptors throughout our bodies. Anandamide is known to enhance motivation and pleasure, and it plays a significant role in regulating sleep, appetite, fertility, and in easing pain. If you’ve ever experienced “runner’s high”, then you know what a rush anandamide can give you. We think that one of the reasons that CBG is so helpful with calming peoples’ minds is because it harnesses anandamide for longer periods of time than what is normally occurring.
This, of course, is just some of the science that we’ve found relating to the differences between CBD and CBG, but there is so much more to learn about both cannabinoids, especially CBG. We’ll continue to share the knowledge we have gained in future blog posts, but we encourage you to continue your own research.
Anecdotally, we’ve noted that most of our customers report feeling satisfied with the effects that they have received from CBG. Our average customer takes our products to relieve stress in their body or to relieve stress on their mind. We don’t know what kinds of CBD products they’ve tried in the past, but 80% of our customers tell us that they didn’t benefit as much as they had hoped by taking CBD.
Both CBD and CBG are incredibly helpful cannabinoids, and neither is better than the other, but you will have to experiment with ratios and cannabinoid profiles to find the blend that is right for you. We believe that every cannabinoid counts, and with more cannabinoids working together, the better your results will be.