CBD vs CBG: Uses and Benefits
Written By Kobi Nathan, Pharm.D., M.Ed., CDP, BCGP, AGSF
Sleep Disorders
January 8, 2023

Updated March 25, 2023

Cannabidiol (CBD) and cannabigerol (CBG) are two of the most talked about compounds in the cannabis industry.

As the medical and regular communities continue to investigate the potential benefits of these compounds, more and more people are turning to CBD and CBG for their health and wellness needs.

So should you take CBD or CBD, or both together? What are the unique benefits and differences between CBG and CBD?

Let’s find out…

This article has affiliate links. I may receive compensation at no additional expense to you if you decide to purchase any of the recommended products.

CBG vs CBD

What is CBD?

Cannabidiol, also known as CBD, is a well-known cannabinoid in the cannabis Sativa plant. It has grown in popularity because of its proven therapeutic benefits.

According to studies, CBD tincture contains sedating, analgesicanti-anxiety, anti-nausea, and anti-inflammatory properties, without the psychoactive effects seen with THC.

The entourage effect (discussed later in this article) can also enhance the therapeutic benefits of THC while reducing its adverse effects, such as paranoia, cognitive decline, nausea, and anxiety.

Mixing CBD with other cannabinoids, such as THC and CBG, may have added medicinal advantages.

CBD functions by attaching to CB1 and CB2 receptors in the brain, which interact with the body’s endocannabinoid system, which controls many internal activities.

CBD products

CBD comes in various formulations:

  • Full spectrum CBD oil (includes THC).
  • Broad-spectrum CBD oil (consists of all other compounds except THC).
  • CBD isolate (purified and isolated CBD).

If you are shopping for CBD products from a trustworthy, ethical, and reputable online seller, Joy Organics is a brand I highly recommend.

All their organic CBD products are third-party lab tested, certified, and manufactured in FDA-registered cGMP facilities. In addition to their wide range of CBD products, they have started to offer a combination CBD and CBG tincture. You can get it here.

What is CBG?

CBD and CBG share the same parent compound.  Cannabigerolic acid (CBGA), the acidic form of CBG, is found naturally in the cannabis plant and is the precursor of all cannabinoids, including THC, CBD, CBG, and CBDA (cannabidiolic acid). Some call it the “Mother of all cannabinoids.”

 

diagram depicting how cannabinoids are derived from CBG, the precursor cannabinoid

Image Credit: Nachnani R, Raup-Konsavage WM, Vrana KE. The Pharmacological Case for Cannabigerol. J Pharmacol Exp Ther. 2021 Feb;376(2):204-212.

 

 

How do we get CBG isolate?

The actual chemical conversion process is complicated, but I will highlight the main points for this article and keep the discussion simple.

Around the third week of blooming, CBGA first appears in young cannabis plants. The CBGA molecule changes (decarboxylates) into either THC, CBD, CBG, or CBC as the plant is exposed to light and UV radiation from the sun.

For CBGa to convert (decarboxylate) to CBG specifically, the temperature needs to be 230 degrees Fahrenheit (110 degrees Celsius).

The outcome of converting cannabinoids is entirely determined by which enzyme is present during the conversion of CBGA.

CBG can be found in most CBD products, but only in trace amounts, usually less than 1% of the total concentration.

CBG-rich products are farmed and cultivated purposefully before the chemical conversion from CBGa to CBD or THC happens.

Although research on CBG is still in its early phases, the preliminary findings on its antimicrobialanti-depressive, and anticancer effects look promising.

It also seems to have some of the same advantages as THC but without the psychoactive side effects.

Overview of the popularity and increasing interest in CBD and CBG

It is no surprise that CBD and CBG products are growing in popularity, given the growing body of research on the therapeutic potential of cannabinoids.

By 2024, it’s anticipated that the market for CBD products alone will be worth over $20 billion!

Since you now have a basic knowledge of CBD and CBG, let’s take a closer look at how they differ.

Differences between CBG and CBD

Although CBD and CBG are both cannabinoids present in hemp and marijuana plants, they exhibit notable differences in their chemical composition and interaction with the body’s endocannabinoid system.

First, let’s address their chemical composition.

The key difference between the two lies in their prevalence; CBG is a minor cannabinoid, while CBD is a major one. As a result, CBD concentrations in cannabis plants are typically higher than those of CBG.

It is important to note that a plant’s genetic makeup and growth conditions can influence its production of CBD and CBG.

Now, let’s examine how CBD and CBG interact with the body’s endocannabinoid system.

The endocannabinoid system, a complex network of receptors and neurotransmitters in the body, plays a vital role in regulating various physiological processes, including pain, mood, and appetite.

Both CBD and CBG influence the body’s endocannabinoid system, but their effects differ slightly.

Uses and benefits of CBD

Researchers are continuing to study CBD’s role in managing the following conditions:

Chronic pain

The therapy of chronic pain is one of CBD’s most well-known potential applications.

Several clinical trials suggest CBD may help lower inflammation and pain sensitivity. It could be an intriguing treatment option for people with chronic pain illnesses like fibromyalgia or arthritis.

Anxiety and depression

CBD has been investigated for its effect on the central nervous system and its potential to improve mood disorders such as anxiety and depression,

According to some research, CBD may help people with anxiety disorders or depression feel less anxious and more upbeat.

Insomnia

CBD may also be used to promote restful sleep.

Since some people have claimed that CBD has improved their ability to fall asleep and remain asleep, it may be a viable alternative for those struggling with insomnia.

Other potential uses of CBD

Additionally, a variety of other CBD applications are being researched, including its potential to:

  • Reduce swelling and inflammation.
  • Reduce nausea and vomiting brought on by chemotherapy.
  • Lower blood pressure.
  • Helps people struggling with drug abuse disorders.

Uses and potential benefits of CBG

Although there is far less research into the potential therapeutic properties of CBG, it is starting to draw interest from researchers, clinicians, and the general population. Our knowledge about CBG continues to grow as we look at its potential medical benefits.

What possible applications and advantages of CBG oil have been examined, then? Let’s look at it.

Inflammation

CBG could manage inflammation.

Preclinical studies suggest that CBG tincture may have anti-inflammatory properties, making it a potential treatment option for those with inflammatory bowel disease such as Crohn’s disease or ulcerative colitis.

Additionally, CBG may be more effective than CBD for treating migraines.

Glaucoma (Increased eye pressure)

CBG is a promising option for people with glaucoma since it might help lower the pressure inside the eyes.

In glaucoma, high pressure in the eyes can hurt the optic nerves and might even harm a person’s vision.

Appetite stimulation

In addition to its potential to reduce intraocular pressure and inflammation, CBG can also potentially enhance appetite. As such, it can be an option for those struggling with medical issues that cause a loss of appetite.

Other potential therapeutic benefits of CBG

CBG may also be used for many other purposes that are currently being researched, such as:

Although these potential applications appear promising, and we continue to understand how CBG works, more study is necessary to comprehend its efficacy and safety completely.

Combining CBD and CBD

Potential benefits of using CBD and CBG together

Now that we’ve talked about the uses and benefits of each substance, let’s look at the possible advantages of taking CBD and CBG together.

Some believe that CBD and CBG can work well together, making each other stronger and offering even more health benefits.

The “entourage effect” is a term that explains how different parts of the cannabis plant can work together to give a stronger helpful effect than just one part alone.

Possible synergistic effects

While the entourage effect is still being researched, some research suggests that their results are amplified when CBD and CBG are combined.

Together, CBD and CBG offer a larger variety of advantages and the chance for improved effects.

For instance, combining CBD and CBG may be more effective than using either cannabinoid alone in treating a more extensive range of health conditions, including chronic pain, anxiety, and inflammation.

The potential advantages of combining CBD and CBG are encouraging, but further research is necessary to understand their efficacy and safety when used together fully.

When using CBD and CBG, it’s crucial to consider safety and any possible side effects, just like any dietary supplement or prescription.

Here are some things to remember.

Possible side effects of CBG and CBD

First, it’s important to note that CBD and CBG are typically regarded as safe and well-tolerated substances.

But like any substance, they could have negative consequences on some people.

Dry mouth, sleepiness, and changes in appetite are a few of the more typical CBD side effects.

Do CBG and CBD interact with other drugs?

It’s important to remember that CBD and CBG may interact with some medications.

For instance, CBD can affect how the body processes specific drugs by inhibiting the cytochrome P450 enzyme complex.

These P450 enzymes are responsible for breaking down many drugs in the body.

When CBD disrupts the processing of certain medications, it could lead to the body retaining higher levels of these drugs, raising the likelihood of undesired side effects.

If you’re taking any medications, it’s essential to speak with a healthcare expert before using CBD and CBG.

Legal status

In the end, it’s essential to know that laws about CBD and CBG are different in various places.

CBD is allowed in many countries and is legal under US federal law due to the passing of the Farm Bill in 2018. That said, some states may still prohibit the use of CBD and CBG.

Before using these substances, make sure to learn about the laws in your area. Even though CBD and CBG are usually safe, it’s important to be aware of possible side effects and how they might interact with other medications.

Conclusion

In summary, current studies show that CBD and CBG might provide several health benefits.

Both CBD and CBG can help with problems like reducing swelling and easing long-lasting pain, even though they have different chemical structures and work differently with the body’s endocannabinoid system.

When you mix CBD and CBG, you might experience the “entourage effect,” which means their combined power could be stronger.

Most people can handle both CBD and CBG well, but some might experience negative side effects, and they can also interact with certain medications.

Laws in different places can affect whether CBD and CBG are legal or not.

More research on CBD and CBG is needed to learn about all the ways they might help with medical issues.

It’s important to talk to your doctor before you decide to use products containing CBD or CBG.

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