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CBG vs. CBD: Understanding the Differences for New Users

Are you down with CBD?

Most likely, 1 in 7 Americans is. 

Are you down with CBG?

You will be by the end of this article!

We're going to look at CBG vs. CBD to break down their similarities and differences.  

Read on, and we'll tell you all about it. 

What is CBG?

Cannabigerol, or CBG, is a compound from the incredible cannabis plant. It's new on the scene so the research is still coming in hot. 

Here's what we know. 

It's another non-psychoactive compound found in the hemp or cannabis plant. This compound only develops in the early stages of the plant's growth.

Bear with us as we get a little technical here.

CBG is sometimes called the 'mother cannabinoid.' It's the first compound to form as the plant grows. 

It starts out as CBGA, cannabigerol acid. As the plant matures the CBGA converts into THCA, CBDA, or CBCA.

After the decarboxylation process, the carboxyl acid is dropped. The compound will then convert to THC, CBD, or CBC.

The more a plant matures the less CBG it will have. Depending on the strain, it will have more or less of the other compounds.

Whew, still with us?

Mature plants don't have high concentrations of CBG because of this. Leaving growers looking to maximize their CBG yield, with a tough choice. 

Do they let the plant flower and take what CBG they can get? Or do they harvest the plant young to get as much CBG as they can, sacrificing other harvestable parts?

In general, the hemp plant has 1 percent CBG vs. 20 percent CBD. Meaning you would need twenty times the amount of plant to get the same amount of CBG as CBD.

More plant matter, more work, higher cost.

That said, there are some growers working on this problem with cultivation. They are experimenting with hybrids. Developing strains that have higher CBG concentrations.

Cool stuff.

The Endocannabinoid System

Let's take a quick look at the endocannabinoid system. Identify what it is and what it does for humans, before going further.

It's a biological system that we are still learning about. 

We don't know exactly how it works. We know that it's comprised of endocannabinoids, receptors, and enzymes. Interacting in complex ways.

Current studies suggest the ECS helps regulate several neuro-hormones. Impacting things like our sleep, appetite, memory, and mood. Some studies also point to the ECS being involved with fertility and reproduction. 

Kind of a one-stop-shop of a system.

Through the ECS, the human body produces cannabinoids. For our purposes know they have many receptor sites, but the main two are CB1 and CB2. The endocannabinoids will attach to one of them, initiating a physiological response.

While we know this process happens, we don't know exactly why. We do know that hemp-derived products interact with the ECS the same way as the homegrown stuff.


Like CBD, CBG also works with the endocannabinoid system. 

Neither will make you 'high,' but they both may help decrease inflammation. Making sure the body can function at peak efficiency.

The biggest difference is how much research is available. CBD has been far more studied. But as CBG grows in popularity, no doubt the CBG studies will catch up.

Current research suggests they differ in the way they interact with the ECS.

It's thought that CBD interacts with the ECS in a passive way. Via indirect interactions in the immune and nervous systems. Whereas, it's thought CBG interacts in a direct way with CB1 and CB2 receptors in the brain.

Quick recap.


  • Non-psychoactive
  • From the cannabis plant
  • Interact with the ECS
  • Wide range of benefits we are still learning about


  • CBG = less abundant, only 1%
  • CBD = more bountiful, 20%
  • CBG = direct bonds with ECS receptors
  • CBD = indirect interaction with ECS 
  • CBG = only present in immature plants
  • CBG = converts to other compounds, 'the mother'

Research on both compounds is promising. But, CBG may have a more potent effect due to its direct interaction with the ECS.

The efficacy of CBD and CBG together deserves a mention. There's a growing body of evidence that supports the entourage effect. The synergistic functioning of all cannabinoids when taken together.

CBD and CBG, powerful on their own, even stronger together.

Benefits of CBG

Keep in mind that research on CBG is still in its infancy. That said, there are a handful of promising studies already. Indicating that the benefits of CBG are potent.  

One study found that CBG killed MRSA infections as effectively as standard treatment. Which means it may help fight off superbugs resistant to traditional treatments.  

Another found that CBG might reduce the growth of tumors and other cancer cells.

It has been found to help vision and actually relieve glaucoma symptoms.

CBG also has neuroprotective properties which may help treat anxiety and stress. It has been found to help with focus and memory as well. 

It's no wonder people are loving CBG. 

Any Side Effects?

So far we don't know much about the side effects of CBG in humans. If you take any medications it's a good idea to talk with your doctor before adding new things. 

In particular, if any of your medicines have a grapefruit warning.

CBD may affect how your body metabolizes some medicines, but it's unclear if the same is true for CBG. Better to ask your doctor to play it safe.

Choosing a CBG Product

Perhaps we've shifted your thinking from CBG vs. CBD to CBG and CBD. Because we can indeed get down with them both, to great effect!

Because CBG is newer to the market, finding a CBG isolate may be more difficult. You might have more luck finding CBD or a full-spectrum product. One with both CBG and CBD present. 

If you have experience with CBD you may be able to anticipate what to expect with CBG. Since both compounds are similar. 

At Hemp House Wellness we've got you covered either way. 

We offer a wide range of high-quality products to meet every need. Check out our CBG products, or enjoy something full-spectrum. 

Do you like tinctures or gummies? We carry both! -- Proleve Gummies 25mg | 30 Pack or Proleve Full Spectrum Drops | 500mg Hemp CBD Extract *many other options on our website!

Not sure what would be the best choice for you? Fret not. Shop by your specific need and know you're getting the best product for it. 

Our team is here to help. Please contact us with any questions

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