What’s the Difference Between CBG and CBD?

CBG and CBD oil product 1:1 ratio

CBD and CBG are two non-intoxicating cannabinoids present in cannabis. CBD is abundant in cannabis, while CBG is only found in small quantities. CBD and CBG offer similar benefits and are best used together for pain, inflammation, sleep, and general health and wellness. However, CBG is better than CBD for anxiety and CBD is better than CBG for nausea and vomiting.

CBG vs. CBD: What are the main differences?

CBG and CBD are non-intoxicating cannabinoids synthesized from “The Mother of All Cannabinoids” CBDA. CBG and CBD share some similar effects and benefits such as anti-inflammation, pain relief, and sleep promotion. However, they both have different molecular structures and behave differently within your body. This difference in behavior offers unique effects and benefits separate from each other. 

  • CBG and CBD are both synthesized from CBDA via heat and light (decarboxylation). 
  • Despite originating from CBGA, CBG and CBD have different molecular structures, causing them to interact with your body in different ways.
  • CBG binds directly to your cannabinoid receptors, while CBD activates other receptors sites such as serotonin (anti-anxiety) and vanilloid (pain relief) 
  • Taken separately or together, CBG and CBD are potent anti-inflammatories, pain relievers, and sleep aids without causing intoxication or a euphoric high.
  • Unique CBG benefits include eye health, relief from glaucoma, and appetite stimulation, whereas CBD’s unique benefits include appetite suppression and relief from nausea and vomiting. 
  • CBG and CBD are federally legal if sourced from hemp carrying no more than 0.3% THC.

What is CBG best for? 

CBG is best used for various health and wellness benefits, either alone as a separate cannabinoid or with other cannabinoids and terpenes (entourage effect). Some of the best uses for CBG include:

  • Relief from anxiety and anxiety-related symptoms (with CBD)
  • Relief from pain and inflammation (with CBD)
  • Promoting healthy stress responses
  • Combating sleep problems and insomnia (with THC)
  • Supporting eye health and possibly combating glaucoma

What is CBD best for? 

Like CBG, CBD is also best used for several different health and wellness benefits. Some health and wellness benefits are similar to CBG, while others are unique and only exclusive to CBD consumption. CBD benefits might be enhanced if consumed with other cannabinoids and terpenes. The best uses for CBD include:

  • Relief from anxiety and anxiety-related symptoms (with CBG)
  • Relief from pain and inflammation (with CBG)
  • Combating acne and skin inflammation 
  • Reducing epilepsy and epilepsy-induced seizures
  • Reducing appetite for weight loss and obesity 
  • Treating substance abuse and addiction 

Does CBG get you high?

No. CBG does not get you high. CBG is a non-psychotropic cannabinoid able to gently soothe and balance your body without altering your mind or judgment. In fact, when consumed separately or together, CBD and CBG can actually balance out or reduce a high caused by THC.

CBG flower pre-roll product
CBG products cause a mild, non-psychoactive buzz. Photo Courtesy: Mom Grass

The science behind CBD and CBG’s ability to reduce a THC high is complex, so let us simplify it for you. 

CBD and CBG are known as negative allosteric modulators of CB1 receptors, meaning they indirectly attach themselves to the same receptors THC binds to but in a totally different place. CBD and CBG’s modulatory behavior at CB1 causes the receptor to change shape, thus preventing THC from fully binding to it, resulting in a less potent high. 

Related: Is CBG Legal to Buy?

Is CBD or CBG better for anxiety?

If taken separately, CBG is potentially better than CBD for anxiety, though many believe they’re most effective when taken together. 

On its own, CBG’s main advantage over CBD for anxiety is its ability to directly interact with your endocannabinoid system and its receptors. Studies suggest CBG’s interaction with your cannabinoid receptors causes potent anti-anxiety and muscle relaxing qualities rivaling THC and CBD.

However, CBG and CBD in combination are effective GABA reuptake inhibitors, meaning they boost the amount of GABA in your body. GABA is a neurotransmitter located throughout your brain and nervous system tasked with regulating anxiety, causing muscle relaxation, and promoting a sense of calm and overall wellbeing.  

Is CBD or CBG better for nausea and vomiting?

CBD is more effective as an antiemetic than CBG, meaning it’s better at reducing the negative symptoms of nausea and vomiting. 

Studies show CBD prevents nausea and vomiting in rodent test subjects by activating serotonin (5-HT1A) receptors. The researchers discovered serotonin receptor activation reduced conditioned gaping in mice and suppressed nausea-induced vomiting in shrews. CBG, on the other hand, reversed CBD’s anti-nausea and vomiting effects by antagonizing (blocking) serotonin receptors. 

CBD vs CBG: which is more expensive?

CBG is significantly more expensive than CBD for three reasons: 

  1. Cannabis plants carry very little CBG, meaning producers require much more cannabis plant material to make CBG products, thus costing more money to produce. On the other hand, CBD is abundant in cannabis, which means less plant material is needed to create CBD products, thus costing less money to produce.
  2. Producing CBG is a far more intricate, time-consuming process. Only a select number of producers are dedicating their time and resources to creating CBG products. As a result, only a limited number of CBG products are available on the market, which causes the price to rise as demand increases. 
  3. CBG is most abundant in young, immature cannabis plants. You find up to 5% CBG in younger plants instead of up to 1% in mature plants. This puts producers in a quandary. Do they use young cannabis plants and sacrifice all the other high-yielding cannabinoids for up to 5% CBG? Or do they ignore CBG and make use of more abundant cannabinoids such as CBD? 

Will the price of CBG go down?

Yes. We believe the price of CBG will go down as growers continue to cross-breed certain cannabis strains to create mature high-CBG cannabis plants. Mature high-CBG cannabis plants completely eradicate the need to use more cannabis plant material, significantly reducing production costs. 

Conclusion: Is CBG better than CBD?

In general, CBG isn’t better than CBD and CBD isn’t better than CBG. It all comes down to your needs. 

If you’re looking for an appetite stimulant, CBD should be your go-to cannabinoid. We recommend a strong CBD isolate oil for best results. 

However, if you need something to help soothe your anxiety or stress, CBG might be a better option. Better still, why not consume both at the same time? There are plenty of CBG + CBD products out there (see NuLeaf Naturals, Plain Jane, and Medterra) to choose from.