CBG vs CBD

Medically reviewed by Bryan Doner, MD, and Cannabidiol Life’s Medical Review Team.

Cannabinoids such as CBG and CBD are growing an ever-increasing amount of attention. This attention can be seen in both the media and in the scientific community.

The industry for cannabinoid products is flourishing, with suggestions that they could help with everything from anxiety to skin conditions.

With so much being written about cannabinoids, it is important for you to have as much accurate, scientifically-backed information as possible.

Let’s begin.

PHYTOCANNABINOID OVERVIEW

Cannabinoids, when derived from plants, are known as phytocannabinoids. We will now discuss the individualities and similarities of two specific phytocannabinoids, CBG vs CBD.

Toggle the button below to view each description.

What Is CBG?
What Is CBD?

CBG, short for Cannabigerol, is a chemical compound that is naturally produced by Cannabis plants.

A “Cannabis” plant includes both marijuana and cannabis-sativa (hemp) plants. CBG is often referred to as “mother of cannabinoids,” “stem cell cannabinoid,” or “precursor cannabinoid.”

It should be noted that the true precursor of phytocannabinoids is the acidic form of CBG, CBGA. CBGA (Cannabigerolic Acid) is the first cannabinoid produced by cannabis plants.

This means that all other cannabinoids start out as CBG in their early stages of development.

CBG is directly responsible for all other phytocannabinoids, including THC and CBD.

CBD, short for Cannabidiol, is also a chemical compound that is naturally produced by Cannabis plants source.

CBD is the second most present phytocannabinoid found in cannabis, with THC being the most prevalent.

CBD is usually derived from cannabis-sativa plants (hemp) source which contains trade amounts of THC.

CHEMICAL STRUCTURES

Though both are derived from the same plant, the properties and chemical structures of CBG and CBD are very different.

The chemical structure of any molecule is important because it determines the specific cell receptor site it will have an affinity for. 

By examining the particular cell receptors that either connect directly with specific cannabinoids or are activated because of the presence of the cannabinoid is how researchers can more easily determine the health benefit or side effect of said cannabinoid

Chemical Structures Of Two Major Cannabinoids Cbg Cbd
All cannabinoids are the result of two chemical processes; decarboxylation and enzymatic synthesis.  Through decarboxylation, CBGA is converted to CBG. Natural plant enzymes within a hemp plant act as a catalyst to synthesize CBGA into CBDA.  Then, the "A" in CBDA is removed by going through the "decarb" process, which converts into CBD. Due to the difference in chemical structure, CBD and CBG have different effects on the brain and body.

HEALTH BENEFITS

The popularity of products containing CBG or CBD is partly due to the vast health benefits that are being experienced and reported by CBD & CBG product consumers around the world.

The FTC (Federal Trade Commission), however, is combating any organization or business that makes medical health claims in order to protect U.S. consumers from false promises and misleading marketing tactics.

The FDA (Food & Drug Administration) sends out warning letters to anyone claiming that CBD can help with specific conditions.

The FTC has stated on their website that they turn to other government authorities, including the National Institutes of Health (NIH), for guidance and clarification on the validity of claims being made.

We will do the same.

There are a copious amount of published CBD and CBG medical research studies found on the NIH website.  These studies aim to determine whether or not CBD or CBG has the ability to be a supplemental therapeutic remedy or a novel medical treatment option for particular health conditions.

Below we share the conclusions of these studies using their words, not ours.

Medical Studies

Toggle the button below to view both the CBG and CBD-specific medical studies.

CBG
CBD
  • A 2013 study showed a reduction in the inflammation caused by inflammatory bowel disease.
  • Medical marijuana has long been used to treat glaucoma. Recent studies suggest that that may be due to the presence of CBG, further research suggested that CBG could be effective in reducing intraocular pressure and could be used to treat glaucoma.
  • Bladder dysfunctions can potentially be treated using CBG products.
  • A study on mice suggests that the neuroprotective properties associated with CBG can help treat Huntington’s Disease and possibly other neurodegenerative conditions.
  • CBG has the potential to kill bacteria such as MRSA, which means it could possibly treat some dangerous, difficult-to-treat, resistant bacterial infections.

 

Hopefully, as more research into CBG is done, we will soon uncover concrete evidence of the health benefits of CBG.

  • A common use for CBD is to treat pain. Studies suggest that pain associated with malignant diseases such as cancer can be reduced or managed with the help of CBD.
  • Other studies show promising results for the use of CBD to reduce chronic pain and inflammatory or neuropathic pain.
  • CBD has shown promise as an alternative to addictive benzodiazepines for treating anxiety and depression. Another study shows that CBD could be used to treat people suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder.
  • Some suggest that CBD’s anti-inflammatory properties along with reducing excess sebum could help treat acne.
  • It is believed by some researchers that CBD affects the endocannabinoid system in such a way that it could be useful in treating some neurological disorders such as epilepsy. In fact, a 2014 study showed that people suffering from treatment-resistant epilepsy experienced less seizures when given CBD.
  • A human study performed in 2017 showed that CBD may help treat high blood pressure.

 

As more research takes place, it is possible that more positive effects of CBD could be uncovered, allowing more people access to life-changing benefits.

"Cannabigerol is a novel, well-tolerated appetite stimulant in pre-satiated rats"

This study was conducted in 2016 to test the effects of CBG as a novel, well-tolerated appetite stimulant in rats. Though this is promising, further research must be done to investigate any potential side effects on humans.

COMPARATIVE SCIENTIFIC STUDIES

Due to the promising individual cannabinoid test study results, comparative studies have also been conducted. Both CBG and CBD went under the microscope and were tested under various constraints and scenarios.

Here are a few that have been performed.

  • In 2018, a study was conducted showing that CBG and CBD interact with the same receptors in the body, concluding that CBG may be beneficial with therapeutic potential via cannabinoid receptors.

  • A study in 2020 compared the neuroprotective effects of CBD and CBG, specifically seeking to study the differences in the effectiveness of CBD and CBG against neurological diseases.

  • A 2008 study was conducted comparing the effectiveness of cannabinoids, including CBG and CBD, in managing difficult to treat pain.

  • In 2000, an article comparing cannabinoids in clinical practice was published, affiliated with The School of Pharmacy at the University of London.

  • In 2015, a systematic review and meta-analysis was written about the medical use of cannabinoids with the aim of comparing the benefits and side effects of different cannabinoids, including CBG and CBD.

MEDICATION INTERACTIONS

It is not known whether CBG interacts with medications, both over-the-counter and prescription. Since there are a few suggestions that state how CBD may affect the way medications are metabolized in your body, it may stand to reason (but not yet proven) that the same could be true for CBG.

It is suggested that any medications that include a grapefruit warning could also react negatively with CBD or CBG due to their similarities in inhibiting metabolic processes.

Healthline has suggested that such medications can include:

List-Of-Medications-That-Could-Interact-With-Cbd-And-Cbg

Recommendation

We always advise consulting with a trusted medical professional before trying any of our products, including ours.

We also advise against stopping any prescribed medications in favor of CBG or CBD unless instructed by a certified medical professional.

LAWS & REGULATIONS

The 2018 Farm Bill has federally legalized industrial hemp. Hemp is legally defined as any cannabis sativa plants containing less than 0.3% THC by dried weight. It must be noted that though hemp is legal on a federal level, individual states can choose to honor this law or else produce their own state legislature.

For this reason, it is important to check the legal status of CBD in your specific state.

While there are no states which outright ban the use of CBD products, some states allow it only under specific conditions.

It is important to note that the FDA (U.S. Food and Drug Administration) approval for medications or drug products containing CBD is scarce. To date, only one cannabis-derived and three cannabis-related drug products have been approved by the FDA and no company or business is allowed to make any claims that CBD or CBG can be used to treat specific diseases without FDA approval.

It is legal to sell CBD products, provided some criteria is met:

  • The product must meet the legal definition of “hemp” as detailed in the 2018 Farm Bill source
  • It complies with other applicable laws, including the FD&C Act and specific state legislature
  • The product is not marketed or sold as a dietary supplement

Products Available For Sale

There is certainly no shortage of CBD and CBG products available on the market. At Cannabidiol Life, we prioritize education and quality to ensure that you have access to trustworthy cannabinoid-specific hemp products. Some of the products we offer include: Our products are manufactured with the aim of helping you achieve a more natural and balanced lifestyle, and we are proud to offer one of the most comprehensive online CBD stores in the world. Rest assured knowing that all of our products are manufactured in a GMP certified, Division of Food Safety permitted, and FDA-approved clean facility.

Drug Tests

When CBD or CBG is used in its pure form, it should never result in a failed drug test since there is no THC present.  However, for products that contain trace amounts of THC, such as Full Spectrum Hemp products, you should proceed with caution.  It is very rare, but also, very possible.

If failing a drug test will have serious consequences or implications for you or your job, you should definitely choose either a broad spectrum or pure CBD product option as there is no detectable THC content within these products.

What To Know Before You Buy

When it comes to purchasing cannabinoid products, it is easy to become overwhelmed by choice as well as all of the various terms and definitions.

Here are some important things to know before purchasing:

Pure CBD/CBG

Pure CBD/CBG products contain the cannabinoid in its isolated form. The hemp plant undergoes a number of purifying processes that leave behind the desired cannabinoid in its purest form. These types of products are known as CBD Isolate and CBG Isolate, respectively.

Broad Spectrum

Broad spectrum products contain most, but not all of the compounds in the cannabis plant. Broad spectrum products do not contain THC.

Full Spectrum

Full spectrum products contain all of the compounds of the cannabis plant, offering all of its natural benefits. These compounds often work best collectively, a cannabinoid-team-effort known as the Entourage Effect.

Third-Party Testing

Reputable CBD or CBG products should have been tested by an independent laboratory. Before making any purchase, find out whether the company has had their products third-party tested by reading the lab report yourself. Any trustworthy cannabis company should have such reports readily available showcasing them both on individual products pages as well as a dedicated “lookup” page for all certificates of analysis.

Places You Shouldn’t Buy From

There is significant concern regarding the purity and safety of both CBD and CBG products, especially when not purchased from reliable sources. The FDA warns companies that are illegally selling CBD.  These companies should be avoided. 

FAQs

Why do people buy CBD and CBG products?

According to Dr. Doner, Chief Medical Officer for Cannabidiol Life, cannabinoid-specific products are intriguing to first-time buyers and are considered a “must-have” for hemp-product advocates for the following reasons:

  1. A natural alternative since hemp products are derived from nature
  2. Unwanted effects or undesirable results were experienced after taking OTC products, medications, and prescriptions
  3. Thought to be a healthier alternative in comparison to the synthetic ingredients and addictive chemicals found in most over-the-counter remedies.
  4. Hope for a better tomorrow and a higher quality of life.

Which is better for anxiety, CBD or CBG?

Both CBD and CBG can be effective in reducing stress and anxiety-related symptoms. CBG has been presumed to work better when it comes to anxiety due to the way it works as a GABA reuptake inhibitor. GABA reuptake inhibitors are known for their use in treating the symptoms of anxiety.

HOWEVER!  Since there are no definitive comparable studies in this regard, we must go with Cannabidiol (CBD) as it is the more reliable, science-backed option.

Is CBD or CBG better for sleep?

CBG has not been researched as extensively as CBD, especially in relation to its effects on sleep and treating sleep disorders such as insomnia. For that reason, a definitive answer is difficult to give. However, a 2019 study on the effects of CBD on anxiety and sleep has yielded evidence suggesting that CBD has a calming effect on the central nervous system that could help those who have trouble with sleeping.

For these reasons, a full spectrum CBD product is the more popular choice.

Should I buy CBD or CBG products for pain relief?

CBD products because CBG doesn’t have enough credibility yet.

CBD has been tested A LOT more than CBG and thus, it is the more reliable option. It is important to note that both PubMed and the NIH, offer promising study results showing that both CBD and CBG could be helpful for pain relief.

According to the NIH website, CBD has been noted as a promising option for pain relief due to its interactions with the endocannabinoid, inflammatory, and nociceptive systems which are linked to the ability to feel pain.

According to a 2008 study, CBG may display more GABA uptake inhibition than CBD. It also noted that CBG has strong analgesic anti-erythema and lipoxygenase blocking properties, making it a good candidate for treating pain and inflammation.

Final Thoughts

When considering a CBG or CBD product, it is important to act under the guidance of a trusted medical professional.

Just because you can find hundreds of thousands of people around the globe who have experienced life-changing, positive results from taking cannabinoid-infused products for a specific health concern, disease, or disorder, it doesn’t make it a medical fact.

In order to have the best chance at receiving any benefits from CBG or CBD products, we believe it’s a good idea to research the company you intend to purchase from.

Ask yourself the following questions:

If you found value in our research, please share this article online with friends and family!

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