CBG vs CBD: what is the difference between the two?

Cannabis-based products are booming, with CBD being everywhere right now. But move over CBD, there’s a new kid on the block called CBG.  But what is CBG? And when would you choose CBG vs. CBD? Let’s take a look at the differences between the two.

What is CBG


What is CBG and how is it different from CBD?

Cannabigerol or CBG is one of the many cannabinoids (plus120 😎) found in the cannabis plant. It is a minor cannabinoid, so is only found in tiny amounts in cannabis.

CBG is actually the mother cannabinoid of them all 

CBD actually starts as CBG. In fact, all cannabinoids begin as CBG-A, which is the precursor to CBG.

CBG is present in very low levels of most cannabis chemovars or strains. However, due to its increasing popularity, many producers are now cross-breeding strains to get higher CBG content.

CBG’s molecular structure is very similar to that of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), but the two cannabinoids have opposite effects. THC is known for its psychoactive qualities, while CBG has been said to lessen the psychoactive effects of THC.

CBG is not intoxicating, but it is psychoactive in that it can affect mood.


Benefits of CBG vs. CBD?

So when would you choose CBG over CBD? Well, CBG has been shown to work similar to CBD, in that it activates many of the same areas of the brain and body areas providing anti-inflammatory, anti-oxidant, neuroprotectant, mood, pain, cognition and anti-nausea effects. 

However that being said, CBG studies are very early and we actually know a lot less about CBG than we know about CBD. 

There are some key studies for CBG and it seems there are some key studies for CBG in particular*

* it should be noted that most of the studies listed below are preclinical studies, that is - done on animals only. 

CBG shown to have anti-cancer effects 

CBG was demonstrated in a 2017 study to have anti-tumour effects in a laboratory model of breast cancer cells. By working together with THC, CBD and CBN, CBG cancer cell growth was inhibited. 

A 2021 study found CBG in combination with CBD reduced the viability of glioblastoma tumour cells and stem cells.


CBG can reduce irritation caused by inflammation in Irritable Bowel Disease and Crohn's disease 

CBG works synergistically with CBD as a very powerful anti-inflammatory.  It has been shown to be particularly effective for irritable bowel syndrome or Crohn's disease because of the very high anti-inflammatory effects. 

In 2013, a study done  with CBG showed that CBG reduced nitric oxide and ROS formation in intestinal epithelial cells and concluded CBG should be considered for clinical experimentation in IBD patients.

CBG for Glaucoma 

CBG improves the eye’s fluid drainage and it allows more oxygen rich blood to reach the eyes.

CBG for Depression 

Patients who did not find benefits with CBD have anecdotally reported that CBG has been much more effective according to Bonnie Goldstein in this interview

It is thought that CBG might work for depression by blocking the uptake of GABA and serotonin. Both of these are neurotransmitters in the brain which by having higher levels  helps our moods and calmness. 

CBG for Psoriasis

One study showed that in addition to CBD, CBG and CBGV may have the potential to treat dry-skin conditions such as psoriasis.

CBG for anxiety in Autism Spectrum Disorder

Anecdotal reports from parents of children with autism report CBG rich oil to be particularly effective for treating their anxiety.

CBG Side effects 

Unlike THC, CBG does not produce any psychoactive effects but instead might actually help people recover from the effects of consuming too much THC 

So which is better CBG vs CBD? Better together. 

CBG is a very powerful minor cannabinoid. According to pubmed, the database of all scientific studies conducted globally, there are several studies showing the healing benefits of CBG. 

For most cases, it’s not CBG vs CBD? It’s more a case of better together. Both cannabinoids have a lot to offer and they work particularly well when taken together.