top of page

CBD vs CBG: What Is The Difference?

CBD vs CBG: What Is The Difference?

CBG and CBD are two cannabinoids that you’ve likely gotten confused about before. But not anymore, because we’ve gathered together everything you need to know about CBD vs CBG.

What is CBD?

CBD, or cannabidiol, is the cannabinoid you are probably most familiar with. These days you can find CBD in chocolate, shampoo, and vapes, but what exactly is it?

CBD is a chemical compound that naturally occurs in cannabis and hemp plant material. CBD is very abundant in both of these plants, so much so that it is called a major cannabinoid.

You can purchase CBD in a range of forms, but the most common is CBD oil, which can be used as an edible, in vapes, or simply as a topical treatment.

CBD has soared in popularity over the last few years, thanks largely to its various health effects, which have been demonstrated through studies. Another benefit of CBD is its legality; CBD is legal federally, provided that it contains less than 0.3% THC.

What is CBG?

While CBD is everywhere, you may not be as familiar with CBG.

CBG, or cannabigerol, is also a cannabinoid. CBG can be found in cannabis and hemp plant material and can be purchased in many forms. Although, due to its lesser-known status, you won’t find quite the same variation of CBG products as you would find for CBD.

But while CBG is lacking in popularity, it still packs a hearty therapeutic punch. Recent research points to the exciting therapeutic potential of CBG.

CBG is in short supply when compared to CBD. CBG is a “minor cannabinoid,” meaning that it is found in cannabis and hemp plants in lower quantities than the major cannabinoids CBD and THC. CBG is also legal federally, provided that any CBG product contains less than 0.3% THC.

How are CBD and CBG different?

You will find many similarities between CBD and CBG, but there are also some differences that you should be aware of when deciding to add either cannabinoid into your routine.

Receptor pathways

One way that CBD and CBG differ lies in the receptors that they can bind to. CBG, like many other cannabinoids, can bind directly to the cannabinoid receptors CB1 and CB2. It is through these receptors that CBG is able to induce its effects on the body. CBD, on the other hand, can only weakly bind to CB1 and CB2, so instead, it induces its effects on the body by binding to non-cannabinoid receptors and acting on other receptor pathways (1).


Another difference between CBD and CBG is how available they are. CBD is certainly the more widely available cannabinoid, thanks to its larger popularity, familiarity, and more extensive research field. CBD is also present in higher quantities in plant material than CBG, meaning that it is an easier extract to source in high quantities.

Neuroprotective qualities for Huntington’s patients

One key health benefit that has been demonstrated in CBG but not CBD is neuroprotection for patients with Huntington’s disease. Huntington’s is a fatal neurodegenerative disorder that currently has no cure. CBG was found in one study to help manage the motor deficit symptoms of Huntington’s disease, while also protecting neurons from some of the damage that occurs with the progression of the disease (2).

More research is needed to fully explore how effective CBG might be at helping in the fight against Huntington’s, but it is certainly promising and has demonstrated more potential than CBD, which showed no benefits against the disease in one study (3).

How are CBD and CBG similar?

CBD and CBG share many similarities, especially in the effects they induce on the body.

Psychotropic ability

One important similarity to keep in mind is the psychotropic activity of CBD and CBG. While both CBD and CBG are active chemical compounds, neither of them cause a “high.” Their lack of psychotropic activity may seem confusing because of their presence in a psychotropic plant, but the answer lies in yet another cannabinoid – THC.

THC, or tetrahydrocannabinol, is the cannabinoid responsible for the infamous effects of cannabis.

Anti-inflammatory action

Both CBD and CBG have shown an ability to reduce inflammation, although CBD’s anti-inflammatory effects have been more strongly demonstrated.

CBG – A 2013 study found that CBG reduced the number of inflammatory markers and also decreased inflammation in the colon in mice with inflammatory bowel disease, or colitis (4).

CBD – CBD has shown significant anti-inflammatory properties. Studies have found that CBD was able to reduce inflammation for patients with inflammatory bowel disease, diabetes, inflammatory skin conditions, and inflammatory neurodegenerative diseases (5, 6, 7, 8). Research tells us that CBD likely induces its anti-inflammatory effects through the activation of the glycine receptor GlyR (8).

Antibacterial properties

Research tells us that both CBD and CBG can act as an antibacterial.

CBG – CBG was shown in one study to have such a significant antibacterial impact that it killed MRSA bacteria, which is typically resistant to antibacterial action (9).

CBD – CBD was shown in one study to exert antibacterial effects again Gram-positive bacteria (10).

What’s better, CBD or CBG?

When it comes to choosing between CBD and CBG, the answer really comes down to your personal preferences.

If neuroprotection is more important to you, CBG might be the answer for you. However, if convenience is a priority, then CBD may be a better fit.

And remember, you can always try both! You can find all our tinctures here.

The bottom line

CBD and CBG may sound similar, but they are two very distinct compounds. Both exhibit significant therapeutic effects that could improve the symptoms of a range of conditions, although more research is needed into both cannabinoids to fully explore their potential.

When it comes to a fight between CBD and CBG, the winner will come down to whichever best fits your needs and preferences.

**Standard Disclaimer: CBD is not FDA-approved. We make no such claims that using our products will guarantee relief. Moreover, research regarding CBD is still ongoing and in the early stages.**

bottom of page