CBD vs CBG: difference, health benefits

While CBD products pique consumer interest, scientists came to light another very high-end cannabinoid, i.e., CBG. The discovery of the health benefits of CBG made it hard for consumers to select between two, i.e., CBG and CBD. Consumers of cannabinoids may be wondering which one is best for them and what’s the difference between both cannabinoids.

This article will discuss the difference between CBD and CBG and their health benefits.


Cannabidiol is one of the most popular and commercially available cannabinoids found in the cannabis plant. CBD is found in high concentration in a Type III and IV cannabis plant, i.e., CBD-dominant strains of cannabis. Cannabidiol (CBD) was first isolated from the plant in the 1930s. Cannabidiolic acid (CBDA)  is an acidic form of cannabinoid.


Besides cannabidiol (CBD), there is another essential cannabinoid, i.e., cannabigerol, also known as the mother of all cannabinoids. This compound is present in a minimal quantity in cannabis plant strains. Cannabigerol was first isolated in 1964 from the cannabis plant. Cannabigerolic acid (CBGA) is an acidic form of CBG.


Methods of production


Though CBG is present in a very minute quantity in the cannabis plant, some plant strains such as Jack frost CBG and white CBG has cannabigerol in higher amounts. The concentration of CBG is much more in young cannabis plants compared to the older ones. This concentration in young plants gradually decreases as the plant ages. The acidic form of CBG, cannabigerolic acid (CBGA), undergoes enzymatic degradation and results in the production of acidic forms of other cannabinoids, including tetrahydrocannabinolic acid (THCA), cannabidiolic acid (CBDA), and cannabichromenic acid (CBCA). These acidic forms undergo decarboxylation in the presence of light or heat to yield active cannabinoids.


Cannabidiol is one of the well-known cannabinoids which form when CBGA degrades. CBGA converts into cannabidiolic acid (CBDA) by enzymatic degradation. This cannabidiolic acid loses its acidic carboxylic acid group in heat or light and produces cannabinoids.

Principle of exposure to the human body

The human body has an Endocannabinoids System (ECS), which regulates various human body functions, including mood, appetite, sleep, and secretions. The ECS system has receptors such as CB1 and CB2 receptors. These receptors regulate processes when endocannabinoids bind to these receptors. Cannabinoids obtained from the cannabis plant also bind these receptors and produce effects.


Research says that CBD doesn’t directly bind to the ECS system’s receptors but acts indirectly and produces beneficial effects. Cannabidiol is found to bind CB2 receptors. This binding helps treat epilepsy in children, inflammation, anxiety, and pathological conditions associated with the immune, muscular and neurological system. The research on CBD is advancing with each passing day, resulting in novel discoveries


The positive effects of CBG on the body appear after its processing by the body’s endocannabinoid system. CB1 and CB2 receptors of ECS are G-protein coupled receptors. CBG directly binds with these receptors and produces a therapeutic effect. Studies also found the stimulating effect of CBG on α2 adrenergic receptors as well. Another binding site of CBG in the body is the TRPV8 receptor.

Advantages and disadvantages

Advantages of CBG

  • Cannabigerol is a non-psychoactive compound with enormous potential to serve humankind either in pharmaceutical products, cosmetic products, veterinary products, or food products.
  • Researchers found CBG as cannabinoids that can efficiently reduce the burden on the healthcare system. CBG can positively impact various disorders, including inflammatory conditions, various body cancers, ophthalmic diseases, urinary tract disorders, and CNS disorders such as anxiety, depression, epilepsy, and Parkinson’s syndrome. It can also help treat bacterial infections and modulate GIT functions.
  • Since CBG is safe for human consumptions, it is now a part of food products. But there are some regulations, such as the manufacturer of CBG food products must send a “new dietary ingredient notification” to FDA for approval within 75 days of product marketing.
  • Various medical benefits of CBG are helpful for pets; therefore, CBG will soon be an essential part of veterinary products.
  • CBG is considered a vital ingredient of skin care products due to its anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidant properties.

Disadvantages of CBG

  • The research on CBG is very scarce. The biggest hurdle in limited CBG research is its production cost. CBG is present in a very minimal quantity in a cannabis plant; therefore, it is an arduous and expensive process to isolate an adequate amount. Moreover, isolating CBG from an adult plant is more difficult compared to a young plant.

Advantages of CBD

  • CBD is under the spotlight due to a variety of significant health benefits. It is a non-psychoactive compound that can help mitigate severe epilepsy in children. It can also treat inflammation, nausea, pain, and anxiety. The research found that CBD enhances the effect of THC on the body when taken in combination. It holds nearly similar therapeutic properties as THC but without psychoactive effect.
  • Consumer acceptance of CBD products made it topped the chart of cannabinoids for many years. Noticing consumer market demand, various cosmetics, food, and pharmaceutical industries commendably utilized CBD in their products.

Disadvantages of CBD

  • An article published in Harvard Health Publishing stated that CBD might cause nausea, fatigue, and irritability in users. It can also interact with various blood-thinning medications. Sometimes CBD products may be psychoactive due to the presence of THC along with CBD.

Similarities and differences

Similarities b/w CBD and CBGDifferences b/w CBD and CBG
Both CBG and CBD are non-intoxicating and non-addictiveAn adequate amount of research is available on CBD but not on CBG
Binds Endocannabinoids systemCBG concentration high in the young plant while CBD concentration is high in adult plant
Both possess anti-inflammatory and neuroprotective properties.Both molecules have different molecular structures
CBGA is the precursor of both CBG and CBDCBG binds directly, while CBD binds indirectly with cannabinoids receptors.
CBD acts as an agonist of the 5-HT1A receptor, while CBG is an antagonist
CBD is an appetite suppressant, while CBG is an appetite stimulant

CBG and CBD, both cannabinoids, possess beneficial properties for humans and animals. Consuming both together will produce a synergistic effect. The medical properties of these cannabinoids are giving new hope to researchers and clinicians as a treatment for complex medical problems. However, the plant-produced cannabinoids are not quantitatively and qualitatively adequate to fulfill market demand. Therefore, BioMedican has developed an advanced biosynthetic platform that can efficiently meet consumer market demand for these cannabinoids.

Saba IqbalAuthor posts

Dr. Saba Iqbal is a contributing writer for BioMedican. She's a clinical pharmacist turned writer. Dr. Saba's education includes a doctoral degree in pharmacy (Pharm D) from the University of Sargodha, Pakistan. In search of a career that would take advantage of her medical and pharmaceutical skills, Dr. Saba found medical writing – a career path a few medical students consider. In her journey "from a medical bench to pen," she has worked with several startups for many years managing content on biotech products, pharmaceuticals, drugs, devices, and techniques. While keeping up with the latest trends in medical writing, she aims to use her writing skills to clearly communicate complex scientific, medical, and health information to the potential investor and general audience.

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