CBD and CBG - The Big Difference

Posted by Pure Potent on May 4th 2021

CBD and CBG - The Big Difference


The cannabis plant is home to a wide range of plant-based chemicals including cannabinoids, terpenes, alkaloids, and essential oils. These compounds are responsible for the numerous therapeutic potentials of the plant. The cannabinoids with over 120 different members, represent the most studied members of the plant-based compounds extracted from the cannabis plant. The most commonly studied members are cannabidiol (CBD), cannabigerol (CBG), cannabinol (CBN), cannabichromene (CBC) and tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). These compounds share a few similarities and differences which makes them better adapted to different uses. In this article, we shall look at the differences between CBD and CBG.

CBD and CBG are the non-intoxicating members of the cannabinoid family. They have been studied to possess some potential therapeutic applications in combating pain, reducing inflammation and slowing down the spread of cancerous cells. CBD and CBG may sound similar at the surface but when you dig deeper, you will understand their key differences.

  • A.Concentration in the cannabis plant
  • Cannabigerol (CBG) is the precursor of other cannabinoids hence the name, “the mother of cannabinoids.” The acidic form of CBG, CBGA (cannabigerolic acid) is responsible for forming all other cannabinoids hence the reason CBG is present in minute quantities in the cannabis plant. Even with this, there are however, some plant strains that may contain CBG in large concentrations.
  • B.Products and popularity
  • CBD products have lately recorded a large number of acceptance and popularity. This is due to its reputed anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidant effects which makes it a trendy ingredient used for skincare brands and products for wellness. As a major non-intoxicating component of cannabis, CBD has fairly abundant common cannabis strains which make the cannabinoid use and isolation to be easy to translate to commercial products making operation. CBG on the other hand, has a little exposure to the public probably due to its limited concentration in the plant.
  • C.Mode of activity
  • CBD and CBG work in a similar manner in the body. While CBD is relatively low in affinity for cannabinoid receptors and mostly interacts with the endocannabinoid system on an indirect basis, CBG is said to interact directly with the brain's CB1 and CB2 cannabinoid receptors.
  • CBD and CBG activate receptors differently. In 2011, a study was carried out and published in Psychopharmacology comparing the effects of CBD and CBG at the 5-HT1A serotonin receptor. CBG was discovered to behave as an antagonist (blocker) at the receptor. CBD exerted its anti-nausea effects through affinity with the 5-HT1A receptor. The study showed the pre-treatment with CBG blocked CBD's anti-emetic effects which suggests that two cannabinoids are bound at the same place with opposing action at the receptor.
  • D.Possible side effects
  • While CBD may interfere with drug metabolism, especially those drugs that depend on Cytochrome P450 for their complete breakdown, there is little to no information on the possible side effects of CBG.


CBD and CBG exist as the non-intoxicating members of the cannabinoid family. They possess a vast range of therapeutic effects that can help people live a healthy life. Let us know if you have any questions. We will love to hear from you soon.