Medically reviewed by Alexander Tabibi, MD
August 15, 2020

In the dynamic landscape of cannabinoids, CBD (cannabidiol) and CBG (cannabigerol) have risen to prominence due to their potential therapeutic properties. This comprehensive article is a deep dive into the distinct characteristics of CBD and CBG, elucidating their differences and delving into the array of benefits they offer. By comparing their origins, mechanisms of action, effects, and potential applications, readers will gain an intricate understanding of these two cannabinoids and their implications for health and well-being.

This post is intended as information and for general knowledge only. It is not a substitute for medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. It is recommended that you talk to a healthcare professional about this before introducing cannabinoids into your daily routine (especially if you have been diagnosed with any medical conditions or are under any medication). It is not recommended to drive or operate any machinery when using cannabis- or hemp-derived products. Use responsibly!

Origins and Extraction Methods

CBD is primarily extracted from industrial hemp plants, a legal source of CBD due to its low THC content. CBD can be extracted using methods such as supercritical CO2 extraction and solvent extraction. These methods yield high-quality CBD extract used in various products. CBG is often referred to as the “mother cannabinoid” because it serves as the precursor to other cannabinoids, including CBD and THC. CBG-rich strains are harvested at an early stage of growth to maximize CBG content before it converts into other cannabinoids. Some hemp strains are bred to have higher CBG content, contributing to more efficient CBG extraction.

Chemical Structure and Mechanisms of Action

CBD consists of 21 carbon atoms arranged in a specific structure. CBD interacts with CB1 and CB2 receptors in the endocannabinoid system (ECS), modulating their activity. Unlike THC, CBD does not directly bind to ECS receptors but enhances their function indirectly. CBG shares the same 21-carbon structure as other cannabinoids. CBG has a moderate affinity for both CB1 and CB2 receptors, influencing the ECS. CBG’s interaction extends beyond the ECS, affecting receptors like serotonin and vanilloid receptors.

Effects and Benefits

CBD Effects and Benefits

CBG Weed versus CBD Cannabis

CBD does not induce a “high” or alter cognitive function. CBD shows promise in reducing symptoms of anxiety disorders and stress. CBD’s anti-inflammatory effects make it useful for pain relief and managing chronic conditions. Epidiolex, a CBD-based medication, is FDA-approved for treating certain types of epilepsy.

CBG Effects and Benefits

CBG is devoid of psychoactive effects. Early studies suggest CBG’s neuroprotective properties could benefit neurodegenerative conditions. CBG exhibits promising antibacterial and antimicrobial effects, potentially aiding in combating infections. CBG may contribute to reducing intraocular pressure and supporting glaucoma treatment.

Synergistic and Entourage Effects

CBD demonstrates the entourage effect when combined with other cannabinoids and terpenes. CBD’s synergy with other compounds results in an amplification of therapeutic benefits. CBG is believed to enhance the effects of other cannabinoids like CBD and THC.  CBG’s interaction with terpenes could contribute to its therapeutic potential.

Research and Medical Applications

Epilepsy and Seizure Disorders: Epidiolex, a CBD-based medication, is approved for specific epilepsy types. CBD’s anxiolytic and antidepressant effects are subjects of ongoing research. CBD’s anti-inflammatory properties make it valuable for chronic pain conditions. CBD’s potential benefits extend to conditions like multiple sclerosis and inflammatory bowel disease. Preliminary studies explore CBG’s potential for Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s, and Huntington’s diseases. CBG’s role as an anti-cancer agent is being investigated, particularly for its effect on certain types of tumors. CBG’s anti-inflammatory and gut-soothing properties have implications for IBD management.

The Farm Bill legalized hemp-derived CBD with a THC content of 0.3% or less. CBD’s legality varies by state and country, with some regions allowing broader use and sale. Epidiolex is the only FDA-approved CBD medication; other CBD products exist in a regulatory gray area. CBG shares its legal status with CBD, derived from hemp and adhering to the same regulations. Regulations surrounding CBG are often reflective of those for CBD.

Considerations for Use

Determining the right dosage requires considering factors like weight, condition, and desired effects. CBD is available in various forms, including oils, capsules, edibles, and topicals. Mild side effects like dry mouth and dizziness can occur; interactions with certain medications are possible. Choosing reputable brands with third-party testing ensures product quality and safety. CBG’s optimal dose is still under exploration, but starting low and gradually increasing is advisable. CBG products include oils, tinctures, and capsules, allowing for various administration methods. CBG’s side effects are minimal and often mirror those of CBD. Selecting trusted sources is crucial to obtaining high-quality CBG products.


The world of cannabinoids is vast and continually evolving, with CBD and CBG standing out as remarkable compounds with potential health benefits. While CBD’s proven applications in anxiety, pain, and epilepsy are well-established, CBG’s emerging role in neuroprotection and disease management adds an exciting dimension. Whether harnessed individually or in tandem, these cannabinoids offer an array of possibilities for natural health enhancement. Prior to introducing any new supplements into one’s routine, consultation with a healthcare professional remains essential for safe and informed usage.


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THC vs THCA: Navigating the Complex World of Cannabis Compounds

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FDA Approved CBD Products


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