While CBD and THC are the most well-known cannabinoids found in the cannabis plant, the plant contains over 100 distinct cannabinoids. One of the lesser-known compounds: Cannabigerol.
What Is CBG?
While you may not have heard of Cannabigerol (or CBG) before, it plays an important role. CBG is “the mother of all cannabinoids” because all other cannabinoids originate from an acidic form of CBG called cannabigerolic acid (CBGA).
Despite this, you are less likely to see it as an ingredient in cannabis or hemp products. After CBGA converts into their cannabinoids, very little CBG remains. While most strains of the cannabis plant contain 20-30% CBD or THC content, the plant is typically only 1% of CBG content.
CBG is most prominent in the hemp plant during its short blooming phase before it is largely converted into other cannabinoids. There is a short window for CBG to be extracted from the hemp plant, making it a scarce item.
Some strains of cannabis plants are specifically bred to extract higher levels of CBG. While CBG products have historically been more expensive and harder to find than CBD, many believe that CBG will become increasingly popular as more research is invested into CBG.
What Is CBD?
CBD, or cannabidiol, is another cannabinoid found in the cannabis or hemp plant, and this one has a little more name recognition.
CBD is the main compound found in the hemp plant (a federally legal strain of the cannabis plant), and it is widely used to support mental and physical wellbeing in forms like full-spectrum CBD oil, CBD gummies, and other edibles.
What Are the Main Differences?
There are a few notable similarities between CBG and CBD. For one, neither cannabinoid produces psychoactive effects, meaning neither will get you high. Both CBD and CBG also affect the body by working within the endocannabinoid system (the ECS). It is how each cannabinoid works within the ECS that sets them apart. Structurally, both phytocannabinoids have the same molecular formula (C 21 H 30 O 2 ), but their atomic arrangements differ, allowing them to affect the body in subtly different ways.
While both cannabinoids interact with the endocannabinoid system, they may do so differently. It is believed that CBG binds directly with CB1 and CB2 cannabinoid receptors. In contrast, CBD can help support the work of our naturally-produced endocannabinoids by blocking enzymes from breaking them down as quickly and therefore prolonging their effects.
Another main difference between these two nourishing plant compounds is how much is in the plant. Matured hemp plants typically contain over 25% of CBD, while only 1% of CBG. Because of this, CBD is much easier to extract from the hemp plant, especially in quantities that will allow users to feel the effects.
CBD may also be more potent than CBG, meaning you need less of it to achieve the desired effect.
Does CBD Have CBG In It?
As the cannabis plant matures, much of the acidic CBGA content changes into CBD or THC, while a smaller amount becomes CBG. While CBD is a matured form of CBGA, CBD does not have any CBG, as it is a distinct cannabinoid.
However, a full-spectrum or broad-spectrum CBD product will have small amounts of CBG in it. Because of the different ways that each cannabinoid interacts with endocannabinoids and receptors, using a product with both CBD and CBG can produce the entourage effect: a process in which different cannabinoids feed off each other to strengthen the effects and benefits of each.
What Is CBG Best Used For?
There are various potential benefits of CBG. Studies suggest CBG can help with swelling and blood flow. There is promising evidence that the effects of CBG can help provide relief for people with IBS or glaucoma. The benefits of CBG may also include neuroprotective properties due to the way CBG can connect with CB receptors and neurotransmitters.
CBG may also have antibacterial properties, which means it can support the immune system’s attempts to ward off bacterial infections by working with CB2 receptors found in immune cells.
Because CBG binds directly with CB1 receptors in the brain, it can help clear the mind and provide an energy boost that helps motivate you for whatever you are taking on in the day ahead.
Anandamide is an important endocannabinoid that helps maintain homeostasis within the body in several ways, including by regulating appetite. CBG may work similarly to anandamide, and in binding to CB receptors, CBG can help strengthen the effects of anandamide as it moves throughout the body. In this way, CBG can help stimulate and support appetite.
Anandamide also helps regulate sleep cycles, making CBG a helpful tool for supporting sleep quality.
Like CBD, CBG has naturally soothing properties to help the ECS respond to signals of discomfort.
What Are the Benefits of CBD?
CBD’s role in the endocannabinoid system can also provide many wellness benefits.
Promotion of Sleep
CBD can help promote restfulness, making it easier to fall and stay asleep. By extending the effects of endocannabinoids like anandamide in the brain, CBD can help calm the mind before bed.
CBD may work with neurotransmitters responsible for serotonin production. In this way, CBD can help promote sleepiness and even encourage a deeper form of sleep, meaning you are more likely to wake up feeling well-rested and ready to go. It’s no wonder CBD is so popular as a natural sleep aid!
CBD is commonly used to soothe sore muscles and ease joint discomfort. In addition, CBD can support endocannabinoids that bind with receptors in the parts of the body experiencing discomfort.
You can apply topical CBD like our own Pain Away Roller directly to sore muscles and tired joints. Massaging the oil where you are experiencing localized discomfort will not only feel great but help the CBD move through the skin where it can reach nearby CB receptors and get to work supporting endocannabinoids as they provide relief.
Relief from Feelings of Tension
Whether you’re experiencing physical tension in your muscles or emotional stress, CBD can help your body balance itself out. CBD can support anandamide, serotonin, and dopamine. These endocannabinoids and neurotransmitters can enhance feelings of pleasure and lower levels of stress, nervousness, and tension.
Because CBD can move through the bloodstream once absorbed into the body, it can provide support both in the brain and any areas of the body holding physical tension.
By helping calm the mind and ease body tension, CBD can do wonders when promoting full-body relaxation without causing the psychoactive effects of intoxicating cannabinoids.
The Bottom Line
Both CBD and CBG provide a wealth of wellness benefits. While CBG oils can be expensive and hard to come by, here at the Apothecary, we are excited to introduce our CBG Flower, derived from artisan industrial hemp bred for high CBG levels.
And if you prefer an oil to smoking flower, using full-spectrum and broad-spectrum CBD products can provide you with the best of both CBG and CBD.
We only craft our products at The Brothers Apothecary with high-quality, organic, and sustainably sourced ingredients. You can find our collection of third-party tested full and broad-spectrum products in our shop!