What Is CBG and How is it Different from CBD?

Cannabis is an extremely complex and fascinating plant. By now, I'm sure you are aware of the two most abundant cannabis compounds, CBD (cannabidiol) and THC (tetrahydrocannabinol), but did you know there are over 400 compounds found in cannabis, with over a hundred of these in a class called cannabinoids?

In this article we are going to shine a spotlight on one of the lesser known cannabinoids, CBG. Although CBG is classed as a minor cannabinoid, it actually plays a rather major role within the cannabis plant, and it offers many wellness benefits. We believe it deserves more attention. So, what is CBG and how does it work?

What is CBG?

CBG, or Cannabigerol, is a cannabinoid (cannabis compound). In fact, you may be surprised to learn that CBG is actually the parent of both CBD and THC. Without this wonderful compound, CBD and THC wouldn’t exist.

How is CBG made?

CBG can be thought of as the 'mother cannabinoid' to other cannabinoids. It’s basically a building block on which several other cannabinoids depend. All cannabinoids start their life as CBGA (the acidic, inactive form of CBG). As the cannabis plant grows, CBGA changes, is broken down, and becomes the base molecule that other cannabinoids form from - it is converted to CBDA, THCA, and CBCA. These compounds are often referred to as 'raw' cannabinoids. Once heated, CBDA, THCA and CBGA become the cannabinoids we are most familiar with; CBD, THC and CBG.

Each cannabinoid has a slightly different makeup and slightly different effects. While THC causes psychoactive and intoxicating effects, CBD and CBG can support our health, without the 'high'. The other 100+ cannabinoids all do different things, too.

How does CBG work?

By binding to the two types of cannabinoid receptors in our body, CBG works to support our body’s endocannabinoid system. CBG supports optimal regulation in the body by mimicking these naturally occurring endocannabinoid compounds. CBG is safe to consume even at high doses. 

CBG vs CBD

What is the difference between CBG and CBD? It all comes down to the way in which the two compounds interact with our body. CBD works indirectly with our endocannabinoid system by interacting with our CB1 and CB2 receptors and “encouraging” them to receive our body’s own messages. CBG interacts directly by binding to the CB1 and CB2 cannabinoid receptors in our bodies. Plus, hemp naturally contains more CBD than CBG, making CBD more readily available and in turn, wider known.

Want to learn more? Check out our handy breakdown of exactly how our endocannabinoid system works, and how CBD can play a big role in supporting our body.