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CBG vs CBD: Key Differences You Should Know

6 min read

CBG vs CBD: Key Differences You Should Know

6 min read

Medically reviewed by

Cannabidiol (CBD) and Cannabigerol (CBG) are two popular cannabinoids found in hemp. 

While CBD and THC tend to get a lot of attention, the cannabis plant is actually full of hundreds of fascinating cannabinoids, each with a unique profile and use.

So let’s step away from the mainstream for a second and zoom in on one very interesting cannabinoid, CBG.

Prepare to get clued up on everything you need to know about this crucial and clever cannabinoid – CBG – and find out how it differs from our good friend, CBD. 

In the CBG vs CBD fight – does one come out on top? Can we even crown a winner? Let’s start by looking at the following:

  • The differences between CBG vs CBD
  • How does CBG make you feel?
  • Is CBG better than CBD?

In this guide:

What is CBG?

Cannabigerol (CBG) is a phytocannabinoid – just like CBD and THC. This means CBG is a cannabinoid found in plants – such as cannabis – rather than a cannabinoid found in your body – i.e. an endocannabinoid

CBG is a non-psychoactive cannabinoid, which means it does not produce the “high” feeling or any other side effects typically associated with cannabis use.

Here’s the cool part: CBG is the original, pure cannabinoid. 

It’s the building block for all cannabinoids – every cannabinoid once started life as CBG.

As such, CBG – in its acidic form – is the ‘parent’ molecule and is known as ‘the mother of all cannabinoids’

As the plant matures, the CBG breaks down into other cannabinoids such as CBD, CBC and THC. 

Naturally, this means that THC and CBD – (plus every other cannabinoid) – can’t exist without raw CBG forming first. She’s the Queen Bee, ladies and gents!

 But don’t get it confused; there’s no CBD – or THC – in CBG

CBG vs CBD: cannabinoids found in hemp plants
CBG is a cannabinoid found in hemp and cannabis plants.

What are the benefits of CBG?

So, why should we care about CBG? What does it actually do?

Analysis of early research has suggested that CBG may have pain-relieving properties, so the cannabinoid is being tested as a potential treatment for certain types of chronic pain.

Early studies have also found CBG to be an anti-inflammatory compound, meaning it may be able to help with conditions such as arthritis or inflammatory bowel disease. 

CBG may also help reduce intraocular pressure. However, as mentioned earlier, studies are few and far between – more research is needed before any clinical conclusions can be reached.

However, unfortunately, not only are the effects of CBG not yet fully understood – but we also don’t know how much of the compound is beneficial, whether it should be used in conjunction with other compounds, or even how best to consume it.

What are the side effects of CBG?

As we mentioned, research on CBG is limited, and that extends to the side effects of this cannabinoid. 

That said, CBG is generally well tolerated and has a good safety profile. 

But, there are a few potential CBG side effects to be aware of. Some individuals may experience mild adverse effects such as drowsiness, dry mouth or changes in appetite.

If you experience any of these side effects, discontinue use immediately and consult a medical professional.

It’s also important to note that the safety of CBG also depends on factors such as the quality of the supplement, the dosage and individual health factors

How does CBG make you feel?

How will CBG make me feel? If you’re looking for a hard science answer here – unfortunately, there isn’t one. 

The information we have about CBG is purely anecdotal. Excuse the cynicism, but we’d advise you to tread carefully when learning about CBG effects from companies looking to make a profit from the cannabinoid. 

That being said, early studies have suggested that CBG might help to boost anandamide levels in the body. 

Cool! But rewind for a second… What is Anandamide?

Ok – this one’s a biggie. Anandamide, the so-called ‘bliss molecule’, is the cannabinoid that our bodies produce naturally. It is super important for our overall health and well-being as it plays a role in memory, appetite, sleep, and pain relief.

It’s also been found that anandamide is crucial in maintaining bodily homeostasis (it’s a pillar of the endocannabinoid system, after all!). 

It’s also strongly related to our mental health: as just one example, a 2015 study on humans and mice found that high levels of anandamide led to mood enhancement and fear reduction in both species.

It seems that by taking CBG alongside CBD (which helps inhibit anandamide’s breakdown), the anandamide levels in our body could be boosted further – sounds like a good thing in our book!

Women relaxing to illustrate how CBG make you feel
CBD makes you feel similar to CBG - calm and relaxed!

What are the differences between CBG and CBD?

Now we’ve covered the basics of CBG – it’s time to choose your fighter. Regarding CBG vs CBD, there are some clear differences:

  • The two cannabinoids are molecularly different and bind with the body’s cannabinoid receptors (CB1 and CB2) in different ways.
  • There’s more CBD in a cannabis or hemp plant than CBG, which usually only makes up around 1% of the plant volume. In contrast, a mature hemp or cannabis plant could contain as much as 25% CBD.
  • To extract higher levels of CBG from a commercial hemp plant, it must be harvested earlier. This means the plant is smaller and will produce less oil, making CBG products more expensive.
  • Scientists think CBG might be more effective when interacting with cannabinoid receptors in the brain, but a lot more research is needed before we can say for sure. 

Differences between CBG and CBD

Molecular structure

CBG and CBD have different molecular structures and interact differently with the ECS.


CBG is not widely available in the UK, but CBD can easily be found online and in-store.


Hemp strains often have lower levels of CBG, making it more expensive to produce.


CBG might be more effective than CBD when interacting with cannabinoid receptors.

Is CBG or CBD better?

Is CBG better than CBD? 

Well, in the fight between cannabinoids, we’re going to be boring and say… Both have our hearts. 

You can’t have CBD without CBG existing first. We’re creeping into chicken and egg territory here –  so when push comes to shove, we can’t really knock either of them.

However, there’s currently more information out there about CBD – the cannabinoid is better understood, cheaper to extract and more easily accessible. 

For these reasons, we’ll always bat first and foremost for our good friend CBD.

Can you take CBD and CBG together?

Ok, new concept alert! 

Introducing: the entourage effect. This is the name given to how cannabinoids, terpenes and flavonoids work together in the body. 

Specifically, the entourage effect is the idea that when we consume a blend of cannabinoids, the impact and benefits are exponentially multiplied – because different compounds in cannabis work synergistically to create uniquely beneficial effects.

If this theory is correct, those combining cannabinoids, including CBG and CBD, are on to a winner.

This is also why many CBD consumers consume broad-spectrum or full-spectrum CBD products instead of CBD isolate

But, as always, more research is needed to understand the relationship between CBG and CBG and how they work together.

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Is CBG for sale in the UK?

CBG isn’t widely available in the UK, but some retailers are starting to offer this compound. 

As with all cannabinoid products, checking the certificate of analysis before purchase is vital to ensure it does not contain THC.

Isolate CBG is also growing in popularity. If purchasing these products, don’t get caught up in the marketing hype. Any reports of CBG offering a superior experience to CBD are likely based on anecdotal evidence.

Isolate CBG is also growing in popularity. If purchasing these products, don’t get caught up in the marketing hype. Any reports of CBG offering a superior experience to CBD are likely to be based on anecdotal evidence.

Until there is more research on the impact of CBG on the human endocannabinoid system, choosing a CBG oil over CBD is based on little more than a hunch.

Final thoughts on CBG vs CBD

In the big showdown – CBG vs CBG – we’re biased, but we still have a favourite cannabinoid here at Evopure. But credit where it’s due, and we’ve got CBG to thank for the existence of CBD – as the mother of all cannabinoids, she’s sure to pack a punch. 

While CBG is becoming increasingly popular, the benefits, side effects, and potential risks of cannabinoid interaction with pharmaceutical medications are still relatively unknown. 

We’re looking forward to the inevitable increase in research on this powerful compound – but for now, we’re loyalists!