Cannabidiol (CBD) and Cannabigerol (CBG) are both non-intoxicating cannabinoids derived from hemp or cannabis. However, all cannabinoids for sale in the US must be derived from hemp, not cannabis.
In 1964, a team of Israeli chemists led by Raphael Mechoulam was the first to isolate and identify CBG. Most studies on CBG have explored its potential to encourage appetite, promote brain health, and relieve pain and inflammation.
CBD was isolated from hemp in 1940 by American chemist Roger Adams. Believing that the compound could offer certain health benefits, scientists began to study it more closely in the 1960s. It has mainly been evaluated for its potential as an anti-anxiety, anti-inflammation, and homeostatic compound.
All cannabinoids, including CBD and CBG, interact with the body via the endocannabinoid system (ECS), which plays a role in maintaining physiological homeostasis.
The ECS consists of three components:
- Endocannabinoids, which are the body’s own cannabinoids
- Endocannabinoid receptors, which receive “messages” from endocannabinoids (or phytocannabinoids such as CBD or CBG) and affect the necessary cells
- Enzymes, which break down the endocannabinoids and phytocannabinoids after they’ve done their job
Where do CBD and CBG come from?
Molecularly speaking, CBD and CBG are similar. Both are synthesized naturally within hemp plants from (CBGA) (cannabigerolic acid), which is abundant in young plants. As hemp plants grow, CBGA converts into CBDA (cannabidiolic acid) and THCA (tetrahydrocannabinolic acid).
Then, when CBDA and THCA are exposed to heat and light, they break down, in turn, into CBD and THC. Some of the plant’s CBGA will also break down directly into CBG, usually during the early stages of plant growth.
How do CBD and CBG compare on price?
As you may have noticed, there are usually fewer CBG than CBD products for sale in stores and online. CBG is also usually more expensive, leading some to dub it the “Rolls Royce of cannabinoids.”
One reason for this is because hemp typically contains less CBG than CBD, which means more plants are required to yield the same amount of CBG. However, this may change over time since growers are learning how to cultivate high-CBG yield plants.
What are the similarities between CBD and CBG?
CBD and CBG are both non-intoxicating and well-tolerated by humans. CBD and CBG are also both federally legal, although some states have decided to impose their own regulations on certain hemp and cannabis products.
The 2018 Farm Bill made it legal, however, to sell hemp and hemp-derived products in the US, so CBD and CBG are usually available at most places where CBD and other hemp products are sold.
Is it ok to use CBD and CBG at the same time?
In a word, yes. In fact, if you’ve used full- or broad-spectrum CBD, you’ve probably already ingested small amounts of CBG. This is because full- or broad-spectrum CBD products contain small amounts of the other cannabinoids found in hemp, including CBG.
Should I use CBD or CBG?
There’s no right answer, but it might be helpful to make a note of how you feel when you use CBD and/or CBG. You might discover that you prefer one over the other, or you may find that a combination product works best for you.
Written by Sian Ferguson
Sian Ferguson is a health writer based in Cape Town, South Africa. Her work covers issues related to CBD, medical cannabis, and mental health. Her work is featured in online and print publications such as Healthline, HealthyWay, and Greatist.