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CBD vs CBG: What Are the Differences?


There are more than 500 compounds in the leaves, stems, flowers and seeds of the cannabis plant. Since the legalization of hemp, our understanding of the properties of marijuana has flourished. Cannabinoids are bursting onto the scene as some of the most potent wellness tools available. You can reap the benefits of CBD and CBG without experiencing any of the psychoactive effects associated with high levels of THC. 

CBD is the main non-psychoactive compound found within the cannabis plant — and the public is hailing it as the best natural remedy for stress and pain. It's lesser-known cousin, CBG, is gaining traction as a remarkable supplementary treatment for a variety of ailments, too. Read on to discover how CBG and CBD differ and find out what you need to know about cannabinoids.  

Everything You Need to Know About Cannabidiol

Sometimes people are wary of CBD because they worry that it might get them high. This is almost impossible because isolated CBD is a non-psychoactive substance. When the THC levels in CBD oil are less than around 4%, you won't experience the mental effects associated with weed. If you suffer from chronic pain, anxiety, inflammation, depression or a variety of other conditions, CBD could be precisely what you need.     


Cannabinoids produced by your own body are called endocannabinoids. The endocannabinoid system is complex, and it exists in your body even if you've never used marijuana. While scientists don't fully understand the function of the ECS, it's thought to be crucial to homeostasis — regulating your central nervous system and immune system. For example, if you catch a fever, your ECS kicks in to regulate your temperature and help to return your body to full power. It's linked to the following functions:

  • Skin and nerve function

  • Stress

  • Reproductive system function

  • Liver function

  • Muscle formation

  • Bone growth

  • Motor control 

  • Sleep

  • Mood

  • Memory and learning 

  • Inflammation

  • Metabolism

  • Chronic pain

  • Gut health

  • Appetite

While you won't get stoned from taking cannabidiol, it's thought to function around the same receptors as THC. However, CBD interacts differently with the CB1 and CB2 receptors compared to THC and other cannabinoids. Studies suggest it encourages your body's naturally occurring endocannabinoids to activate or block the CB receptors instead of binding to them. 

Potential Benefits of CBD

Consumers are praising CBD because it's a safe and natural product with a wide variety of health benefits, and seemingly no side effects. Some of the potential uses for cannabidiol include:

  • Heart health

  • Neuroprotective

  • Acne

  • Relief from cancer-related symptoms

  • Pain Relief

  • Depression

  • Anxiety

  • Anti-inflammatory 

All About Cannabigerol

The main question on people's lips right now is, what is CBG? There's a low rumble about how effective it can be in certain situations, but it's only been available to the general public for a short time. This is mainly because it's much more challenging to grow and extract. CBG is nicknamed the mother of all cannabinoids because it's the precursor to THC, CBD and CBC. 

Unlike CBD, which influences the endocannabinoid system instead of directly binding to the CB receptors, CBG directly interacts with them. Whereas THC stimulates these receptors and makes the user high, CBG can combat the adverse effects associated with a cannabis high, such as paranoia. 

Science is just starting to emerge about CBG, and what we've seen so far is impressive.  

Potential Benefits of CBG

Some of the health benefits CBG growers and enthusiasts are talking about include:

  • Killing bacteria that are resistant to drugs

  • Preventing tumors from growing

  • Fighting Huntingdon's disease

  • Reducing inflammation

  • Treating glaucoma

  • Neuroprotective effects

What Are the Main Differences Between CBD and CBG?

The critical difference between CBD and CBG is that the former interacts with the endocannabinoid system while the latter directly binds to the CB receptors. 

Both show anti-inflammatory properties and the ability to treat glaucoma and tumor growth, in addition to a range of neuroprotective benefits. CBG appears to be more of an antibacterial compound, plus it's shown promise in treating colon cancer. CBD, on the other hand, seems to be an excellent treatment for acne, anxiety and depression

Why Isn't CBG As Popular as CBD?

Along with CBD and CBC, CBG is one of the only cannabinoids which has health benefits without the intoxication. As such, you're probably wondering why this intriguing compound isn't in every shop window in town. The answer is simple: CBG is just not as easy to produce as CBD. Don't worry, though, as tech develops; production is getting easier. Soon CBG will be just as huge as CBD.  

As one of the most expensive cannabinoids to extract and produce, cannabigerol is highly sought-after. There are only tiny percentages of CBG present in mature cannabis plants, so production requires thousands of pounds of biomass. Some hemp plants contain up to 30% CBD, but the amount of CBG might be less than 1%.

Growers are in a quandary because they also have the option to cultivate plants while they're young, and the CBGV hasn't yet converted. However, this would mean producing entire crops for CBG production alone, which might not be a viable business plan.   

Other Cannabinoids in the Cannabis Plant

Each cannabinoid interacts differently with your naturally-occurring endocannabinoid system. Some bind exclusively to either CB1 or CB2, while others stimulate the system indirectly. There are at least 113 cannabinoids found in marijuana in varying levels. The effect they have depends on many factors, including the strain, quantity and quality of your CBG or CBD extract.

Some of the most common cannabinoids are THCA, THC, CBDA, CBD, CBG, CBC, THCV and CBDV. Let's go into a little more detail about the others.  

Tetrahydrocannabinolic Acid

THCA is the primary component of cannabis. When it's exposed to certain temperatures, it turns into THC. It's one of the main compounds that lead to marijuana's anti-inflammatory effects. It can also be an antispasmodic and an antiproliferative. 

Tetrahydrocannabinol AKA THC

THC is the main ingredient of marijuana. It's the most well-known cannabinoid, and we associate it with the psychoactive high experienced when smoking weed. It stimulates the CB1 and CB2 receptors, leading to antioxidant and analgesic effects.  

Cannabidiolic Acid 

CBDA is the precursor to CBD. If a grower has cultivated a plant specifically for CBD production, CBDA will be the most abundant compound in the plant. It's believed to play a vital role in the anti-inflammatory effects of hemp and cannabis. 


CBN is one of the psychoactive components of cannabis. Although its effects are mild and it only occurs in low doses because it's a residual compound formed from degraded THC. It's a weak agonist of both CB receptors, with a more definite propensity for CB2. 


THCV is considered a minor cannabinoid, and it isn't found in every cannabis strain. There's just a subtle molecular difference between the THCV and THC, but the effects are distinct. One notable variation is that THCV is an appetite suppressant. It's also thought to reduce panic attacks and stimulate bone growth. THCV blocks CB1 receptors and partially binds to CB2. 


CBDV is distinct from CBD in the same way that THCV and THC are different. Research is still ongoing, but early studies show it could be an effective treatment for epilepsy. This is because it modulates gene expression and stimulates TRPV1 receptors. 


CBC seems to only occur in more tropical smelling and tasting strains of hemp and marijuana. It's thought to inhibit cell growth in cancer cells, promote bone growth, reduce inflammation and relieve pain. The mechanism behind CBC activity isn't fully understood, but it doesn't seem to be related to the CB receptors. 

Are There Any More Compounds in Marijuana?

It's thought that there are around 500 compounds present in the cannabis plant. The more work scientists do to undercover the benefits of cannabinoids, terpenes, flavonoids and fatty acids in hemp, the more it seems like a biohacking miracle.  

Fatty Acids

There are around 33 fatty acids in CBD oil, most of which are unsaturated. These help you to build healthy cells, regulate hormones, keep your skin and hair healthy and contribute to heart health.  



There are more than 200 terpenes found in the cannabis plant. They occur in varying quantities across the spectrum of marijuana and hemp strains. These essential oils are responsible for the particular aromas associated with each strain, and terpenes also boast some impressive health benefits


Flavonoids are naturally occurring super-compounds. They're believed to take a protective effect on the brain because they reduce oxidative stress. It's also thought that they can help to prevent stroke, heart attacks, cancer and asthma.  

Harness the Power of CBD and CBG Today

Cannabinoids and the various compounds in the hemp plant exist to protect the plant from UV rays and keep it healthy. When you supplement a healthy lifestyle with CBD or CBG, some people say they capitalize on these powerful effects. Check out the range of products available at NothingButHemp.

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