What Is CBG vs. CBD? A Comprehensive Guide

Table of Cannabinoids

The world of cannabinoid products has exploded in recent years. As a result, there are now seemingly dozens of three or four-letter abbreviations flying around dispensaries, online shops, and discussion circles alike.

It can be almost dizzying to understand all the various cannabinoids, their unique characteristics, and the benefits they offer. It’s also easy to confuse them with one another on occasion.

Plus, there are several cannabinoids with names and abbreviations remarkably similar, such as CBD, CBG, CBC, and CBN. Each of these compounds is unique and worth mentioning, but we wouldn’t blame you for having a little trouble discerning one from the other without a bit of a crash course on what separates them.

We’ve created this comprehensive guide to provide a basic understanding of hemp/CBD terminology. We will keep it simple by sticking with just two cannabinoids this time — CBG and CBD. By the end of this, you’ll know the answers to various vital questions like “What is CBG vs. CBD?”, “What does CBG stand for?”, “What is CBG good for?” and many more.

Table of Cannabinoids

What Is CBG vs. CBD?

If you’re familiar with cannabinoids, odds are you’ve heard a bit about CBD before. It’s perhaps the most well-known cannabinoid on the planet at this point, or at least in the top two. However, there’s a lot to know about this fantastic chemical compound and many other cannabinoids you may have never heard of, including CBG.

What Is CBG?

You may have heard the term “CBG” referring to things like “Car Buyer’s Guide,” but what is CBG in weed terms?

CBG, or cannabigerol, is one of the over 100 chemical compounds in the hemp and cannabis plants known as cannabinoids.

Cannabinoids interact with our endocannabinoid systems to potentially provide many beneficial effects. Some of those effects may include relief of discomfort, boosting mood, relaxation, and more.

When thinking about what is CBG vs. CBD, remember that CBG is only present in cannabis and hemp in small amounts. That’s why it’s classified as a “minor cannabinoid.” However, it is the precursor to all of the essential cannabinoids, including CBD and THC, which is why it has been given the nickname “the mother of all cannabinoids.”

Extracting CBG involves dissolving hemp in a solvent that evaporates, leaving behind a concentrated amount of pure CBG. That extract can be used to create an array of CBG-infused products.

What Is CBD?

CBD, or cannabidiol, is another cannabinoid found in hemp and cannabis. However, unlike CBG, CBD is abundant throughout these plants, making it a “major cannabinoid.” CBD has earned widespread renown over the past few years for its impressive list of reported therapeutic benefits, including discomfort relief, mood boost, relaxation, help with sleep issues, help with stomach issues, and much more.

One of CBD’s most prominent features is its non-psychoactive, meaning it has no intoxicating effects. That is important to note due to CBD’s connection to cannabis and THC, the psychoactive cannabinoid most responsible for the “high” cannabis provides.

In recent years, researchers have been looking into the seemingly endless amount of anecdotal evidence regarding CBD’s potential medicinal benefits. While some results have been inconclusive, and there’s much more work to do, several CBD studies have returned encouraging results.

Those results created a boom in CBD products and, more recently, another wave in products containing all kinds of cannabinoids, such as CBG.

The Key Differences Between CBD and CBG

They may sound similar, and that’s because they are, but there is more than one difference between CBD and CBG that is worth noting. You will no doubt want to know what these differences are before making any CBD or CBG purchases, so check them out below.

Major vs. Minor Cannabinoid

CBD is one of the most abundant cannabinoids in cannabis and hemp, which makes it a major cannabinoid. CBG is present in far smaller amounts, making it a minor cannabinoid.

The most significant difference this makes as far as cannabinoid consumers are concerned is in the way the hemp plant is harvested to extract each cannabinoid and the process of extraction itself.

Interaction With Endocannabinoid System

Your body’s endocannabinoid system is connected to a vast array of both brain and body functions, including learning, memory, growth, development, emotional processing, metabolism, eating, temperature control, inflammatory response, pain control, and more. It’s easy to imagine why something like a cannabinoid, which interacts with your endocannabinoid system, might be able to provide all kinds of therapeutic benefits.

How each cannabinoid interacts with our bodies can vary widely, which is true of both CBD and CBG. For instance, while CBD does not typically bind to specific endocannabinoid receptors, CBG is more capable of doing so. The result is an array of potential therapeutic benefits that can be enjoyed by taking either.

Effects and Benefits

While there is plenty of crossover in terms of CBD and CBG benefits, there are certain effects that one cannabinoid is better suited to than the other. For instance, the very first FDA-approved CBD product was designed to reduce seizures for sufferers of certain conditions, while no such medication using CBG exists.

CBG, on the other hand, might be the better option for addressing a lack of appetite. Alternately, you would likely want to lean toward CBD rather than CBG if you were trying to address sleep issues.

Comparing CBD vs. CBG Effects

To give you an even clearer picture of the effects of both CBD and CBG, take a look at these detailed lists of impact for each. However, remember that while some of these effects are based on scientific research, many others are based on anecdotal evidence. CBD research is still in its infancy, but research into CBG has been minimal thus far.

CBD Effects

CBD is non-psychoactive, so it won’t get you high. The cannabinoid can also potentially benefit your mental and physical health. So what exactly is the experience of taking CBD like?


One of the most commonly reported effects of CBD is one of deep relaxation and calm. It’s believed that this is related to the cannabinoid’s interaction with the brain’s CB1 receptors and its stimulation of the emotional processing sections of the brain.

Discomfort Relief

CBD may address physical discomfort, including aches, stiffness, soreness, and more. Studies have shown that CBD can help the body respond to inflammation, and inflammation is a critical element of various forms of physical discomfort, as well as a contributor to a vast array of medical conditions.

Appetite Reduction

While cannabis is notorious for inspiring a decadent appetite, CBD has been found in various studies to suppress the appetite.

CBG Effects

So what does CBG do? There is an array of reported effects of this cannabinoid, and researchers believe it may have even more to offer. Still, it’s important to note that studies into CBG are pretty minimal thus far. However, from what we do know, it suggests that CBG can have several specific effects. Some are similar to CBD, and others are the opposite.


It’s believed that CBG may interact with the brain receptors responsible for the fight or flight response, which can be a source of tension and unease. Managing these receptors can potentially provide a sense of relaxation and calm.

Increased Alertness

Many users report increased alertness with CBG. One potential explanation is that reducing stress may decrease extraneous mental noise, allowing you to remain calm and focused.

Appetite Stimulation

CBG research is still minimal, and yet, there are still some positive results coming from the little research that has been conducted. One study found that CBG stimulated the appetites of already-satiated rats, meaning it has the potential to inspire a healthy desire in humans, too.

Reduction of Eye Pressure

It’s believed that CBG may aid in reducing the intraocular pressure that can result in glaucoma. Studies have shown that this and other cannabinoids may be an effective aid in treating the condition.

Comparing CBD vs. CBG Benefits

While these two cannabinoids definitely have a lot in common, there are certain times when you’ll want to opt for one or the other, depending on what kind of therapeutic benefit you’re looking for.

Potential Therapeutic Benefits of CBD

CBD may be the better option between the two if you are looking to treat several specific conditions.


Studies show that CBD has potentially anti-inflammatory and antioxidative properties, which could be beneficial in various ways, including treating various forms of physical discomfort.

Sleep Issues

The relaxing properties of CBD can be conducive to helping you get a good night’s rest. Multiple studies seem to support this hypothesis, including one from 2019 that found CBD was able to reduce tension in nearly 80% of patients and improve sleep in 66.7% of them.


Perhaps the most scientifically backed therapeutic application of CBD is the treatment of seizure-causing conditions. The first FDA-approved CBD medication is designed for exactly this, and various studies demonstrate the cannabinoid’s ability to help reduce seizures.

Potential Therapeutic Benefits of CBG

CBG may be the better option between the two if you’re looking to treat certain other conditions.

Lack of Focus

There are many reasons you may need to increase your alertness and focus, and CBG can help you do it. A 2021 study found that over 70% of participants saw increased energy, clarity, and alertness when taking CBG.


The reduction of intraocular pressure that CBG and other cannabinoids have been observed to provide may make it useful as an all-natural treatment for glaucoma, a disease that affects the optic nerve and can damage vision.

Lack of Appetite

If, for whatever reason, you need to regulate your appetite to ensure you are getting all of the nutrition you need, CBG can potentially help you do it. The cannabinoid may stimulate your appetite and help you create healthier eating patterns.

What Is CBG vs. CBD’s Legal Status?

It may be hard to believe for those who experienced the strictly enforced prohibition of cannabis and hemp that took place over the last 50-60 years. Still, both CBG and CBD products are, in fact, federally legal, provided they’re sourced from hemp and contain less than .3% Delta-9 THC.

The legality of all these newly-harnessed cannabinoids is an exciting topic. For the last several decades, they have been unequivocally illegal on both the federal and state level. However, the tides have turned significantly in recent years, which is why we’re seeing this incredible boom in cannabinoid research and products.

It was initiated by the 2018 Farm Bill, which legalized hemp cultivation on the federal level. The legalization of hemp meant that, by extension, the chemical compounds present in the hemp plant were now legal, too, and so began the rise of things like CBD, CBG, Delta-8 THC, and more.

Remember, though, that legislation regarding these products varies from state to state and is subject to change. Keep an eye on what your local jurisdiction says about CBG and CBD to ensure you’re not breaking any laws.

Explore CBD and CBG With The Hemp Doctor

CBD (cannabidiol) and CBG (cannabigerol) are non-psychoactive compounds in the cannabis plant. Both offer potential health benefits, such as discomfort relief, tension reduction, and anti-inflammatory effects.

CBD is more widely studied and recognized for its calming properties. CBG, less abundant but gaining attention, may have unique benefits, including potential antibacterial and neuroprotective effects. Research on both continues for a more precise understanding of the effects on the body.

If you are ready to explore the potential therapeutic benefits of CBD, CBG, and more, explore The Hemp Doctor’s selectiontoday. Whether you’re looking for Delta-8 vapes or CBD carts, we have you covered.

We offer a full range of hemp/CBD products to help you explore the benefits of your health and wellness journey. We bring our industry expertise to everything we do, and our trained staff is always happy to answer any questions or concerns you may have. Our products are safe, natural, and effective, the perfect complement to a healthy lifestyle.