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Have you been wondering about the benefits of CBD vs. CBG products? You’re not alone.

Since Congress passed the 2018 Farm Bill, the public has become aware that there are many more cannabinoids beyond THC. A recent Gallup poll found that 64% of US adults were familiar with cannabidiol (CBD), and one-third of US citizens have tried CBD, according to a 2020 Single Care Survey.

Now, consumers are beginning to discover other cannabinoids, including cannabigerol (CBG). Because of the similarities between the two compounds, dispensary customers often ask, “Which would be better for me, CBD or CBG?” 

This article will give you a brief explanation of the similarities and differences between the two compounds so that you can talk to your doctor about whether CBD or CBG can help.

CBD vs. CBG Explained

Scientists consider CBG the “Mother of All Cannabinoids” since the acidic form (CBGA) is the precursor for many other cannabis compounds, including CBD, THC, and CBC. However, most researchers classify CBG as a minor cannabinoid, while CBD is considered a major cannabinoid. The reasoning is that typical hemp buds contain high CBD levels and only trace amounts of CBG. 

Up until relatively recently, CBG was available exclusively in expensive oils and other extracts. CBG occurred in such tiny quantities in hemp that the compound earned another nickname, “the Rolls Royce of Cannabinoids.” These days, growers have introduced high-CBG hemp strains developed through selective breeding and innovative harvesting methods. As a result, today’s consumers have access to a wide range of CBG products at fairly reasonable prices.

CBD vs. CBG: Effects and Benefits

Both CBD and CBG are non-intoxicating and reduce the psychoactive effects of THC. When you buy federally legal CBD or CBG products, they’ll contain less than .3% THC, which isn’t enough to provoke the “high” associated with typical cannabis. CBD and CBG also produce many of the same effects, such as reducing inflammation and promoting relaxation. Additionally, both compounds are potent antioxidants, neuroprotectants, and antitumor agents.

However, CBD and CBG have a few essential differences that may make one better than the other for specific conditions. CBD interacts mostly indirectly with the endocannabinoid system, while CBG directly stimulates both CB1 and CB2 receptors. These differences give the two compounds slightly diverse therapeutic benefits.

For example, CBG helps reduce intraocular pressure like traditional high-THC cannabis does. CBD, on the other hand, seems to raise intraocular pressure. So, you would probably be better off relaxing and easing body aches with CBG products if you have glaucoma. CBG also offers a non-intoxicating and federally legal alternative to medical marijuana for glaucoma patients.

Another unique quality of CBG is the compound’s potent ability to combat antibiotic-resistant bacteria, such as methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA), a common pathogen found in health care facilities.

Additionally, preliminary research has shown CBG’s potential for treating spastic bladder disorders. An Italian animal study found that CBG significantly reduced acetylcholine-induced bladder contractions. Researchers repeated the experiment with human subjects and achieved the same results.