Over the last few years, CBD (cannabidiol) has become a darling of the natural health world. And with minimal side effects, no addictive potential, and a long list of health benefits, it’s not hard to see why this cannabis extract has become almost as famous as its cousin, THC.

But you might be surprised to learn that CBD and THC are not the only cannabinoids out there. As CBD’s popularity grows, interest in cannabinoids has ignited, setting the stage for researchers to explore the therapeutic potential of other cannabis compounds.

One cannabinoid that’s attracting a lot of interest is CBG (cannabigerol). It seems to have plenty of health benefits to offer, but how does it stack up against CBD? In this article, we’ll compare these two potent cannabinoids and cover everything you need to know.

A PRIMER ON CANNABINOIDS

Cannabinoids seem almost too good to be true. After all, cannabis, and specifically CBD, has been praised for its ability to relieve pain, reduce seizures, lower anxiety, improve sleep, and more. But there’s actually a simple explanation for why cannabis has so many potential health benefits: the endocannabinoid system.

We wanted to compare CBD vs. CBG to help people understand how these two potent cannabinoids are similar, yet different. Photo: Two people in warm clothes share mugs of tea, while a teapot and a bottle of Every Day Optimal rests nearby.

We wanted to compare CBD vs. CBG to help people understand how these two potent cannabinoids are similar, yet different. (Photo: Every Day Optimal)

The endocannabinoid system refers to receptors found throughout the body, and these receptors help regulate physiological processes such as pain, mood, sleep, digestion, and more. Cannabinoids like CBD, THC, and CBG bind to these receptors, interacting with these different areas of human health.

Hemp is the best source for CBD, as it contains much higher concentrations than psychoactive cannabis (“marijuana”) (though this can vary by strain). On the other hand, you’ll find only trace amounts (1 percent or less) of CBG in the cannabis plant, although hemp strains can be cultivated to be higher in CBG. Young cannabis plants tend to be higher in CBG than mature plants, because CBG breaks down into other cannabinoids — including CBD and THC — as the plant ages.

COMPARING THE BENEFITS OF CBG AND CBD

Both CBD and CBG are non-psychoactive, meaning they won’t get you high. They’re both all-natural, have minimal or no side effects, and offer a wide range of health benefits.

Like CBD, the benefits of CBG are vast due to its interaction with the endocannabinoid system. For example, a 2015 study found CBG potentially effective at treating bladder dysfunction, while a 1990 study found that CBG can lower glaucoma-related pressure. CBG also has neuroprotective properties, may protect against colon cancer, and shows promise as a treatment for irritable bowel disease (IBD). It’s also an appetite stimulant with anti-inflammatory benefits and antibacterial properties.

Some of these benefits overlap with those of CBD, which has also been used to reduce pressure from glaucoma and reduce tumor growth. Like CBG, CBD shows neuroprotective and anti-inflammatory benefits; it has even been used for spot treatment of acne. CBD is also proven to be an effective anxiety reliever, with multiple studies supporting its potential for treating obsessive-compulsive disorder, generalized anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder, and social anxiety disorder. Perhaps most famously, CBD also can reduce epileptic seizures and alleviate pain associated with fibromyalgia, arthritis, migraine, irritable bowel syndrome, and more.

An infographic comparing CBD vs. CBG: while both are non-psychoactive, their health benefits differ.

An infographic comparing CBD vs. CBG: while both are non-psychoactive, their health benefits differ.

Though the effects of CBD and CBG when combined haven’t been studied, we do know that combining different cannabinoids results in what’s called the entourage effect. This means that each cannabinoid’s effects are enhanced when they’re combined. This effect has been well-studied relating to the relationship between CBD and THC; for example, both CBD and THC are more effective at reducing pain when taken together.

It’s possible that the benefits shared by CBD and CBG — like those for glaucoma, cancer, and inflammation — may also be enhanced when these two cannabinoids are combined, but further research is needed on the subject.

WHAT TYPE OF CBD OIL CONTAINS CBG?

If you’re looking to get the most out of your cannabinoids, and/or take multiple cannabinoids at once to experience the entourage effect, look for full spectrum CBD oil products. This type of CBD oil contains all the cannabinoids and terpenes that were extracted from the cannabis plant, including THC, CBD, CBG, and many others.

The downside of full spectrum products is that the ratios and percentages of each cannabinoid can vary widely based on the strain of cannabis the oil was made from. This makes it harder to control what kind of response you’ll have; you may find yourself reacting differently based on the batch, type, or brand of CBD oil due to these variances. It’s also important to keep in mind that full spectrum CBD oils contain traces of THC, and while it’s not enough to get you high, it may be enough to show up on a drug test.

On the other hand, if you’re looking to experience pure CBD without additional cannabinoids and terpenes, or you need to avoid THC due to sensitivities or drug testing, you’ll want to look for either isolate CBD products or broad spectrum CBD. Broad spectrum is similar to full spectrum in that it contains other cannabinoids and terpenes, but it’s processed to remove all traces of THC. Isolate CBD oil, meanwhile, is processed to remove all cannabinoids and terpenes aside from CBD, leaving you with a pure CBD product.

CLOSING THOUGHTS ON CBD VS. CBG

As our knowledge of cannabinoids continues to grow, so will our understanding of their uses and benefits. Although CBD is certainly the front runner, CBG shows a lot of promising uses. At Every Day Optimal we believe that CBG will have a big future in years to come and are looking forward to learning more about this amazon cannabinoid.

Questions? Be sure to reach out!