CBD vs CBG Oil: What Are The Differences?

by PP Health Admin / Aug 29, 2021

The popularity of CBD has grown exponentially over the last few years, but did you know there are over one hundred cannabinoids (cannabis compounds) present in the hemp plant? CBG is one of them. But what is the difference between CBD and CBG oil?

Although CBD (cannabidiol) is the most prevalent cannabinoid, many other potentially beneficial compounds are available. When you buy full-spectrum CBD oil, you may think you are simply consuming CBD; however, many natural cannabinoids, vitamins, terpenes, and flavonoids are present. One of the other cannabinoids is CBG (cannabigerol). Like CBD, CBG is a naturally occurring chemical compound that originates from the cannabis plant. However, unlike THC (tetrahydrocannabinol), these cannabinoids are non-psychoactive, meaning they don’t have any intoxicating effects.

Here at PP Health, we believe in making the most of the botanical resources found within the hemp plant. Therefore, we use full-spectrum hemp extract, which is laboratory tested and free from nasty pesticides and herbicides.

What is CBG?

So you have heard of CBD, but how is CBG different? CBG is considered the ‘mother’ of all cannabinoids. Before the hemp plant matures, there is CBGA (an acidic form of CBG) present. As the plant develops and is exposed to heat and light, CBGA converts into other, more abundant cannabinoids, such as CBD and THC.

As CBG is the precursor of all other cannabinoids, there is a lower percentage of CBG molecules in fully matured cannabis plants. For example, there may be up to 25% of CBD in a hemp plant compared to a mere 1% of CBG. Consequently, pure CBG oils are often expensive and hard to come by.

Will CBG Get You High?

CBG oil will not cause a high. Cannabinoids such as CBD and CBG are non-psychoactive, so they are generally safe to use when driving and operating machinery.

THC is the compound that may cause some intoxicating effects when consumed in excessive quantities - giving cannabis its broader reputation. Although medical professionals occasionally use THC for specific medicinal purposes, the legality is strict and different in every country. Rest assured, premium CBG and CBD oil manufacturers will remove any excess THC from their final products. In line with UK regulations, there will only be legal trace amounts of up to 0.2%, which is not enough to cause any psychoactive side effects.

Cannabinoids and the Body

You may be wondering how CBD and CBG actually interact with the body to bring about their potential benefits. Firstly, it’s important to understand that cannabidiol and cannabigerol may interact with the body in different ways.

Research suggests that CBD oil may possibly interact with the endocannabinoid system (ECS) - a signalling network that facilitates communication among cells. The human body already creates endocannabinoids such as anandamide and 2-AG to regulate this system, but you can also experiment with supplementing these through phytocannabinoids, such as CBD! The endocannabinoid system weaves its way through the immune, digestive, and nervous systems; therefore, each network depends on the ECS for optimal function. However, the endocannabinoid system also regulates sleep, mood, appetite, pain perception, and more. Therefore, when ingested, CBD may potentially impact the endocannabinoid system, indirectly affecting the rest of the body.

Although more research is needed on CBG, one study published in 2018 suggested that there might possibly be some ‘therapeutic potential’ when CBG interacts with the cannabinoid receptors in our bodies. The current research is showing that cannabigerol might interact directly with the CB1 and CB2 receptors. In comparison, by interacting with the endocannabinoid system, CBD may indirectly affect the natural abilities of these receptors.

CBD vs CBG Oil: The Potential Benefits

Although cannabigerol is a newly researched compound, CBG might potentially impact our sense of wellbeing in some intriguing ways:

Possible Antibacterial Properties - Interestingly, recent studies have suggested that cannabigerol may have some purported antibacterial properties. Researchers at McMasters University conducted a study where they gave CBG to mice who had an MRSA infection. MRSA is a resistant form of bacteria known as methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus. The researchers suggested that CBG may have potentially helped to limit the ability of MRSA and the formation of biofilms (microorganisms that bind to each other and surrounding surfaces). Whatsmore, by purportedly targeting the bacterial membranes, CBG may have impacted pre-existing biofilms and cells that were resistant to antibiotics. An additional study reiterated these possibilities, outlining that the major cannabinoids, including cannabigerol, may offer some potential antibacterial effects. It is clear that further research and development is needed, but as this 2020 review suggests, cannabinoids may one day be a “potential new source of antibiotics”.

CBG and Symptoms of Digestive Discomfort - IBD is an incurable condition that involves inflammation of the gut. There are two known types of IBD; Ulcerative colitis (which affects the large intestine) and Crohn's disease (which can affect the full extent of the digestive system). Some scientists are exploring whether cannabigerol may potentially affect some of the symptoms associated with digestion. CBD may even have the potential to impact some natural signs of inflammation within the immune response. A study published in 2013 found that CBG may have possibly influenced colon weight and length in mice. Unfortunately, further human studies are needed at this stage. However, CBG might just be an intriguing way to supplement some signs of digestive discomfort.

Woman in the park on a sunny day preparing to take CBD oil

Possible Neuroprotective Properties - There are many neurodegenerative diseases that can affect the brain and its ability to function. Over time, parts of the brain may even stop working, causing mood swings, difficulty swallowing, moving, and breathing. Huntington's Disease (HD) is a relatively rare and currently incurable disorder. Treatment often involves managing the symptoms that come along with it. A 2015 study on mice explored how CBG may have some potential neuroprotective properties, meaning it may have the ability to protect some nerve cells from harm (at least in the context of this animal study). Whatsmore, the research suggests that CBG may show potential for impacting symptoms of other wellness challenges too. Furthermore, one of the accompanying symptoms of HD is depression. As we’ll review in a moment, CBG may possibly affect some signs of anxiety and depression due to its interaction with the cannabinoid receptors.

CBG and Signs of Occular Pressure - Glaucoma is a common eye condition where the optic nerve becomes damaged, which can sometimes cause sight loss. Glaucoma occurs when fluid builds up, causing pressure to increase inside the eye. Multiple studies have suggested that cannabinoids like CBG may potentially help to reduce some signs of discomfort in the eyes. An animal study published in 2009 indicated that CBG might possibly be beneficial for managing some Glaucoma symptoms (after administering it to cats with the eye condition). The researchers noted a reduction in eye pressure and an increase in aqueous humour outflow. Since the lens and cornea have no blood supply, the flow of aqueous humour is vital for symptoms of glaucoma. CBG may potentially impact some of the natural processes that deliver nutrients around the eye structure and affect the pressure within the eye.

CBG and Cell Growth - New research is suggesting that cannabinoids may potentially be able to impact some cell structures. Research on rats with colon damage questioned whether CBG might have impacted cell growth and affected the progression of some uncomfortable symptoms. As CBG is in relatively short supply, there is more research on how other cannabinoids, such as CBD, may impact our cells. In the future, we should have more insights to unpack and explore.

CBG and Bladder Discomforts - In a 2015 review, researchers studied five cannabinoids for their potential effects on bladder contractions. They suggested that CBG showed the most promise, and unlike the others, it may have even helped to reduce symptoms of acetylcholine-induced contractions. These findings contemplate CBG's possible ability to impact the neurotransmitter acetylcholine - a substance that tends to trigger bladder contractions (especially due to an overactive bladder). Such contractions can trigger the need to urinate even when your bladder isn’t full.

As the above section outlines, human trials exploring CBG and its possible therapeutic potential are quite scarce. However, the current animal studies are fascinating and highlight the need to make future research a priority.

How Do the Potential Benefits of CBD Compare to CBG oil?

In comparison to CBG, the potential benefits of cannabidiol have far more research. In combination with the endocannabinoid system, researchers have more theories as to how CBD may be helpful.

CBD and Appetite

A common query in the cannabis industry is how CBD affects appetite. Appetite varies from its close relative hunger. Rather than needing to eat for energy, appetite is the desire to eat and the preferences you have regarding what foods you like. People attribute cannabis to promoting hunger, which may be due to excess amounts of THC overriding the signals in the brain that tell us we are full. But is it the same for CBD?

Interestingly, CBD may potentially influence us indirectly by affecting some of the processes that take place within the endocannabinoid system. Although this system deals with mood and appetite, there is still a query about whether CBD might help to increase or decrease appetite. It seems, on the one hand, CBD may possibly interact with serotonin receptors. As studies suggest, it might just lead to feelings of hunger by potentially reducing some signs of nausea and symptoms of an upset stomach. In comparison, it may also have the potential to indirectly reduce signs of an overactive appetite (due to anecdotes from people who suggest that CBD oil may help them to unwind). Therefore, if emotional distress, psychological or environmental factors are causing an increased appetite, CBD may possibly help within a broader appetite control strategy by impacting your sense of relaxation. In all, appetite is complex. Beyond any potential effects that CBD may offer, it may also come down to lifestyle choices and environmental factors.

Trouble Sleeping: Can CBD Help?

With a lack of sleep lowering the immune system, increasing the risk of health disorders and affecting memory, it’s no wonder so many people are experimenting with CBD in a bid to explore its potential sleep benefits. Cannabidiol purportedly impacts the whole sleep cycle and might just help you fall asleep faster and improve the overall quality of your rest. For people who have insomnia, the third stage of sleep is arguably the most important. CBD may possibly interact with the natural patterns in the endocannabinoid system to affect the sleep cycle. It might potentially impact the all-important third stage and help to reduce the length of REM sleep. New research shows a link between a shorter period of REM sleep and a reduction in some depression symptoms.

Some CBD users have anecdotally reported feeling less tired during the day and finding themselves able to relax more. Consequently, as well as affecting your sense of sleep satisfaction, cannabidiol might have the potential to influence your self-perceived energy levels throughout the day.

Memory-Related Symptoms

Having a healthy, strong memory may be overlooked; however, your daily life becomes a challenge without it. You lose the ability to retain new skills and basic functioning. Thankfully, further research is emerging that suggests CBD may possibly affect some symptoms of dementia. As CBD is a potential antioxidant, it may help to impact some of the problems that can come from oxidative stress. CBD may also affect some signs of inflammation and oxygen build-up. It may even help to increase some of the natural proteins in the brain that influence memory and function.

One medical review looked at the potential benefits of CBD for some Alzheimer’s Disease symptoms; a study by Time Karl and Carl Group suggested that CBD may possibly impact the natural growth of brain cells - which could possibly impact the decline of memory and other symptoms. Finally, cannabidiol may even help to decrease some stress and anxiety symptoms.

CBD and Pain Symptoms

Cannabidiol may interact with the central nervous system and have a potentially calming effect on the body. When we feel at ease, our muscles relax, and some signs of pain may also be influenced. Muscle relaxation also helps to relieve headaches and migraines. Moreover, scientists are saying a decrease in serotonin in the brain may cause different types of headaches. Although they don't know why this is happening, CBD might possibly have an indirect effect on our serotonin levels. Lastly, cannabinol's purported impact on the endocannabinoid system means it may play a role in our natural inflammation response. In particular, it may perhaps help to regulate pain symptoms and reduce some forms of pain perception.

CBG oil being withdrawn from the bottle using a glass dropper

Is CBD or CBG Better for Anxiety and Depression Symptoms?

If you’re familiar with cannabinoid products, you may have noticed we didn’t focus on anxiety and depression in the summaries above. That’s because both CBD and CBG based products may impact some signs of anxiety and depression. However, there is much debate over which cannabinoid holds the most potential.

Consumer reports show that CBD may be a better opportunity if you're struggling with some symptoms of pain and inflammation, while CBG may potentially have more to offer for neurological symptoms. However, with this in mind, there are various anecdotal reports for both cannabinoids, so it's best to try them out for yourself!

Due to a lack of research, it’s difficult to say which cannabinoid may be most promising for signs of anxiety and depression.

On the one hand, CBG may potentially influence the uptake of natural neurotransmitters such as serotonin and GABA, possibly resulting in increased levels of each. Some researchers have made links between low levels of GABA and serotonin to depression; therefore, CBG may be worth considering as part of a broader self-care scheme.

Comparatively, both CBD and CBG may have a potential role to play in our mood (albeit an indirect one). The inactivation of FAAH (fatty acid amide hydrolase) may have some natural anti-inflammatory and anti-depressant effects. These effects are because of anandamide, an endocannabinoid and neurotransmitter. Nicknamed the 'Bliss Molecule', its role is to increase dopamine levels - enhancing motivation and pleasure while regulating sleep, pain, and appetite. A 2015 study on rats and humans concluded that high anandamide levels might improve mood and reduce fear.

The interesting aspect about anandamide is that FAAH breaks it down. However, when you ingest full-spectrum CBD oil, the CBD cannabinoid may potentially inhibit FAAH, allowing the body to produce more anandamide. However, CBG may also have a role to play here. It’s thought that by binding to the CB1 and CB2 receptors, CBG might impact the functioning of anandamide. Therefore, the supplemented cannabinoids in your system may possibly help to influence depression symptoms, affect sleep, appetite, and reduce some signs of pain.

While CBD may inactivate FAAH, CBG may affect the functioning of anandamide. So, ultimately, CBD and CBG oil seem to complement each other - just as nature intended.

A full-spectrum CBD oil, such as our Superb Boost CBD, may be great to experiment with as part of a broader self-care routine - particularly if you are looking to influence some symptoms of anxiety and depression. This revolutionary water-based CBD is an excellent option because the body may potentially absorb it in a quick and straightforward way!

What are the Possible Side Effects of CBG?

Cannabigerol has been well-tolerated in rats, according to a 2016 study. Although there is a general lack of research looking at the side effects of CBG, the possibilities look promising for CBD.

A 2017 review concluded CBD has a relatively favourable safety profile, with the most common side effects including:

  • Diarrhoea 
  • Changes in appetite 
  • Tiredness 

Compared with prescribed medications that usually have a long list of severe side effects, there are relatively few risks associated with trying supplements like CBG and CBD. However, with this said, we advise talking to your primary health care provider before adding any new supplements to your diet - especially if you have an underlying health condition.

How to Take CBG

Fortunately, pure CBG oil is available. However, it can be rare and expensive because it comes in smaller quantities. The good news is that you can access the potential benefits of cannabigerol by using full-spectrum CBD oil.

Can CBD and CBG Oil Be Taken Together?

Yes! In fact, hemp oils may be most desirable when they feature the full spectrum of cannabinoids (our CBD Drops are a great example of this). We believe it is fundamental to keep the plant intact to get the most from its botanical properties.

When you consume the full spectrum of cannabinoids, they may complement each other because of the ‘entourage effect’. This theory suggests that when you take multiple cannabinoids together, this practice may be more worthwhile than consuming an isolated cannabinoid such as CBD isolate.

As we mentioned, full-spectrum CBD oils often contain some CBG and may have some similar potential effects to a pure cannabigerol product.

Final Thoughts

Despite CBD and CBG harbouring different wellbeing possibilities, full-spectrum CBD oil still seems to be the most accessible option on the cannabis market. By taking a range of cannabinoids, terpenes and flavonoids, you may have an opportunity to influence your overall sense of wellbeing. You'll also have access to a wider range of potentially beneficial plant compounds, which is something to get excited about!