Millions of people are familiar with marijuana and hemp. From the plants that grow in fields to the little buds used for recreational cannabis use, people have become more habitual in how they welcome those types of products into their day to day lives.

What many users may not know is how many different compounds can be extracted from those root sources. Most people are familiar with cannabidiol (CBD), which is the compound revered for its therapeutic properties to help reduce pain and coax a healthy relaxation. But how many people know about cannabigerol (CBG), a cousin to CBD that also provides therapeutic benefits and relief when the body is in pain.

So what are the key differences between CBG vs. CBD? Is one better for you than the other, and what are the distinct benefits each compound offers to your body? Let’s look into those questions and present some helpful answers.


CBG vs. CBD: What is the difference?

Let’s start by defining the key differences between CBG vs. CBD. What should you know about the similarities and distinctions between the two compounds?


What is CBG?

CBG is often considered “the mother of all cannabinoids” as compounds like CBD and the more well-known THC are both derived from cannabigerol acid (CBGA). As marijuana and hemp plants develop into their maturity, they contain higher concentrations of both CBD and THC with very few traces of CBG.

That’s because CBG is most commonly found in the baby or underdeveloped plants that have yet to reach maturity. It’s at this time in a plant’s life that CBG is at its highest concentration. Only a few strains of cannabis are cultivated to include higher doses of CBG, which is what makes those products such rare commodities.


What is CBD?

CBD is one of the hundreds of cannabinoids derived from plant sources, and it happens to be the most commonly extracted cannabinoid from hemp plants. As the plants blossom into their full maturity, a fully developed hemp plant may contain as much as 25 per cent CBD. In contrast, a fully developed plant will contain as little as one per cent of CBG.

CBD has been used to treat underlying conditions associated with pain, inflammation, and skin disorders. People have used CBD to help treat symptoms of rare conditions like psoriasis in order to improve their overall quality of life.


What are the benefits of CBG vs. CBD?

The biggest similarity between CBG vs. CBD is that they both interact with the body’s endocannabinoid system. This system is a complex network of cells and receptors that transmit signals to the brain in order to regulate physical responses to pain or inflammation.

CBG and CBD attach themselves to certain receptors in the endocannabinoid system to support the body’s natural endocannabinoids or substitute as replacements if there’s a deficient amount of endocannabinoids in your system. Once attached to the receptors, they help maintain communication with the brain so that the body can function appropriately.

As a result, the benefits to the body of both CBG and CBD are, theoretically, very similar. But there’s one main difference between the two. CBD has been part of several clinical studies to test if it can treat conditions like eczema or even social anxiety through its ability to calm the mind in response to stress. There is very little research on how CBG interacts with the body so the potential health benefits are still inconclusive at the time of this writing.


Are there any side effects of CBG vs. CBD?

Since there is very little data collected on how CBG interacts with the body, the known side effects are very limited at this time. However, it’s safe to assume that those side effects, if any, would be very similar to the potential side effects of CBD.

Very few people have reported significant side effects or health risks from taking CBD products. In cases where side effects may occur, they’re typically no more severe than feelings of dry mouth or extreme fatigue that could be a sign of too large of a dose rather than a glaring health side effect.

One thing to consider is that CBD may negate the effects of other medications you may be taking. You may want to consult with your doctor about your plans to take CBD oil so that you can get a firm medical opinion on whether there’s any risk of disrupting other treatments you may be undergoing.


How to use CBD products

There are several CBD products you can select for your therapeutic treatments. The most straightforward product is CBD oil, which comes in small bottles alongside a helpful dropper. You can use the dropper to gather a few droplets of CBD oil from the bottle and apply those droplets to the back of your tongue. If you’d prefer a more subtle way to get the oil into your system, place the droplets in a drink of your choice and sip the contents at your own pace.

You can also purchase foods that contain CBD oil for a more solid form of treatment. These come in the form of CBD gummies, which add a natural sweetness to the oil, as well as CBD edibles that are easy to chew and swallow.

If you’d prefer something resembling over-the-counter medication, there are CBD capsules that are gel-like and consumable with a glass of water. Plus, you could apply CBD balms directly onto your skin, allowing your skin cells to absorb the oil and guide it into your body’s endocannabinoid system.