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CBD vs CBG: The Differences

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    CBG, or cannabigerol, is the latest cannabinoid (other than CBD and THC) to attract attention. CBG and CBD are thought to have many similarities—they both interact with the endocannabinoid system and are thought to have a multitude of benefits. But CBG is more abundant in young plants, where CBD is prevalent in adult hemp.

    Because they are so similar, consumers are wondering what’s the deal… is one better than the other? This post explores CBG in-depth and gives a detailed look at the differences between the two.

    CBD vs CBG: Frequently Asked Questions

    CBG, the mother cannabinoid, births all other cannabinoids. All cannabinoids start as CBGa before they break down further.

    CBD:

    • For overall daily support
    • May produce sleepiness or drowsiness
    • Promotes relaxation

    CBG:

    • Enhanced alertness and focus
    • Triggers the release of anandamide, which enhances mood
    • For overall cognitive support
    • More specific wellness potentials
    • Non-psychoactive
    • Interact with the body's ECS
    • Interact with the CB1 and CB2 receptors
    • Balances mood and stress
    • CBG is more rare. Around 20% of the plant's composition is CBD verus the 1% of CBG.
    • There is more CBG in young plants, however harvesting young plants sacrifices other potential compounds.
    • CBG is more unknown, which adds to the price.

    Both cannabinoids have potential benefits. It's important to assess which suits your needs better or try both to find the best fit.

    What Is CBG?

    CBG is referred to as “the mother cannabinoid” because it births all other cannabinoids. All cannabinoids start as CBGa before they break down into THCa, CBDa, CBCa. Eventually, these acidic forms turn into THC, CBD, CBC, etc., when exposed to heat or ultraviolet light.

    Because CBGa converts into all these other cannabinoids, fully mature plants only contain low concentrations of CBGa.  Adult hemp plants consist of only about 1 percent CBG as opposed to around 20 percent CBD.  It’s the main reason CBG isn’t as widely known or as readily abundant as CBD.

    Adult hemp plants consist of only about 1 percent CBG as opposed to around 20 percent CBD.  It’s the main reason CBG isn’t as widely known or as readily abundant as CBD.

    how cbg breaks down to cbd and thc

    CBG vs CBD

    CBG and CBD parallel in many ways, but each is thought to possess nuanced characteristics as well. Both cannabinoids are non-psychoactive, unlike THC, and they both interact with the body’s endocannabinoid system. The ECS is a recently-discovered cell-signaling system located throughout the central and peripheral nervous systems. It consists of endocannabinoids, receptors the cannabinoids bind to, and enzymes that break the cannabinoids down to elicit a bodily response. Just like how a caffeinated cup of coffee boosts focus or a sugary cupcake can create a happy feeling in the brain, each endocannabinoid creates its own response in the ECS.

    Though it is not fully understood, it is believed that the ECS plays a role in regulating sleep, mood, memory, appetite, and reproduction. Both CBD and CBG interact with the receptors CB1 and CB2 and are thought to potentially be tension relieving, energy boosting, and have the potential to balance mood and stress. However, CBG and CBD have slightly different molecular structures that may result in different behavior. A major difference in CBG vs CBD boils down to the amount of research at our disposal. From the available studies, research has studied if CBG offers potential uses that slightly differ from CBD, such as the potential to aid Inflammatory Bowel Disease and glaucoma.

    How Does CBG Make You Feel?

    Individuals who are considering CBG may wonder: How does CBG make you feel? Although CBG does not make you feel intoxicated, it may create a feeling of happiness due to its cognitive effects.

    Unlike CBD, CBG does not produce a feeling of sleepiness or drowsiness. Many people report enhanced alertness and focus. That said, it’s important to know that how CBG makes a person feel depends on a variety of factors such as dosage, body weight, health, physiology, and other genetic and environmental influences.

    Despite the fact that the CBG effects vary from individual to individual, studies show that CBG tends to produce a mild euphoria similar to the runner’s high, as opposed to a psychoactive or mind-altering high like with exercise, CBG triggers the release of anandamide, aka the bliss molecule, which enhances mood in a natural manner.

    Similar to CBD, CBG is relieves tension that potentially offers relief from discomfort and soreness. When considering purchasing CBG vs CBD, we suggest CBG for cognitive support and CBD for general daily support. CBG may also be better for mental sharpness where CBD has more relaxation potential.

    scientist inspects hemp plants in field

    CBG triggers the release of anandamide, aka the bliss molecule, which enhances mood in a natural manner.

    CBG Benefits

    Here is a list of what we know so far in the research realm of CBG. 

    Why is CBG More Expensive Than CBD?

    The most obvious difference consumers may notice is the price tag. CBG is significantly more expensive than CBD. In the hemp industry, raw plant material is used to extract CBD and all other cannabinoids. Large quantities of hemp are dissolved in a liquid, such as carbon dioxide, to retrieve the compounds. And producers need tons of biomass for very little extract. As mentioned, CBD is the most abundant hemp compound, around 20 percent of the plant’s composition compared to less than 1 percent of CBG. That means cultivators need 20 times the biomass to extract the same amount of CBG as a typical CBD yield.

    Young plants contain a little bit more CBG than adults, around 5 percent. (Remember that an acidic form of cannabigerol is the starting place for all other plant compounds, so there is more CBGa when the plant is in its early stages.) So utilizing young plants results in a higher CBG yield, but not much more. This puts cultivators in a pickle. Harvesting young hemp plants to justify extracting a moderate amount of CBG sacrifices other potential compounds, and more of them, so most choose not to.

    The large amount of plant material needed to extract CBG is handed down to the consumer, yet interest is growing, so basic supply-demand economics is also adding to the price. As a workaround, many companies add CBG extract to other CBD products. Meaning they blend oils from multiple plants. Though rare, a few companies work with farmers who developed high-potency CBG hemp strains (ahem, ahem… Extract Labs). This allows them to provide full spectrum CBG products at a more reasonable price.

    Featured Category

    CBG Products

    Restore balance and add CBG to your wellness routine with our Cognitive Support line.

    CBG Isolate, CBG Oil, CBG Topicals, Which One to Choose?

    Like CBD products, CBG comes in a multitude of formats including CBG isolate, softgels, edibles, oil, and topicals.

    CBG Isolate
    Isolates are the only guaranteed THC free cannabinoid products because they are refined down into a single compound. CBG Isolate Powder is 99 percent pure cannabigerol. But while it is potent, the entourage effect does not apply. People who must avoid THC often prefer CBG isolate. It’s also desired due to its versatility and ease of use.

    CBG Oil
    Just like CBD Oils, CBG Oil is blended with a carrier oil and is taken sublingually or mixed with food and drinks. Due to the availability of CBG, most CBG oils maintain a high dose of CBD as well.

    CBG Capsules
    Capsules are made from the same CBG Oil formula in a capsule casing. The only difference is CBG Capsules may take longer to take effect since they must be digested. They are useful for travel and for those who do not like the taste of oils.

    CBG Creams
    Like CBG oils, CBG Creams include a generous portion of CBD. They are made for the skin only and should be applied like any other CBD lotion or cream.

    CBG Gummies
    Effects from gummies tend to take longer and last longer than other methods. CBG Gummies maintain a high amount of CBD and can be a sweet treat.

    Is CBG Better than CBD?

    Knowing the similarities between CBD and CBG, you may be wondering if it is worth the extra cost. The jury is still out on the CBG vs CBD debate, but what we do know about CBG is very promising. Many people who have experimented with the mother cannabinoid reported to reap its benefits. Those who have not had success with CBD may have better results with CBG.If you are in a position to experiment with a more expensive extraction, then it is worth trying out CBG to experience its effects for yourself.

    More CBD Guides | A Deeper Dive Into CBG

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    CEO | Craig Henderson

    Extract Labs CEO Craig Henderson is one of the country’s top experts in cannabis CO2 extraction. After serving in the U.S. Army, Henderson received his master’s in mechanical engineering from the University of Louisville before becoming a sales engineer at one of the nation’s leading extraction technology companies. Sensing an opportunity, Henderson began extracting CBD in his garage in 2016, putting him at the forefront of the hemp movement. He’s been featured in Rolling StoneMilitary TimesThe Today Show, High Times, the Inc. 5000 list of fastest-growing companies, and many more. 

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