By now, you've probably heard about the escalating popularity of CBD products like CBD oil or CBD capsules. You may have also heard about CBD oil for dogs and cats. But what exactly is CBG? Is it the same as CBD, or is CBG something entirely different? What do people use it for, and what are its potential benefits? In this article, we’re pulling back the curtains when it comes to CBG vs CBD and giving you all the information you need to know about this naturally occurring compound.  

Nowadays, CBD products are more accessible than ever. Perhaps you've been around a friend who's vaped it, a brother who uses a CBD massage oil on sore muscles after the gym, or an aunt who uses a CBD oil tincture blend to aid in her relaxation. If you’re like the many pet parents who frequent the Honest Paws website, it’s possible you’ve even tried CBD for your pet

So where exactly does CBG come into play? What is it, and why are more people than ever using CBG as a regular part of their health regimen? 


Phytocannabinoids 101

CBG vs CBD: though they are similar, they also have key differences.

Presently, there are over 100 different phytocannabinoids that scientists have identified in both the hemp and marijuana varieties of the cannabis plant. Phytocannabinoids, also simply referred to as cannabinoids (‘phyto’ means ‘pertaining to plants’ or ‘derived from plants’), are naturally occurring compounds that interact with the endocannabinoid system, which can be found in humans and animals alike. 

The endocannabinoid system plays a role in regulating our sleep, appetite, mood, and other functions throughout the day. You can think of the endocannabinoid system as you would any other regulatory system in the human body like the immune system or the central nervous system. What’s important to know is that when cannabinoids are introduced into the endocannabinoid system, there can be a wide range of positive effects on the body. 

Some cannabinoids, for instance, will interact with the endocannabinoid system’s CB1 receptors. These CB1 receptors can be found in the brain, lungs, vascular system, muscles, gastrointestinal tracts, and reproductive organs. These CB1 receptors help regulate key functions of the human body such as enhancing brain function, supporting normal blood pressure, promoting relaxation, and helping to manage normal stress--just to name a few! 

CB2 receptors can be found in the skin, bones, liver, immune system, and more. CB2 receptors play a role in regulating the functions relative to these vital parts of the body, such as supporting bone health as well as supporting a healthy immune system. 

A picture of the endocannabinoid system and CBD effects, highlighting where the CB1 and CB2 receptors are located.

The type of cannabinoid introduced into the body will determine how the endocannabinoid is affected. As an example, THC, which is short for “tetrahydrocannabinol,” binds with CB1 receptors in the brain in such a way that a flood of dopamine is released upon use. This results in the notorious “high” that recreational users chase. 

As previously mentioned, there are over 100 cannabinoids that scientists have presently identified in the cannabis plant. Apart from THC, some other cannabinoids include:

  • Cannabidiol (CBD) 

  • Cannabigerols (CBG)

  • Cannabichromenes (CBC)

  • Cannabinol (CBN)

  • Cannabinodiol (CBDL)

  • Cannabicyclol (CBL)

  • Cannabielsoin (CBE)

  • Cannabitriol (CBT)

  • Cannabivarin (CBV)

  • Tetrahydrocannabivarin (THCV)

  • Cannabidivarin (CBDV)

  • Cannabichromevarin (CBCV)

  • Cannabigerovarin (CBGV)

  • Cannabigerol Monoethyl Ether (CBGM)

So, What is CBG?

Now that you know a little bit more about cannabinoids, where they come from, and how they interact with the body’s endocannabinoid system, let’s talk a little bit more about one cannabinoid in particular: CBG. 

CBG stands for “cannabigerol.” 

Due to the fact that it is only present in the cannabis plant in low levels, CBG is considered to be a minor cannabinoid. 

So why is it getting so much attention these days? 

The answer’s pretty simple: it’s been dubbed "the stem cell cannabinoid." Read on to discovery why. 


CBD and CBG have the same weight and molecular formula. However, they have completely different configurations. In fact, CBG has an extremely unique ability, which has earned it its reputation as “the stem cell cannabinoid”: it can mutate!

In plants and animals, stem cells renew themselves in order to replace damaged tissue. You can think of them as the parent cells for all other cells in the body, since they’re the point of origin. 

A closeup picture of a hemp plant

In the same way, CBG is the “parent compound” or the point of origin for every other cannabinoid within the cannabis plant. 

The basic science is this: when the cannabis plant first starts out, 100% of its cannabinoid content is CBG-A (the raw, acid form of CBG). Six to eight weeks into the plant’s growth cycle, the plant releases an enzyme that converts CBG-A into the raw forms of every other compound, including THC and CBD. Essentially, what starts out as nothing but raw CBG eventually results in over 100 different cannabinoids! That’s one impressive transformation!  

What Are the Potential Benefits of CBG?

As previously mentioned, each cannabinoid will interact with the body’s endocannabinoid system in a different way. 

Some directly interact with this system, while others--like CBD--will have indirect effects. 

In either case, the cannabinoids activate a response that can result in physiological changes. 

In the case of CBG, this incredible cannabinoid can:

  • Fight free radicals

  • Promote a healthy inflammatory response in the body 

  • Ease occasional discomfort 

Because of its ability to boost anandamide, known as the “bliss” molecule, and serve as a GABA reuptake inhibitor, CBG may also help regulate mood. This can assist with managing normal stress, supporting a normal blood pressure, and promoting relaxation. 

Apart from that, CBG is also currently being studied for its potential ability to combat neuro-related disorders like Huntington’s disease. 

Where to Buy CBG

A few vials of CBD oil next to the hemp plant.

Those in the market for CBG will quickly realize an unfortunate truth: it’s incredibly pricely! 

This is because CBG is expensive to produce. Since it occurs in the cannabis plant at such low levels, it can take thousands of pounds of biomass just to create a small portion of CBG. As such, it’s not uncommon to see CBG oils on the market with price tags upward of $200. 

Because most cannabis companies focus exclusively on CBD products, it can also be challenging to find a premium CBG product that checks off all the boxes when it comes to ensuring quality. 

Items on such a buyer’s guide should include CBG that is:

  • Organic and all natural 

  • Non-GMO

  • Lab tested by a third party

  • Manufactured by a company that’s reputable and trustworthy 

If you’re buying CBG as a holistic option for your pet, you also want to make sure that the CBG is certified with the National Animal Supplement Council. Companies with this certification undergo rigorous quality audits to ensure they’re meeting the highest standards in the pet wellness space. Since the cannabis world isn’t regulated by the FDA, this is the best way to ensure that what you’re purchasing for your pet is high-quality and safe. 

CBG vs CBD: Final Thoughts

It’s no surprise that CBG is gaining increasing popularity in today’s holistic wellness market. This incredible cannabinoid can fight free radicals, promote a healthy inflammatory response in the body, and ease occasional discomfort. 

However, CBG isn’t yet as widely available as its more well-known cousin CBD. And beyond that, the price points for CBG can vary, sometimes surpassing the price tags for CBD. 

The good news is that CBD can do many of the things that CBG does, including promoting relaxation, helping to manage stress, and supporting a normal inflammatory response. And like CBG, CBD is also non-psychoactive, meaning neither you nor your pet will experience a high from using CBD products. 

Finally, a great deal more research has been conducted around CBD, which is enough to put any pet parent’s mind at ease. So if you’re ready to see how cannabinoids can help support your dog’s healthy and happiness, why not check out the Honest Paws line of CBD products, which includes everything from oils and delicious bites to CBD-infused coconut oil and even CBD-infused peanut butter--all products your dog is sure to love!

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