CBG vs CBD: What’s the Difference?

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By: CertaPet Staff Updated: December 2, 2020

By now, many of us know all about CBD and its benefits. CBD products have been all over the wellness market for years now, but there’s a new cannabis product on the scene that’s making a splash: CBG.

Just like CBD, CBG is a cannabinoid (don’t worry, we’ll explain all about that in a minute), but CBG is made up of different compounds within a cannabis plant. It also interacts with the body in a different way. Pet parents who are interested in holistic options for their animals will be interested in learning more about this particular cannabinoid, and its potential benefits for their furry friend’s health.

What is CBG?


CBG is short for cannabigerol. This cannabinoid doesn’t exist in large quantities in cannabis plants. In fact, it usually makes up less than 1 percent of a cannabis plant. CBG is considered a precursor to all other cannabinoids in cannabis. This means, all other cannabinoids in marijuana, like CBD and THC, are derived from CBG as the plant matures.

Like CBD, CBG is considered non-psychotropic, which means it doesn’t give you the “high” feeling that THC can give you. That means CBG won’t inhibit your day to day life and you can stay mentally clear while you take it! CBG is believed to have many positive effects on the body, although there is still a lot to discover. It is believed that like CBD, CBG has many health benefits for both humans and pets too.

A lot of science goes into how CBG affects the body so, let’s get into the specifics.

What are Cannabinoids?

Cannabinoids are naturally occurring compounds found in the marijuana plant. The most well-known cannabinoid in the cannabis plant is tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC, the psychoactive part of the plant. But there are actually over 100 different cannabinoids also present in the cannabis plant.

Cannabinoids are differentiated based on their effects and their psychoactivity. We already know THC is the cannabinoid that gives you that high feeling, but CBN and CBDL also have similar effects.

CBD, CBC, and CBG, on the other hand, are non-psychoactive.

CBD is the most abundant cannabinoid in the marijuana plant which has also contributed to its popularity and the increased popularity of CBD products like CBD oil and hemp oil.

So, how do cannabinoids interact with our bodies?

What is the Endocannbinoid System?

The interesting thing about cannabinoids is that your body is made to interact with them through the endocannabinoid system made up of cannabinoid receptors.

The endocannabinoid system is a cell-signaling system that was discovered in the 1990s by a researcher exploring THC effects on the body. It was found that the endocannabinoid system affects your sleep, mood, memory, and appetite and exists within your body even if you don’t use cannabis.

While cannabinoids like CBG can come from cannabis plants and interact with your endocannabinoid system, your body also produces its own molecules called endocannabinoids. These are called anandamide and 2-arachidonoylglyerol…we know, a mouthful. These two work to keep internal functions in your body running smoothly.

Your endocannabinoid system is made up of two cannabinoid receptors that interact with cannabinoids. These are called CB1 receptors and CB2 receptors.

endocannabinoid system

CB1 Receptor

CB1 stands for “cannabinoid receptor type 1” and plays a key role in your body’s endocannabinoid system. CB1 receptors are mostly in your central nervous system and are present in the brain, central nervous system, lungs, liver, and kidneys.

CB1 receptors regulate brain functions and are the receptors that interact most with THC. This is where the “high” feeling comes from. THC interacts with these receptors and the effects are felt in the brain.

CB2 Receptor

CB2 stands for “cannabinoid receptor type 2.” It is a peripheral receptor that deals with the immune system and inflammation in the body.

CB2 receptors are mostly found in the immune system, which is throughout your body and brain and which moves in the bloodstream. CBG interact with CB2 receptors, which is why it is not psychoactive and has a long list of potential benefits for health.

CBG vs CBD: What’s the Difference?

To understand how these two are different, we have to talk a little bit about how they develop.

As a cannabis plant develops, CBGA (the acidic form of CBG) converts into the three cannabinoid precursors: THCA, CBDA, and CBCA. These will eventually go on to become the three most abundant cannabinoids in marijuana, THC, CBD, and CBC.

The CBGA that is not converted into one of these, develops into CBG. This process is why so little CBG is present in cannabis. It is actually the building block for all the other cannabinoids.

Now, when it comes to CBD products, people enjoy them because CBD is non-psychoactive and has a lot of possible health benefits but, remember those receptors we talked about? The way CBD interacts with them is by being indirect. So, CBD doesn’t actually bind to these receptors in the endocannabinoid system. Instead, it interacts with them indirectly.

However, CBG does interact directly with CB2 receptors although more research is needed into what it’s primary function is in binding to these receptors.

CBG also may increase levels of Anandamide, the body’s natural endocannabinoid that helps the endocannabinoid system run smoothly. It is thought CBG does this by inhibiting the enzymes in the body that break down Anandamide so that there is more available.

CBG also may interact with other systems in the body and work with receptors that manage the release of serotonin.

One of the biggest differences between these two is the level of research available. CBD products have been used and researched for a long time so there is much more data available to draw on, whereas CBG is still relatively new on the market. So, while CBG research is promising, CBD still has more to back it up.

Is CBG Safe for Pets?

Is CBG safe for pets

It’s very important when giving something new to your fur baby that you feel safe in doing so. So, let’s get into it! Are CBG products safe for your fluffy bestie?

Well, like CBD, CBG won’t give your pet the high feeling that THC does. Many pet parents have started to give their fur babies CBG and have seen overwhelmingly positive effects. Like CBD, it is believed CBG has relatively few side effects.

There are not many studies that specifically focus on how CBG affects pets, but anecdotally, one side effect can be drowsiness if you give your pup an extremely large dose. Like with any new medication, it is recommended you start with a small dose and see how your dog reacts. Then up the dose as needed.

Benefits of CBG for Pets

While most studies on CBG are for humans, there are still many possible benefits to CBG use in pets. The list of potential benefits for pets is long and always growing as the research expands.

Some potential benefits are:

  • Promotes a sense of relaxation for your anxious pup
  • May help with occasional discomfort if your pet is in pain
  • Supports a normal inflammatory response
  • Promotes relaxation and a calming effect on the nerves
  • May support cellular health

How to Give CBG to Pets

We know the number of CBG products and CBD products available for your pup can seem overwhelming since there are so many choices! CBG oil, capsules, treats. There are so many to choose from.

Most people prefer CBG oil because it’s an easy way to give a dose to your pupper. Just a few drops at meal time or on their tongue and you’re done! Treats are also popular because what dog doesn’t devour a whole treat in one bite? Easy, right?

That being said, many people prefer CBG oil because you can better control the dosage you give your fluffy friend. With a treat, the dose is already baked into it and you have less of a say in how much you give your pet.

Of course, you should always consult your veterinarian first and see if they recommend CBG as an option for your pup. And, if you are going ahead with it, there are some important things to consider when buying.


If you can, look for organic CBG oil. That way you can ensure there are no pesticides included.

Price matters

When it comes to CBG products, you don’t want to look for a bargain. The higher quality products will be reflected in the cost, but that’s okay! You want your CBG to be pure and free of additives so that your pup will get all the benefits and none of the side effects.


Your CBG oil should come with an analysis from the manufacturer that tells you exactly how much CBG is in the product. You’ll want to have this to ensure there is little to no THC in the product as well.


As always, do your research and consult a veterinarian. A quick search through some third party websites can show you the best CBG products for your pet and what dosages are best. Lots of research is being done on the many benefits of cannabis for your pup, so make sure you stay in the know.

Full Spectrum 

The way cannabis compounds work together in your body is known as the Entourage Effect. This is why buying a full spectrum product may be beneficial for you and your pet.

A full spectrum CBG oil or hemp oil will include other cannabinoids like CBD or THC but in trace amounts that should not be felt by the user. These other cannabinoids from the hemp plant work together with the CBG to enhance the positive effects on your pet.

Pet products that are full spectrum or have added terpenes with the CBG may enhance the potential benefits of the CBG oil.


When it comes to CBG there’s still some research to be done, but overall there is a lot of promise to it! When it comes to your fluffy friend’s health, CBG can be a wonderful helper to keep them feeling good. There are a lot of factors to consider when finding your perfect product to buy, but we hope we made it easy for you to know what to consider!

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