What’s the Difference Between CBD and Cannabis? – Convenience Store Decisions

How much do you know about these two substances from the same plant?


CBD and cannabis are hot topics, but many people don’t know what they are exactly, or the difference between the two.

The laws and regulations about selling or using them vary depending on location and other circumstances. So be sure to do significant research before you add any CBD or cannabis-related products to your shelves.

But if you just want to know the basics, this is a great place to start.


Cannabis — also known as marijuana, weed and many other names — comes from the cannabis plant, ‘cannabis sativa.’ Cannabis sativa has nearly 500 known compounds, including cannabidiol (CBD) and tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), which is the primary psychoactive component. 

Cannabis can be consumed in many ways, such as smoking or consuming through edibles or oils. THC is carried to to the brain through the bloodstream, producing the ‘high’ effect. Large doses of cannabis can also produce hallucinogenic effects.

In addition to recreational use, cannabis has long been used as a form of medicine, known to help with nausea, pain relief, glaucoma, epilepsy and more. And though it’s still considered an illicit substance at the federal level, many states have legalized cannabis in some capacity.


‘Cannabidiol,’ better known as CBD, is one of the chemical compounds called ‘cannabinoids’ that are found in the cannabis sativa plant. Unlike THC, which is found in cannabis, CBD is not psychoactive and therefore does not result in a ‘high.’

The only CBD medication that is currently approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is Epidiolex, which the agency approved in 2018 for the treatment of two types of epilepsy.

But many people use CBD as a treatment for various ailments — most commonly, pain and anxiety. When CBD is ingested or applied to the skin, it’s believed to interact with the body’s endocannabinoid system (ECS), which regulates pain and inflammation.

Like cannabis, CBD comes in many forms, some of which are edible, others that can be smoked or used on the body’s exterior, like a rub or cream. CBD oil, for example, is made by extracting CBD from the cannabis plant, then diluting it with a carrier oil like coconut or hemp seed oil.

In conclusion

Cannabis and CBD both come from cannabis sativa, the cannabis plant. Both come in many forms and are said to help with a variety of ailments. But unlike cannabis, CBD won’t get you high.

Of course, the laws and regulations surrounding both cannabis and CBD are complicated and vary depending on location and other circumstances, so do your research before you add any CBD or cannabis-related products to your shelves.

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