Cannabis vs. CBD – Understand the Difference

Accoutrements as a brand is focused on transparency and reducing the stigma around Cannabis. Since legalization, there are far more cannabis-curious consumers that have begun to search online for cannabis. At the same time, another derivative has grown immensely in popularity: CBD. We get a lot of questions about what the difference is, so if one of your questions sound like the ones below, then you’ve found the right article to better understand what you’re buying.

  • What is Cannabis vs. CBD?
  • What is THC vs. CBD?
  • What is Cannabis vs. Hemp?
  • What is Indica and What is Sativa?

In previous posts we have outlined some of the benefits of cannabis over alcohol, and also what the difference is between THC and CBD. In short, both are a byproduct of the cannabis plant. Cannabis is also known as Marijuana, Weed, Mary Jane – pretty simple, right?

Difference Between Cannabis and Hemp

Both Cannabis and Hemp are naturally occurring plants found across the planet. For the purpose of this article, we’ll delve less into all the science and biology and focus mainly on the applications of each and what they do.


Cannabis, also known more formally as Marijuana, can contain up to 30% THC. In more laymen terms, Cannabis can get you high due to the psychoactive properties of THC. Otherwise, Cannabis contains both THC and CBD, and it’s what you’re looking to buy dispensary.

Cannabis is now sold as flower to be smoked from joints, pipes, and bongs; It is also now sold in beverages and edibles with the introduction of Cannabis 2.0. Due to legal restrictions, it is still illegal to sell Cannabis-derived CBD regardless of THC content. Thus, the sudden rise of Hemp.


Hemp is used to classify varieties of Cannabis that contain 0.3% or less THC content. In more laymen terms, Hemp won’t get you high because of the low THC content. However, Hemp is used in industrial applications such as rope, clothing, paper, building materials, and body care.

The rise in Hemp production is a byproduct of the increase in cannabis decriminalization and cannabis legalization. Since Hemp is a legal substance, especially at a Federal level in the United States, it’s easier for companies to scale their business using the dominant ingredient in Hemp: CBD. Present research has shown there is no difference between Cannabis or Hemp-derived CBD. This is why you see hemp-derived products and CBD products on store shelves.

Indica vs. Sativa vs. CBD

Now that you see the difference between Cannabis and Hemp, let’s delve a bit deeper to explain the differences between Indica and Sativa, and how this relates to CBD (e.g. CBD pain relief creams). We have covered this topic in more length in a previous blog post but the short answer is that it isn’t so much to do with the balance of THC and CBD but with a terpene called Myrcene.

Indica (Relaxation)

Indica is a term used to classify strains of cannabis with 0.5% or greater volume of Myrcene. Due to the higher amounts of Myrcene, Indica-dominant strains of cannabis are best for body high, relaxation, appetite stimulator, sleep aid, and pain relief. There is a general rule-of-thumb that Indica strains tend to have higher percentages of CBD.

Sativa (Energy)

Sativa is a term used to classify strains of cannabis with 0.5% or less volume of Myrcene. Therefore, Sativa-dominant strains of cannabis are best for head high, alertness, euphoria, creativity, and increased energy. The general rule-of-thumb is that Sativa strains tend to have higher percentages of THC.


CBD has taken on somewhat of a buzz-word but in reality, it’s just a cannabinoid within cannabis plants. Therefore, you would not compare CBD with Indica and Sativa, but rather CBD vs. THC. In more laymen terms, if you’re purchasing cannabis, you don’t ask for THC or CBD but rather an Indica or Sativa based on what experience you want (relaxation or energy).

If you see creams, pain relief products, drinks, etc. chances are CBD is being sold for its medicinal properties, which are still being scientifically proven. CBD is thought to be an anti-inflammatory, and has become an active ingredient in new consumer products.

We hope this article helps shed some light on differences in nomenclature. After all, Accoutrements wants consumers to have the safest and most transparent experience possible.

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