CBD Flowers vs Weed: Exploring the Similarities and Differences

CBD flower vs weed

CBD flowers and weed also known as “cannabis” or “marijuana” have similar appearances and people often mix the two. However, they are two very different things.

While they may look and smell similar, there are some significant differences in their composition, effects, and legal status. 

In this article, we’ll explore the similarities and differences between weed and CBD flowers, and we will also discuss which one is a better fit for you.

What are CBD flowers?

CBD flowers are the flower buds of the hemp plant that are collected, dried, and cured before being consumed. They contain low levels of delta-9 THC (less than 0.3%) and high levels of CBD, a non-psychoactive cannabinoid with many potential benefits. 

A CBD flower can typically be consumed through smoking or vaping, although it can also be used to make other products such as oils, tea, and edibles

Although, when smoked, CBD flowers provide a quick and effective way to experience the benefits of CBD, and depending on the flower strain, it can provide benefits like pain relief, relaxation, sleep promotion, and reduced anxiety.

What is Weed?

Weed, also known as cannabis flowers, is a psychoactive smokable substance that is derived from the cannabis plant. It contains high levels of  THC, the intoxicating compound responsible for the “high” that is associated with cannabis use.

Weed is typically consumed through smoking or vaping, and it is known for its distinctive aroma and flavor. Moreover, when you consume weed, it produces a range of physical and psychoactive effects, including relaxation, euphoria, altered perception, dry mouth, red eyes, impaired coordination, and increased appetite.

CBD flowers vs Weed: What are the differences?

1- Legal status

In the United States, hemp-derived CBD flower is legal under federal law as long as it contains less than 0.3% THC. This is because the 2018 Farm Bill removed hemp from the list of controlled substances and classified it as an agricultural commodity.

In contrast, weed remains federally illegal in the US as it remains a Schedule I drug, although many states have legalized weed for medical and/or recreational use. 

2- Chemical composition

Weed contains high levels of THC (usually between 5-30%), the primary psychoactive compound in the plant. However, the CBD content of weed is typically low. 

On the other hand, CBD flowers contain low levels of THC (less than 0.3%), while the CBD content can be as high as up to 25% depending on the flower strain.

Additionally, both weed and CBD flowers contain other compounds such as a wide range of cannabinoids, terpenes, and flavonoids, which are responsible for their unique effects, aroma, and flavor. 

3- The effects

Weed is known for its psychoactive effects and people typically use it to get high, which is the feelings of relaxation, euphoria, and altered perception. It can also make you disoriented and alter your motor skills, so it requires a certain amount of caution to use it.

CBD flowers, on the other hand, are non-psychoactive and they are typically consumed for their potential therapeutic and wellness benefits.

4- Benefits

According to a study, weed can aid with pain management and sleeping troubles, and it can also help with anxiety relief if used correctly.

However, CBD flowers are generally preferred by those who are simply interested in the benefits and do not want any psychoactive effects.

CBD has anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, pain-relieving, neuroprotective, and anxiety-reducing properties. Additionally, CBD also has the potential for reducing anxiety, depression, and insomnia, as well as reducing seizures in certain types of epilepsy (source 1).

5- Side effects

Weed can cause both short-term and long-term side effects if not used properly. Short-term side effects include impaired memory, difficulty thinking and problem-solving, altered senses, and impaired coordination. 

Weed can also cause anxiety, paranoia, and psychosis in some people, especially those who are new to using it or who use it in high doses. Long-term use of weed can lead to respiratory issues, addiction, and withdrawal symptoms (source 2).

CBD flower, on the other hand, is generally considered safe and well-tolerated. However, some people may experience mild side effects such as dry mouth, decreased appetite, and drowsiness, but these are typically well-tolerated and resolve once your body adjusts to them (source 3).

7- Cost of use

CBD flower is generally less expensive because they are derived from hemp, which is legal to grow and process in many countries including the United States, and many CBD flower brands sell high-quality CBD strains at affordable prices.

On the other hand, weed is still illegal at the federal level and in many other states of the US, making it difficult to get. Due to these legal constraints, weed prices are usually higher than CBD flowers.

8- Availability

The availability of CBD flowers and weed can vary depending on several factors, including the legal status of weed in your region, the demand for these products, and the availability of licensed producers and suppliers.

If you live in a place where weed is legal then there is no issue with availability whatsoever. However, local cannabis vendors may not always be reliable with quality.

On the other hand, CBD flowers are generally more widely and you can also shop online for good quality flowers from brands like Plain Jane and get them delivered to your doorsteps in all 50 states of the US.

CBD flowers vs Weed: What are the similarities?

  1. Both weed and CBD flowers come from the same parent plant species. Although, when it comes to more specific plant categories, weed typically comes from the plant species – Cannabis Sativa and Cannabis Indica. While CBD flowers come from hemp.
  2. Both contain similar cannabinoids like CBD, THC, CBC, CBN, and many other naturally occurring compounds. However, they both differ in terms of the quantity of these compounds.
  3. Both can be consumed in a variety of ways depending on your preference. They can be smoked, vaporized, or ingested in the form of edibles, tinctures, or capsules.
  4. Both have been studied for their therapeutic benefits. 
  5. Both can have an impact on the user’s mood. Such that, CBD flowers are often used for stress and anxiety relief, while certain strains of weed are known for their relaxing, euphoric effects.
  6. Both can be cultivated in a similar manner, with similar growing conditions and techniques. They both require similar temperature, light, and humidity conditions to grow and can be grown either indoors or outdoors.
  7. The smell, taste, and appearance of both compounds are also similar and for most folks, telling them apart by just a look can be a difficult task.
  8. Both weed and CBD flowers can be used recreationally. However, the psychoactive effects of weed make it a more popular choice.

Weed vs CBD Flowers: Which one is better?

If you are seeking the psychoactive effects, weed may be the better choice as it typically contains higher levels of THC, the compound responsible for altering your perception also known as the “high”. 

But weed is also illegal in many places, however, as a milder alternative, you can also try hemp-derived delta-8 flowers.

On the other hand, if you are seeking the potential therapeutic benefits of cannabinoids without the psychoactive effects, CBD flowers are the better choice for you.

Ultimately, the choice between weed and CBD flowers comes down to your personal preference and intended use.

Final thoughts

Weed and CBD flowers are two different plants of the same species, and each has their distinct compositions, effects, and legal statuses. 

While they share some similarities, including some benefits, they have different uses and can be better suited for different individuals. 

For example, CBD flowers target a large audience base with their distinct wellness benefits without the psychoactive effects, weed is more suited for those who are looking to simply get stoned.


The information in this article is intended for general use only and may not always be appropriate for everyone’s needs. Your health and wellness are unique to you, so before acting on anything we say, seek personalized advice from a medical professional.