Cannabinoids vs. Cannabidiol: What Are the Differences?

According to the NCDAS, more than half Americans consider smoking cannabis socially acceptable. With the legalization of marijuana and the accessibility of CBD products, the stigma around this plant is slowly falling away. And so, with the rise of CBD products on the market, more information is out there than ever before.

But when words like cannabinoids, phytocannabinoids, and cannabidiol get thrown around, what does it all mean? These are a couple of terms commonly used interchangeably with similar spelling, so we understand the confusion.

If you’re feeling lost like we were, keep reading as we explain everything you need to know about cannabinoids vs. cannabidiol.

Phytocannabinoid: Cannabinoids vs. Cannabidiol

Within the cannabis plant, you get cannabinoids. These cannabinoids are comprised of several cannabidiols. There are two main cannabinoids that everyone knows: THC and CBD. These are the two most abundant of all the cannabinoid compounds in the plant.

However, there are also endocannabinoids that our own bodies produce. These endocannabinoids aid in inflammation of the body and are more prominent in the body near a site of an injury. They’re also present in women’s breast milk. You may have heard of the “runner’s high”? Well, this is also the active compound that contributes to that euphoric feeling.

When we ingest cannabinoids, each cannabidiol reacts differently with our endocannabinoids. This is why with CBD, you don’t get “high”, but you do with THC.

A Cannabinoids Buying Guide

Depending on what effect you’re looking for, you might be looking for marijuana bud or hemp flower. But how do you know what you’re looking for, and where do you start looking?

There are two main ways of buying bud:

  • A “brick and mortar” shop
  • Online store

Depending on where you live and the laws in your state, you might have access to one or both.

When looking for flower to buy, you want to pay attention to these few factors before putting down any money.

Certificate of Analysis

Wherever you’re buying from should provide their products with a certification of analysis (COA) from an independent, third-party company. This certificate validates the levels of CBD that the product is sold under. Without a COA, you have no form of quality control.

Potency Guide

Whether you’re just starting out or an old hand, potency guides can assist you with your dosing. You don’t want to buy a particularly strong strain and have no idea what to expect. With a potency guide, you know what you’re getting into.


You want to look at whether or not the company you’re buying from is affiliated with any cannabis organizations like The National Cannabis Industry Association (NCIA) or the Hemp Industries Association (HIA).

Making Informed Decisions

We understand relatively little about how each of the more than 120 cannabinoids in the cannabis plant reacts with our bodies. However, educating yourself on the differences between cannabinoids vs. cannabidiol can only aid you in making informed decisions about what you are looking to purchase.

If you’ve found this article informative, find more in our Health, Life, and Education categories.