Is cannabis and CBD the same thing? (2022)

Is cannabis and CBD the same thing.

CBD vs THC – What’s the Buzz?

In the last few years, there has been a lot of talk about cannabinoids. There have been many revolutionary changes in the field, especially medical use of cannabinoids. Let’s take a look at these molecules’ chemical structures, because in the world of medicinal chemistry, chemical structure is directly equal to physiological & individual function, meaning the tiniest changes in a molecule’s structure changes its function drastically. Here Discuss About Is cannabis and CBD the same thing?

CBD Molecule, THC Molecule
Pictured: CBD molecule on the left and THC molecule on the right 1, 2

Here we see how chemically related the two molecules actually are – I have oriented them so the differences are easier to spot. Reiterating what I said earlier about how one tiny change makes the world of a difference; you can see above that the CBD and THC molecules have a tiny difference towards the bottom right of the molecule. This ether bond is intact in the THC molecule (the ring with the oxygen) but broken in the CBD molecule (the open ring with a OH group hanging off). It is this minute chemical difference that results in all the differences between the two molecules. 


hemp-derived CBD

Well, what about the legality? or Is cannabis and CBD the same thing?

CBD and THC are a part of cannabis, so that they are both considered Schedule I drugs under federal law. This means that they are highly regulated and must be treated as such. However, hemp-derived CBD products (with less than 0.3% of THC) are legal on a federal level, but states can regulate hemp-derived CBD as they see fit.     

Cannabis-derived CBD products are illegal on a federal level, but legal under many state laws. As of August 2022, thirty-seven U.S. states, three U.S. territories, and the District of Columbia allow for the medical use of Cannabis products (5).

If you live in a state where cannabis products are still illegal, make sure to research the laws in your state prior to buying CBD or THC products online, as if products are illegal in your state and you are caught possessing the items, you could face legal consequences.


If I use CBD, will it show up on a drug test? What about THC?

Short answer, probably not with CBD, definitely yes with THC.

Cannabinoids are very lipophilic drugs, meaning they are ‘fat-loving’, and they tend to hang out in your body’s fat tissue for up to months after ingestion. This tends to be how they get detected on drug tests even months after ingestion.

A true CBD-only product should not show up on most standard drug tests because most drug tests are not testing for it. Additionally, CBD products derived from hemp have a fairly low to no THC content, so be sure to use only an isolate or broad-spectrum products if you do get drug tested to ensure there’s no THC in your products. It’s best to avoid full spectrum products since they can contain up to 0.3% THC legally. Most of Dr. Peace Lily’s CBD products are broad spectrum with the exception of the soft gels which are full spectrum.

It is important to read labels and get your CBD products from a reputable source, since some products that make certain claims about CBD may also contain higher levels of THC without you knowing. 

Most drug tests include THC testing in their panel of drugs they test for, so if you are drug tested, I would steer clear of unreputable CBD products and all THC products since most standard drug tests are testing for THC.


What kind of labeling should I focus on when buying CBD products?

CBD is a very popular label, but CBD products marketed as so can be contaminated with many other chemical ingredients. True CBD labels require “analytical characterization of its identity, purity, and stability, rather than blanket statements such as “pure” or “natural” (4).

There are three common types of CBD sold: full-spectrum CBD, broad-spectrum CBD, and CBD isolate.

The main differences between these groups are listed below.

Full-spectrum CBD has all the naturally occurring compounds in a plant when extracted. So, for example, in hemp-derived CBD, there will be a tiny amount of THC but should not exceed 0.3%. This small amount is not enough to get you “high” or give you an intoxicating effect.

Broad-spectrum CBD has all the naturally occurring compounds in a plant when extracted, without the THC. This would include other minor cannabinoids, terpenes, and flavonoids. 

CBD isolate is exactly what its name implies – it is purely CBD in the product and no other minor cannabinoids!

Is cannabis and CBD the same thing.Additionally, you want to ensure when buying CBD products, that the product has a “Certificate of Analysis.” As I mentioned earlier, true CBD requires analytical characterization to ensure the product is truly the product being advertised. This is done when the company producing the product sends their product to get a certificate that the product was analyzed in a laboratory to certify that the product is truly CBD.


Will I have any intoxicating effects from CBD?

Unlike THC, you will not have the traditional euphoric “high” sensations produced from THC. CBD is not intoxicating, even at high doses (4).


Do you want a free consultation to see if CBD is right for you?


All in all, CBD is a great, natural source for many ailments, and if you are interested in adding CBD to your routine but not sure which product or how much to take then please contact our founder, Dr. Najifa Choudhury. You can send her an email at to set up a free one-on-one CBD dosage consultation.





This article was written by Dr. Choudhury and Dr. Peace Lily Scientific Communications Intern, Greta Johnson. She is a Doctor of Pharmacy (PharmD) student at Northeastern University School of Pharmacy at the Bouvé College of Health Sciences in Boston, Massachusetts. 


1 National Center for Biotechnology Information. PubChem Compound Summary for CID 2978, (-)-delta9-trans-Tetrahydrocannabinol. Accessed Aug. 25, 2022.

2 National Center for Biotechnology Information. PubChem Compound Summary for CID 644019, Cannabidiol. Accessed Aug. 25, 2022.

3 Agriculture Improvement Act of 2018.

4 Nelson KM, Bisson J, Singh G, et al. The Essential Medicinal Chemistry of Cannabidiol (CBD). J Med Chem. 2020;63(21):12137-12155. doi:10.1021/acs.jmedchem.0c00724

5 National Conference of State Legislatures.

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