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How to Tell CBD Flower from Weed

How to Tell CBD Flower from Weed | The Seed Fair

CBD flowers and cannabis buds are two different types of cannabis plants. The appearance of these two might be similar, with small differences in the flower and leaves, but their chemical composition is different, resulting in varying therapeutic effects.

Both terms are used interchangeably and that’s why there may be some confusion for people new to purchasing CBD flowers. Let’s take a look at some of the key differences and how to tell CBD flower from weed.

What is a CBD flower?

CBD flower is a type of cannabis Sativa plant that has less than 0.3% THC but is rich in CBD. It is also referred to as a hemp plant in agricultural practices. This benefits consumers because cannabis plants with less than 0.3% THC are legal at the federal level, they are classified the same as industrial hemp.

Both marijuana and the hemp plant contain varying amounts of CBD, but a marijuana flower will generally have upwards of 25-30% THC, the psychoactive cannabinoid that gets you high. CBD cannabis seeds are generally easier to grow because they don’t require as much nutrition, watering, or light to produce flowers.

CBD Effect

CBD flower has no psychoactive effects, instead working with our internal endocannabinoid system to promote homeostasis. It is often used in various therapies for generalized anxiety disorder, depression, and other mental disorders. CBD is also being studied to see its effectiveness in preventing addictions to other drugs. Some of the benefits of its effects include:

  • Sleep problems like insomnia
  • Chronic pain conditions such as fibromyalgia
  • PTSD sufferers
  • Inflammation
  • Appetite disorders
  • Neurological diseases

CBD flower is generally smoked or vaped as it is the easiest form to take. You can also create tinctures and oils to create your own edibles. The best way to get CBD oil into your bloodstream is through an edible as it will digest, go through your liver and enter your blood through the intestinal walls.

CBD Hemp flower and cannabis plant: differences & resemblances

CBD cannabis seeds turn into different plants compared to normal cannabis plants. It’s good to know what they look like since you may purchase the wrong type if you’re unsure. They are similar in appearance because they come from the same species. The aroma will fool you as well since they have a lot of the same compounds inside, usually in the form of a terpene profile.


The main thing that sets CBD flowers apart from cannabis flowers is that the THC content is below 0.3%. Do not expect hemp plants to get you high, as it’s only a medicinal product. CBD flowers will not produce the same psychoactive effects as THC-rich cannabis.

CBD has legal status in all 50 states in the US meaning anyone can possess or grow it. Marijuana plants are legal in 19 states for recreational marijuana while two-thirds of the states consider it legal for medical purposes.


The two plants are very similar since they both come from the original cannabis Sativa species. It can still be tricky to identify the two so here are some details to look out for.

  • Their appearance will be very similar with both plants showing flowers and fan leaves.
  • Both will smell the same as they have similar terpene profiles and flavonoids in their genetics.
  • They both contain elements of each other. CBD flowers will have minute traces of THC whereas THC-rich cannabis will have small amounts of CBD.

How to tell if you were sold CBD weed?

There are subtle differences between CBD and THC flowers that a trained eye and nose can figure out, but for the novice grower, it could be a little more difficult to discern. Here are some things to look out for if you think you were sold CBD seeds.

  • CBD flowers will generally have high terpene levels, making the smell more distinct. Expect a robust aroma that smells like you can eat it as if it were candy.
  • Visually, the plants will look very different. Depending on the THC strain you can have tall or short plants, but pay special attention to how lanky or skinny the plant is. CBD plants are generally much lankier than regular weeds.

What does CBD look like vs. weed

The easiest way to tell CBD flower from weed is that a weed plant will appear bushier and produce a lot of flowers per branch. CBD plants will have thinner leaves (much like a Sativa) and will cluster closer to the top of the plant. Expect to have very tall CBD plants that have sparse flowers. High-quality hemp flowers will be green and purple with quality CBD flowers having a brighter tone.

Cannabinoid content in CBD vs. weed buds

In the Cannabis Sativa family, there are over 100 chemical compounds called cannabinoids. Based on the strain, these chemicals can appear in varying amounts. In CBD flowers, they are changed even further giving distinct effects to each individual.

The most common distinction is that a hemp flower has low amounts of THC cannabinoids while high in CBD. THC products are high in THC and low in CBD. There has, however, never been a strain that is devoid of either.


CBD hemp flowers won’t make you high. If you smoke some suspicious buds and don’t get high, it might be CBD. Another telltale sign is that you feel better in general, whether that be from pain or low feelings.

Although you won’t get high you will reap the benefits from CBD as it works in your system to reduce inflammation and other symptoms. Most people report a general sense of well-being when they consume CBD products.

Terpene profile difference between THC and CBD flower

All Cannabis Sativa varieties will have the same terpene profiles but in different amounts and only with select oils. CBD flowers tend to have higher concentrations of terpenes and are an indication of good health. Often terpenes are extracted with CBD to give an entourage effect where the health benefits are expanded because of the synergistic relationship between all of the chemicals.

Find the best CBD marijuana at The Seed Fair

The Seed Fair is the best seed bank to get your CBD/hemp flower genetics. We work with the best breeders all over the world sourcing out the best strains for your garden. All of our strains have an in-depth description to ensure you know all of the information you need to make an informed purchase.

We love giving out free seeds with our orders so don’t stop at just one strain, stock up your library! Don’t forget that we offer free shipping over $99 to all 50 US states in discreet packaging to make sure your purchase stays safe.

Looking to grow feminized cannabis seeds instead? Check out our article on How to Identify a Female Seed!

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