Cannabinoids are chemical compounds produced naturally in our bodies and in some plants. In humans they’re called endocannabinoids, and in plants they’re called phytocannabinoids. The endocannabinoid system is like our body’s operating system—it affects neurotransmitters that bind to receptors and impact pain, mood, appetite, sleep, and how we feel, move and react. Phytocannabinoids derived from plants mimic our body’s natural systems as their chemical makeup is similar to endocannabinoids. CBD is a common cannabinoid in cannabis, which is actually a group of flowering plants.
A helpful analogy, as explained by Echo Connection, is to think of this: “Hemp and marijuana are to cannabis as lemons and oranges are to citrus. Two related but different plants, from the same ‘family.'”
It’s easy to see where the confusion lies. Marijuana is a term used to generally refer to the dried plant form of cannabis. Some people use the term hemp when referring to cannabis, while others use the term cannabis to refer to varieties of the plant cultivated for non-drug use, such as fiber. The main difference in varieties comes down to tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) content.