Glossary: Cannabis Terminology

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A new CBD user can easily become overwhelmed by the terminology used in the cannabis industry. This glossary provides a list of the most commonly used terms and abbreviations within the CBD industry:

Activated: Referring to a product that has undergone decarboxylation or the heating of cannabinoids to transform them from their naturally occurring acid form to an 'activated' non-acid form.

Butane Hash Oil (BHO): This cannabis extract is created using butane as a solvent. This concentrate comes in a wide range of forms including oil, shatter, live resin, or wax. Find more information about CBD extraction methods here.

Bioavailability: The bioavailability generally refers to the effectiveness of a specific ingestion method. Specifically, this is measured as how quickly and what percentage of a product which is absorbed into the bloodstream for use by the body. Read more in our article that outlines CBD product usage methods.

Blended Spectrum: This term refers to the cannabinoid profile of a CBD product. Blended spectrum products include both raw, non-activated cannabinoids as well as activated cannabinoids. More information can be found in the spectrums section.

Broad Spectrum: This term refers to the cannabinoid profile of a CBD product. Broad spectrum includes a range of cannabinoids but does not include THC. These products can be made by removing THC from a full spectrum extract or by adding additional cannabinoids to an isolate. More information can be found in the spectrums section.

Cannabidiol (CBD): CBD is one of over 100 cannabinoids found in the cannabis plant. This phytocannabinoid is one of the most abundant in the plant. There are a wide range of medical uses and suggested benefits for the compound. Read more in our article: What is CBD?

Cannabinoid: A class of diverse chemical compounds found in the cannabis plant. These cannabinoids interact with the cannabinoid receptors found throughout the body and brain and alter neurotransmitter release.

Cannabinoid Profile / Cannabinoid Spectrum: Referring to the amounts of various cannabinoids found in a cannabis extract. More information can be found in the spectrums section.

Cannabis: Cannabis is a genus of flowering plants in the Cannabaceae family. The plant is commonly classified by species (sativa or indica) or by classification (marijuana or hemp). More information on Wikipedia.

Cannabinoid Receptors: Cannabinoid receptors are part of the endocannabinoid system.  These receptors are found in two types (CB1 & CB2) throughout the brain and body.

Cannabinoid Receptor Type 1 (CB1): CB1 is a g protein coupled receptor found throughout the body. These receptors are primarily concentrated in the spine and brain. These receptors play a role in memory, emotion, and are also found in nerve endings where they act to reduce pain.

Cannabinoid Receptor Type 2 (CB2): CB1 is also a g protein coupled receptor found throughout the body. These receptors are primarily found in the peripheral nervous system. When activated, these receptors work to reduce inflammation.

Cannabichromene (CBC): One of the 'big six' cannabinoids found in cannabis. Just like CBD and THC, CBC stems from cannabigerolic acid (CBGA). This compound carries a number of potential health benefits.

Cannabichromenic Acid (CBCA): The acid form of CBC.

CBD Extract: This is a thick, oily substance extracted from hemp. This extract contains cannabinoids, terpenoids, and other plant materials. A CBD extract will be high in CBD and low in other cannabinoids like THC. The levels of each of these components are influenced by the hemp source, extraction method, and further processing methods. More information can be found in our product type section.

CBD Isolate: An isolate is a crystalline powder form of the single CBD molecule created by further processing an extract to remove other cannabinoids, terpenoids, and plant materials.

CBD Oil: A term commonly used to generally describe CBD products, often tinctures. Specifically, CBD oil is an extract itself, or an extract/isolate added to an oil carrier. Again these are most commonly consumed sublingually as a tincture.

Cannabigerol (CBG): A lesser known cannabinoid occurring in small amounts in cannabis. This cannabinoid has shown a number of promising potential benefits including decreasing inflammation, inhibiting the growth of colorectal cancer cells, acting as an effective antibacterial agent and more.

Cannabigerolic Acid (CBGA): The precursor to three major cannabinoids - tetrahydrocannabinolic acid (THCA), cannabidiolic acid (CBDA), and cannabichromenic acid (CBCA).

Cannabinol (CBN): A lesser known cannabinoid occurring in small amounts in cannabis. Known for its potential benefits around pain relief and sedative effects.

Concentrate: A concentrated form of cannabis extract often known by another name like wax, shatter, or extract. Often used via dabbing.

Dabbing: Vaporizing a concentrated form of a cannabis extract by placing it against an extremely hot surface and inhaling the vapors produced.

Decarboxylation: The process where naturally occurring acid-form cannabinoids are heated to remove a carboxyl group. This process is as simple as smoking marijuana or heating cannabis in the oven. Temperatures of 200+ degrees Fahrenheit must be used. This form of 'decarbing' or 'activating' is used in marijuana and hemp in order to activate the cannabinoids so they may freely bind to the cannabinoid receptors in your body and brain.

Tetrahydrocannabinol (Delta-9 THC): Commonly shortened to THC, this cannabinoid is the famous high-producing substance in marijuana. In addition to producing a euphoric high, this compound also has been shown via research to carry numerous potential health benefits.

e-Liquid / e-Juice / Vape Juice: These liquids are used in vaporizers. They are vaporized via heating to 200+ degrees Fahrenheit and inhaled.

Endocannabinoid System (ECS): The ECS is a biological system which serves a variety of physiological functions including emotions, pain, memory, and appetite. Endo stands for endogenous or originating within the body.

Entourage Effect: This effect is the increased benefits provided by ingesting the various cannabinoids and terpenoids found in the whole cannabis plant together. This is opposed to ingesting a single compound alone.

Extract: An extract is an oily substance derived from cannabis which includes plant materials, waxes, fatty acids, cannabinoids, and terpenoids. This extract can be consumed directly or used as a base ingredient to create other product types.

Extraction: The process by which one of several available extraction methods are used to create an extract from the cannabis plant.

Full Spectrum: Referring to a cannabinoid spectrum containing a full range of cannabinoids in relation to what is commonly found in hemp. More information can be found in our spectrum section under full spectrum.

Hemp: A type of cannabis bred as a fibrous material for use in a wide variety of applications. Hemp contains a low THC content. Hemp is often grown outdoors and is able to be grown in most climates.

Hemp Oil: This is a broad term used to describe an oil created from hemp. This could mean hemp seed oil, or a CBD extract suspended in a carrier oil. As a consumer, you should dig deeper beyond this term to discover what is actually in the product you are purchasing. More information can be found in our article CBD Oil vs Hemp Seed Oil.

Hemp Seed Oil: This is an oil extracted from the seeds of a hemp plant using a cold expeller-pressed method. This oil is not the same as an extract. It does not contain cannabinoids and instead is a highly nutritious food source packed with Omega 3 & 6 fatty acids, amino acids, fiber and more. More information can be found in our article CBD Oil vs Hemp Seed Oil.

Industrial Hemp: This is a type of hemp grown in the USA under the 2014 farm bill. By legal definition, this hemp must contain less than 0.3% THC by dry weight.

Marijuana: A type of cannabis bred for high-THC content for recreational or medical use. Marijuana is grown under precise environmental conditions, often indoors.

Microdosing: The act of dosing small, frequent doses over a long period of time as opposed to one, large dose.

non-Activated: Referring to a product that contains the raw acid-form cannabinoids. This is because the product has not undergone decarboxylation or the heating of cannabinoids to 'activate' them.

Phytocannabinoid: The formal name of cannabinoid. Phyto as a prefix simply means 'derived from plants', describing the natural source of cannabinoids.

Raw Spectrum: Is the definition of a cannabis extract containing only non-activated acid form cannabinoids. This extract is can be added to full spectrum, broad spectrum, or isolates to create new spectrums. More information can be found in the spectrums section.

Rick Simpson Oil (RSO): A home-made oil made from cannabis using an alcohol extraction method, often extracted from marijuana. This medicine was made famous by a Canadian cancer patient named Rick Simpson.

Spectrum: A term referring to the levels of various cannabinoids and terpenoids found in an extract or product. More information can be found in the spectrums section.

Terpene: Terpenes are a large and diverse class of organic compounds produced by plants. These compounds are often associated with a specific odor. They are known to produce a wide variety of potential benefits alongside cannabinoids via the entourage effect.

Terpenoid: A modified form of a terpene. Practically speaking they are a dried hydrocarbon form of a terpene.

Terpene Profile / Terpene Spectrum: The terpene contents of a CBD extraction or product. More information can be found in the spectrums section.

Terpsolate: A type of product created by combining a CBD isolate and terpene extract.

Tetrahydrocannabinolic Acid (THCA): The acid form of THC, THCA is a non-psychoactive compound. This compound's potential benefits include anti-inflammatory properties, neuroprotective properties and more.

Water Soluble CBD: A form of CBD that is water soluble made by using glycerin, nanoemulsion or liposomes. This type of CBD is more bioavailable than oil-based products.

Wax: A form of CBD extract concentrate. Consumed via dabbing.

Originally Published: June 25, 2018 | Last Updated: September 27, 2018

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