CBD Glossary of Terms


CBD Glossary of Terms

Anandamide (AEA) – Endogenous cannabinoid molecule involved in regulating many functions in the body, including sleep, perception of pain, memory, and digestion. The word combines the Sanskrit word meaning bliss (Ananda) and the chemical name for a key part of the molecular structure of this compound (amide). This fatty acid neurotransmitter is produced by the body and it closely mimics THC.

Anecdotal Evidence – Evidence that comes to light through the sharing of experiences between various individuals. Although it does not rise to the same level of credibility as clinical trials, anecdotal evidence helps to inform treatment and guides research.

Antioxidant – It’s a substance such as vitamin E or beta-carotene that protects body cells from the damaging effects of oxidation. The body produces its own antioxidants, and we can supplement these through diet. Cannabis is a rich source of antioxidants.

Bidirectional – Medical effects that can produce opposite results on different people. An example would be a product that stimulates one person while sedating a different person.

Bioavailability – This word describes the body’s ability to make use of CBD. The percentage of the substance that is absorbed into the bloodstream defines its bioavailability. Bioavailability impacts efficacy, meaning that products with optimized bioavailability have a higher absorption rate than those with low bioavailability.

Biphasic – Literally means two phases. In a medical contest it means that low and high doses of the same substance can have opposite effects. For example, CBD can have alerting effects at low to moderate doses, and it can act as a sedative at high doses.

Blood Brain Barrier – A barrier between the brain’s blood vessels (capillaries) and the cells and other components that make up brain tissue. The barrier protects against circulating toxins or pathogens that could cause brain infections, while allowing vital nutrients to reach the brain.

Broad-Spectrum CBD – The cannabinoid profile of a CBD product that includes a full-spectrum range of cannabinoids, terpenes, flavonoids and fatty acids with the single exception of THC which has been removed or registers at or below the legal limit of .3 percent.

Cannabidiol (CBD) – CBD is one of over 110 cannabinoids found in the cannabis plant. Term used to refer to molecules that are found in the cannabis plant and that interact with cannabinoid receptors. It’s the primary cannabinoid found in hemp and the second most abundant cannabinoid found in cannabis.

Cannabis – 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).

Cannabinoids – Active chemical compounds found in the seeds, stalk and flowers of the cannabis plants. The chemicals interact with cannabinoid receptors to produce various effects from pain relief to appetite stimulant. The two most well-known cannabinoids are CBD and THC.

Cannabinoid Receptors – Receptors are part of the endocannabinoid system located in cells throughout the body (See CB1 and CB2).

CB1 Receptor – A protein coupled receptor found throughout the body with a concentration in the brain and spinal cord. CB1 receptors target our motor activity, thinking processes, appetite, short term memory, perception of pain, and immune cells. See Endocannabinoid System.

CB2 Receptor – A protein coupled receptor found throughout the body that influence blood vessels, glands, spleen, tonsils, gut, kidneys, bones, and liver. See Endocannabinoid System.

CBD Oil – A liquid extract obtained from the flowering portions of the hemp plant, then dissolved in another oil like coconut or sesame oil. It typically contains no THC and has no psychoactive properties.

CBD-Rich Oil (PCR) – PCR is an acronym for phytocannabinoid-rich and it refers to CBD oil going through filtration and distillation to remove unwanted compounds such as chlorophyll and waxes. The resulting product has a higher concentration of CBD than the raw extract.

Certificate of Analysis (COA) – A certificate or report by a testing facility that verifies certain tests were performed, as well as their results. Often contains potency tests, heavy metal tests, solvent tests, and or terpene tests.

CO2 Extraction – A solvent based extraction process that uses high pressure and low temperature carbon dioxide. This is the most expensive extraction method, and its regarded as the most effective and safest method with no residue. It’s used for a wide range of nutraceuticals and organic crops.

Concentrates – A category of products that are characterized by a highly concentrated cannabinoid content. Concentrates are often named to reflect their final texture following the process: honeycomb, shatter, wax, budder, etc.

Crystalline Isolates – This is a pure white powder that contains 99 percent pure CBD and no THC. All the plant matter contained in the hemp plant, including oils, waxes, and chlorophyll, are removed. It’s created as part of the extraction process used to extract CBD from the raw plant.

Delivery Method – Refers to the ways CBD enters the body. Options include drops (tincture), vaporizing (inhalation), topicals, and transdermal (through the skin).

Dispensary – A licensed business that offers safe access for either a medical patient or legal consumer to purchase cannabis and cannabis products.

Dosing – Generally applies to using chemicals or medicines in small quantities. A dose is a specified quantity of a therapeutic agent. It’s usually prescribed to be taken at one time or at stated intervals.

ECS – See Endocannabinoid System.

Edibles – Products that can contain CBD, THC or a combination of both, along with gelatin, sugar and added flavor. Common edible products include gummies, cookies, brownies, candies, chocolates, beverages, and even CBD-infused honey.

Endocannabinoid System (ECS) – The natural infrastructure in your body that produces, uses and dissolves cannabinoids. ECS is composed of chemical receptors where endocannabinoids (internally produced cannabinoids) bond to help with the body’s homeostasis.

Entourage Effect – The main idea that was originally proposed in 1999 and refined in 2010 is that the cannabinoids present in both cannabis and hemp are synergistic with all the other phytochemicals that are naturally present: terpenes, flavonoids, fatty acids, esters, and lactones. Exploring the level of this synergy represents a major focus of future research.

Extraction Method – Various methods are used to extract CBD from raw plant material so they can be featured in easy-to-use products like tinctures and topicals. Extraction can be done manually (without solvents) or with the use of various chemical solvents like hydrocarbons (butane or propane), alcohol-like ethanol, and a pressurized form of CO2. Another form is with olive oil, but it results in cannabis-infused oil and not pure extract.

Flavonoids – Compounds in plants which give plants their color, filter out UV rays, attract pollinators like butterflies, and prevent plant diseases. Cannabis has about 20 flavonoids. The benefit of flavonoids is they are anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, antifungal, anti-bacterial, anti-cancer, and anti-allergic.

Free Radicals – Unstable molecules that damage cells in the body. Too much damage can lead to oxidative stress which is an imbalance that is thought to lead to most diseases. Free radicals can also result from external sources like tobacco smoke and pesticides.

Full-Spectrum CBD – This indicates that all of a plant’s natural compounds are present in the extracted oil. Any hemp oil listed as full spectrum will contain some amount of THC.

Gummies – This is a popular term for edibles that are part of the family of CBD products.

Hemp – A cannabis plant bred to have very low THC content and is primarily cultivated for its useful fibers. Hemp products include rope, canvas, shoes, paper, carpeting, plastic, soap, cosmetics, building materials like paint and solvents, and much more.

Hemp Oil – An oil extracted from cannabis seeds by cold pressing. Stimulates growth of hair and nails, improves health of the skin, and can reduce inflammation. Has omega-3s and GLA.

Hemp Seed Oil – Hempseed oil is a rich and balanced source of omega‐6 and omega‐3 polyunsaturated fatty acids.

Homeostasis – Refers to the self-regulating process of any system of the human body to maintain a stable internal environment despite changes and stressors in the external environment. The endocannabinoid system plays a vital role in achieving that balance.

Indica – A species of cannabis originating in the Middle East and Asia. Plant variation has calming and sedative-like qualities. First identified in 1783.

Industrial Hemp – This is a variety of the cannabis plant species that can be process for use as building materials, paper, biodegradable plastics, and more. The hemp typically has low concentrations of THC and higher concentrations of CBD.

Inflammation – Refers to the body’s response to injury, illness and chronic diseases. It involves the body’s white blood cells and substances they produce to protect humans from bacteria, viruses and other threats. Symptoms include join pain, joint stiffness, loss of joint function, swelling, and redness. Obesity and stress can lead to chronic inflammation.

Isolates – See Crystalline Isolates. A cannabis product that contains only the CBD compound.

Marijuana – A slang term for cannabis originating in Mexico.

Microdosing – A dosing method where you take very small doses throughout the day instead of bigger doses once or twice a day.

Nanoemulsions – Refers to a cutting-edge method for transforming CBD into a water-soluble form that allows the CBD to enter the bloodstream almost immediately. CBD can take 15 to 30 minutes to show results, but that timeline is compressed to 2-4 minutes in a water-soluble form.

Neuroprotectants – Includes compounds like cannabinoids. They reduce damage to the brain and nervous system while encouraging the growth and development of new neurons. Neuroprotection is especially important after traumatic brain events like stroke and injury, or in response to a neurodegenerative disease like Parkinson’s or Alzheimer’s.

Neurotransmitters – Chemical substances that relay messages throughout the body. CBD and other cannabinoids act as neurotransmitters.

Olive Oil Extraction Method – The advantage of this method is that high amounts of omega fatty acids remain in the oil and there are almost no chemical residues.

Opioids – Prescribed painkiller drugs with the risk of serious addiction. In 2017, over 72,000 Americans died as a result of opioid overdose. That’s a higher death rate than car crashes or gun violence.

Oxidative Stress – A condition that occurs when free radicals cause more damage than the body can handle. It’s considered an underlying cause of many diseases.

Phytocannabinoids – Over 100 natural chemicals found in the cannabis plant with a chemical structure related to endocannabinoids. Some of the most common chemicals in this mix include CBD, THC, CBDV, THCV, and THCA. See CBD-Rich Oil (PCR). Most people refer to phytocannabinoids simply as cannabinoids.

Phytochemicals – These are naturally occurring chemicals produced by plants including cannabis and hemp.

Psychoactive – Substances or compounds that can alter a person’s perception, mindset or normal brain function.

Resin – An oily substance produced by plan trichomes that contains most of the active compounds found in cannabis and hemp.

Sativa – A species of cannabis that’s taller than Indica which produces more cerebral effects when consumed (stimulant properties). First identified in 1753 and readily available in Southeast Asia, Africa, Mexico, and South America.

Serotonin – A neurotransmitter that impacts every part of our body including our emotions and motor skills. It helps with sleeping, eating and digesting. It’s also considered a natural mood stabilizer. Too little serotonin in the brain is thought to play a role in depression.

Sorbitol – A sugar alcohol found in fruits and plants with diuretic, laxative and cathartic property.

Strain – Refers to the variety of cannabis plants that have characteristics or attributes that are used to achieve a specific desired effect. The various strains are characterized by the potency of CBD and THC, their ratio, the genetics (Sativa, Indica or hybrid), and sometimes the terpene content. Some of the more well-known strains include AC/DC, Canna Tonic, Canna Sue, Therapy A, Charlotte’s Web, Electra 4, Harlequin, Harle Sue, Omrita, Remedy, Ringo’s Gift, Sour Sue, Suzy Q, and Valentine X.

Sublingual Delivery – A consumption method that involves applying the product under the tongue. This accelerates the product chemicals entering the bloodstream.

Synthetic Cannabinoids – Cannabinoids produced in the laboratory to mimic the endocannabinoids or phytocannabinoids.

Terpenes / Terpenoids – Organic compounds (natural oil) in plants responsible for the flavor and scent of cannabis and other plants, fruit, and herbs. Terpenes can also affect our bodies, which is the basis of aromatherapy. Some of the most well-known terpenes in cannabis include: Humulene, Pinene, Linalool, Beta-Caryophyllene, Myrcene, Limonene, and Terpineol.

THC – Common name for tetrahydrocannabinol or delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol. THC comes from the cannabis plant and it’s the only psychoactive component.

Therapeutic Window – This term refers to a range of doses that produces therapeutic response without causing any significant adverse effect in patients. It’s normally a ratio between minimum effective concentrations and minimum toxic concentrations.

Third Party Lab Report – A certificate or report by a testing facility that verifies certain tests were performed, as well as their results. Often contains potency tests, heavy metal tests, solvent tests, and or terpene tests.

Tincture – A liquid cannabis extract made with a high proof alcohol or glycerol that is dosed with a dropper in most cases. The liquid is usually placed under the tongue where it is absorbed into the blood stream quickly.

Topical Delivery – These are lotions, balms and salves that are applied to the skin.

Transdermal Delivery – This refers to delivering medication via a patch so it can be absorbed through the skin.

Vape / Vaping – This is a method for consuming hemp or cannabis oils in liquid form through a vape pen. It’s considered to be a healthier option versus smoking dried flower.

Vaporizer (E-cigarette) – A device with a rechargeable battery that heats the cannabis flower (bud) or liquids containing THC or nicotine to produce vapor for inhalation. Used as an alternative to smoking cannabis or tobacco.



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