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To those unfamiliar, the terminology used in the cannabis industry can be confusing. Understanding the basic terminology can be very helpful in navigating the products and processes used across the hemp CBD industry. This glossary provides a list of the most commonly used terms and abbreviations that you'll be sure to find:
Bioavailability: The bioavailability generally refers to the effectiveness of a specific ingestion method. Specifically, this is measured as to how quickly and what percentage of a product which is absorbed into the bloodstream for use by the body. Read more about bioavailability in our article that outlines CBD product usage methods.
Broad Spectrum: This term refers to the cannabinoid and terpene profile of a CBD product. Broad-spectrum includes a full-spectrum range of cannabinoids and terpenes with a single exception: THC.
Cannabidiol (CBD): CBD is one of the primary cannabinoids of over 100 found in the cannabis plant. This phytocannabinoid is bred to be abundant in hemp strains that are used to create CBD products. The wide range of potential therapeutic uses of this non-psychoactive compound has created a high demand for the cannabinoid.
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 in a system called the endocannabinoid system. They alter neurotransmitter release and can be used to help maintain balance in the systems throughout the body.
Cannabinoid Profile / Cannabinoid Spectrum: Referring to the types and amounts of cannabis compounds found in a given extract or product. Determined by the cannabinoid and terpene content. The three main types are covered here in our article on spectrums.
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. The naturally occurring phytocannabinoids and the internally generated endocannabinoid bind to these receptors.
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.
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.
CBD Extract: This is a thick, oily substance extracted from hemp. This extract contains cannabinoids, terpenoids, and other plant materials. A hemp 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. These extracts may be sold alone or used as an active ingredient in CBD products.
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. These isolates may be sold alone or used as an active ingredient in CBD products.
CBD Oil: A term commonly used to generally describe CBD products as a whole, and also a descriptor specifically for CBD tinctures.
Concentrate: A concentrated form of cannabis extract often known by another name like wax, shatter, or extract. Often used for dabbing.
Dabbing: Vaporizing a concentrated form of a cannabis extract by placing it against an extremely hot surface and inhaling the vapors produced. See our guide for more info.
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 that serves a variety of physiological functions including emotions, pain, memory, and appetite. This system helps maintain homeostasis, or balance within the body. Endo stands for endogenous or originating within the body.
Entourage Effect: This effect is the added, synergistic effects and benefits provided by ingesting a whole-plant spectrum of cannabinoids and terpenoids.
Extract: An extract, most often from hemp, 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 types of products.
Extraction: The process by which one of several available extraction methods are used to create a phytocannabinoid-rich oil extract from the cannabis plant.
Full Spectrum: Referring to a cannabinoid spectrum containing a full range of cannabinoids, terpenes, and other cannabis compounds in relation to what is commonly found in hemp - including a trace amount of THC.
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 an omega-3 rich hemp seed oil or a cannabinoid-rich CBD extract. As a consumer, you should ensure you understand the difference to understand what is in the product you are purchasing.
Hemp Seed Oil: This is an oil extracted from the seeds of a hemp plant using a cold expeller-pressed method. This oil does not contain cannabinoids and instead is a highly nutritious food source packed with Omega 3 & 6 fatty acids, amino acids, fiber, and more.
Industrial Hemp: This is a classification of hemp defined by the federal government. By legal definition, a cannabis plant must contain less than 0.3% THC by dry weight to qualify as industrial hemp.
Liposomes: Small spherical sacs containing hemp oil extract used to increase the bioavailability and effectiveness of a product.
Marijuana: A type of cannabis bred for high-THC content for recreational or medical use. Marijuana is grown under precise environmental conditions, often indoors. Federally, marijuana is seen as any cannabis plant containing 0.3% THC or greater by dry weight.
Nanoemulsion: A water-soluble emulsion of hemp extract oil droplets broken into particles averaging 25 nanometers in diameter. This process increases surface area and thus is up to 5x as bioavailable as traditional oil-based products.
Phytocannabinoid: The formal name of naturally occurring cannabinoids. 'Phyto' as a prefix simply means 'derived from plants'.
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.
Terpsolate: A type of product created by combining a CBD isolate and terpene extract.
Water Soluble CBD: A form of CBD that is water-soluble made by breaking an extract into tiny particles using nanoemulsions or liposomes. This type of CBD is more bioavailable than oil-based products.