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CBD Dictionary: The Most Commonly Used CBD Terms

You’ve been researching CBD online and keep running into new words and concepts. What’s the difference between full-spectrum and broad spectrum? What is a COA and why is it important? Here we explain some of the most common hemp-industry and CBD-related words. We hope this glossary will enhance your understanding of hemp products and make you a more informed consumer. We also throw down some science so you can impress your friends.

Let’s Get Started

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.

Bioavailability: The amount of a substance that actually enters into circulation in the body and has an active effect. Specifically, this is measured by how quickly and what percentage of a product which is absorbed into the bloodstream for use by the body.

Blended Spectrum: This term refers to the cannabinoid profile of a CBD product containing both raw, non-activated cannabinoids as well as activated cannabinoids.

Broad Spectrum: A mix of full-spectrum and CBD isolate. Broad spectrum contains all of the compounds found in the cannabis plant, except the THC is removed.

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 and is generally most abundant in hemp.

Cannabinoid: 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.

Cannabinoid Receptors: Cannabinoid receptors are part of the endocannabinoid system. These receptors are found in two types, CB1 and CB2.

CBD Extract: This is a thick, oily substance extracted from hemp. This extract contains cannabinoids, terpenoids, and other plant materials.

CBD Isolate: Purified CBD molecules that are extracted from the cannabis plant without all of the other cannabinoids. Isolates are in a crystalline powder form. These isolates may be sold alone or used as an active ingredient in CBD products.

Cannabis: A genus of flowering plants in the family Cannabaceae. It is indigenous to Central Asia. Also known as hemp.

CBD Edibles: Foods infused with CBD.  These include gummies, chocolates, candies, coffee, alcoholic drinks, teas, baked goods, and other products.

Certificate of Analysis (COA): This is a quality assurance test that confirms a product contains what its label says it contains.

Endocannabinoid System (ECS): The Endocannabinoid System is composed of our own internal cannabinoids and receptors. Two of the main receptors in the ECS are CB1 receptors, which are mainly found in the brain and nervous system, and CB2 receptors which are primarily found in the immune system and other organs of the body. When stimulated, this system supports balance, stability, and overall homeostasis in the body.

Entourage Effect: This refers to the benefits created by the synergy between terpenes and cannabinoids working together.

Extract: An extract, most often from hemp, is an oily substance derived from cannabis which includes plant materials, waxes, fatty acids, cannabinoids, and terpenoids.

Extraction: The process used to derive phytocannabinoid oil from the cannabis plant. Often, a CO2 extraction process is used to obtain crude oil. To create THC-free CBD products a second HPLC extraction method removes the THC molecule without removing any other beneficial portions of the extract.

Farm Bill: In the U.S., the farm bill sets the primary food and agricultural policy for the government. It is reviewed every five years. As part of the 2018 Farm Bill, hemp cultivation was approved. The bill also removed restrictions on the sale, transport, and possession of hemp-derived products that are produced in a manner consistent with the law.

Full-spectrum: Also known as the whole plant, refers to CBD that contains all of the cannabinoids found in the cannabis plant. It also contains terpenes, essential oils, and any vitamins and minerals present in the plant.

Gummies: An edible form of CBD typically made of gelatin or tapioca syrup, a sweetener, locust bean gum, natural flavors, carnauba wax, and other ingredients.

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 oil derived from the hemp plant.

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. It is a food product that can be used for cooking and flavor. Hemp seed oil is high in Omega 3 and 6 fatty acids.

Industrial Hemp: This is a strain of the Cannabis sativa plant species that is grown specifically for the industrial uses of its derived products. To meet the hemp classification defined by the U.S. government, a cannabis plant must contain less than 0.3% THC by dry weight to qualify as industrial hemp.

Hemp: Also known as Cannabis sativa. A tough, fibrous plant used for making rope, coarse fabric, paper, biodiesel fuel, and other industrial applications. CBD is derived from hemp.

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.

Phytocannabinoid: A  molecule synthesized by plants. There are 113 known phytocannabinoids in the cannabis plant, including CBD.

Psychoactive: Of or relating to a substance that affects mental processes. THC is a cannabinoid known for its psychoactive effects.

Terpene: A naturally occurring organic compound produced by plants that influence how plants smell. When terpenes work with cannabinoids it is called the entourage effect and influences the effectiveness and intensity of the cannabinoid.

THC: Tetrahydrocannabinol is the formal name of THC, a cannabinoid derived from medical cannabis. Its official plant classification is sativa subsp. indica. THC is the high-producing substance in marijuana known for its psychoactive and medical properties.

THC-free: CBD products that have the THC removed, typically through a CO2 extraction process which maintains the crude CBD oil.

Tinctures: An alcohol or oil-based liquid formula that contain CBD.

Vaping CBD: Vaping is considered a fast-acting and bioavailable method to consume hemp. This means the CBD gets into the body quickly and the body can use the CBD efficiently.

Now that you are all caught up on the industry’s most commonly used CBD terms, you can head over to check out the other educational articles we have on our BLOG. 

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