Glossary

Broad-spectrum

Products labeled “broad spectrum” fall somewhere between full-spectrum and isolate formulations. They contain terpenes and other beneficial cannabinoids as well as some of the benefits of the entourage effect — without any THC. For those who can’t have or don’t want to have any traces of THC in their system, broad-spectrum products can be a better choice.

Cannabidiol

Also known as CBD, cannabidiol is one of the naturally occurring cannabinoids found in cannabis plants. It accounts for 40% of the plant’s extract. CBD does not produce psychoactive effects. Cannabidiol interacts with the endocannabinoid system (ECS), part of the nervous system that’s thought to play a regulatory role in all kinds of bodily functions, including mood, sleep and appetite.

Cannabinoid

Not to be confused with cannabidiol, a cannabinoid is one of the diverse chemical compounds that acts on the endocannabinoid system receptors found throughout the body. These molecules include the endocannabinoids produced naturally in the body and phytocannabinoids from cannabis. The two most notable cannabinoids are THC and CBD.

Cannabis sativa

This flowering herbaceous plant has been farmed throughout recorded human history. It is farmed for marijuana as well as the industrial hemp used in CBD products. In addition, hemp fiber, hemp seed oil, and food products are also derived and harvested from different parts of the plant.

CBD

Another name for Cannabidiol.

Certificate of analysis (COAs)

A document from an accredited laboratory certifying the amount of cannabinoids in a given product. This proof of analysis exists to benefit the consumer as much as the producer: It guarantees quality assurance for both parties. Reviewing the COA helps you avoid mislabeled, low-quality or fake products. A reputable company will always provide one.

CO2 extraction

The carbon-dioxide extraction process uses changes in temperature and pressure to create phase changes in carbon dioxide, gently drawing out the plant’s beneficial components. The result is clean, safe oil with a long shelf life.

Endocannabinoid system

Also known as the ECS, the main function of this mammalian system is to maintain bodily homeostasis. Scientists believe that cannabis is effective, in part, because the phytocannabinoids it contains mimic our endocannabinoids. Endocannabinoid receptors are found throughout the entire body, and the system plays a part in many of the body’s processes.

Entourage effect

This phenomenon is all about teamwork: It is the result of the many components in the cannabis plant interacting together with the human body to produce a stronger effect than any one component on its own. Full-spectrum CBD products combine CBD with other naturally occurring terpenes and cannabinoids (including THC) to be more effective than their isolate counterparts.

Extraction

The process of deriving CBD extract from hemp. There are several methods of extracting CBD from cannabis plants, including CO2 and cold ethanol extraction.

Farm Bill (2018)

United States Congress voted at the end of December 2018 to pass the Agriculture Improvement Act of 2018, more commonly referred to as the Farm Bill. This legislation made CBD products legal to purchase in all 50 states. Under the Farm Bill, industrial hemp (where CBD products are derived from) must contain less than 0.3% THC. The power over industrial hemp regulation is shared by the state and federal governments. The Farm Bill also gave the FDA the authority to regulate cannabis products.

Full spectrum

CBD that is full of all the terpenes, cannabinoids, flavonoids, and fatty acids found in hemp, all of which have therapeutic value of their own and help create what’s known as the entourage effect.

Hemp

A distinct strain of the Cannabis sativa plant often grown for industrial use. Hemp used in CBD products must contain less than 0.3% THC.

Hemp seed oil

Derived from industrial hemp, hemp seed oil is created by pressing the plant’s seeds. It has no therapeutic benefits but is often used as a dietary supplement and a low-saturated-fat cooking oil.

Industrial hemp

Hemp grown specifically for the industrial uses of its products, including textiles, clothing, biodegradable plastic, food and medicine. Hemp products are legal in the U.S. under the Farm Bill as long as they contain less than 0.3% THC.

CBD Isolate

These products are 99% CBD. To manufacture an isolate, everything contained in the plant matter is removed — including any traces of THC and other beneficial cannabinoids — until only a powder or crystalline form of CBD is left. This means that isolate users will not benefit from the entourage effect.

Marijuana

A general term that refers to female Cannabis sativa plants that produce flowers containing phytocannabinoids that are used for their medicinal and psychoactive properties.

Phytocannabinoid

The chemical compounds in cannabis plants that mimic the endocannabinoids naturally produced by the body. CBD and THC are examples of phytocannabinoids.

Psychoactive

A property that changes brain function by interacting with the central nervous system and results in altered perception, mood, consciousness, cognition, or behavior. THC is the primary psychoactive component in cannabis plants.

Strain

A cannabis plant bred for certain characteristics and use in medicinal, recreational, or industrial purposes. Industrial hemp, for example, is a strain bred to contain more CBD and less THC than other varieties, making it useful for medicinal products and legal under the Farm Bill.

Terpene

Aromatic oils that lend flavors such as berry, mint, and pine to different cannabis strains. More than 100 different terpenes have been identified, and every cannabis strain has its own terpene profile. The effects of any given terpene may be amplified in the presence of other compounds (also known as the entourage effect).

THC

This is a primary cannabinoid found in cannabis and the one responsible for its psychoactive effects. It works on endocannabinoid receptors in the brain to release dopamine, the euphoric feeling of highness.

Topical

A delivery method where product is applied to the skin, typically as a salve or lotion, over the areas where discomfort is.