Diving into the world of CBD products can sometimes be confusing. All of a sudden, you’re exposed to all these new terms about different components, different types of plants, effects, molecules and more. Of course, knowing these terms is useful to understand how CBD can be beneficial for your own needs. Unfortunately, the lexicon can seem overwhelming at first. We’ve put together this glossary of the most common CBD terms to help you navigate the world of CBD more smoothly.
A cannabis-based product that has been activated has components (cannabinoids) that can have an effect on your body. Cannabis is activated through decarboxylation, which is the process of heating it at a high temperature.
When a CBD product is bioavailable, it is able to be absorbed into the body. Different types of CBD consumption (for example eating, smoking or applying a cream) have different rates of bioavailability.
Cannabis-based CBD products are categorized into three main categories: full-spectrum, broad-spectrum, and isolates. Unlike a full spectrum product, broad-spectrum products don’t contain any significant amount of THC. On the other hand, they contain all the other cannabinoids along with CBD.
Cannabidiol is the full name of CBD. It is considered a cannabinoid and is found in the cannabis plant. Due to its many medicinal uses, it is one of the most popular compounds of cannabis.
A cannabinoid is a chemical compound found in cannabis. These chemicals have the power to alter how our bodies function by interacting with our endocannabinoid system. The best-known cannabinoids are CBD and THC, though there are hundreds more.
Cannabis is a plant that originated in Asia. Over the centuries, it has spread all over the world. Today, it is mainly appreciated for its medicinal and recreational uses. Some other uses of cannabis include consumption of the seeds and the use of its fiber in the textile industry.
CBD oil is one of the most popular forms of consumption of CBD. In this product, CBD has been activated and stored in a carrier oil (generally hemp or coconut). CBD oil also forms the base ingredient of many other CBD products, including edibles and topicals.
Certificate of Analysis (COA):
A certificate of analysis is a document proving that a given CBD product contains the amounts of CBD and other cannabinoids that it claims to have. Reputable CBD companies should have third-party testing and receive a certificate of analysis from an independent, accredited laboratory. It is an objective measure of the quality of a product and may be consulted by consumers before purchase.
Decarboxylation is the process through which the cannabinoids of the cannabis plant are activated. When cannabis is heated past around 90°C, a chemical reaction occurs. Cannabinoids which were present in the form of acids change and are no longer acids. After that change, they are able to bind to our cannabinoid receptors and have effects on the body.
An edible is a product that can be eaten like a simple food but contains a cannabis product (either full-spectrum or broad-spectrum). Nowadays, edibles are available in an incredible variety of forms, including cakes, candy, chewable gummies, teas and even sodas.
This is a liquid that can be put in a vape and inhaled. E-liquids come in either full-spectrum or broad-spectrum formats.
Endocannabinoid system (ECS):
The endocannabinoid system is a system in our bodies that is responsible in part for controlling pain, appetite and emotions. By consuming activated cannabis products, we can change the functioning of our endocannabinoid system to achieve various medical or recreational effects.
Extraction is the process through which we go from the cannabis plant to a cannabis product that is ready to be activated and consumed. There are a few different extraction methods that manufacturers can use, including CO2 extraction or ethanol extraction. They all come with a different price and have different results in terms of product quality and purity.
The FDA is the American Food and Drug Administration, an organization responsible for ensuring the safety and efficacy of both medical drugs and food products. Currently, the FDA does not approve CBD products. However, CBD products are legal on a federal level if they contain under 0.3% THC. Moreover, the FDA approves one CBD-based medicine called Epidiolex, used to treat two forms of epilepsy.
A full-spectrum cannabis product contains all the cannabinoids found in the plant. This means it contains not just CBD but also THC, as well as additional cannabinoids and terpenes.
Epidiolex is the name of a prescription CBD-based drug used to treat Lennox-Gastaut syndrome and Dravet Syndrome. It is currently the only CBD product that has FDA approval.
Cannabis is a plant that comes in several varieties. One of those, commonly called hemp, is used for purposes like making fabric, cooking oil or hemp seeds. Hemp products are not used for medicinal purposes and are not generally activated.
A CBD isolate is a product that contains only CBD, usually mixed in a carrier oil. As opposed to broad-spectrum CBD products, isolates don’t contain any other cannabinoids or terpenes. On the other hand, they are also less likely to contain trace amounts of THC. This means that these products are sometimes favored by people who are afraid that their consumption of CBD will make them fail drug tests.
Marijuana is another type of cannabis plant, generally used for medicinal and recreational purposes. Depending on the definition, marijuana is either a plant that contains THC or simply a plant that contains phytocannabinoids.
When a cannabis product is psychoactive, it interacts with the brain. Consuming a psychoactive cannabis product will result in changes in one’s mood, cognition, perception and even behavior. THC is the primary psychoactive cannabinoid. Others, like CBD, are not psychoactive.
Sublingual ingestion is a method in which a substance is placed under the tongue. The main benefit of sublingual ingestion is that the product gets more rapidly absorbed into the bloodstream. You may come across the word sublingual when learning about CBD oil. Pure CBD oil is generally consumed sublingually because it makes it release its effects faster.
Tetrahydrocannabinol (Delta-9 THC, or simply THC):
THC is one of the most well-known cannabinoids found in the cannabis plant. As a psychoactive ingredient, THC is mainly used for recreational purposes. It makes the user feel “high” and alters perception. THC has also been found to have a few medicinal properties.
A topical product is one that is meant to be used on the skin. CBD topicals include creams, lotions and salves. They are commonly used by people with skin conditions or simply for their moisturizing and anti-inflammatory properties.
A terpene is a compound found in cannabis that is not a cannabinoid. Terpenes are responsible for giving cannabis its odor and flavor. The health benefits of terpenes are currently being studied, and research suggests they may have a great variety of potential health benefits.
Vaping is a way to consume CBD through a device known as a vape. A vape is an electronic cigarette, a product that allows users to inhale fumes. Vaping CBD is possible by using e-liquids that contain either a CBD isolate or broad-spectrum CBD.
Is CBD legal?
CBD products that contain trace amounts of THC (less than 0.3%) are now legal on a federal level in the United States. However, they are not FDA-approved, and may still be illegal in certain states. Check your local laws before making a purchase.