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CBD A to Z

A glossary dedicated to all things CBD and Hemp

CBD A to Z

A glossary dedicated to all things CBD and Hemp

Do you want to become a terp-nerd? Our eazy, smooth guide to everything from CBD to THC to the ECS.

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Anandamide

A cannabinoid produced by the body that interacts with the CB1 cannabinoid receptor. These receptors are responsible for mental and physiological processes.

Bioaccumulator

Bioaccumulation is the process where a living organism accumulates toxic substances. The hemp plant is a bioaccumulator and absorbs toxic substances from soil and pesticides. This is why it is important that the final product produced from hemp is tested for heavy metals to ensure these are at safe levels for human consumption.

Broad-Spectrum

A CBD product that has more than one cannabinoid, but not all that occur naturally within the hemp plant. For example, a product that has had the THC removed is considered broad-spectrum.

Cannabis

The broad term used to cover a group of plants used to produce fibres, medicine, food supplements and by some as a recreational drug. This term includes the high THC varieties used for medicine and recreational use. It also includes low THC hemp which is used for CBD supplements and fibres for clothing, plastic and insulation.

Slang terms for cannabis include marijuana, skunk, Mary Jane, weed, pot, dope, grass and reefer. In general, these slang terms refer to the high THC varieties used for recreational consumption.

Cannabidiol (CBD)

Cannabidiol also known as CBD is a non-intoxicating cannabinoid found in varieties of the cannabis plant as CBDa (see the next term). Cannabidiol available in the UK can only be produced from the hemp plant (Cannabis Sativa L.) which is low in the intoxicating component THC.

Carrier Oil

Carrier oils are those that are used to dilute essential oils ready for application. These are usually made from vegetable oils such as coconut or avocado. In the case od CBD the most common are coconut oil (MCT oil), hemp seed oil and olive oil. Often carrier oils are odourless with a slightly nutty flavour. This taste can often be detected when you take CBD under the tongue.

CB1 Receptors

Cannabinoid receptors, which form part of the endocannabinoid system, found on cell surfaces in the human body. Concentrated in the brain, central nervous system and some other organs.

CB2 Receptors

Cannabinoid receptors, which form part of the endocannabinoid system, found on cell surfaces in the human body. Mostly in peripheral organs, especially cells associated with the immune system. CB2 receptors are believed to regulate inflammation.

Certificate of Analysis (COA

A certificate of analysis or lab report should be provided as verification that the CBD product contains what it says on the label and is free of dangerous heavy metals and solvents. These reports can contain exact measurements of cannabinoids found in the product, heavy metals testing, solvent tests and terpene levels in the final product.

A high-quality lab report should be completed by a third party and include batch numbers so that products can be matched to the results.

Chlorophyll

This is the chemical that gives plants their green colouring and contains various vitamins and antioxidants.

Concentrate

This is a common term used amongst cannabis and CBD consumers. A concentrate describes a substance where by the diluting agent is either reduced or removed altogether to produce a higher purity product (80-99%).

A CBD oil is usually diluted with hemp seed or MCT oil, this is referred to as a carrier oil. A concentrate will not have any of these additional ingredients. Examples include CBD crystal isolate, wax, shatter, crumble or live resin. These are normally consumed as dabs (a method of vaporisation) which are inhaled for fast acting effects.

Decarboxylation

The dictionary definition is the removal or elimination of a carboxyl from a molecule. With regards to cannabinoids this is the process whereby heat is applied to CBDa to convert it to the more desired CBD. The same process is used for converting THCa to THC and CBGa to CBG.

Distillate

CBD distillate is highly-purified thick, golden amber liquid that is produced when hemp extract is winterised in ethanol and then distilled.

Edible

Edible refers to products containing CBD that can be eaten. This include CBD gummies, chewing gum, mints and chocolates.

Endocannabinoids

Refers to a protein compound (such as anandamide) which is naturally produced in the body. These bind to the same brain receptors (CB1 and CB2) as cannabinoids.

Endocannabinoid System (ECS)

A biological system that all animals and people have that maintains balance or homeostasis. Kind of like the classic fairy tale of Goldilocks and the three bears, our endocannabinoid system wants to keep our body, “just right”. This system regulates sleep, pain, appetite, memory, mood and inflammation. It is very complex and made up of CB1 and CB2 receptors, believed to be the most abundant receptors in the body, which interact with endocannabinoids and cannabinoids.

Entourage Effect

The entourage effect is a term used to describe the process whereby a combination of cannabinoids is considered to be more effective than an isolated molecule.

Flavonoid

These are a phytonutrient found in fruits and vegetables that give them their vivid colours. It is believed that these flavonoids are associated with a diet including 5 portions of fruits and vegetables a day is beneficial to health. To date there have been 19 flavonoids identified in the cannabis plant.

Full-Spectrum

Full-spectrum refers to the cannabinoids and terpenes in the oil produced from the cannabis or hemp plant. A full-spectrum oil will contain all of the naturally occurring cannabinoids. This is unlike a broad-spectrum product that will only include a select few. Some people prefer a full-spectrum product because the full range of cannabinoids contributes to the aforementioned entourage effect.

Hemp

Hemp is a strain of cannabis plant that is grown specifically for industrial uses. Unlike the variety used to grow recreational cannabis it is low in THC and has thick fibrous stems. Uses for industrial hemp include making rope, textiles, paper, bioplastics, insulation, fuel, hemp seed oil and extracting CBD.

Hemp Seed Oil

This is the oil produced by pressing the seeds of the hemp plant. They are low in cannabinoids such as THC and CBD but high in vitamins and fatty acids. This oil is used for salads, cooking and as a carrier oil for CBD products.

Isolate

A pure source of CBD (usually 99%), where during the extraction process, everything naturally found in the plant removed. This includes any trace of THC, terpenes, waxes, oils and chlorophyll. CBD isolate usually comes as a crystal or a powder.

MCT Oil

Medium Chain Triglyceride (MCT) oils are chains of fats. As they are shorter in length, they are easily digested which is why they are used as a carrier for CBD oil. MCT oils are usually extracted from coconut as it contains over 50% medium chain fats. MCT oils can also be produced from dairy and palm oil.

Omega Oils

Omega fats are well known as they are associated with a healthy diet and a reduced risk of heart disease. They are commonly found in oily fish such as mackerel and sardines. They are also found in vegetable oil, nuts and seeds.

Hemp seeds have both Omega 6 and Omega 3 fats. They are considered to be well balanced with a 3:1 ratio in favour of Omega 6, which is great for heart health.

Organic

Organic products are those that are grown using no artificial fertilisers or pesticides and produced with no artificial colours or preservatives. This is important when growing hemp as it is a bioaccumulator and can absorb heavy metals and dangerous chemicals from these products.

Pesticides

Chemical compounds used to kill pests such as insects and rodents, weeds and fungi which may damage crops. The term pesticides also includes herbicides, insecticides and fungicides. By their very nature they are harmful to animals and potentially humans.

Phytonutrients

Also known as phytochemicals, phytonutrients are produced by plants to protect them from insect attacks and UV rays. They are believed to contain antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. These phytonutrients are what give plants their bright colours.

Psychoactive

Psychoactive means something that acts upon the central nervous system to alter brain function. The alteration of brain function can cause changes in mood, perception and behaviour. For example, CBD is psychoactive.

Solvent

A solvent is a chemical used to dissolve, extract or suspend another material. In relation to CBD this refers to a method of extraction whereby alcohol is used to extract the phytocannabinoids.

Sublingual

Sublingual literally means “under the tongue”. This refers to a method of CBD consumption whereby the liquid is held under the tongue to absorb the active ingredients.

Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC)

The most well know cannabinoid found in the cannabis plant. THC is the cannabinoid that is known for the “high” feeling associated with recreational cannabis use. Many modern cannabis varieties have been bred to have higher levels of THC than any other cannabinoid.

Terpenes

Terpenes are aromatic oils that give cannabis (and other plants) their particular aromas and taste. More than 120 cannabis terpenes have been identified. They exist in varying proportions in cannabis strains and are known to have different effects on humans and animals.

Topical

A product or method that requires you to apply it directly to the skin. Topical products are typically creams, balms, lotions and ointments. Topical products are not designed to cross to the blood stream but to focus on the area it has been applied to.

Water Soluble

Water soluble means that the product can be dissolved in water.