Learn the Language: A CBD Glossary

Jan 16th 2024

Learn the Language: A CBD Glossary


CBD bioavailability is the percentage of CBD that is actually absorbed into the bloodstream. This is important because the more you actually absorb into the bloodstream, the more potent the effect. CBD bioavailability is mainly determined by the type of product you take and how you take it. 

Broad Spectrum 

Broad spectrum CBD products contain an array of cannabinoids and terpenes but with the THC extracted. Think of Broad Spectrum CBD as Full Spectrum without the THC. 

Cannabinoid kə-ˈna-bə-ˌnȯid | Noun 

A chemical compound (a class of molecules) found in cannabis and produced by the human body that interacts with our bodies’ receptors. Endocannabinoids, or cannabinoids produced by the human body, are an essential component of our bodies’ endocannabinoid system (ECS), which is largely responsible for maintaining internal balance, or homeostasis. Phytocannabinoids, or cannabinoids produced by the cannabis plant, mimic the functions of our endocannabinoids. There are over 140 classified phytocannabinoids in cannabis, including THC (tetrahydrocannabinol - best known as an intoxicant) and CBD (cannabidiol - used to treat dozens of different ailments and conditions. As research continues, we are learning more and more about the additional phytocannabinoids within the cannabis plant, and how they work with the human body. 

Cannabidiol (CBD) kan-ə-bə-ˈdī-ˌȯl | Noun 

A non-intoxicating cannabinoid found in cannabis. After tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), cannabidiol (CBD) is the second-most abundant cannabinoid in the plant, and has many potential therapeutic benefits, including anti-inflammatory, analgesic, anti-anxiety and seizure-suppressant properties. 

Camphor kam-fer Noun 

A waxy, flammable terpenoid with a strong aroma. It can be found naturally occurring in the wood of camphor laurel, kapur tree, rosemary leaves, in the mint family, and camphorweed. Camphor is a powerful terpene that has rich anesthetic and antimicrobial properties. It’s mainly used for its scent, as a cooking ingredient, as an embalming fluid, for medicinal purposes, and in religious ceremonies. 

Cannabis ˈka-nə-bəs | Noun 

A genus of sturdy plant species whose parts are used to produce hemp, medicinal products and adult-use stimulants. Cannabis can be prepared in numerous forms, including smokable flower, concentrates, infused in food items as edibles or mixed into topical products. Cannabis use has been a medical and social staple in world civilizations for millennia and gained notoriety during the 19th century. 

Capsule ˈkap-səl | Noun 

CBD, or other cannabinoid, in pill form, administered through ingestion. Capsules can contain any form of cannabis, even decarboxylated flower. Capsule contents range from a single cannabinoid, say CBD, to full-spectrum product or oil. These often function as safer alternatives to vaping or smoking. 

CB1 (Cannabinoid-1 Receptor) Kə-ˈna-bə-ˌnȯid ‘wən ‘ri-ˈsep-tər | Noun

A vitally important protein in the body’s endogenous cannabinoid system (ECS). CB1 is the main target of delta-9-THC, the primary intoxicating ingredient in cannabis. THC is an agonist, or activator of the CB1. THC must bind to the CB1 receptor for a person to feel the cannabinoid’s intoxicating effects.

CB2 (Cannabinoid-2 Receptor) Kə-ˈna-bə-ˌnȯid ˈtü ‘ri-ˈsep-tər | Noun

An important protein in the body’s endogenous cannabinoid system that is heavily involved in the body’s immune system, and plays an important role in fighting inflammation.

Certificate of Analysis Sər-ˈti-fi-kət əv ə-ˈna-lə-səs | Noun 

A document issued by an internal quality assurance team or third-party analytical testing lab that confirms that the product has passed inspection and meets regulatory standards. A certificate of analysis can include information on the following; cannabinoids, terpenes, heavy metals, pesticides, microbes, mycotoxins, moisture content, water activity, residual solvents, and the presence of foreign materials. 

CO2 sē-ō-tü | Noun

Carbon dioxide. In cannabis concentrates, CO2 refers to a nonflammable solvent used to extract the desirable compounds from the cannabis plant. The CO2 extraction process can include the use of subcritical and supercritical fluids, which vary in pressure and temperature. 

Cultivar ˈkəltəˌvär | Noun

A group of plants that carry common, distinguishable characteristics that have been selected in a process of breeding during commercial cultivation. Cultivar is synonymous with variety. The term strain is often used to refer to a cultivar of cannabis, however, the term strain is not strictly correct in the field of botany, though it is used in other fields of biology.

Distillate ˈdis-tə-ˌlāt | Noun 

A runny, translucent oil devoid of the waxes or undesirable compounds from the original plant. Distillate is desirable due to its potency and versatility. It can be used to dab, vaporize, and mix in as an ingredient in edibles, topicals, and other products. Distillate concentrates are achieved through an extensive refinement process that separates compounds from cannabis plant matter.

Edible ˈe-də-bəl | Noun 

Any food that is infused with cannabinoids. Edibles and their cannabinoids are processed differently than inhaled cannabis. When a cannabis edible is ingested, cannabinoids enter the bloodstream through the stomach and liver, which incurs a longer effect time before its effects can be felt. 

Entourage or Ensemble Effect än-ˈsäm-bəl i-ˈfekt | Verb

The combined effect of different cannabis compounds that sync with other cannabis compounds to produce a greater effect, rather than relying on an entourage of compounds to create the desired effect. 

Endocannabinoid System ˌendōˈkə-ˈna-bə-ˌnȯid ˈsis-təm | Noun 

A system of cannabinoid receptors, lipids, and enzymes that performs a large role in maintaining homeostasis, or internal regulatory balance, in many bodily functions. All mammalian vertebrates have an endocannabinoid system, which interacts with endocannabinoids and phytocannabinoids that are found in cannabis. The endocannabinoid system’s far-reaching influence is what allows cannabis to provide medicinal benefits for a large range of symptoms. 

Extraction ikˈstrakSH(ə)n | Noun 

The process by which cannabinoids and terpenes found within cannabis are recovered from the plant material. There are a variety of machines, solvents, and techniques that can be utilized to extract cannabis compounds. 

Flavonoid Noun | \ˈflāvəˌnoid\ 

Organic compounds that work synergistically with terpenes to provide aroma and flavor in cannabis and a variety of other organisms, including plants, fruits, and vegetables. Flavonoids are formed inside cannabis trichomes, and may also work synergistically with terpenes and cannabinoids in producing therapeutic effects. 

Flower ˈflau̇(-ə)r | Noun 

A general term that refers to the smokable, trichome-covered part of a female cannabis plant. Flower is the most popular form of cannabis due to its versatility, offering numerous consumption methods, such as being smoked using a pipe or bong, or by rolling it in a joint or blunt. 

Full Spectrum ˈfu̇l ˈspek-trəm | Noun 

A cannabis concentrate produced that preserves the full cannabinoid and terpene contents of the raw cannabis plant. The goal of a full-spectrum extract is to maintain the complex range of desirable compounds in a cannabis plant without altering them through decarboxylation or oxidation. 

Heavy Metals ˈhevē ˈmedls ˈ| Noun 

Toxicants that are absorbed by plants during their growth from the nutrients, fertilizer, water, and soils and can trigger a range of health problems in low concentrations. Heavy metals commonly tested include arsenic, nickel, lead, mercury, copper, zinc, chromium, and cadmium.

Hemp Hɛ́mp | Noun 

Hemp is a variety of cannabis that contains less than .3% THC. Also referred to as “industrial hemp,” the U.S. government regulates hemp to not exceed 0.3 percent THC on a dry-weight basis. Hemp is cultivated for its seeds or fiber and often used in dietary supplements, skin products, and clothing. The seeds, which contain about 30 percent oil, are edible and a good source of fiber, protein, vitamin E, potassium, and magnesium. The oil from hemp seeds can be used to make edible oils in addition to paints, soaps, and varnishes. 


Homeostasis is defined as the tendency towards a relatively stable equilibrium between interdependent elements, especially as maintained by physiological processes. Simply put, homeostasis is a state of biological balance within the body. The endocannabinoid system works to maintain homeostasis by utilizing cannabinoids and cannabinoid receptors found throughout the immune system and central and peripheral nervous systems. When an imbalance is detected, the body naturally synthesizes cannabinoids to interact with the cannabinoid receptors, which in turn stimulate a chemical response that works to return the physiological process that is out of balance back to homeostasis. Cannabinoids are what allow communication and coordination between different cell types. 


Isolates are just that – CBD isolated from all other cannabinoids. During the CBD isolate extraction process, everything contained in the plant matter is removed, including any traces of THC, terpenes, waxes, oils, chlorophyll and more. What’s left is 99+% pure CBD. When looking at isolate, it’s very important to verify the purity. While many are in the 99.9+% range with no identifiable amounts of THC, there are lower purity options (such as 99.5% of lower) that may still have trace amounts that will show up in a lab test. This small of a percentage of THC is usually negligible, but it’s still something to be aware of for those seeking the purest CBD Isolate they can find.

Marijuana ˌmer-ə-ˈwä-nə | Noun 

Marijuana is a variety of cannabis that contains higher than .3% THC. A slang term for cannabis, typically used to describe the drug-type of cannabis plant grown to produce varying psychotropic effects in users. Once cultivated, harvested, and dried, marijuana can be smoked, eaten, or extracted to enjoy its intoxication. Marijuana, as a slang term, was popularized during the prohibitionist movement in the early 20th century, an Anglicized corruption of “marihuana” or “mariguana,” Spanish terms for cannabis. Today, marijuana has largely been accepted as a formal variation of the word cannabis. 

Menthol \ˈmen-ˌthȯl | noun 

An organic compound derived from mint oils. This waxy, crystalline terpene occurs naturally in mint plants including peppermint and spearmint, although it can also be produced synthetically. Because of its cooling sensation, due to an ability to chemically trigger cold receptors in the skin, menthol is widely used to relieve throat irritation and minor external pain. 

Microbials mīˈkrōbēəls | Noun 

Single-cell microorganisms, or microbes, found in plants that can cause intestinal distress and damage to the immune system if not kept under control. Most cannabis regulations require producers to test for total microbials and severely limit the amount available in the final form. The most commonly tested microorganisms include, but are not limited to, Escherichia coli (E. coli), salmonella, aspergillus, and any fungus. 

Pesticide ˈpestəˌsīd | Noun 

Any substance used to inhibit the growth and destroy harmful microorganisms that threaten the health of cultivated plants or animals. 

Phytocannabinoid fī-tō- kə-ˈna-bə-ˌnȯid | Noun 

A cannabinoid produced in trichomes of the cannabis plant. When derived from the plant and consumed, phytocannabinoids interact with our body’s receptors to produce numerous psychotropic and therapeutic effects. Both plants and animals produce their own cannabinoids, those produced inside the mammalian body are called endocannabinoids. 

Preroll ˈpri-rōl | Noun 

A CBD joint consisting of hemp flower that has been prepared by a cannabis vendor, dispensary, or brand. Prerolls are consumer-ready and eliminate the hassle of grinding, rolling, and sealing cannabis flower into a joint. Prerolls are typically available in strain-specific flavors and vary in weight. 

Residual Solvents riˈzijo͞oəl sälvənts | Noun 

Any remaining solvent present in cannabis extracts from the solvent that was used during the extraction process. Common solvents include propane, ethanol, and butane. 

Strain strān | Noun 

The term used interchangeably with “cultivar,” “variety,” and “selection” within the cannabis industry. It has no official botanical meaning and has fallen out of favor in horticultural circles. Most would probably define a strain by some combination of factors including botanical lineage, appearance, chemical profile, and accompanying effects. In horticultural and botanical circles, “cultivar” has become the preferred term to delineate the smell, flavors, yield, pharmacological effects and other distinct characteristics of a cultivated plant variety. 

Terpenes ˈtər-ˌpēns | Noun 

Organic compounds that provide aroma and flavor in cannabis and a variety of other organisms, including plants. Terpenes are responsible for the aroma and flavors of cannabis, and influence its effects by interacting with cannabinoids. Terpenes are the essential oils of the plant. 

Tincture ˈtiŋ(k)-chər | Noun 

Medication made by dissolving cannabis in alcohol. Tinctures contain a range of cannabinoids and are administered orally, sublingually, or in tandem with a beverage. Tinctures are often packaged in small glass bottles with droppers as caps for convenient dosing to allow patients a method of consumption that doesn’t require combustion or inhalation. 

Topical ˈtä-pi-kəl | Noun 

A lotion or ointment that is applied directly to the body’s surface. Topicals are utilized for fast-acting localized relief of inflammation and pain. This growing category of cannabis treatments has expanded to include transdermal solutions, as well as lubricants, often including essential oils such as clove and wintergreen for additional relief. 

Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) ˈte-trə-ˌhī-drə-kə-ˈna-bə-ˌnȯl | Noun 

An intoxicating cannabinoid found in cannabis. THC is the most well-known cannabinoid in the plant and is capable of inducing a variety of sensory and psychological effects, including mild reverie, euphoria, increased sensory awareness, and some therapeutic benefits. Historically, cannabis has long been cultivated for its euphoric and therapeutic effects, which are largely attributed to THC. 

Vaporizer ˈvā-pə-ˌrī-zər | Noun 

A device that utilizes heat to vaporize the active molecules in cannabis oil. Though most are handheld, vaporizers come in all shapes and sizes despite fundamentally identical makeups. Cannabis flower, cannabis oil, concentrates, and extracts can all be vaporized to consume their activated cannabinoids following vaporization. Vaporization provide a less harmful alternative to smoking, as it occurs at temperatures that do not allow the cannabis flower to combust, which releases harmful tar and carcinogens.