The A-B-C's of CBD




With the increasing popularity of CBD products for their potential therapeutic benefits, it's essential to understand the terminology that surrounds them. Whether you're new to the world of CBD or looking for a refresher, this glossary is designed to empower you with the knowledge that you need.


  • Bioavailability: This term denotes the degree and rate at which a substance is absorbed into the body's circulatory system. It's a crucial measurement tool, which affects the correct dosage for administered substances such as CBD.
  • Broad Spectrum: Broad-spectrum CBD products contain terpenes and other beneficial cannabinoids but have THC completely removed. They offer some benefits of the entourage effect without THC, making them suitable for those avoiding THC.


  • Cannabidiol (CBD): Also known as CBD, cannabidiol is one of the naturally occurring cannabinoids found in cannabis plants. It's the second most prevalent active ingredient in cannabis, accounting for up to 40% of the plant's extract. CBD does not produce intoxicating effects and is thought to play a regulatory role in functions like mood, sleep, and appetite.
  • Cannabinoid: A chemical compound 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, such as THC and CBD.
  • Cannabis Sativa: Indigenous to eastern Asia, this flowering herbaceous plant has been farmed throughout human history. It is cultivated for marijuana and industrial hemp used in CBD products, as well as hemp fiber, hemp seed oil, and food products.
  • Certificate of Analysis (COA): A document from an accredited laboratory certifying the amount of cannabinoids in a given product. It guarantees quality assurance for both consumers and producers and helps avoid mislabeled or low-quality products.
  • CO2 Extraction: A popular method used to extract CBD from the cannabis plant using carbon dioxide. 


  • Delta-9 Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC): Known by the abbreviation THC, this is a primary cannabinoid found in cannabis and the one responsible for its intoxicating effects. It works on endocannabinoid receptors in the brain to release dopamine.
  • Dietary Supplement: Also known as nutraceuticals, these are food-derived products that offer extra health benefits in addition to their existing nutritional value. They contain nutrients derived from food products and are often concentrated in various forms. Dietary supplements are regulated by the FDA.


  • Endocannabinoid System (ECS): Also known as the ECS, the main function of this mammalian system is to maintain bodily homeostasis. Endocannabinoid receptors are found throughout the body, and the system plays a part in many processes, including appetite, stress, sleep, pain, memory, and immune function.
  • Entourage Effect: This phenomenon refers to the synergistic interaction of the cannabinoids, terpenes, and other compounds in cannabis. Full-spectrum CBD products combine CBD with other naturally occurring compounds. This is believed to be more effective than their isolated counterparts.
  • Ethanol Extraction: Extraction using cold, high-grade alcohol to pull all the active compounds from the cannabis plant's cellulose material. Oils extracted using this method are further refined to remove all remaining traces of ethanol. 


  • Farm Bill: The Agriculture Improvement Act of 2018, commonly referred to as the Farm Bill, made CBD products legal to purchase in all 50 states, provided they contain less than 0.3% THC. It also gave the FDA the authority to regulate cannabis products.
  • Full Spectrum: CBD that's full of all the terpenes, cannabinoids, flavonoids, and fatty acids found in hemp, all of which are believed to have therapeutic value. Full-spectrum CBD oils contain some amount of THC.


  • Hemp: A legal distinction that refers to strains of the Cannabis sativa plant that have been grown either for industrial use or for making CBD products. Hemp must contain less than 0.3% THC, as measured by weight.
  • Hemp Seed Oil: Derived from industrial hemp, hemp seed oil is created by pressing the plant's seeds. It is not the same as hemp extract. It has no therapeutic benefits but is often used as a dietary supplement and cooking oil.


  • CBD Isolate: These products are sometimes referred to as “pure” CBD. Everything contained in the plant matter is removed, including any traces of THC and other beneficial cannabinoids.


  • Organic: Foods and products derived from farming methods that promote ecological balance and restrict the use of pesticides, fertilizers, and synthetics.


  • Phytocannabinoid: The chemical compounds in cannabis plants that mimic the endocannabinoids naturally produced by the body. CBD and THC are examples of phytocannabinoids, but there are at least 113 different phytocannabinoids in the cannabis plant, each producing unique effects.


  • Salve: An ointment made from the cannabis plant to be applied directly to the skin.
  • Sublingual: From the Latin for “under the tongue,” a method for administering drugs by mouth. It involves placing a substance under the tongue, where it can be readily absorbed into the blood vessels and begin to circulate throughout the body.


  • 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).
  • Tincture: A delivery method, typically administered sublingually, that quickly absorbs and distributes throughout the body.
  • Topical: A delivery method where the product is applied to the skin, typically as a salve or lotion, over the areas where they're needed.


  • Vertical Integration: A business practice where a company owns its supply chain. For example, owning the farms where hemp is grown, the barns where it's stored, and the labs where it's processed. A vertically integrated company can ensure tighter quality control and maintain core values and practices across all parts of the production process.

Understanding the terminology related to CBD is essential for making informed decisions about the products you choose. With this comprehensive glossary, you're now equipped with the knowledge to explore the world of CBD with confidence!

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