CBD Glossary

Learn the lingo of the CBD Industry.


Bioavailability: The portion of a substance that, once ingested, can be absorbed into the bloodstream.

Broad Spectrum: Products labeled “broad spectrum” fall somewhere between full-spectrum and isolate formulations. Because they contain terpenes and other beneficial cannabinoids, broad-spectrum products offer some of the benefits of the entourage effect — without any THC.

Cannabidiol: 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 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 (cannabidiol is a cannabinoid, but not all cannabinoids are cannabidiol). A cannabinoid is one of the diverse chemical compounds that act 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.

CB1 Receptor: CB1 receptors are found on the surface of specific cells, tissues, and organs and help regulate biological function. CB1 receptors are present in several regions of the brain and spinal cord and, in lesser quantities, in other body parts, such as the endocrine glands and the gastrointestinal and urinary tracts. CB1 receptors mediate the effects of cannabinoids on these organs.

CB2 Receptor: CB2 receptors regulate the biological function of specific cells, tissues, and organs. CB2 receptors are present on white blood cells and in the tonsils, the spleen, immune cells, and neurons. CB2 receptors help mediate the effect of cannabinoids on these organs and cells.

CBD (cannabidiol): A significant phytocannabinoid, accounting for up to 40-percent of the cannabis plant’s extract. With a broad scope of potential medical applications especially linked to the lack of psychoactivity and side effects.

Certificate of Analysis: A document from an accredited laboratory certifying the number 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 is a pro-consumer move that helps you avoid mislabeled, low-quality, or fake products. A reputable company will always provide one.

Delta-9 Tetrahydrocannabinol: Known by the abbreviation THC, Delta-9 Tetrahydrocannabinol is a primary cannabinoid found in cannabis and responsible for its psychoactive effects. It works on endocannabinoid receptors in the brain to release dopamine. Some dislike the “high” feeling or other side effects of this chemical and prefer hemp-based products that contain very little to no THC. 

Dosing: The quantity of medicine prescribed at one time. Dosing CBD depends on therapeutic goals, as well as how it is ingested or applied.

Edible: Any food containing some form of cannabis. Pot brownies are the most classic example, but nowadays, cannabis-infused edibles come in many other states: coffee, baked goods, martinis, even infused butter, and cooking oil.

Endocannabinoid System: Also known as the ECS, the primary function of this human system is to maintain bodily homeostasis or to keep the body balanced even when the environment changes. Scientists believe that cannabis is effective because the phytocannabinoids it contains mimic our endocannabinoids. Endocannabinoid receptors are present throughout the entire body, and the system plays a role in many of the body’s processes, including appetite, stress, sleep, pain, memory, and immune function.

Entourage Effect: The result of the many components in the cannabis plant interacting with the human body to produce a more substantial impact than any single component on its own. Full-spectrum CBD products combine CBD with other naturally occurring terpenes and cannabinoids to be more effective than their isolate counterparts.

Extraction: The process of deriving CBD oil from hemp. There are several methods of extracting CBD from cannabis plants, including CO2 and cold ethanol extraction. Learn more about CO2 extraction on the Advanced CBD page.

Farm Bill: 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 .3% THC. The state and federal governments share the power over industrial hemp regulation. The Farm Bill 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 have a therapeutic value of their own and help create what’s known as the entourage effect. Full spectrum CBD can give you every potential benefit the plant has to offer.

Hemp: Hemp is a distinct strain of the Cannabis sativa plant, often grown for industrial use. The hemp used in CBD products must contain less than .3% THC.

Hemp Seed Oil: Hemp seed oil is created by pressing the plant’s seeds and comes from industrial hemp. It has no therapeutic benefits but acts as a low-saturated-fat cooking oil.

Industrial Hemp: Hemp is explicitly grown for the industrial uses of its products, including textiles, clothing, biodegradable plastic, food, biofuel, and medicine (including CBD). Hemp and its products are legal in the U.S. under the Farm Bill as long as they contain less than .3% THC.

CBD Isolate: These products are 99% CBD. To manufacture an isolate until only a powder or crystalline form of CBD is left, everything contained in the plant matter is removed — including any traces of THC and other beneficial cannabinoids. Therefore, isolate users will not benefit from the entourage effect.
Microdosing: A technique that involves consuming small servings of CBD supplements throughout the day. Microdosing can be beneficial because it allows the user to maintain stable CBD levels in your system around the clock. This consistency can be important for those who use CBD for its balancing properties.
Organic: Foods and products derived from farming methods that promote ecological balance and restrict pesticides, fertilizers, and synthetics. These growing practices promote the health of both the environment and the consumer. Organic products particularly appeal to those who support sustainable farming and care about the safety and quality of what goes into their bodies.
Phytocannabinoid: The chemical compounds in cannabis plants that mimic the endocannabinoids naturally produced by the body. CBD and THC are examples of phytocannabinoids. There are at least 113 different phytocannabinoids in the cannabis plant, each unique producing effects in the body.

Potency: A measure of drug activity expressed in the amount required to produce an effect of given intensity in the body. A high-potency drug evokes a more significant response even at a low dose. In contrast, a low-potency drug evokes a slight reaction at low concentrations and requires higher doses for a similar effect.

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.

Salve: An ointment made from the cannabis plant to be applied directly to the skin.

Strain: A cannabis plant bred for specific characteristics and used for 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.

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.

Synthetic Cannabinoid: A cannabinoid produced in a laboratory.

Terpene: An aromatic oil that lends flavors such as berry, mint, and pine to different cannabis strains is a terpene. More than 100 different terpenes are known, and every cannabis strain has its specific terpene profile. The effects of any given terpene may be amplified in the presence of other compounds (also known as the entourage effect).

THC: THC is an abbreviation of tetrahydrocannabinol and is one of the most abundant cannabinoids in marijuana. THC is responsible for weed’s psychoactive, “high” effects. 

Tincture: A delivery method, typically administered sublingually, that quickly absorbs and distributes throughout the body.

Topical: A delivery method by applying to the skin, typically as a salve or lotion, over the areas where they’re needed.