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The A-Z of CBD: A Glossary

The A-Z of CBD: A Glossary

It’s officially Back-to-School season, so what better time to learn the ultimate lesson in CBD?

We (obviously) are suckers for this stuff, but we also want you to understand what you’re putting into or onto your body and how it works.

So consider this list your trusty guide, full of key terms and phrases you’re bound to come across when getting acquainted with CBD.

  • B

    BIOAVAILABILITY | The amount and speed with which CBD is absorbed into your body. This varies by delivery format.

    BROAD SPECTRUM | A type of CBD extract that contains all the compounds of the cannabis plant: CBD, other cannabinoids, flavonoids, terpenes—but not THC. It produces “the entourage effect.”

  • C

    CANNABINOID | Chemical compounds that interact with cannabinoid receptors. They are classified into three groups: phytocannabinoids (found in plants, including cannabis); endocannabinoids (produced naturally in the body); and synthetic cannabinoids (manufactured artificially).

    CANNABINOID RECEPTOR | Found on the surface of cells, these receptors make up the endocannabinoid system and transmit information about changing conditions in the body. The two major cannabinoid receptors that have been identified are CB1 and CB2.

    CB1 | One of the two known types of cannabinoid receptors. CB1 receptors are found mainly in the central nervous system (brain and spinal cord), but also in the lungs, liver and kidneys. THC binds to CB1 receptors, yielding that cerebral sensation we call a “high.”

    CB2 | One of the two known types of cannabinoid receptors. CB2 receptors are found mainly in the peripheral nervous system and are associated with the immune system. Stimulation of the CB2 receptors doesn’t lead to a psychotropic response, but instead helps the body relax and repair itself.

    CBD | Short for cannabidiol, it is the second most abundant phytocannabinoid found in cannabis. It positively interacts with the endocannabinoid system to help our body’s key systems (like the nervous system, immune system, and metabolism) remain stable and balanced. Because of this, CBD’s therapeutic benefits include pain relief, sleep support, mood management and skincare solutions. It will not get you “high.”

  • D

    DELIVERY FORMAT | The various ways in which you can use or take CBD. (See: ingestible/oral, inhalant, sublingual, topical and transdermal.)

    DURATION | How long the effects of CBD will last.

  • E

    EDIBLE | CBD delivery format that is taken orally, swallowed, passed through the digestive system, metabolized by the liver, and sent to the bloodstream. (Think: capsules and beverages.)

    ENDOCANNABINOIDS | Chemical compounds—produced naturally by cells in the human body—that activate cannabinoid receptors.

    ENDOCANNABINOID SYSTEM | One of the body’s largest neurotransmitter networks, its primary responsibility is to maintain homeostasis in our body, meaning it keeps our body stable even as it’s experiencing environmental changes. The ECS consists of a series of receptors that interact with cannabinoids and signal to the ECS that it needs to take action.

    ENTOURAGE EFFECT | The interactive synergy between the various elements of the cannabis plant, making them more effective together than apart, resulting in maximum benefits.

  • F

    FLAVONOIDS | The plant compound responsible for pigmentation, filtering out UV rays, and inhibiting plant diseases. They work collaboratively with CBD (and other cannabinoids) to maximize its therapeutic benefits (see: the "entourage effect”).

    FULL SPECTRUM CBD | A type of CBD extract that contains all the compounds of the cannabis plant: CBD, other cannabinoids, flavonoids, terpenes and, yes, THC—albeit trace amounts (like, less than 0.3%, as required by law). It produces “the entourage effect.”

  • H

    HEMP | A strain of the Cannabis sativa plant species that produces lower concentrations of THC and higher concentrations of CBD.

  • I

    INGESTIBLE | CBD taken orally (by mouth) to be swallowed or sublingually absorbed. (Think: tinctures, capsules, chocolate, gummies and beverages.)

    INHALANT | CBD delivery format that enters the lungs and diffuses directly into the bloodstream. (Think: vape pens.)

    ISOLATE | A type of CBD extract that has been purified to remove all other cannabinoids, oils, plant material, waxes, & chlorophyll. Isolates are completely free of THC and contaminants, have controlled and standardized potencies, and have no taste or smell.

  • O

    ONSET | How long it takes to feel the effects of CBD.

    ORAL | See ingestible.

  • S

    SUBLINGUAL | CBD delivery format that is placed under the tongue, absorbed by the sublingual glands, and delivered directly into the bloodstream (bypassing the digestive tract and metabolism). (Think: oils and sprays.)
  • T

    TERPENES | Aromatic oils secreted by the cannabis plant (and many other plants, for that matter) that deliver its aromatic and flavor profile. Terpenes play a key role in differentiating the effects of various cannabis strains and provide the distinctive flavors like citrus, berry, mint, and pine. They also work collaboratively with cannabinoids to delivery its therapeutic benefits – this collaboration is know as “The Entourage Effect.”.

    THC | Short for tetrahydrocannabinol, it is the most abundant cannabinoid found in cannabis. It binds to the CB1 receptors in the brain to produce the cerebral sensation we call a “high.”

    TINCTURE | A liquid solution of CBD extract (most often extracted with an alcohol solvent) mixed with an oil-based carrier (generally coconut or MCT oil).

    TOPICAL | CBD delivery format that is applied directly onto and is absorbed by the skin. It does not enter the bloodstream. (Think: creams, balms, salves and lotions.)

    TRANSDERMAL | CBD delivery format that penetrates the skin and enters the bloodstream. (Think: patches and some creams.)

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