Guide to CBD Terminology

If you’re curious about CBD but can’t quite understand all the lingo that goes with it, we completely understand. The vocabulary surrounding the ever-expanding world is so vast it’s enough to make your head spin. If you’re new to the world of CBD, navigating your way through the terminology used to describe it can make you feel even more confused than when you started! 

If you’re interested in seeing how CBD might support your own wellbeing, it’s important to know what all the technical jargon surrounding CBD really means. Following is an alphabetized glossary that will make it easier to understand all that CBD terminology.  

Anandamide: The fatty acid neurotransmitter that is one of the body’s two naturally occurring endocannabinoids, a fatty acid neurotransmitter that plays a role in the regulation of pain, pleasure, motivation, memory, mood, appetite, and fertility. 

Bioavailability: The amount of a substance that enters circulation and is absorbed by the body to produce an active effect. 

Broad Spectrum: CBD oil that has been extracted from the hemp plant and contains all the plant’s naturally-occurring compounds, including terpenes, flavonoids, and all other cannabinoids except for THC.  

Cannabidiol: The scientific name for CBD. 

Cannabinoid: One of over 500 chemical compounds found in the cannabis plant. To date, over 114 cannabinoids have been identified in cannabis. The most commonly occurring cannabinoids in cannabis are CBD and THC.

Cannabinoid Receptors: G-protein coupled receptors that are an important part of the endocannabinoid system. There are two cannabinoid receptors, known simply as CB1 and CB2 receptors, that are found throughout the body and brain. 

CB1 Receptor: Discovered in the 1980s, the majority of CB1 receptors are concentrated in the central nervous system throughout the brain and spinal cord. They are also found in smaller amounts in the kidneys, liver, and lungs. In the brain, the primary role of CB1 receptors is to regulate the release of neurotransmitters such as dopamine, serotonin, and glutamate. 

CB2 Receptor: Discovered in 1993, CB2 receptors are primarily found in the immune system. There are also concentrations of CB2 receptors found in white blood cells and the spleen. The primary role of CB2 receptors is to maintain immune function homeostasis and regulate inflammation. 

Cannabis: Also known as Cannabis sativa L., a genus of plants in the Cannabaceae family. Both hemp and marijuana are species of cannabis. 

Capsules: Oral capsules that contain CBD designed to be taken by mouth like a regular supplement. They contain a perfectly measured serving size of CBD, taking the guesswork out of how much CBD you’re actually consuming. 

CBD Isolate: The single CBD molecule, attained by processing hemp to remove all other cannabinoids, terpenes, flavonoids, and plant material. The result is a crystalline powder that is 99.9% pure CBD. 

Certificate of Analysis (COA): A report prepared by a third-party laboratory. COAs offer consumers information on cannabinoid content, terpene profile, and potential contaminants in CBD products. COAs verify that CBD products contain the amount of CBD that is advertised on the label and that they contain less than the legal amount of 0.3% THC that is allowed for CBD products.  

Decarboxylation: The process during which cannabis is heated to activate cannabinoids in the plant material. Decarboxylation allows for the active cannabinoids to bind to cannabinoid receptors in the body and brain to create the desired effect. 

Endocannabinoids: Two naturally-occurring compounds produced in the body known as anandamide (AEA) and 2-Arachidonoylglycerol (2AG). Endocannabinoids are similar in structure to cannabinoids found in cannabis and are responsible for several different functions in the body and brain. 

Endocannabinoid System: Found in humans and other animals, the system that is responsible for maintaining homeostasis throughout the body. It consists of three facets, including endocannabinoids, cannabinoid receptors, and enzymes that break down endocannabinoids. CBD interacts with the endocannabinoid system through its influence on CB1 and CB2 cannabinoid receptors. 

Entourage Effect: The idea that the full effects of CBD are realized when the cannabinoid works with other cannabis compounds, including other cannabinoids, terpenes, and flavonoids. 

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