Glossary

Glossary of CBD terminology

Cannabidiol

noun, kan-eh-buh-die-el

This compound, known as CBD, is derived from the cannabis plant. CBD has been shown to help shield the body from oxidative stress (which can cause cell damage and disease). Anecdotally, some claim it’s anti-inflammatory and can help relieve anxiety and pain. But CBD is not regulated by the FDA, except for one prescription medication to treat severe childhood epilepsy, says Dustin Lee, an assistant professor in psychiatry and behavioral sciences at Johns Hopkins University. “Most of the research is preclinical. We need controlled studies before we can advise the public on how CBD can be used efficaciously.

Psychoactive

adj, sigh-ko-ak-tiv

When a CBD product contains more than .3 percent of THC (delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol), it is considered mind-altering. Seeing “psychoactive” (or “THC”) on a label means you might get high. Be careful of how much you’re ingesting.

Hemp

noun, hemp

Refers to a strain of the Cannabis sativa plant and the fibers it contains, which were originally used to make fabrics. Hemp is now bred with higher amounts of CBD and is legal in more states than marijuana. Slightly confusing fact: CBD derived from hemp and marijuana is identical. Unless the product contains THC, it is not psychoactive.

Terpenes

noun, tur-peens

These compounds give cannabis plants their flavor and aroma. Two common ones? “Limonene has an uplifting, citrus flavor, and myrcene is mind-relaxing and has a clove-y scent,” says Grant Rogers, a brand manager at Extract Labs, a hemp-derived CBD company based in Colorado. Think of it like the subtleties of wine, adds Sally Nichols, the president of Bloom Farms CBD, a California-based CBD company. Still, Lee urges consumers to take the mood-altering claims with a grain of salt. “The research we have with terpenes, and most of CBD, does not match the marketing claims,” says Lee, citing the lack of well-controlled studies.

Full Spectrum

adj, ful spek-trem

Refers to a CBD product that contains all elements of the cannabis plant, including up to .3 percent THC.

Broad Spectrum

adj, brod spek-trum

This CBD product contains every element of the cannabis plant (all terpenes and all cannabinoids) except THC.

Bioavailability

noun, by-oh-ah-vale-ah-bill-ah-tee

How fast CBD enters the bloodstream to take effect. Smoking and vaping are the most immediate because the CBD goes into your lungs, says Rogers. Holding a tincture under the tongue for absorption takes about 10 minutes. A soft gel capsule or gummy ingested orally can take up to several hours because it has to work through your digestive system; your response time can be lengthened by how much food you’ve eaten.

Curcumin

Turmeric, a spice that has long been recognized for its medicinal properties, has received interest from both the medical/scientific world and from culinary enthusiasts, as it is the major source of the polyphenol curcumin. It aids in the management of oxidative and inflammatory conditions, metabolic syndrome, arthritis, anxiety, and hyperlipidemia.

Organic

adj, or-gan-ik

It’s crucial to look for organic certifications in hemp-derived CBD because hemp absorbs everything in its surrounding soil (including heavy metals or pesticides). “All the sources in your product should have organic certifications on the label or website,” says Nichols. “You can also look for ‘organically grown.'”

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Phytocannabinoid

noun, fight-o cuh-nabba-uh-noid

PCR is short for phytocannabinoid rich — it contains as much as ten times the concentration of CBD as generic industrial hemp and only negligible amounts of THC. It does not cause a high.

Certificate of Analysis (COA)

noun, sir-tiff-ik-et uf an-al-uh-suss

Any reputable CBD product should have one done by a third-party lab. Find the batch number on your product (usually on the bottom or side), and check the brand’s site for its COA report. Ensure the level of THC is under .3 percent. (Concentrations vary, but most readings hover between .05 and .11, well below .3 percent.) Heavy metals, pesticides, and microbials should also be included; look for “ND” (“not detected”).

A List of CBD Oil Products

To summarize, there are a variety of products which contain varying levels of CBD as well as other cannabinoids and terpenes.

  • Hemp seed oil — Oil produced from hemp seeds, does not contain CBD.
  • Raw industrial hemp extract — A low-quality source of CBD oil.
  • Raw PCR hemp extract — A high-quality, full or broad spectrum product which is rich in CBD and contains the naturally occurring compounds in hemp, including cannabinoids and terpenes.
  • CBD concentrate or distillate — A full spectrum or broad spectrum product from which unwanted compounds have been removed.
  • CBD isolate — Purified CBD that does not contain other beneficial terpenes and cannabinoids.
  • CBD-rich oil/Phytocannabinoid-rich (PCR) — Either full spectrum or broad spectrum CBD concentrate or oil infused with CBD concentrate.
  • Broad spectrum oil — An oil rich in CBD and the beneficial cannabinoids and terpenes present in hemp EXCEPT for THC.
  • CBD-infused — Generally refers to a product infused with pure CBD, but is also used sometimes to refer to a full spectrum product.

We suggest you check with your primary physician before taking CBD products only to make sure that CBD will not have an adverse reaction to any prescriptions you are currently taking.