Helpful CBD Terms
Updated: Dec 31, 2019
Photo credit: Stephen Smith
Cannabis: Most people know the plant in categories of indica and sativa... but it goes deeper than that. There’s also a difference between Hemp and Marijuana which are close cousins under the parent of Cannabis (thanks Patagonia for putting this so eloquently). There is a lot confusion around Marijuana and Hemp plants, and how they differ. Effectively, they are from the same species of plant (Cannabaceae), but have different uses. Traditional Marijuana is high in THC and low in CBD, whereas Hemp is high in CBD and low in THC (below .03%)
Hemp: A form of cannabis which has been used for thousands of years, it has numerous applications such as: food, textiles, medicine, etc. Hemp is in the cannabis family of plants, and contains very low THC levels (below .3%). Hemp is a great commodity because it’s easy to grow, requires minimal water compared to many agricultural crops, and the entire plant can be used for many different applications.
Marijuana: Of the cannabis family, think of marijuana like the opposite of hemp in terms of psychoactive potency. Marijuana is high in THC and typically low in CBD (aka it will get you “high”).
Cannabinoid: A class of over 100 naturally occurring compounds found in the cannabis plant- CBD and THC are two of the most common examples. Humans have endocannabinoid receptors in the body, and each of the cannabinoids interact with those receptors in different ways.
Phytocannabinoid: Same as cannabinoid, just the formal term for it. Phyto means “derived from plants”.
CBD (Cannabidiol): CBD is one of the 100+ cannabinoids found in cannabis. It’s been heavily researched for medical usage, but there is still a long way to go to fully understand its effects on the body. CBD is a term that has been wrongfully generalizing all products that contain CBD. True CBD would technically be an isolate, which is extracted from a hemp plant and isolated into just CBD. In this form, the product has been proven to be much less effective than a full spectrum extraction (like the Herb & Olive blend). At H&O our products contain a wide array of naturally occurring hemp cannabinoids- just the way nature intended it to be.
THC (Tetrahydrocannabinol Delta-9): Best known as THC. This the psychoactive component of the cannabis plant… which ones activated gets you “high”.
Extract: Using any version of the extraction methods listed below (CO2, ethanol, lipid extraction), extracts are a concentrated form of the cannabis plant. These are high potency products that can be diluted for consumption, or smoked.
Extraction: The process of concentrating cannabis into an extract, using one of the many extraction methods listed below (CO2, ethanol, lipid extraction).
CBD Extract: A concentrated form of CBD which is extracted from hemp plants. The extract is high in CBD and low in THC (must be less than .3% to be within the legal limit). There are many forms of extraction, which we’ll dive into further in the glossary. Some examples are: butane, ethanol, CO2 and lipid extraction. Not all CBD extracts are made equal. There are isolates, broad spectrum and full spectrum extracts, which all contain varied levels of potency, cannabinoids, and terpenes.
Spectrum: We’ve talked a lot about types of spectrums (full, broad, isolate) above. Spectrum is the general term for those. The type of spectrum is defined by the level of cannabinoids and terpenes found in cannabis products.
Full Spectrum: An extract that contains all naturally occurring components of the hemp plant, including THC and a wide array of other cannabinoids. Also known as “full spec”, these products are proving to have the highest efficacy on your body because of the entourage effect. Herb & Olive only uses Full Spectrum extract in our blends.
Broad Spectrum: Generally, this term refers to a CBD (cannabidiol) product that doesn’t contain THC. You still have a broad array of cannabinoids, but none of the THC. Further processing beyond the extraction process is necessary to get rid of the THC completely.
Activated: For hemp, this process is called decarboxylation. It happens when the cannabinoids are slightly heated, transforming them into a bioavailable state for your body to process better. (see decarboxylated).
Bioavailability: How quickly and effectively a product is absorbed into your bloodstream so your body can utilize its benefits. Fat soluble extraction methods (like Herb & Olive) are typically more bioavailable and potent for your body.
Entourage Effect: This is a scientifically proven idea stating that using all components of the hemp plant provides more medicinal benefits than an isolated form (e.g CBD isolate). Herb & Olive relies on the entourage effect for their blends, to be delivered the way nature intended for your body.
CBD Isolate: CBD isolate is a refined version of CBD from hemp extract without any THC or any other cannabinoids. CBD isolate has been proven to be less effective at alleviating inflammation and pain, than a full spectrum extract. A refined powder form of the single CBD molecule which is extracted from hemp. This is created by further processing an extract to remove other cannabinoids, terpenoids, and plant materials.
CBD Oil: Another poorly generalized term for CBD products in the from of an oil. Technically every CBD extract is a CBD Oil, but just in a concentrated form. Consumer-facing CBD Oil is an extract (full spectrum, broad spectrum, isolate) which comes in many forms, such as: tincture, capsules, vape cartridges, etc.
Hemp Oil: Another confusingly misused term that generalizes oil derived from hemp. This could mean hemp seed oil or CBD extracted oil, which are two VERY different products. Hemp seed oil is similar to olive oil or flax oil. It’s great for cooking and consumption, but doesn’t contain the same medicinal benefits of CBD. More on hemp seed oil below.
Hemp Seed Oil: Oil extracted from hemp seeds. It does NOT contain cannabinoids, but IS high in omega 3 & 6 fatty acids and amino acids. Hemp seed oil is in a similar category of food products like grape seed oil and flax seed oil.
Decarboxylation: Simply put, decarboxylation means “activated”. Cannabis’s effects aren’t activated until it’s slightly heated. For example, if you ate raw flower, it likely wouldn’t do anything besides potentially giving you a stomach ache. Whereas if you heat flower in a fat such as butter, you will activate its properties, which you can then ingest and feel. This occurs at temperatures above 200 degrees fahrenheit.
THCA (Tetrahydrocannabinolic Acid): The non-activated version of THC. In this form, THCA is non-psychoactive (won’t get you “high”). This is also THC that is not decarboxylated.
Terpene: In general terms, terpenes are the flavors and smells that come off a plant and are hopefully carried into the finished product. Terpenes make up a large and diverse class of organic compounds not specific to the cannabis family, they are found in a variety of plants. The classic OG Kush marijuana strain famously has a pine and lemon smell because of its terpene profile, whereas the Grandaddy Purps marijuana strain has the distinct smell of grapes.
Terpene Profile / Terpene Spectrum: The range of terpenes contained in a plant or extract.