A Glossary of CBD Related Terms

A Glossary of CBD Related Terms

When discussing CBD or shopping for it online, there are a few terms you may come across that you aren’t familiar with. The cannabis and CBD industry have quite a few words or phrases that are common to those who are well acquainted with the products and processes used to make CBD oils and edibles. To give yourself a better understanding of what people are talking about in the CBD market, here are some terms you may come across when browsing CBD oils or talking about the effects or details of any certain product.


Cannabidiol, also referred to as CBD, is a non-psychoactive phytocannabinoid in found in cannabis plants. Clinical studies have shown that it can help with anxiety, pain, and epilepsy. It has also been known to provide many other health benefits.

Tetrahydrocannabinol (Delta-9 THC)

Tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC, is the psychoactive phytocannabinoids in cannabis. This is the cannabinoid that recreational marijuana is cultivated for. It can be useful in medical marijuana for pain relief, nausea, and to promote appetite. Side effects of THC can involve impaired memory and cognition.


Cannabis is a genus of plants found in the family Cannabaceae. Species of cannabis include Cannabis sativa, Cannabis indica, and Cannabis ruderalis. Cannabis sativa and Cannabis indica are the species used to cultivate hemp and marijuana plants.


Hemp, or industrial hemp, is a strain of cannabis that has historically been grown for industrial purposes such as paper, rope, textiles, and insulation. Typically, and by federal classification, hemp contains less than 0.3% THC by dry weight. Hemp derived CBD products will contain little to no THC because there are such low amounts of it within the hemp plant material.


Marijuana plants are cultivated to have much higher levels of THC than what would be found in hemp. In recent years, marijuana has become more widely used and researched in the medical field. It is commonly used for recreational purposes and has also been used historically for spiritual purposes.


CBD Oil is a CBD rich product that is extracted from the flowers, leaves, and sometimes the stalks of cannabis plants. CBD oils extracted from hemp plants contain very little THC and are federally legal within the United States. Cannabis oils extracted from marijuana plants would have much higher levels of THC and laws around these products vary by state.

Hemp Extract CBD Oil

Hemp extract CBD oil is extracted exclusively from hemp plants. These oils contain little to no THC and are both federally legal and non-intoxicating. They provide all of the beneficial effects of CBD without any of the psychoactive effects of THC.

Cannabis Oil

Cannabis oil is an oil made from cannabis plants. This may include hemp but the term cannabis oil often refers to products made from marijuana plants. When shopping for cannabis oils made from marijuana you should see the amounts of both THC and CBD contained in the products indicated on the package, either by % or mg.

Hemp Seed Oil

Hemp seed oil is a cold pressed oil made from the seeds of the hemp plant. There are no cannabinoids in this oil, such as THC or CBD, but it does contain plenty of essential fatty acids. It can be found in health food stores and grocery stores and is used as a food oil and dietary supplement.

CBD Isolate

A CBD isolate is a crystalline powder that is around 99% pure CBD. The CBD is isolated and refined to remove all other cannabinoids, terpenes, and plant materials. CBD isolates are not full spectrum but are ideal when you want to ensure there is absolutely no THC in the product.

Full Spectrum

Full spectrum refers to a cannabis extract that contains all of the cannabinoids and terpenes of the original plant material. These other compounds found in the plant provide their own benefits and they are able to work together to provide the entourage effect.

Entourage Effect

The entourage effect is the term used when all the terpenes, cannabinoids, and other cannabis plant materials work together synergistically to provide the greatest combination of benefits. Some cannabinoids and terpenes provide their own therapeutic properties while others help to amplify or regulate the effects of another. It can also refer to the modulating effects that CBD has over the psychoactive effects on THC, which works to lessen the intoxicating effects THC would otherwise provide.


Cannabinoids are chemical compounds that act on the cannabinoids receptors within the endocannabinoids system. Endocannabinoids, neurotransmitters which bind to cannabinoid receptors, are produced naturally within the body. Those produced from plants, such as cannabis, are called phytocannabinoids. Cannabinoids created in a lab are referred to as synthetic cannabinoids.

Endocannabinoid System (ECS)

The endocannabinoid system is a neuromodulatory system in vertebrates which is comprised of endocannabinoids and cannabinoid receptors. It regulates the various physiological systems of the body and can play a role in many conditions and diseases associated with these systems.


Terpenes are organic compounds produced by plants. They often have a strong smell and flavor. These compounds play a large role in giving cannabis its distinctive scent. There are many different types of terpenes and they can differ quite a bit from strain to strain, which is why different cannabis strains present different flavor profiles.

Third Party Laboratory Testing

Third party laboratory testing is used by cannabis producers or consumers to breakdown the components of any particular cannabis product. This is done by an independent and unbiased lab in order to prove the genuine quality of a product. These reports can show which cannabinoids and terpenes are present and in what amounts. They can also show if there are any harmful substances in the batch, such as pesticides, heavy metals, or harmful bacteria.


Bioavailability refers to the amount of a drug or medicine that is able to be absorbed into your circulatory system, allowing it to provide its intended effects. When ingested, some of the product is broken down through metabolism before it can reach your bloodstream. Inhalants usually have superior bioavailability because the product is not subjected to digestive metabolism before reaching the bloodstream.

Having a full understanding of the terms used to discuss CBD products and the ever growing  cannabis industry will help you be able to choose the right products and know exactly what you’re getting. It will help you to distinguish between higher quality products and will also help you to know which products may or may not be legal in your state. Being familiar with the terms above should give you a better understanding of what companies are advertising or claiming when shopping for your CBD products.



The CBD SEARCH website’s primary focus is on CBD education. We also have informative reviews of CBD companies and products. CBD SEARCH also interviews CBD experts and industry professionals. Our main focus is on educating our readers in all areas of the benefits of CBD and research-backed news.

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