HEMP 101: A Glossary of Terms

Here's a quick list we have compiled of useful terms used in this website and many others that will help orient you to the dizzying array of terms.  Let us know how we are doing to help you stay in the know!

Bioavailability: the portion of a cannabis dose that can be absorbed by the body.

Cannabinoids: compounds that activate cannibinoid receptors, including endocannabinoids, phytocannabinoids.

CB1 (cannabinoid-1) receptor: A receptor believed to be located primarily in the central and peripheral nervous system, activated by all types of cannabinoids and largely responsible for the efficacy of THC.

CB2 (cannabinoid-2) receptor: A receptor believed to be located primarily in the peripheral tissues of the immune system, the gastrointestinal system, the peripheral nervous system, and to a lesser degree in the central nervous system. 

CBD (cannabidiol): A major phytocannabinoid, accounting for up to 40 percent of the cannabis plant's extract, with a wide scope of potential medical applications especially linked to the lack of psychoactivity and side effects.  

CBDA (cannabidiolic acid): the raw form of CBD naturally occurring in the plant.   CBDA is converted into CBD through the process of decarboxylation. 

Decarboxylation:  the process, typically with the use of heat, where the naturally occurring acidic versions of cannabinoids are converted into a form that is more bioavailable whereby a carboxyl group is removed from the molecule.  The act of lighting up a hemp smoke triggers this activating or 'decarbing' which is why smoking is one of the most rapid delivery systems during acute flare-ups.  

Endocannabinoid system (ECS): a system of neuromodulator chemicals and their receptors throughout the body that are involved in regulating appetite, pain, mood and memory.  

Entourage effect: the synergy of pharmocalogical effects that occur

Resin: the sticky exudation of the cannabis plant produced by its trichomes

Terpenoids (Terpenes): volatile hydrocarbons found in the essential oils produced by many plants, including cannabis.  It's what gives cannabis an aroma.

Trichomes: on cannabis; three types of tiny, specialized crystalline, epidermal hairs present on the buds, leaves, and stalks of late-stage cannabis plants that produce the cannabinoid-rich resin responsible for the medicinal effects. 



Cannabis Pharmacy: The Practical Guide to Medical Marijuana, Backes,M., 2014, 2017

CBD: A Patient's Guide To Medicinal Cannabis, Leinow, L. and Birnbaum, J., 2017