Your Glossary of CBD Terminology
Whether you’re new to the Cannabidiol (CBD) community or have been an active member for a while, it’s always good to make yourself familiar with the lingo. You may have seen CBD in lotions, food, beauty products and as an oil, so this glossary will help you understand the common phrases you’ll come across when browsing for a CBD product.
Common CBD terms
- Cannabidiol (CBD)
This is of course the most common term you’ll come across so let’s break down what CBD really is. It’s a compound extracted from the leaves and stems of the cannabis plant. It’s an active substance which means it has beneficial health effects when used. These health benefits include relieving sciatic pain, rejuvenating skin and even helping your pets amongst many others. CBD is also a non-intoxicating cannabinoid.
These are the chemical compounds found in the cannabis plant. They are also sometimes called phytocannabinoids; Phyto meaning relating to plants. There are over 120 different naturally occurring cannabinoids in the cannabis plant. These are extracted from the plant and are what give CBD products their therapeutic benefits. They can have varying effects on the body, with some causing psychoactivity. Some examples of popular cannabinoids include CBD, Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), Cannabigerol (CBG), Cannabinol and Cannabidiolic Acid (CBDA).
You might have heard or read about how additional ingredients can increase the bioavailability of CBD, but what exactly are they doing to the CBD? Bioavailability is the extent to which the CBD can be absorbed by the bloodstream and used by the body to have the desired effect.
Depending on different factors, like your metabolism, the dose of CBD and the concentration of CBD, your body won’t direct all of what you consumed to one specific area or for one specific purpose. Just like how not all of what you eat is absorbed by your body, some of it is made into waste by the digestive system. So, for example, if you’re taking CBD to relieve pain, your entire dose of CBD won’t be administered to the site experiencing pain. The amount that does go to the site of pain is bioavailability.
- Broad spectrum
You already know that there are a lot of cannabinoids that can be extracted from the hemp plant, but not all of them are used in the production of every CBD product. That’s why you’ll find different types of CBD products. Broad spectrum is one of them. It means that there are various other cannabinoids along with CBD in the product. It also includes other active ingredients like terpenes and very little to no THC.
Did you know that you don’t have to take CBD on its own? You can add it to your food and there are different ways to do it as laid out in our handy guide to cooking with CBD oil. So if your peers offer you an edible, you’re in for a CBD treat. You might want to check with them first and ask which cannabinoids are in the edible because some can have psychoactive (see below) effects. Edibles can be in the form of gummies, candies and beverages or can be baked into cakes, brownies and other goods.
Our bodies produce their own cannabinoids that act much in the same way as some of the cannabinoids found in the cannabis plant. These natural cannabinoids interact with the endocannabinoid system to keep the body in a state of homeostasis.
- Endocannabinoid receptors
These are part of your body’s endocannabinoid system and they’re stimulated by the release of endocannabinoids. There are two receptors; CB1 and CB2. They both play a role in regulating different functions of the body like pain, body temperature and immune function.
- Endocannabanoid system
This is a vast set of chemical signals and receptors that are found throughout our bodies. This network signals the regulation of different functions in the body. Sometimes our endocannabinoid systems can experience burnout or may just not be functioning optimally. This could mean that they need a little extra support so that’s where CBD comes in. Supplementing your endocannabinoids with phytocannabinoids can boost your system and help it better maintain a state of homeostasis.
- Entourage effect
When a variety of cannabis compounds come together, they act synergistically to enhance each other’s benefits. This then makes an overall uniquely beneficial effect. It’s thought to make the likelihood of therapeutic effects higher. So the entourage effect is thought to make pain-relief, anti-inflammatory action and other experiences more intense compared to CBD products that don’t produce the entourage effect.
- Full spectrum
Another type of CBD is full spectrum and like broad spectrum, it also contains more cannabinoids than just CBD, as well as terpenes. You’ll also experience the entourage effect with full spectrum CBD. But the main difference here is that it also contains THC. This means that you’re likely to experience psychoactive effects. It may also be better suited for treating certain conditions compared to the other types of CBD.
The third type of CBD is called isolate. This is CBD in its purest form i.e. no terpenes, no THC or any other cannabinoids and no other cannabis plant compounds. This means that it doesn’t cause the entourage effect or any psychoactivity. Although this is the case, CBD isolate can still provide many therapeutic benefits because it’s made solely of the active ingredient.
So far, you’ve learnt that certain types of CBD can be psychoactive, so what does that effect have on you? Pschoactivity refers to the effect a substance can have on the brain. This includes an effect on how the brain works which means it can impact your mood, awareness, thoughts, feelings or behaviours. The extent of the effect will depend on the concentration of the psychoactive compound. For example, when you take full spectrum CBD, even though it contains THC, the concentration is relatively low (usually 0.3% - 0.5%). This could cause psychoactive effects, but the extent is usually small.
These are the compounds that give aroma to plants. Think of the smell of cannabis. It’s unmistakable. That’s because it contains terpenes which lend their properties to the plant. They can add extra health benefits to your intake of CBD by boosting its performance. You’re likely to find these valuable additions in full spectrum and broad spectrum CBD products.
Now you know your CBDs
Although these are not all of the terms you might come across (keep an eye out for a future post covering more terms) in the world of CBD, they are the basics that will help you make an informed decision when it comes to choosing the right CBD product.