Glossary of Terms

CBD Glossary: Important Terminology 

Found yourself confused by the jargon surrounding CBD? No problem, we’ve compiled this simple glossary of terms to clarify exactly what you’re buying.

Alcohol Extraction – This extraction method requires the immersion of plant material in high-grade ethanol or an equivalent alcohol solvent for approximately 5 minutes. Once the dark resin has been expelled, the alcohol is then boiled off for around 20 to 30 minutes in order to leave behind a viscous substance as it cools. 

Bioavailability – This is a pharmacological term that refers to the proportion of a drug or other substance to effectively enter the bloodstream and then be used by the body. For example, injecting a substance may have higher bioavailability (i.e. more likely to have an active effect on the body) than orally ingesting it. 

Broad Spectrum – This kind of CBD product is considered a little bit of a mix between Full Spectrum CBD and CBD Isolate. Broad Spectrum CBD products usually contain more than just CBD. For example, some minor cannabinoids and terpenes, but no psychoactive THC. These multiple cannabinoids may also deliver the “entourage effect”. 

Cannabidiol (CBD) – This is an active ingredient in cannabis derived from the Hemp plant. It is an important non-psychotropic Phytocannabinoid that produces a large amount of pharmacological, anti-oxidant and anti-inflammatory effects. CBD is not associated with the typical psychoactive effects of THC and does not make you “high”. 

Cannabinoid – This is a large and varied group of substances, regardless of origin or structure, that are classified together for their ability to join the cannabinoid receptors of the body and brain. These cannabinoid molecules can be produced by animal bodies, certain plants like cannabis and even manufactured artificially.  

Cannabis Oil – This refers to an oil that is derived from the cannabis plant. It is a concentrated form of cannabis extract containing many of its resins and terpenes – in particular, tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), Cannabidiol (CBD) and other cannabinoids. It’s important to note that this is usually used to describe high-THC-containing oils. 

CBD Capsules – These usually come in a soft gel form and are considered one of the most convenient ways to supplement with CBD. If you travel, keep a hectic schedule or simply prefer not having to measure out drops on your tongue, these are the answer. CBD capsules are also very precisely dosed for keeping track of daily consumption.  

CBD Oil – This is a cannabis product (hemp or marijuana-derived) that is made from high-cannabidiol-containing hemp that boasts a low tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) level. Because of the low levels of THC, this makes CBD oil non-psychoactive and it is often used to regulate the body’s appetite, sleep, mood, hormones and immune response.

CBD Sprays – These usually contain the weakest concentration of CBD compared to many other products. Dosages tend to be more inconsistent compared to other oral forms of ingestion. Sprays are however quite popular as they are easy to carry and administer. To administer, spray one serving (usually ±2 sprays) into the mouth. 

CBD Vape-Oil – This employs the use of a vaporiser and you can fill the cartridge with a CBD vape-oil (aka vape-juice) of your choice. Vaping does appear to have a less profound effect than other methods of administering CBD. However, you can continue to vape until you feel the desired relief, as one can feel the effects much more quickly.  

Certificate of Analysis (COA) – This is a document issued by a testing facility as verification that a regulated product meets its product specification. They commonly contain the actual test results obtained as part of quality control testing of an individual batch of a product. These include potency tests, heavy metals tests, solvent tests and/or terpene tests.

Concentration – In chemistry, the concentration is the abundance of a constituent divided by the total volume of a mixture. To prepare CBD concentrates, cannabidiol is extracted from hemp or cannabis by experts using various extraction methods. They then filter it down to achieve higher concentrations for various CBD products.  

Dabbing – This is a consumption method that requires the action or practice of inhaling small quantities of a concentrated and vaporised cannabis oil or resin. This has usually been heated up on some kind of hot metal surface or an oil rig pipe. It is considered different to vaping or smoking cannabis concentrates but still involves inhalation. 

Endocannabinoids – In biology, the term endogenous cannabinoid refers to the body’s cannabinoid receptors that make up the endocannabinoid system and respond to cannabinoid molecules. Endocannabinoids and their receptors are found throughout the body: in the brain, organs, connective tissues, glands and immune cells.

Endocannabinoid System (ECS) – The ECS is a neuromodulatory system that plays important roles in central nervous system (CNS) development, synaptic plasticity and the response to endogenous and environmental insults. It is comprised of cannabinoid receptors, endogenous cannabinoids (endocannabinoids), and the enzymes responsible for the synthesis and degradation of these. 

Entourage Effect – This can result when the many components within the cannabis plant interact with the human body to produce a stronger influence than any one of those components alone. It’s considered a balanced, synergistic effect. It’s a phenomenon that typically requires mostly avoiding isolate products in order to encourage a multiplying effect.

Full Spectrum – This type of product contains many cannabinoids beyond just CBD, along with other elements of the hemp plant, including naturally-occurring terpenes, essential vitamins, fatty acids, protein and more. These are generally within their naturally occurring quantities. offers full-spectrum but with less than 0.2% THC. 

Hemp – This is a type of plant that is typically found in the northern hemisphere and is a strain of the cannabis sativa plant species. Hemp is grown specifically for the many industrial uses of its derived products. Even though it is a part of the cannabis family, hemp usually contains less than 0.2% THC on a dry weight basis. 

Hemp Oil – This is the essence of what is extracted from the hemp plant. It’s important to note that hemp oil and CBD oil are terms that are often used interchangeably within the CBD industry. When selecting a hemp oil, it is also important to note how much CBD is present in the final product. This will help you to find your ideal dosage too. 

Hemp Seed Oil – Hemp seed oil and hemp (CBD) oil are entirely different products. While hemp oil is extracted from the stalks and stems of the plant, hemp seed oil is pressed specifically just from the seeds. It’s often used in skin care products and even for cooking. There is no cannabidiol in hemp seed oil i.e. none of the potential health benefits of CBD products.

Industrial Hemp – This is the type of agricultural hemp that is grown quite specifically for incorporation into a wide range of potential products. CBD oil can be derived from industrial hemp and it cannot contain more than 0.2% THC. So, it is therefore entirely separate from THC-containing cannabis strains, which includes medical marijuana.

Isolate (CBD) – This is simply purified CBD that’s been extracted and isolated from the other cannabinoids you’d usually find in full-spectrum CBD. Isolate CBD is often preferred when someone doesn’t necessarily need all of the capabilities of the full-spectrum variant or if you aren’t legally allowed to use THC in your location.  

Liposomal CBD – This product employs a unique delivery system that bypasses the destructive elements of the gastric system. It has become a popular choice for many CBD users. This is because liposomal encapsulation aids hydrophobic or hydrophilic supplements, such as CBD, to be more effectively delivered to the body’s cells and tissues. 

Liquid Solvent Extraction – This is a method for effectively extracting resin from plant matter. It involves utilising solvents like butane or hexane, which remain in liquid form under pressure and evaporate immediately on release. The dark oil left behind is the resin that can be used in various products. However, traces of impurities can persist. 

Marijuana – As part of the cannabis genus, marijuana is a term used for the dried resinous flower buds and leaves of the female hemp or cannabis plant (sativa or indica variants). It’s also essentially a term for any cannabis plant that happens to contain over 0.2% THC on a dry weight basis. Marijuana can also have an abundance of CBD too. 

MCT Oil – Medium Chain Triglycerides (MCT) oils are popular for their ability to be easily metabolised by the body instead of being stored as fat or cholesterol. The most common type is a combination of palm and coconut oil. These are often used to reduce cholesterol levels and to increase the muscle mass and strength of older people. 

Microdosing – This is the practice of administering very small amounts of a chemical or drug throughout the day, instead of larger amounts once or twice a day. This can be a way to test and benefit from a physiological reaction while minimising undesirable effects. Many people use this method in order to determine their ideal dose. 

Oil Extraction – This extraction method often produces an oil that is perishable with a short lifespan. It involves using olive oil and heating the plant material in this to approximately 100°C for an hour or two. The seeds of the plant matter can also be cold-pressed as an extraction method, but again CBD yields would be typically low and perishable. For more information on CO2 Extraction see the following link:

Opioid – These are a class of medications that are commonly used for pain relief. Opioids need to be prescribed by doctors and medical practitioners, particularly as they have been connected to rising cases of addiction throughout the world. After all, it is a compound resembling opium in addictive properties or physiological effects.

Oral – This is usually referring to a consumption method that entails a person actually swallowing a substance by way of the mouth. In the world of CBD retail, this is commonly CBD capsules, gummies or pills. Also, important to note, Per Os (P.O.) is sometimes used as an abbreviation for needing to take and administer a substance orally. 

Pure CBD Oil – This is considered the opposite of a full-spectrum CBD product. Pure CBD oil is created using CBD isolate with MCT oil and then also adding in anhydrous hemp oil. This is a great option for those who want to be assured of using a THC-free product that is both odourless and flavourless. Pure CBD oil can be used sublingually or orally. 

Psychoactive – If a substance or compound is considered psychoactive, this means that it can alter a person’s perception, mindset, or otherwise normal brain function. You will notice that this term is also used to refer to psychoactive or psychotropic drugs, as well as a psychopharmaceutic product. These will have a profound or significant effect on mental processes. 

Rick Simpson Oil (RSO) – This generally appears as a thick, black substance in a syringe and is a concentrated form of cannabis oil that is typically extremely high in THC. Rick Simpson Oil is most commonly administered to patients who are suffering from the symptoms of Cancer. This may provide a sense of relief from these symptoms. 

Sublingual – In the medical world, this is a consumption method that entails a person applying the product under the tongue. This pharmacological route of administration relies on a substance being able to diffuse into the bloodstream through the tissues that are located right under the tongue. These are typically in the form of lozenges. 

Supercritical CO2 Extraction – This is an extraction method that utilises a special machine called a closed-loop extractor. Using liquid carbon dioxide under high pressure and ultra-low temperatures, it’s able to extract the cannabinoids and terpenes from the plant matter. When the pressure is relieved, the CO2 evaporates immediately. 

Shatter – This has become a popular slang term or nickname that is often used to denote a cannabis extract. It’s largely considered incredibly pure and clean. Shatter is essentially a concentrated form of THC, made from the resin of the cannabis plant. It can also be associated with “wax,” and is usually consumed via inhalation at high temperatures.

Terpenes – This refers to any of a large group of volatile unsaturated hydrocarbons that are found in the essential oils of plants. In fact, terpenes are oils found in all plants that also tend to give the particular plant its scent, taste, and even additional health benefits. This is a diverse class of organic compounds, produced by a huge variety of plants.

Terpsolate – This is a kind of cannabis distillery with both CBD and hemp combined. It’s a cannabis product that contains CBD and terpenes. For those who don’t want to use anything rich in THC, you’re encouraged to seek out CBD isolate products such as terpsolate instead of using full-spectrum CBD products or tonics. 

Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) – This is one of the primary cannabinoids found in cannabis and is very strongly associated with the psychoactive effects of marijuana. This is the substance that produces the “high” that results in the depression of the central nervous system. THC is classified as a mild sedative at low doses and a hallucinogen at high doses. Learn more about THC

Tincture – This has traditionally been used to describe alcohol-based products that are made by dissolving a substance into alcohol. However, today it is also now used to describe even those products that are oil-based. There are many meanings to the word tincture, but most of them involve something that leaves a trace or residue.

Topical – This term refers to a product or method that requires you to apply the product to the skin on a specific part of the body topically. This means that it does not get into the bloodstream. It is intended to treat or affect only the specific area of the body it has been applied on. Topical products are usually oils, gels or creams. 

Transdermal – This relates to a specific product or method that will require a person to apply the product directly to the skin. This does still get into the bloodstream and usually will also contain special permeability enhancers. It will be absorbed slowly into the body and is usually administered by an adhesive patch. 

Vaping – This is the act of inhaling the vapour created when a liquid is heated beyond a certain point. This vapour is inhaled in a manner similar to smoking and is a popular CBD e-liquid administration method. Vaping CBD is shown to be one of the fasted forms of cannabinoid delivery because inhaling the vapour bypasses the digestive system.

Wax (CBD) – This refers to a very crystallised form of the fatty lipids that naturally occur in CBD oil. Waxes are obtained through a process called chromatography. While CBD wax can be taken sublingually or used to create a tincture, CBD wax is often heated in a process known as dabbing. CBD wax can come in a variety of consistencies. 

Water Soluble – This means a substance’s ability to be dissolved in a body of liquid or water. More specifically, its ability to homogeneously be incorporated into water by separating into molecules or ions. A cannabis product can be manipulated for better water solubility, often through the use of liposomes or even specialised nanoemulsion techniques.