The A-Z of CBD: a glossary of CBD terminology

The flourishing world of CBD has introduced a whole host of new terminology into our everyday vocabulary. This lexicon is a helpful resource if you’re one of the millions of people interested in the potential health benefits that CBD can provide.

The A-Z of CBD: a glossary of CBD terms

 

Maybe you’re looking to purchase a CBD based product for yourself; or maybe you’re interested in researching one of the fastest growing health and wellness movements since, well, ever. Either way, this glossary of commonly used CBD terms and their definitions will help you safely navigate the world of CBD and make informed choices.


As advances are made to research studies and manufacturing techniques, we will update this glossary so you might want to bookmark this page and check back every now and again.


CBD related terms and definitions


0-9


2-AG

2-arachidonoyl glycerol (2-AG) is one of two key endocannabinoids (the other being anandamide) that have an effect on the cannabinoid receptors in the brain, central nervous system, and peripheral systems throughout the human body. 2-AG is a full agonist against both the CB1 and CB2 receptors (see cannabinoid receptors) within the endocannabinoid system (see ECS). 2-AG is the most abundant endocannabinoid and plays an important role in the regulation of appetite, immune system functions, and pain management. It is also thought that 2-AG may also play a role in the inhibition of cancer cell proliferation. Certain phytocannabinoids can mimic 2-AG and replicate its abilities.


A


Agonist

An agonist is a chemical that binds to a receptor and activates the receptor to produce a biological response. Endocannabinoids such as 2-AG and Anandamide are agonists of both the CB1 and CB2 receptors (see cannabinoid receptors) within the endocannabinoid system (see ECS). THC is a direct (and powerful) agonist of the CB1 receptors found in the brain and central nervous system, which is why it has psychoactive effects. CBD, on the other hand, acts as an antagonist to CB1 receptors, which explains why it has the ability to modulate the negative effects of THC by blocking it from activating the CB1 receptors.


Alcohol Extraction

Alcohol extraction is a commonly used extraction method for cannabis to create concentrates for tinctures. During alcohol extraction for the CBD market, dried hemp is first covered in alcohol. This step is often referred to as ‘the wash’. Next the alcohol is separated from the plant material using filters. Then the alcohol is evaporated, leaving behind the whole plant extract (see Full Spectrum). This extract may undergo additional processes to remove any trace amounts of THC; but during those processes, alcohol will no longer be used. See also Tinctures.


Anandamide

Anandamide, also known as ‘the bliss molecule’ is one of the two main endocannabinoids that our bodies produce, the other being 2-arachidonoyl glycerol (see 2-AG). Levels of anandamide increase naturally when we exercise, and it’s thought to be responsible for the rewarding feeling that exercise promotes, like the “runner’s high”. Anandamide also plays a role in memory and motivation and helps to reduce our sensitivity to pain. Anandamide breaks down quite quickly, and low levels of anandamide are shown to correlate with pain and mental health issues. CBD can help to maintain high levels of anandamide by inhibiting the enzyme that breaks it down (see ECS) so it stays active for longer. This is the main reason why CBD is showing such positive results across physical and mental health conditions.


Anti-bacterial

An antibacterial agent is one that destroys or interferes with the growth and reproduction of bacteria. Researchers have found CBD to have a similar potency to common antibiotics when looking at its ability to kill bacteria. The lab studies also show that CBD is far less likely to cause resistance which is welcome news when compared against the growing rate of antibiotic resistance globally.


Anti-convulsant

Anticonvulsant (also known as anti-epileptic or anti-seizure) drugs are commonly used to treat epilepsy. They are also increasingly being used to treat migraines, bipolar disorder, and borderline personality disorder. Studies have found CBD to be an effective anticonvulsant with the advantage of being non-addictive and causing fewer adverse effects compared with the pharmaceutical alternatives.


Anti-fungal

Anti-fungal medications are used to treat and prevent fungal infections (mycoses) such as athlete’s foot, ringworm, and candidiasis (thrush). One of the key functions of CBD within the cannabis plant is to protect the leaves and flowers from fungal infections. These anti-fungal effects in CBD have been shown to translate to humans by stopping the fungus cells from multiplying and creating an environment where they begin to die off.


Anti-inflammatory

Inflammation is the body’s way of protecting itself after injury and the symptoms include swelling and pain. Certain chronic pain conditions are caused when the immune system triggers an inflammatory response unnecessarily, causing damage to its own tissues. Anti-inflammatory drugs such as NSAIDs or steroids are commonly prescribed for inflammatory conditions. However, long term use of such drugs can have adverse effects. Studies have shown that CBD inhibits inflammatory and neuropathic pain, as well as suppressing inflammatory responses.


Antiemetic

Antiemetic drugs are used to prevent nausea and vomiting. They are commonly used to treat morning sickness, motion sickness, the side effects of opioids and general anaesthetic, and chemotherapy induced nausea. There is considerable evidence to demonstrate that cannabinoids like CBD have a powerful antiemetic and anti-nausea effect.


Antioxidant

Antioxidants are substances that can protect your cells against the effects of molecules called free radicals that contribute to diseases such as Alzheimer’s, dementia, Parkinson’s, diabetes, heart disease, and cancer. Scientists have been aware of CBD’s incredibly effective antioxidant properties for over 20 years. A 1998 study helped to advocate the use of CBD to help prevent myriad diseases caused by rapid oxidation of cells.  


Antipsychotic

Antipsychotic drugs are used to control psychotic symptoms such as hallucinations, delusions, mania, severe depression, and paranoia. Experts from King’s College London say that CBD could help to ‘reset’ the brains of people with psychotic conditions such as bi-polar disorder and schizophrenia. Studies into exactly how it works are ongoing; however, the results are showing that CBD could represent a new class of treatment to replace traditional antipsychotic drugs. It is also showing positive results for reversing psychosis associated with chronic marijuana use (see CIP).


Anxiolytic

Anxiolytics are a range of medications that inhibit anxiety. They are common in the ongoing treatment of anxiety disorders and their associated psychological and physical symptoms. Barbiturates, benzodiazepines, opioids, and antidepressants are all prescribed as anxiolytics. There are multiple studies showcasing the benefits of CBD as an effective alternative to anxiolytics. Read more in detail here.


B


Bioavailability

The proportion of a drug which enters the circulation when introduced into the body and, therefore, is able to have an active effect. The bioavailability of CBD depends on the administration method. Vaping CBD (see vaping) or taking CBD sublingually (under the tongue) via oral drops (see tinctures) are the most effective methods for getting the CBD directly into your bloodstream.


Black Market

The black market is the trading of illegal or controlled products. In America, where the sale of CBD is controlled or illegal in certain states, there is a demand for illicit black market CBD products. However, when there is no control or regulation, the products are usually substandard or even dangerous. Thankfully CBD from certified strains of hemp is legal in the UK, so there is no need to look to the black market for your products.


Bootleg

Bootleg products are those which are made, distributed, or sold illegally. See Black Market.


Broad spectrum

Broad spectrum refers to the whole plant extract that is taken from certified strains of hemp. Within this extract you will find an abundance of CBD, as CBD is the main cannabinoid in hemp. You will also find a wide range of terpenes and flavonoids, as well as all of the other cannabinoids contained in the hemp strain. The difference between broad spectrum and full spectrum is that broad spectrum has the THC element completely removed during a secondary refinement process.


C


Cannabichromene - CBC

As one of the top 10 cannabinoids present in plants from the cannabis family, research into CBC is showing positive results for its anti-inflammatory, antifungal, and antioxidant properties. It is found in relatively low levels within hemp but can contribute to the beneficial effects of CBD when present in a broad spectrum or full spectrum extract (see entourage effect).


Cannabidiol - CBD

Cannabidiol (CBD) is one of over 100 active cannabinoids found in plants from the cannabis family. It is second only to THC for its abundance within cannabis, and accounts for up to 40% of the plant’s make-up. CBD has exploded in popularity in recent years and studies are revealing its efficacy in helping a number of pain, anxiety, and sleep disorders as well as many neurological and gastrointestinal diseases.


Cannabidivarin - CBDV

As one of the top 10 cannabinoids present in plants from the cannabis family, CBDV is a less potent version of CBD. It has anti-nausea properties and is a powerful anticonvulsant. A 2012 study showed that CBDV prevented seizures in rats and mice. CBDV can contribute to the beneficial effects of CBD when present in a broad spectrum or full spectrum extract (see entourage effect).


Cannabidolic acid - CBDA

As one of the top 10 cannabinoids present in plants from the cannabis family, CBDA turns into CBD when heated. CBDA is a strong antiemetic and can be used to treat the side effects of chemotherapy or opioid use. CBDA can contribute to the beneficial effects of CBD when present in a broad spectrum or full spectrum extract (see entourage effect).


Cannabigerol - CBG

As one of the top 10 cannabinoids present in plants from the cannabis family, CBG is the chemical parent of both CBD and THC (see CBGA). CBG is a powerful vasodilator which causes widening of your blood vessels, lowering blood pressure. CBG is also thought to be effective in treating glaucoma because it reduces intraocular pressure. CBG can contribute to the beneficial effects of CBD when present in a broad spectrum or full spectrum extract (see entourage effect).


Cannabigerolic acid - CBGA

Cannabis plants produce cannabigerolic acid and then specific enzymes in the plant break down the CBGA and turn it into either THCA or CBDA. Light or heat energy then change the THCA into THC and the CBDA into CBD. As it is mostly broken down, CBGA presents in very low amounts in cannabis. However, it does have its own beneficial potential, such as as an anti-inflammatory. CBGA can contribute to the effects of CBD when present in a broad spectrum or full spectrum extract (see entourage effect).


Cannabinoid

A cannabinoid is a chemical compound found in plants from the cannabis family. CBD and THC are the two most prevalent and well known cannabinoids. There are at least another 100 known ‘minor’ cannabinoids including CBN, CBG, CBC, and THCV. Cannabinoids have an effect on humans by acting on cannabinoid receptors that are present throughout every system in the body (see endocannabinoid system).


Cannabinoid Hyperemesis Syndrome - CHS

Cannabinoid Hyperemesis Syndrome (CHS), is an extremely rare condition that has been only been diagnosed in heavy, long-term cannabis users. Often mistakenly diagnosed as Cyclical Vomiting Syndrome (CVS), CHS is described as an uncommon form of cannabinoid toxicity that can develop from chronic usage. There is no current evidence to suggest that any CBD users have developed CHS.


Cannabinoid Receptors

Cannabinoid receptors are part of our endocannabinoid system and are activated by endocannabinoids or plant cannabinoids, such as CBD. They sit on the surface of cells and wait for cannabinoids to come along and bind with them. When they get together, they tell your body to ‘do’ certain things to make sure that all of your body’s systems are in balance (see Homeostasis). There are two major cannabinoid receptors that are the best studied. CB1 receptors are primarily located within the brain / central nervous system, as well as in the lungs, liver and kidneys. CB2 receptors are mainly found in the immune system, spleen, and gastrointestinal system. 


Cannabinol - CBN

As one of the top 10 cannabinoids present in plants from the cannabis family, CBN is the latest hot topic in cannabinoid research. When THC is oxidised, the process converts the THC to CBN. Interestingly, CBN was previously thought to be responsible for the psychoactive effects of cannabis before THC was discovered. It has potential for combatting pain and inflammation, bone health, and treating skin conditions. It could also be effective for inducing sleep when used in combination with CBD. CBN can contribute to the beneficial effects of CBD when present in a broad spectrum or full spectrum extract (see entourage effect).


Cannabis

Cannabis is a genus of flowering plants in the family Cannabaceae. The genus includes three species: cannabis sativa, cannabis indica, and cannabis ruderalis. Hemp and marijuana are both part of the cannabis family of plants, although they serve completely different purposes (see hemp).

 

Cannabis Indica

One of the subspecies of cannabis is called Indica. The hemp that is used in legal CBD products cannot be indica as all hemp is sativa based. However, the terpene profiles of famous indica strains are replicated within many legally available hemp CBD oil products. Aesthetically, the indica plants are short, sturdy and bushy with wide leaves. They are a far darker shade of forest green and grow far more quickly than sativa. They originate from the Hindu Kush mountains in the Middle East and are commonly grown in countries such as Afghanistan, Morocco and the Indian subcontinent. Their flavour/terpene profile ranges from pungent to sweet and fruity.


Cannabis Induced Psychosis - CIP

Researchers have estimated that daily use of cannabis with a high THC content can lead to episodes of psychosis. The study found that, compared with not using cannabis, daily use of high-strength cannabis is linked to having a 5 times greater risk of a psychotic episode. However, research at King’s College London has shown that CBD has largely opposite effects to THC, which suggests that CBD could be useful as a treatment for Cannabis Induced Psychosis.


Cannabis Sativa

One of the subspecies of cannabis is called Sativa and all hemp is classified as sativa. Aesthetically, varieties of cannabis sativa plants grow tall and thin and have narrow leaves. They are a light shade of green and require lots of light to grow. They originate from countries that are close to the equator within Central/South America and Southeast Asia. However, the hemp variety of the cannabis sativa plant species have been cultivated to grow taller, in more dense crops, and in more adverse climate conditions than the rest of the cannabis family. Their flavour/terpene profile ranges from earthy to sweet and fruity.



CBD Isolate

CBD Isolate is created when the whole plant extract (see full spectrum) from hemp is refined to remove every component other than CBD leaving >99% pure CBD. See also Winterisation.


Chronic

In health terms, chronic refers to a condition that persists for longer than 12 weeks despite medication and treatment and is used often in reference to pain conditions. In cannabis terms, chronic is also used as a slang term for high quality marijuana.


CO2 Extraction

In order to extract cannabinoids such as CBD from the hemp plant, manufacturers of high quality CBD may choose to use a CO2 extraction method. During CO2 extraction, the hemp is submitted to low temperatures and high pressure. It is quite a complex process; however, because it eliminates the need for chemicals, it is the safest and cleanest way to obtain pure cannabinoids.


Controlled Substances

The United Kingdom Misuse of Drugs Act 1971 aimed to control the possession and supply of numerous listed drugs and drug-like substances as a controlled substance. The act allowed and regulated the use of some controlled drugs by various persons (e.g. doctors) acting in their professional capacity. Cannabis, and specifically THC, are still classed as Class B controlled drugs in the UK. CBD was declassified in 2016 and has since been legal (see MHRA). 


Cultivation

Cultivation is the act of caring for plants and the preparation of land for the growth of crops. In regards to CBD, the cultivation practices employed by the hemp farmers will determine the quality of their hemp and, in turn, the quality of the CBD extract.


Cyclical Vomiting Syndrome - CVS

See Cannabinoid Hyperemesis Syndrome - CHS


D


Delta 9 THC

See Tetrahydrocannabinol - THC


Dosage

Dosage can refer to the size or the frequency of a dose of medicine. In relation to CBD, there are no official recommended doses. The amount of CBD you should take can be affected by factors such as your weight and the severity of the condition you are looking to treat. In lieu of definitive guidelines, the advice is to start with a small dose and gradually increase. Be mindful of the effects of the dose before taking more - this will prevent you from raising your tolerance too quickly, and will allow you to figure out what the right dose is for you.


Drug Testing

When police or employers utilise drug testing methods, they are screening for controlled substances that are prohibited for sale and use in the UK. This includes cannabis; however, what they are actually looking for is the presence of THC or THC metabolites - not CBD.


E


E-liquid

Also known as e-juice, vape juice, or vape liquid, e-liquid is created specifically for use in an e-cigarette. E-liquid typically contains a base made of propylene glycol (see PG) and vegetable glycerin (see VG) to which flavourings are added. For people using e-liquid to quit smoking, they might select an e-liquid that contains nicotine. For people looking to vape CBD based e-liquid, these are always nicotine free. However, a flavourless CBD e-liquid can be mixed with a nicotine e-liquid in order to get the benefits of CBD while keeping nicotine cravings at bay.


Edibles

In the world of CBD, edibles refer to a food substance that has been infused with cannabinoids. Typical edibles you will come across will be gummies, candies, chocolate, and capsules. The advantage with edibles is that you know precisely what dose of CBD each edible contains; however, they tend to be delicious, so don’t be tempted to just keep eating! One key disadvantage with edibles is that they have lower bioavailability than other methods of CBD delivery. As they have to be digested before the CBD can be absorbed into the bloodstream, the benefits won’t be felt as quickly.


Endocannabinoid

Endocannabinoids or endogenous cannabinoids are cannabinoids that are produced within the body (Endo being a prefix from Greek meaning ‘from within’). They are endogenous lipid-based retrograde neurotransmitters (messengers) that bind to cannabinoid receptors throughout the endocannabinoid system (see ECS). The function of endocannabinoids is to keep our body regulated and balanced. Deficiency in endocannabinoids contributes to the development of a number of health conditions. Experts believe that replacing the missing endocannabinoids with cannabinoids from cannabis can help restore the balance (see homeostasis).


Endocannabinoid System - ECS

The endocannabinoid system is absolutely crucial to the correct functioning and health of every system in your body. It is the infrastructure throughout your body that enables you to produce, utilise, and dispose of cannabinoids that have either been made by you, or consumed by you. The ECS comprises of three components: cannabinoid receptors on the surface of cells, endocannabinoids that activate the cannabinoid receptors, and metabolic enzymes that break down the endocannabinoids once they’ve been used. When cannabinoid receptors in the ECS are activated, they check what’s going on in your various systems before they tell the body what to do next (see homeostasis).


Entourage Effect

The phenomenon known as the entourage effect occurs when the many natural compounds of a plant interact together within the human body to produce a stronger impact than any single compound used in isolation. Even though the individual compounds may in fact share some of the same beneficial uses, the entourage effect means that the results are multiplied. In this sense, full spectrum extracts from the cannabis plant epitomise Aristotle’s famous phrase ‘the whole is greater than the sum of its parts’.


Extract

An extract is a preparation containing the active ingredients of a substance in concentrated form. The first extract from the cannabis plant is known as the whole plant extract, or full spectrum. This extract contains all of the active cannabinoids, terpenes, and flavonoids contained within the plant.


F


Flavonoids

Flavonoids are a diverse group of phytonutrients found in almost all plants. Like other phytonutrients, flavonoids are powerful antioxidants with anti-inflammatory and immune system benefits. A full spectrum or broad spectrum hemp extract will contain all the flavonoids from the plant. This contributes to the entourage effect.


Full spectrum

Also known as whole plant extract, full spectrum refers to the extract from cannabis plants, like hemp, that contains all of the cannabinoids, terpenes, and flavonoids that the plant contains. The inclusion of all of the cannabinoids means that any THC in the plant will also be present. However, in EU certified strains of hemp, the THC content of the plant must be >0.2% which is considered to have little to no psychoactive effects.


G


GMO

Short for Genetically Modified Organism, a GMO is any organism that has been genetically engineered. GMOs are shown to have a negative impact on soil quality, the ecosystem, and human health. High quality CBD is sourced from hemp farms that reject GMOs in their cultivation practices (see cultivation). You should check before you buy that your CBD product is GMO free.  


H


Head shop

A head shop is a retail outlet that specialises in products used for the consumption of cannabis related products. People used to believe that the local head shop would be somewhere that they could ‘procure’ CBD related products. That was until CBD was made legal in the UK in 2016, and now CBD products can be purchased openly over the counter in high street stores.


Hemp

All hemp is cannabis sativa, but not all cannabis sativa is hemp. Hemp is a strain of the cannabis sativa plant that is grown specifically for industrial purposes. It has lower concentrations of THC and higher concentrations of CBD. EU certified strains of hemp that have been approved for the extraction of CBD all contain less than 0.2% THC. Hemp is also commonly used to make a wide variety of commercial and industrial products, including rope, textiles, shoes, food, paper, building insulation, and even jewellery. Its enormous range of applications make it possibly the most important plant on earth.


Hemp oil

Also known as hemp seed oil, hemp oil is obtained by pressing hemp seeds. Unrefined, cold pressed hemp oil is green in colour with a nutty flavour. Hemp oil has many benefits as it includes a high concentration of protein, omega-6, omega-3, and vitamin E. It is great for skin and a fantastic addition to the human diet. However, it contains no cannabinoids and so shouldn’t be confused with CBD oil. Some companies have been marketing their products as containing CBD oil when in fact they contain hemp oil. To be sure that what you’re buying contains CBD, check the label for the terms CBD, cannabinoids, or hemp extract.


Homeostasis

Homeostasis refers to our ability to maintain a state of internal balance and physical wellbeing despite changes or external factors. Many of the processes that the human body goes through exist solely to preserve homeostasis. Our bodies are constantly undergoing a series of checks and balances to ensure that everything is as it should be. If you shiver when it’s cold, or sweat when it’s hot - that’s homeostasis. If bacteria invade your body, your lymphatic system kicks in to fight the infection - that’s homeostasis. If your blood pressure changes, the brain signals the heart to slow down or speed up accordingly - that’s homeostasis. All of these triggers to maintain homeostasis are influenced by the endocannabinoid system that runs through every system in our bodies (see also ECS).


I


Industrial hemp

See hemp.


Isolate

An isolate is simply something that has been separated from everything else. In the world of CBD, isolate refers to the product that is left behind when CBD is separated from all of the other phytonutrients in a whole plant extract (see also CBD Isolate).


L


Lab reports

In terms of CBD, a lab report refers to the testing of the product by an accredited 3rd party laboratory. Without a lab report you can’t be sure that what is advertised on the label is exactly what you’re getting in the product. Reputable CBD vendors should be happy to share the lab reports from their products with you.


M


MCT

MCTs (medium-chain triglycerides) are found in abundance in food products such as coconut oil, olive oil, soybeans and avocados. Some of the best CBD oral drops (see tinctures) and capsules (see edibles) use MCT as the carrier for the CBD. They are safe for human consumption and improve the bioavailability of CBD, allowing more to reach the bloodstream.


Medium Chain Triglycerides

See MCT.


MHRA

The Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) is a government body which was set up in 2003 to bring together the functions of the Medicines Control Agency (MCA) and the Medical Devices Agency (MDA). In 2016 the MHRA announced their decision to class Cannabidiol (CBD) as a medicine. As yet no official medicinal licenses for CBD have been granted. This in no way affects the legality of CBD - all it means is that CBD vendors have to be careful not to make any overt medicinal claims, and balance any positive benefits with any associated risks. We understand from the Committee of Advertising Practice (CAP) that the MHRA is considering emerging evidence of the clinical effects of CBD and therefore believe that CBD products that are currently on the market could be re-classified as medicines in the future.


O


Opioid

Opioids are a class of drugs that include the Class A drug heroin. Synthetic opioids, such as fentanyl, tramadol, codeine, and morphine are prescribed for moderate and severe chronic pain when there has been no response to standard painkillers. They are highly addictive and overdoses can be fatal. Cannabinoids like CBD could provide a natural alternative to opioid use. CBD is non addictive and has only minor side effects in high doses. Research also suggests that CBD could be used to help treat opioid addiction.


Organic

When referring to farming methods, organic means produced without the use of chemical fertilisers, pesticides, or other artificial chemicals. High quality CBD is sourced from hemp farms that utilise organic cultivation practices (see cultivation). You should check before you buy that your CBD product is 100% organic.


P


Phytocannabinoid

The prefix Phyto comes from the Greek word for plant; therefore, phytocannabinoid literally translates to plant cannabinoid. See also Cannabinoid.


Phytonutrient

A phytonutrient is a substance found in certain plants that is believed to be beneficial to human health and help to prevent various diseases. Also called phytochemicals, in the cannabis plant the phytonutrients include all of the cannabinoids, terpenes, and flavonoids. Phytonutrients have antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. They may also enhance immunity, repair DNA damage from exposure to toxins, detoxify carcinogens and alter oestrogen metabolism. In order to benefit fully from the phytonutrients from the hemp plant, consider a full spectrum or broad spectrum product. See also Entourage Effect.


Propylene Glycol - PG

Propylene Glycol is non toxic and is used as a flavouring carrier in food products, as an ingredient in food colouring and also used as an additive in various medicines. PG is one of the base ingredients used in e-liquid. It is blended with VG (see Vegetable Glycerine) in varying ratios dependent on the intended e-cigarette. CBD e-liquids will generally contain a 50/50 PG/VG blend as a base.


Psychoactive

A psychoactive drug or psychotropic substance is a chemical substance that acts primarily upon the central nervous system where it alters brain function, resulting in temporary changes in perception, mood, consciousness, and behaviour. In cannabis, the psychoactive component is THC. CBD is completely non-psychoactive and non-intoxicating.


S


Scromiting

See Cannabinoid Hyperemesis Syndrome - CHS.


Strain

In botany, the term strain refers to variations found within plant cultivars. It also refers to the offspring that descend from modified plants. These plants are either produced by biotechnological methods or through regular breeding. Hemp is a strain of the cannabis sativa plant that is bred for industrial purposes. The recent demand for CBD products has led to hemp being bred to create strains that are extremely high in CBD and low in THC. Only hemp strains that have <0.2% THC content are certified by the EU.


T


Terpenes

Terpenes (pronounced tur-peens) are organic oily compounds that are produced by most plants, not just cannabis. They are a class of volatile aromatic molecules that evaporate easily, which makes them easily detectable by our noses. Just like any other plant or flower, cannabis has its own recognisable smell. Each strain has a scent and taste that is unique - this uniqueness comes from terpenes. There are around 200 known terpenes found in cannabis, but not all are present in amounts large enough to be distinguished by the nose. Citrus, pine, mint, mango, berries… all of these diverse fragrance profiles, and many more, can be identified within the different strain varieties of the cannabis plant. When included in a full spectrum or broad spectrum extract, terpenes contribute to the entourage effect.


Tetrahydrocannabinol - THC

THC, or delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol, is one of over 100 active cannabinoids found in plants from the cannabis family. It is the most abundant phytocannabinoid and is notorious for its high-inducing properties. When THC enters the body, it mimics anandamide and binds to CB1 cannabinoid receptors which are found in the brain and central nervous system. This means that THC does have amazing health benefits in its own right - specifically the treatment of pain, muscle spasticity, insomnia, glaucoma, nausea, and low appetite. However, it is far more potent than anandamide and the powerful effects are intoxicating and psychoactive. Researchers have estimated that daily use of cannabis with a high THC content can lead to episodes of psychosis. CBD is widely used to counter the negative effects of THC by blocking CB1 receptors meaning that less THC can bind. THC is still a controlled substance in the UK. EU certified strains of hemp all have <0.2% THC.   


Tincture

A tincture is a type of medicine extracted from a plant in an alcohol solution (see Alcohol Extraction). In the CBD world, the tincture is added to a carrier, such as MCT oil, and administered sublingually. This involves placing drops of the tincture under the tongue and holding in place for up to a minute in order to improve the bioavailability of the CBD extract.


Topical

Topicals are designed for application to a particular place on the body. When applied, the ingredients in the topical will enter the body by penetrating the skin and entering the bloodstream. Topical application is just one of the ways of getting the benefits of CBD. People with skincare complaints, or extremely localised pain, have reported positive benefits from using creams infused with CBD extract. Also, CBD infused oils are now a huge part of the massage for wellness industry. 


V


Vaping

Vaping refers to the action of inhaling and exhaling the vapour produced by an electronic cigarette (e-cig) or similar device. In order to vape CBD, the CBD extract is added to a base made from a mix of vegetable glycerin (see VG) and propylene glycol (see PG). Flavourings can then be added or, in the case of terpene e-liquids, a blend of natural terpenes is added to replicate the flavour of popular cannabis strains, as well as to enhance the effects of the CBD (see Entourage Effect). Vaping is a good way to obtain the benefits of CBD as inhaling the extract means it goes straight into the bloodstream (see bioavailability).


Vegetable Glycerin - VG

Vegetable Glycerin is a sweet, vegetable based liquid. VG is non toxic and is one of the base ingredients used in e-liquid. In e-liquid it provides the vapour production which simulates smoke. It is blended with PG (see Propylene Glycol) in varying ratios dependent on the intended e-cigarette. CBD e-liquids will generally contain a 50/50 PG/VG blend as a base.


Vitamin E Acetate

Also known as tocopheryl-acetate, vitamin E acetate is the oil derived from vitamin E. Vitamin E is known for its antioxidant properties and is popular as a natural skin conditioning agent. It is commonly found in skincare products (see Topicals) and in foods such as green, leafy vegetables, sunflower seeds, whole grains, and nuts. In low daily doses, it is perfectly safe when consumed or applied to the skin. However, the molecular structure of vitamin E-acetate can be hazardous when inhaled/vaped. When the vaporised oil cools in the lungs, it returns to its oil state which can lead to conditions such as lipoid pneumonia. This has led to serious respiratory illnesses in America where vitamin e-acetate has been used as a cheap way to dilute THC and CBD in bootleg e-liquid cartridges (see Black Market).


W


Wellness

Wellness is an active process of becoming aware of, and making a deliberate effort to lead a healthy and fulfilling life. It means working towards a state of complete physical, mental, and social well-being - rather than just the absence of illness. CBD is widely used by people seeking to achieve wellness. Whether to enhance the relaxation of a massage, to improve general mood, or to promote a better quality of sleep, CBD is showing amazing potential as an addition to commonly used wellness techniques.


Winterisation

Winterisation, sometimes referred to as hypercritical molecular separation, is a purification process used to isolate the CBD from all the other cannabinoids - including THC. In order to winterise the hemp oil, it is first soaked in alcohol and then frozen - hence its wintery name. The result is a CBD rich oil that looks like maple syrup and that can be used to create CBD isolate products. 



Using CBD safely


There is no current evidence to suggest that CBD based products are harmful to humans. They contain plant based cannabinoids, and cannabinoids are found naturally in our own bodies. Hence, if you decide to try CBD oil to find relief from your particular health condition, even if you don’t find the positive results you were hoping for, you’re unlikely to find any negative ones.


This being said, it’s still recommended that you consult with a doctor before taking CBD oil if you are taking prescribed medication.


Furthermore, it’s really important that you purchase your CBD products from reputable sources. The popularity of CBD is such that some shady manufacturers are jumping on the bandwagon. To be sure of the purity of the CBD, as well as any other ingredients used, do your research and only buy certified products.

The research into CBD continues


As more studies are undertaken, and more research published, we will continue to update you with all the latest findings regarding CBD.


If you still have more questions, we are always happy to help. Just get in touch with any queries you have about the fascinating world of CBD.



The content in this article is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your GP, or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a particular medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website.

About the author - Nicola Webster

Nicola Webster is the researcher and content creator for Vape UK CBD

Nicola Webster works as a researcher, consultant, and content creator for Vape UK and Vape UK CBD. She holds a CIM Level 6 Diploma in Professional Marketing and has developed her skills and knowledge of analytics and research over a 12 year career in product marketing. Her research led approach to campaigns and content writing ensures the articles she writes for Vape UK CBD always have a basis in fact and cut through the noise. A strong advocate for CBD, Nicola has first hand experience of how CBD has benefited her and her friends and family. She is keen for others to understand how CBD could make a difference to their lives. Outside of content creation and CBD advocacy, Nicola enjoys watching live music, travelling in Southeast Asia, and exploring the beautiful countryside of the South Downs.