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CBD 101

Plant Power to the rescue! If you’re new to the world of CBD, the lingo can seem overwhelming. Here are a few key terms to know: 




This term refers to how quickly and to what degree, a drug can be absorbed by the body’s circulatory system. When drugs are administered non-intravenously, for example through inhalation or consumption, this measurement determines the correct dosage. A substance’s bioavailability designates what percentage of the ingested dose eventually gets absorbed by the body. 


Broad-spectrum products land somewhere between full-spectrum and isolate formulations. They contain some terpenes and other beneficial cannabinoids, which means they offer some benefits of the entourage effect, without any THC. Though they are not typically as effective as full-spectrum products, they can be a better choice than an isolate for someone who wants no traces of THC in their system. 


Cannabidiol, or CBD as it’s commonly called, is one of the naturally occurring cannabinoids found in cannabis plants and it accounts for up to 40% of the plant’s extract. CBD does not produce psychoactive effects. Cannabidiol interacts with the endocannabinoid system (ECS), part of the nervous system that is thought to help regulate bodily functions including mood, sleep, and appetite. A 2017 report from the World Health Organization found compelling evidence that CBD is an effective treatment for epilepsy.


A cannabinoid is a chemical compound that acts on the endocannabinoid system receptors found throughout the body. (It’s not the same as cannabidiol! Cannabidiol is a cannabinoid, but not all cannabinoids are cannabidiol!) The two most notable cannabinoids are THC and CBD.

Certificate of analysis

An accredited laboratory issues a certificate of analysis to certify the amount of cannabinoids in a product, providing quality assurance for both the producer and the consumer. Any reputable company should be able to provide you with this document; if they can’t, you should probably give the product a miss. 

Endocannabinoid system (ECS) 

This mammalian system is responsible for maintaining bodily homeostasis or keeping the body in balance despite changes in the environment. 

Entourage Effect 

This is the effect that occurs when all the components of cannabinoids (including THC) increase the effect of the product when taken together. In other words, the whole is greater than the sum of its parts. 


This refers to CBD that contains all the terpenes, cannabinoids, flavonoids, and fatty acids found in the hemp plant. Though these all have therapeutic value on their own, the combined effects are even greater. This “entourage effect” makes full-spectrum CBD the ideal choice for taking advantage of every benefit the plant has to offer. 


This distinct strain of the Cannabis sativa plant is often grown for industrial use. Hemp in CBD products must contain less than .3% CBD

Hemp seed oil

Hemp seed oil is an industrial help derivative created by pressing the plant’s seeds. It is often used as a dietary supplement and low-saturated-fat cooking oil. 

Industrial hemp

Hemp grown specifically for the industrial uses of its products, including textiles, clothing, biodegradable plastic, food, biofuel, and medicine (including CBD). Hemp and its products are legal in the U.S. under the Farm Bill as long as they contain less than .3% THC.


A purified and highly concentrated form of a cannabinoid. CBD is one of the most common isolates. 


These are the chemical compounds in cannabis plants. CBD and THC are probably the most well-known phytocannabinoids, but there are more than 110 others in the cannabis plant. Each one produces unique effects in the body.  

The chemical compounds in cannabis plants that mimic the endocannabinoids naturally produced by the body. CBD and THC are examples of phytocannabinoids, but there are at least 


A measure of how powerful a drug is. A high-potency drug can have a large effect even at a low dose, while a lower-potency drug elicits a small response at low doses and requires a higher dose for similar effects. 

A measure of drug activity expressed in terms of the amount required to produce an effect of given intensity in the body. A high-potency drug evokes a larger response even at a low dose, while a low-potency drug evokes a small response at low concentrations and requires higher doses for a similar effect.

Psychoactive vs. Non-psychoactive

A psychoactive substance interacts with the central nervous system and changes brain function, resulting in a change to mood, perception, cognition, or behavior. THC is the primary psychoactive element in cannabis plants. Broad-spectrum and some Full-spectrum CBD products contain undetectable, or zero THC, therefore, non-psychoactive.


These organic compounds give cannabis its smell and taste. More than 100 different terpenes have been identified, each with its own unique profile. The effect of each may be amplified when combined with other compounds (the entourage effect.)


The primary psychoactive compound found in the cannabis plant.  


Usually administered sublingually, a tincture is quickly absorbed and distributed throughout the body. 


A delivery method where a product is applied to the skin, typically as a salve or lotion, or oil massaged on a certain area of the body where it’s needed. 

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