Common cannabis terms

Common cannabis terms

We created this glossary to help enhance the cannabis shopping experience by demystifying some of the terms that you may run into on your cannabis journey.

Cannabis

Cannabis is a genus of plant that contains three species: Cannabis sativa, Cannabis indica and Cannabis ruderalis. Cannabidiol (CBD) comes from chemovars (strains) of Cannabis sativa that are specifically bred to contain low levels of THC.

Hemp

Any strain of Cannabis sativa that contains less than 0.3% of THC is classified by the federal government as hemp. All of our products are derived from hemp plants that we cultivate using regenerative organi practies on our farm in Western Maryland.

Indica

Indica, or Cannabis indica refers to a type of cannabis plant or strains (chemovar) typically associated with producing full body effects such as increasing relaxation and calm.

Sativa

Sativa, or Cannabis sativa, refers to a type of cannabis plant or strains (chemovar) that is known for its more invigorating or energizing effects, and are associated with increased focus and creativity.

Hybrid

A hybrid refers to a strain (chemovar) that is a blend of both Indica and Sativa genetics. These strains can be an equally balanced blend or be more Indica or Sativa dominant.

Hemp Seed Oil

Hemp seed oil comes from the seeds of the Cannabis sativa plant. The seeds do not contain cannabidiol (CBD), but do contain an abundance of fatty acids and nutrients that can have health benefits.

CBD Oil/ Hemp Oil

Hemp oil and CBD oil are the same thing. Both terms refer to oil that is extracted from the flower, leaves, and stalks of the hemp plant. These products contain a significant level of cannabidiol or CBD. Many people mistakenly conflate hemp seed oil with hemp oil, but it is important to note the distinction between the two as hemp seed oil does not contain CBD.

Cannabis Oil

Cannabis oil is oil that is extracted from the cannabis plant. It is a term that can be used to describe oils extracted from hemp plants as well as oils that are extracted from cannabis plants with a high THC content.

Bioavailability

Bioavailability refers to the body’s ability to absorb a certain chemical or compound. CBD bioavailability refers to the amount of cannabidiol that is circulating in the bloodstream and available for interaction with your endocannabinoid system. The main factors that affect the bioavailability of CBD are 1) the formulation of the product and 2) whether you’ve consumed a fatty meal. Our tinctures are most bioavailable when the drops are taken orally, and held under the tongue or in the cheek. Giving them 60-90 seconds to absorb through the mucous membranes allows the active ingredients to bypass the liver, with faster absorption and with more of the cannabinoids available to systemic circulation. We always stay apprised of the latest medical research and this research demonstrates that long chain fatty acids make fat-loving cannabinoids more available for absorption into our bodies. Safflower oil is an oil with long chain fatty acids making it more bioavailable than MCT oil (the more common carrier oil) so your body is able to absorb more of the good stuff from our products.

Endocannabinoids and the Endocannabinoid System

The Endocannabinoid system (ECS) is a whole-body system (much like our respiratory system or digestive system) that helps regulate a variety of functions involved in physiological and cognitive processes and contributes to the homeostasis of the body’s internal environment. The ECS is linked to immunity, sleep, mood, learning and memory, appetite and digestion, metabolism, bone and muscle formation, skin and nerve function and motor control. Endocannabinoids or endogenous cannabinoids are a type of lipid based compound produced by our bodies to interact with receptors that live in our brains, heart, gut, and nerves. Both endocannabinoids and phytocannabinoids (the cannabinoids that come from cannabis plants) can activate the endocannabinoid system by binding to cannabinoid receptors on the surface of cells (CB1 and CB2 receptors) to help stimulate and modulate various biological processes.

CB1 & CB2 Receptors

These are the two primary cannabinoid receptors that are found in the body. CB1 receptors are primarily found in the central nervous system (brain and spinal cord) while CB2 receptors are mainly found in the peripheral nervous system and immune cells. Endocannabinoids can bind to either type of receptor to produce different effects.

Entourage Effect Theory

The entourage effect theory postulates that cannabinoids work most effectively when taken with the whole spectrum of the cannabis plant. I.e the interaction between all of the compounds found in a cannabis plant, like cannabinoids and terpenes, come together to enhance their effects. This is why we produce full spectrum products. Humans have been consuming cannabis for tens of thousands of years. It stands to reason that we’ve coevolved as organisms and our bodies may respond to more than one of the over four hundred chemical compounds in cannabis.

Homeostasis

Homeostasis refers to the body’s overarching goal to remain a stable and balanced environment. One of the ways our bodies maintain homeostasis is through the endocannabinoid system. CBD and other cannabinoids can help supplement our body’s naturally produced cannabinoids (endocannabinoids) to assist with activating this system and keeping our bodies healthy over the long term.

Carrier Oil

A carrier oil is the substance that “carries” the hemp oil in the tincture. Many companies use coconut oil (MCT oil) as their carrier oil, but we have opted to use Safflower oil. This is because we always stay apprised of the latest medical research which demonstrates that long chain fatty acids make fat-loving cannabinoids more available for absorption into our bodies. Safflower oil is an oil with long chain fatty acids making it more bioavailable than MCT oil (the more common carrier oil) so your body is able to absorb more of the good stuff from our products. We also grow safflowers on our farm!