CBD 101

Why CBD?

Why CBD... Explanation here

What is CBD?

CBD, short for cannabidiol, is a singular chemical compound that comes from the Cannabis plant and has been shown to produce positive mental & physical effects in mammals.

 

The cannabis plant genus that CBD comes from is home to both the marijuana and hemp plant. Marijuana-derived CBD products will typically feature high THC content, the chemical component that gets you 'high'. Whereas hemp-derived CBD will feature low THC content, not enough to result in a psychoactive high.

 

CBD has become widely popular in the last decade for being able to provide similar health benefits to the marijuana plant, while not affecting cognition or getting in the way of a clear mind.

 

Cannabidiol (CBD) is one of the over 100 cannabinoids found in both the hemp and marijuana plant. Cannabinoids within these plants interact with our body's endocannabinoid system to provide holistic balance for greater to focus, inflammatory function, and overall calmness.

 

Majority of the  CBD-rich tinctures and products you'll find today commonly contain tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), a psychoactive cannabinoid, however, they will not result in a high as they must contain under .3% in order to be considered legal in accordance with the 2018 Farm Bill.

Many people are seeking alternatives to pharmaceuticals with harsh side effects – medicine more in synch with natural processes. By tapping into how we function biologically on a deep level, CBD can provide relief for chronic pain, anxiety, inflammation, depression and many other conditions.

Extensive scientific research – much of it sponsored by the U.S. government – and mounting anecdotal accounts from patients and physicians highlight CBD’s potential as a treatment for a wide range of maladies, including (but not limited to):

 

CBD has proven neuroprotective effects and its anti-cancer properties are being investigated at several academic research centers in the United States and elsewhere. A 2010 brain cancer study by California scientists found that CBD “enhances the inhibitory effects of THC on human glioblastoma cell proliferation and survival.” This means that CBD makes THC even more potent as an anticancer substance. Also in 2010, German researchers reported that CBD stimulates neurogenesis, the growth of new brain cells, in adult mammals.

Benefits of CBD

What are the benefits of CBD...

 

Helps to support healthy inflammatory function

 

CBD's ability to support healthy inflammatory function is perhaps its most exciting benefit, with the potential ability to mitigate the painful symptoms of countless disorders. For this reason, numerous studies have been performed to examine CBD's effect on inflammation, and though these studies have been primarily performed with animals, the results are promising.

 

Provides support for focus & clarity

 

CBD has been shown to interact with the body's dopamine receptors. Dopamine is a chemical neurotransmitter that plays an important role in regulating our behavior, including: memory, focus, motivation, and mental attention.

 

Helps to relieve pain

 

With the danger of addiction looming over prescription pain relievers, it's no wonder that people are looking for a more natural, less-habit forming, pain reliever. In a recent animal study, scientists found that CBD may interact with our body's serotonin receptors, which is believed to be the reason that CBD could encourage greater pain management.

 

Helps to support a healthy sleep cycle

 

There are many things that contribute to tossing and turning at night, including: anxiety, unrest, and physical pain. In 2019, The Permanente Journal performed a study in which they gave 72 people suffering from anxiety and sleep issues just 25mg of CBD each day. Within just one month, 66.7% reported better sleep.

 

Helps to promote a calm mood

 

Stress hormones help to trigger our body's "fight or flight" response, but in the hustle and bustle of today's world, these hormones are often over-triggered, leaving us overwhelmed. In a recent literature review,  Neurotherapeutics compared 32 different animal based studies, and 31 of the 32 found CBD to have a potential positive effect on anxiety.

 

Rich in antioxidants

 

CBD is a jam-packed antioxidant source, in fact, it is known to contain more antioxidants than both vitamin C and E. Antioxidants help relieve the body's oxidative stress and work as a a natural defense team when it comes to keeping us healthy.

 

CBD's antioxidant's work against free-radicals (the unstable atoms that cause damage to healthy cells, proteins, and DNA) to reduce the appearance of inflammatory based skin conditions and common issues like wrinkles.

 

As CBD comes from a plant, it's no surprise that it's rich in antioxidant nutrients. A study by the National Institute of Mental Health showed that CBD was in fact, a more potent source of antioxidants than Vitamins C and E.

 

Supports Healthy Inflammatory Function

 

CBD may play a role in supporting the proper inflammatory function of the skin. CBD has been shown to positively effect TRPV-1 and GPR55, both skin receptors related to inflammation and pain signaling.

 

Regulation of Oil Production

 

In a 2014 study, CBD was deemed a "highly effective sebostatic agent". In simple terms, CBD was found to regulate the production of the skin's oil and termed a "promising therapeutic agent" by the Journal of Clinical Investigation.

 

Supports Relief from Pain

 

Perhaps CBD's most thoroughly researched benefit is its ability to provide pain relief. Researchers surmise that CBD's effect on pain is related to its interaction with the endocannabinoid system (ECS). The receptors within the ECS help cells process and respond to outside stimuli. In acting as a secondary line of defense for our receptors, CBD helps to support healthy inflammatory function for greater response to pain signals.

 

CBD isn’t psychoactive — meaning it won’t get you “high.” Instead, research suggests that it may help:

  • reduce anxiety and depression
  • improve sleep
  • reduce  seizures in people with epilepsy
  • soothe pain and inflammation
  • improve heart health
  • improve symptoms of Irritable Bowel Syndrome

How Does CBD WORK?

CBD and THC interact with our bodies in a variety of ways. One of the main ways is by mimicking and augmenting the effects of the compounds in our bodies called endogenous cannabinoids - so named because of their similarity to compounds found in the cannabis plant. These endocannabinoids are part of what scientists refer to as the endocannabinoid system.

The discovery of the endocannabinoid system has significantly advanced our understanding of health and disease. It has major implications for nearly every area of medical science and helps to explain how and why CBD and THC are such versatile compounds – and why cannabis is such a widely consumed plant, despite its illegal status.

The endocannabinoid system plays a crucial role in regulating a broad range of physiological processes that affect our everyday experience – our mood, our energy level, our intestinal fortitude, immune activity, blood pressure, bone density, glucose metabolism, how we experience pain, stress, hunger, and more.

What happens if the endocannabinoid system doesn’t function properly? What are the consequences of a chronically deficient or overactive endocannabinoid system?

In a word, disease.

Cutting-edge science has shown that the endocannabinoid system is dysregulated in nearly all pathological conditions. Thus, it stands to reason that “modulating endocannabinoid system activity may have therapeutic potential in almost all diseases affecting humans,” as Pal Pacher and George Kunos, scientists with the U.S. National Institutes of Health (NIH), suggested in a 2014 publication.

By modulating the endocannabinoid system and enhancing endocannabinoid tone, CBD and THC can slow – or in some cases stop – disease progression.

When CBD is applied topically to the skin, it's absorbed deep into the epidermis, but it does not reach the bloodstream. For this reason, topically applied CBD won't provide the mental benefits that orally-ingested or smoked CBD has become synonymous with; it has its own unique set of skin benefits.

 

Topically applied CBD stimulates the cannabinoid receptors that reside on the skin's surface, which contribute to pain signaling, aging, and more. By nature of the composition and function of our skin, it tends to be good at blocking substances from entering. Therefore, with our skin's low absorption rate, it's important to purchase CBD topicals with high, potent CBD concentrations.

 

For example, with a single dollop of our 2000MG CBD Cooling Rub, you're getting nearly 70MG of CBD soaking into your ache or pain. Whereas, if you were to use a CBD bath bomb, you'd be getting a diluted 70MG of CBD in a 75 gallon bath tub. See the difference?

 

Legal in the U.S.

 

CBD has had a complicated legal context due to hemp's relation to the marijuana plant. While marijuana and hemp have many similarities, the plants are quite different in their chemical make-up and offer entirely different experiences for the consumer.

 

Where the two plants differ the most is in their tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) content. Marijuana is typically high in THC, while hemp is low in THC. In the United States, hemp products can be legally sold if their THC content is below .3%. And even though full-spectrum CBD gummies will contain small amounts of THC, it isn't enough to result in a high feeling.

CBD & YOUR Skin

Whoever tells you CBD in skin care is a cure-all is lying. With CBD quickly climbing towards the height of its popularity, be wary of any broad claims that CBD is the singular answer to all your skincare needs. CBD and skincare make a great match, however, CBD can't pull all of the weight by itself. It's important to look at the components that make up the product, including the ingredients and the type of CBD being used.

 

Natural Ingredients

 

The best CBD skin care will feature high-quality CBD paired with a set of natural ingredients. For example, take our CBD Night Serum (150-1000MG). With up to 1000MG of CBD, the skin is benefitting not only from CBD's high antioxidant content, but the combined value of jojoba seed oil, green tea extract, and vitamin C.

CBD EXTRACTS

Every CBD skincare product will feature a specific type of CBD, with some featuring a higher quality extract than others. Identify straight away if the CBD product you're using features an isolate, broad-spectrum, or full-spectrum extract. 

  • Isolate: Cannabidiol (CBD) completely isolated by itself.

  • Broad Spectrum: All of the plants cannabinoids (CBD, CBG, CBD, etc.) with NO THC.

  • Full Spectrum: All of the plants cannabinoids (CBD, CBG, CBD, THC, etc.)

 

At Vital Essence, we're big believers in full spectrum and broad spectrum CBD for the basis of superior hemp products. These two extracts offer the entourage effect, the synergistic effect that hemp can have when all of the cannabinoids, vitamins, essential oils, and terpenes of the whole plant work together. By choosing a CBD skin care product with isolated CBD, you could potentially miss out on the benefits of a broad or full spectrum product. It's true, recent studies have shown that the more cannabinoids there are working together, the better.

UNDERSTANDING CBD & Skin Care

1. CBD Skin Care vs. Hemp Seed Oil Skin Care

Just because you see "CBD", "hemp", or "cannabis" on the label, it doesn't mean that it contains any CBD at all. These products often just contain hemp seed oil, which comes from hemp, but doesn't contain any active cannabinoids. Though hemp seed oil is in fact, wonderful for the skin (and commonly used as a carrier oil), it contains zero CBD. Here is the difference between CBD oil and hemp seed oil:

Hemp seed oil: oil pressed from the seeds of the hemp plant

CBD oil: an active cannabinoid found in the leaves and flowers of the hemp plant

Unfortunately, due to CBD's buzzy status, a lot companies have been founded upon the principle of tricking customers into buying hemp seed oil that they think is CBD oil. Just last year, we tested 12 top-selling amazon "CBD oils" to reiterate this point. If you are buying a CBD for skin care, first and foremost, make sure it is actually CBD.

2. Check for CBD Terminology

When you're reading through the ingredient list on a CBD and skin care product, there are certain words to look for that will help you identify whether or not it is a real CBD product, including:

  • Full-spectrum/Broad Spectrum hemp extract

  • Hemp CBD

  • Phytocannabinoid-rich hemp extract

  • Hemp extract oil

 

3. Purchase CBD Skin Care with 'Dwell-Time'

When you're purchasing CBD for skin care, be sure to buy products that include dwell time. Dwell time means that the product is either a thick lotion or balm that can be placed onto the skin in concentrated amounts and soaked up into the epidermis over time. Avoid buzzy products like CBD bath bombs that do not have skin dwell time and will not provide you with the topical CBD experience you're looking for.

What IS THE RIGHT AMOUNT OF CBD?

CBD has been the subject of a lot of discussion and research over the past few years.

As this 2017  Review shows, a great deal of research has found that it’s a relatively safe treatment. The studies analyzed in that review didn’t show that there’s one universal dosage of CBD that everyone should take. Instead, it underscored the fact that different people (and, in the animal studies, different animals) respond to different dosages of CBD. Most of the human studies use dosages anywhere between 20 and 1,500 milligrams (mg) per day.

 

Figuring out the right amount for you

The amount of CBD you should take depends on a range of factors, including:

  • your body weight

  • the condition you’re treating

  • your individual body chemistry

  • the concentration of CBD in each pill, capsule, drop, or gummy

How to Safely Use CBD: Should You Inhale, Spray, Apply, or Eat It?

CBD has become so widely used in part because early research suggests that it may offer possible health benefits—potentially reducing pain and anxiety, for example.

While this chemical compound comes from marijuana or its close relative hemp, CBD does not get users high, unlike another compound from the marijuana plant, tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC. The Food and Drug Administration this summer approved a CBD-based drug to treat two serious seizure disorders.

In other words, there are a lot of variables that go into deciding how much CBD to take. Before trying CBD, be sure to talk to your doctor about an appropriate dosage and any potential risks. If your doctor tells you how much to use, stick to their recommendation.

If your doctor doesn’t provide a recommendation, it’s best to start with a smaller dosage and gradually increase it.

Start with a small dosage of CBD and increase slowly until you reach your desired effect. Your ideal dosage of CBD depends on a lot of factors, like your body weight, body chemistry, the condition you’re treating, and the concentration of CBD in the product you’re using.

Thirteen percent of Americans say that they have used CBD to help with symptoms related to a health issue, according to a recent Consumer Reports nationally representative survey of 1,003 American adults. And nearly 90 percent of those who have used CBD say it helped ease symptoms related to their health issue.

For problems such as anxiety, depression, and insomnia, “the quickest way to deliver CBD to the brain is by smoking it,” Kaminski says. “The next quickest way is by using a tincture. Eating it, and especially a topical, will take longer before there is an effect.”

Ashley Garris, 28, of Wilmington, N.C., says she started using CBD three months ago to treat her fibromyalgia, anxiety, and headaches. “It was a complete life-changer for me.” She says she prefers vaping or rolling cigarettes using hemp flowers, and she has had good success with CBD topicals for immediate pain and muscle cramp relief.

Several people in CR’s recent survey also said CBD helped them deal with a variety of health problems. Among them, a 42-year-old woman in Eugene, Ore., who says she uses CBD to relieve severe menstrual cramps, a 60-year-old woman in Phoenix who takes it for better sleep, a 74-year-old man in Casper-Riverton, Ill., who says it helps his arthritis, and a 26-year-old man from Denver who finds CBD “very helpful” in easing symptoms of anxiety.

We spoke to experts about the different CBD forms, how they work, and what you can reasonably expect from the experience. And remember: If you want to try CBD to treat health problems, talk with your doctor first, especially if you’re seeking relief from a serious health problem that could be helped by more proven medical care.

Tinctures (Drops or Sprays)

Tinctures (usually in oil form) are taken by dropper or spray, straight into your mouth. The CBD used in these forms is extracted from marijuana or hemp plants using pressurized carbon dioxide gas or a solvent such as ethanol. The solvent is then removed under vacuum, Backes says. The remaining CBD is diluted with an oil, such as sesame or coconut oil, to improve the taste and preserve the cannabidiol.

Pro: Tinctures are the second-quickest method to absorb CBD, after smoking, Earleywine says, typically taking about 15 to 30 minutes. The quick action could make it especially useful in treating pain or anxiety.

Cons: It also could be challenging with tinctures to determine how much CBD you’re getting, either from the bottle dropper or from each spray, especially if the bottle shows only total CBD content and doesn’t list the per-dose amount. If needed, ask a retail salesperson for help or get out your calculator to calculate the amount of CBD per dose. The price per bottle could be more for a product with a higher CBD content per dose.

Good to know: Earleywine suggests you drop a dose of tincture under your tongue and hold it there for 30 seconds before swallowing, or apply a single spray of the tincture on the inside of your cheeks. Doing so speeds up the effects of the CBD. If you put the tincture on the top of your tongue, you’re likely to swallow it sooner, sending it into your digestive tract, which will absorb the CBD more slowly. If you add a CBD tincture to foods or drinks, it could take up to 30 minutes for it to enter your bloodstream.

Earleywine suggests starting “with a small dose, perhaps 10 mg, to see how sensitive you are.” But don’t be surprised if you don’t feel any effect until you reach, say, 30 mg per dose. And ongoing conditions such as chronic pain are likely to better respond with daily doses, he says.

Shake the bottle well before using, Backes says, because CBD often gets stuck on the side of the bottle.

Topical Rubs and Balms

Topicals are rubbed directly onto sore muscles or joints, where they may ease pain by reducing inflammation, Earleywine says. CBD balms typically include extracts mixed into a fat, such as beeswax or coconut oil. That recipe not only makes it easier to spread the product on your skin but also allows the CBD to penetrate.

Pro: Topicals aren’t absorbed into the entire body, as other forms can be. That could make them safer—which could be important if you use CBD on a regular basis—considering how little is known about the long-term safety of CBD and other cannabis products.

Cons: To be effective, products probably need to have a lot of CBD—which can make them expensive, Backes says. For example, Hemp Garden in Manhattan sells a topical called Full Spectrum that has 500 mg of CBD per 4 ounces for $50. Another company, PlusCBD Oil, sells its Extra Strength topical in a smaller but still concentrated dose of 1.3 ounces that contains 100 mg of CBD for $52. The company sells a less concentrated version for $32.

Good to know: In a retail store, ask whether you can sample the product first, says Tagliaferro of Hemp Garden. She says some people start feeling effects almost immediately after rubbing it on. Others say they notice relief later in the day, and return to buy the products. Some don’t get any relief at all.

Edibles and Pills

When eaten or consumed in a drink, CBD from hemp in particular may have an aroma or a flavor of “newly cut grass,” Earleywine says. But flavors in some cocktails or coffees might overpower CBD so that it’s undetectable, while other food products, such as cookies and brownies, may try to feature it. Most pills will be tasteless, Earleywine says.

Pros: In some states finding CBD-infused food and drinks at a retailer, restaurant, or café can be fairly easy. At Inday, an East Indian-inspired restaurant in Manhattan, as a promotion, customers could order CBD-infused ghee (clarified butter) to be added to any dish. In San Diego, cocktail lovers can order “The Mr. Nice Guy”—a vodka and mezcal mixed drink that includes CBD—at the restaurant Madison on Park.

Kickback, a maker of bottled CBD-infused cold-brew coffees and ice teas, sells its products in California, New York, and Texas.

Hemp Garden's Tagliaferro sells gummies and caramel candies infused with CBD. These sweets may have a longer shelf life if kept in a cool, dry location, so they don’t degrade, plus they’re easy to take along with you in a bag or purse. Other baked foods, such as brownies and cookies, may have a shorter shelf life and need to be placed in a refrigerator to keep the CBD oil fresh, says Backes, an expert in cannabis science and policy.

Cons: Edibles might seem a fun way to take CBD, but it’s a particularly inefficient method, says Kaminski, the pharmacology and toxicology professor at Michigan State. That’s because eating or drinking your CBD means it will enter the bloodstream through the digestive system, so it will take a while—30 minutes or longer—before you feel it. Plus, the food it’s in, as well as other foods you consume, could affect how the body absorbs it, and undermine its potential effect.

Good to know: You can also consume CBD in pill form. Similar to ingesting CBD in an edible, pills can take upward of 30 minutes or more to digest before you experience an effect, Earleywine says. One benefit though is that the per-pill CBD dose should be clearer on packaging than for other forms. And for chronic conditions such as fibromyalgia, where you might be trying to maintain consistent CBD levels in your body, pills may be an easier solution.

Vape Pens

Some people get CBD by smoking the flowering parts of the hemp plant, similar to the way people may smoke marijuana in rolled cigarettes. But increasingly CBD is available via e-cigarette vaporizer devices, or “vape pens,” says Amanda Reiman, Ph.D., a cannabis policy and public health expert based in California who also works for Flow Kana, a cannabis company.

The device heats up a small portion of concentrated CBD oil until it boils, allowing you to inhale the vapor, says Michael Backes, an expert in cannabis science and policy, and author of “Cannabis Pharmacy” (Hachette). He has also worked with the nonprofit educational and research group Project CBD.

Pros: Inhaled CBD tends to enter the bloodstream faster than other forms—in as quickly as 30 seconds or less, according to Mitch Earleywine, Ph.D., a professor of psychology at the State University of New York, Albany, and an adviser to the marijuana advocacy group NORML. He is also the author of “Understanding Marijuana” (Oxford University Press). The quick action means it should affect the body sooner, which could be especially useful to ease immediate pain or anxiety, for example.

Vape pens are easy to use and can go undetected because they produce little smoke, Raiman says. (Note that Oregon and certain other states have laws that prohibit vaping in the same places where smoking cigarettes is prohibited.)

Cons: The CBD cartridges used in vape pens can contain a solvent called propylene glycol, which is also used in e-cigarettes containing nicotine, Earleywine says. At high temperatures, propylene glycol can degrade into formaldehyde, a chemical that can irritate the nose and eyes and could increase the risk of asthma and cancer. Earleywine suggests looking for CBD vape pens that advertise “solvent-free oils.”

Also, controlling dosing can be particularly difficult with vape pens. How much CBD you absorb depends on how hard and long you inhale, Earleywine says. In addition, labels on vaping devices can be especially confusing, he says. “You might get a vape oil that says it has 1,000 mg of CBD, but it’s not clear if that’s how much is in the whole bottle or in each inhalation. It can be hard to guess what your dosage really is under some of those situations.”

Finally, even if you’re using a vape pen without propylene glycol, it’s important to know that the long-term safety of smoking CBD in any form, including vaping, is unknown. Backes particularly emphasizes that vaping high concentrations of CBD—and even THC in marijuana products—“has not been studied at all.”

Good to know: Consider trying the lowest dose first—in this case, a single inhale—then wait a few minutes and see whether there is an effect, such as pain relief or reduced anxiety. If not, try another. And avoid holding your breath after inhaling, because that can irritate the lungs.

What IS a cBD carrier oil?

A CBD carrier oil, often called a base oil, is a plant-derived solution that is used to help carry the contents of the active compound, CBD.

What do carrier oils do?

  • Strengthen bioavailability & absorption

  • Ensure dosage potency

  • Keep the extract fresh

 

 

What are some common carrier oils?

  • MCT Oil

  • Hemp seed oil

  • Olive oil

  • Avocado oil

  • Grapeseed oil

 

Does the type of carrier oil make a difference?

Yes, the type of carrier oil makes a difference. CBD is fat-soluble, so pairing it with an oil improves absorption. However, each unique carrier oil will be processed differently by the body.

 

Our verdict: The best carrier oil for CBD

The best carrier oil for CBD will feature a high rate of bioavailability. For this reason, we consider MCT oil to be the best carrier oil for oral CBD oil. MCT oil molecules are smaller than normal molecules, which make them easier & quicker for the body (especially, the liver) to process. For this reason, alongside it's smooth taste, MCT oil is the choice carrier oil in all LUSU Vital Essence CBD oil offerings. 

CBD Glossary

—A—

2-AG

The most abundant endocannabinoid found in the body, 2-Arachidonoylglycerol (2-AG) is a member of a group of molecules that play a complex and important role in various bodily processes including immunity and inflammation. Like anandamide, 2-AG is thought to help regulate appetite, immune system function, and pain management by interacting with the body’s endocannabinoid system receptors.

Alcohol extraction 

A method commonly used to extract cannabinoids from cannabis plants. In this process, cannabis is first soaked in an alcohol, such as ethanol, to remove the plant material. The alcohol is removed through evaporation.

Aeroponics 

A cultivation technique in which plants are grown in an environment dependent on air rather than soil. In this system, seeds are embedded in foam stuffed into tiny pots that hold the stem and root mass in place. Plants are nurtured with light and a fine mist enriched with nutrients.

Anandamide

A major endocannabinoid  naturally found in the body. Like 2-AG, anandamide is part of the body’s endocannabinoid system and alters functions like cognition, learning, memory, mood, other higher intellectual functions, and certain motor functions. THC is thought to produce psychoactive effects and alter these same functions in the body because it mimics the way anandamide interacts with the endocannabinoid system. 

—B—

Bioavailability

This term refers to the degree and rate at which a drug is absorbed by the body’s circulatory system. It’s an important measurement tool because it determines the correct dosage for non-intravenously administered drugs. For drugs, supplements, and herbs administered non-intravenously (such as through consumption, inhalation, or topical application) bioavailability designates the fraction of the ingested dose that eventually gets absorbed.

Broad spectrum

Products labeled “broad spectrum” fall somewhere between full-spectrum and isolate formulations. Because they contain terpenes and other beneficial cannabinoids, broad-spectrum products offer some of the benefits of the entourage effect — without any THC. For those who can’t have or don’t want to have any traces of THC in their system, broad-spectrum products can be a better choice than isolates. But they’re not as effective as full-spectrum products.

—C—

Cannabidiol

Also known as CBD, cannabidiol is one of the naturally occurring cannabinoids found in cannabis plants. It’s the second most prevalent active ingredient in cannabis, accounting 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’s thought to play a regulatory role in all kinds of bodily functions, including mood, sleep, and appetite. According to a 2017 report from the World Health Organization, there is evidence that CBD is an effective treatment for epilepsy.

Cannabichromene (CBC) 

One of 120 cannabinoids found in the cannabis plant. CBC is a nonpsychoactive cannabinoid, meaning it does not cause feelings of being high.

Cannabidiol (CBD) 

The second most prevalent cannabinoid in cannabis, after tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). Cannabidiol has been shown to calm the movements in people suffering from dystonia, a condition characterized by muscle spasms. Research also suggests that it may be helpful for the treatment of anxiety, movement disorders, and pain.

Cannabinoid

Not to be confused with cannabidiol (cannabidiol is a cannabinoid, but not all cannabinoids are cannabidiol), a cannabinoid is one of the diverse chemical compounds that acts on the endocannabinoid system receptors found throughout the body. These molecules include the endocannabinoids produced naturally in the body and phytocannabinoids from cannabis. The two most notable cannabinoids are THC and CBD.

Cannabis sativa

Indigenous to eastern Asia, this flowering herbaceous plant has been farmed throughout recorded human history. It is farmed for marijuana as well as the industrial hemp used in CBD products. In addition, hemp fiber, hemp seed oil, and food products are also derived and harvested from different parts of the plant.

Cannabinoid 1 (CB1) receptor 

CB1 receptors are found on the surface of certain cells, tissues, and organs, and help regulate biological function. CB1 receptors are present in several regions of the brain and spinal cord and, in lesser quantities, in other parts of the body, such as the endocrine glands and the gastrointestinal and urinary tracts. CB1 receptors mediate the effects of cannabinoids on these organs.

Cannabinoid 2 (CB2) receptor 

CB2 receptors regulate the biological function of certain cells, tissues, and organs. CB2 receptors are present on white blood cells and in the tonsils, the spleen, immune cells, and neurons. CB2 receptors help mediate the effect of cannabinoids on these organs and cells.

Cannabinoid 

profile The concentration of active cannabinoids in a product or medication.

Cannabinol A crystalline, mildly psychoactive cannabinoid found in small quantities in cannabis. Cannabinol is a breakdown product of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) that may have a sedating effect.

*More details below

Cannabis 

Cannabis refers to a group of three varieties of marijuana plants with psychoactive properties: Cannabis sativa, Cannabis indica, and Cannabis ruderalis. Cannabis contains more than 120 chemical and biologically active components, known as cannabinoids.

Cannabis indica 

A strain of cannabis known for higher concentrations of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). Also called indica, it is known for its sedative effects. Because indica contains higher concentrations of THC, it is popular as a recreational and medicinal drug.

Cannabis sativa 

A strain of cannabis known for promoting a cerebral high. Also known as sativa, it has hallucinogenic, hypnotic, sedative, analgesic, and anti-inflammatory effects.

Clinical endocannabinoid deficiency (CECD)

The theory that insufficient levels of endocannabinoids can lead to ailments, such as migraine, fibromyalgia, and irritable bowel syndrome (IBS).

Closed-loop extraction 

An extraction method in which solvents aren’t exposed to the open air. Used in the past to produce perfume and beauty products, the process has been used more recently to create cannabis concentrates.

Concentrates (or extracts)

Cannabis concentrates, or extracts, are significantly more potent than a standard cannabis bud or flower. They are processed to keep only the most desirable medicinal compounds while removing excess plant material. Concentrates are often developed for medical applications.

Cultivator 

An individual who grows marijuana plants, usually with a focus on soil quality and plant health.

Cure A process used to preserve the cannabis plant and retain its flavors and therapeutic properties. Curing involves removing moisture from the flowers under controlled environmental conditions.

Capsule

A delivery method for CBD oils and extracts that’s easy to swallow (literally). Capsule products resemble the gel pills you’re used to seeing at your local pharmacy.

CBD

Cannabidiol’s popular nickname. You’ll see CBD attached to many products, but not all are created equal.

Certificate of analysis

A document from an accredited laboratory certifying the amount of cannabinoids in a given product. This proof of analysis exists to benefit the consumer as much as the producer: It guarantees quality assurance for both parties. Reviewing the COA is a pro consumer move that helps you avoid mislabeled, low-quality, or fake products. A reputable company will always provide one.

CO2 extraction

The carbon-dioxide extraction process uses changes in temperature and pressure to create phase changes in carbon dioxide, gently drawing out the plant’s beneficial components. The result is clean, safe oil with a long shelf life.

—D—

Dabs and dabbing 

Dabs are concentrated doses of cannabis that are made by extracting tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) or CBD using a solvent like butane; the resulting sticky oils are sometimes referred to as wax. Dabbing is the flash vaporization and inhalation of these concentrates. CBD dabbing is noted for its quick therapeutic effects.

Decarboxylation 

The process of applying heat to activate and release the CBD and tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) in cannabis.

Delivery method

How a drug enters the body in order to produce the desired therapeutic effects. The delivery method of a given drug can affect how quickly it starts working and how much of each dose gets absorbed by the body (bioavailability). CBD delivery methods include ingestible capsules, gummies, and tinctures, as well as topical lotionssalves and lip balms.

Delta-9 tetrahydrocannabinol

Known by the abbreviation THC, this is a primary cannabinoid found in cannabis and the one responsible for its psychoactive effects. It works on endocannabinoid receptors in the brain to release dopamine. Some dislike the “high” feeling or other side effects of this chemical and prefer hemp-based products that contain very little to no THC.

Dispensary 

Medical cannabis dispensaries are designed to give people a secure location to gather information and purchase cannabis grown to treat ailments. Laws regarding access vary by state.

Dosing 

The quantity of medicine prescribed at one time. Dosing CBD depends on therapeutic goals, as well as how it is ingested or applied.

Dronabinol (Marinol and Syndros) 

Dronabinol is a man-made form of a natural substance in marijuana, and it is often used to treat loss of appetite and weight loss in people with cancer or HIV infection. Marinol and Syndros are common brand names of dronabinol.

—E—

Edible

Any food containing some form of cannabis. Pot brownies are the most classic example, but nowadays, cannabis-infused edibles come in many other forms: candy, coffee, baked goods, martinis, even infused butter and cooking oil.

Endocannabinoids (endogenous lipid-based retrograde neurotransmitters)

Natural chemicals produced by your body that interact with your endocannabinoid system and regulate important body functions. Their purpose is to maintain homeostasis. So far, two have been identified: anandamide (AEA) and 2-arachidonoylglycerol (2-AG).

Endocannabinoid enhancer

A drug that enhances the activity of the endocannabinoid system.

Endocannabinoid enzymes Proteins that your body makes to break down endocannabinoids that have fulfilled their purpose. The two main endocannabinoid enzymes are: fatty acid amidohydrolase (FAAH) and monoacylglycerol lipase (MAGL). 

Endocannabinoid receptors

Special receptors that endocannabinoids bind to as a way of signaling that the endocannabinoid system needs to act. They’re found throughout your body and can interact with the chemical compounds in cannabis. There are two types of receptors: B1 receptors and CB2 receptors.

Endocannabinoid reuptake inhibitor

A drug that limits the reabsorption of endocannabinoid neurotransmitters by the releasing neuron.

Endocannabinoid system (ECS) 

A complex system within the human body that affects many important functions, including how a person moves, feels, and reacts. It includes endocannabinoids, endocannabinoid receptors, and endocannabinoid enzymes.

Endocannabinoid system

Also known as the ECS, the main function of this mammalian system is to maintain bodily homeostasis, or keeping the body balanced even when the environment changes. Scientists believe that cannabis is effective, in part, because the phytocannabinoids it contains mimic our endocannabinoids. Endocannabinoid receptors are found throughout the entire body, and the system plays a part in many of the body’s processes, including appetite, stress, sleep, pain, memory, and immune function.

*More details below

Entourage effect

This phenomenon is all about teamwork: It’s the result of the many components in the cannabis plant interacting together with the human body to produce a stronger effect than any one component on its own. Full-spectrum CBD products combine CBD with other naturally occurring terpenes and cannabinoids (including THC) to be more effective than their isolate counterparts.

Ethanol extraction

Extraction using cold, high-grade alcohol gently pulls all the active compounds from the cannabis plant’s cellulose material, resulting in pure, full-spectrum hemp oil. Oils extracted using this method are further refined via chromatography to remove all remaining traces of ethanol.

Extraction

The process of deriving CBD oil from hemp. There are several methods of extracting CBD from cannabis plants, including CO2 and cold ethanol extraction.

—F—

Farm Bill

United States Congress voted at the end of December 2018 to pass the Agriculture Improvement Act of 2018, more commonly referred to as the Farm Bill. This legislation made CBD products legal to purchase in all 50 states. Under the Farm Bill, industrial hemp (where CBD products are derived from) must contain less than .3 % THC. The power over industrial hemp regulation is shared by the state and federal governments. The Farm Bill also gave the FDA the authority to regulate cannabis products.

FDA

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is a regulatory government agency with the power to regulate cannabis and cannabis-derived products since the passing of the 2018 Farm Bill. So far, the FDA has officially approved the CBD product Epidiolex as a treatment for epilepsy. The government’s relationship with the cannabis industry is constantly evolving; learn more about about how the FDA is handling cannabis and CBD products on the FDA’s website.

Flower 

The smokable portion of the female cannabis plant.

Full spectrum

CBD that’s full of all the terpenes, cannabinoids, flavonoids, and fatty acids found in hemp, all of which have therapeutic value of their own and help create what’s known as the entourage effect. Basically, full-spectrum CBD can give you every potential benefit the plant has to offer.

—H—

Hemp

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

Hemp seed oil

Derived from industrial hemp, hemp seed oil is created by pressing the plant’s seeds. It has no therapeutic benefits but is often used as a dietary supplement and a low-saturated-fat cooking oil.

Homeostasis

A term that describes the dynamic stability of your internal environment.

Homogeneity 

This refers to testing to ensure the genetic consistency across strains of cannabis, or to the even distribution of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) or CBD in a product, such as an edible.

Hybrid 

A strain that mixes two varieties of cannabis, indica and sativa.

Hydroponics 

The method of growing a plant without soil. Sand, gravel, water, and other materials may take the place of dirt.

—I—

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.

CBD Isolate

These products are 99% CBD. To manufacture an isolate, everything contained in the plant matter is removed — including any traces of THC and other beneficial cannabinoids — until only a powder or crystalline form of CBD is left. This means that isolate users will not benefit from the entourage effect.

—M—

Marijuana

A general term that refers to female Cannabis sativa plants that produce flowers containing phytocannabinoids that are used for their medicinal and psychoactive properties.

Microdosing

A technique that involves consuming small servings of CBD supplements throughout the day. Microdosing can be beneficial because it allows the user to maintain stable CBD levels in your system around the clock. This consistency can be important for those who use CBD for its balancing properties.

—N—

Cesamet (nabilone) 

A synthetic cannabinoid prescribed for severe nausea and vomiting caused by cancer treatments like chemotherapy.

Nutraceutical

Also known as dietary supplements, these are food-derived products that offer extra health benefits in addition to their existing nutritional value. These products that contains nutrients derived from food products and are often concentrated in liquid, capsule, powder, or pill form. Dietary supplements are regulated by the FDA.

—O—

Organic

Foods and products derived from farming methods that promote ecological balance and restrict the use of pesticides, fertilizers, and synthetics. These growing practices promote the health of both the environment and the consumer. Organic products particularly appeal to those who support sustainable farming and care about the safety and quality of what goes into their bodies.

—P—

Pharmacokinetic and pharmacodynamics 

The way drugs are absorbed, distributed, metabolized, and excreted in and from the body.

Phytocannabinoid

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 113 different phytocannabinoids in the cannabis plant, each producing unique effects in the body.

Potency

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

A property that changes brain function by interacting with the central nervous system and results in altered perception, mood, consciousness, cognition, or behavior. THC is the primary psychoactive component in cannabis plants.

--R--

 

Route of administration 

The path by which a drug or substance is taken into the body. An example might be a medication that is taken in pill form (oral administration) or applied to the skin (topical application). 

—S—

Salve

An ointment made from the cannabis plant to be applied directly to the skin.

Schedule 1 drug 

Schedule 1 drugs are those that have no accepted medical use and a high potential for abuse.

Strain

A cannabis plant bred for certain characteristics and use in medicinal, recreational, or industrial purposes. Industrial hemp, for example, is a strain bred to contain more CBD and less THC than other varieties, making it useful for medicinal products and legal under the Farm Bill.

Sublingual

From the Latin for “under the tongue,” a method for administering drugs by mouth. It involves placing a substance under the tongue, where it can be readily absorbed into the blood vessels and begin to circulate throughout the body.

Synthetic cannabis 

Synthetic cannabis, such as Spice and K2, refers to products using man-made chemicals. Some people may use synthetic cannabis as an alternative to marijuana. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) warns that the effects of synthetic cannabis on the body can be unpredictable, harmful, and very different from those of marijuana.

—T—

Terpene

Aromatic oils that lend flavors such as berry, mint, and pine to different cannabis strains. More than 100 different terpenes have been identified, and every cannabis strain has its own terpene profile. The effects of any given terpene may be amplified in the presence of other compounds (also known as the entourage effect).

Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) 

The main active psychoactive constituent of cannabis. It is responsible for the high sensation.

Tetrahydrocannabinolic acid (THCA)

A cannabinoid that does not have psychoactive effects. It is the precursor to THC. As the plant dries, THCA slowly converts to THC. The potential medicinal properties of THCA are still under study. 

Tincture

A delivery method, typically administered sublingually, that quickly absorbs and distributes throughout the body.

Topical

A delivery method where product is applied to the skin, typically as a salve or lotion, over the areas where they’re needed.

—V—

Vaporizer 

A device intended to vaporize substances for inhalation. Vaporizers can be used to heat dried cannabis, cannabis oil, or cannabis wax; they convert the active ingredients into a cannabis-infused aerosol that can be inhaled. 

 

Vaping 

Inhaling a vaporized substance generated by an electronic vaporizer.

Vertical integration

A business practice where a company owns its own supply chain. For example, owning the farms where hemp is grown, the barns where it’s stored, and the labs where it’s processed. This means that a vertically integrated company can ensure tighter quality control and maintain their core values and practices across all parts of the production process.

 

*Cannabinoids are complex chemical compounds that act on receptors in cells. Similar to the hemp plant, which produces over 100 different cannabinoids (or phytocannabinoids), the mammalian body also naturally produces cannabinoids (or endocannabinoids). Within each and every mammal exists an Endocannabinoid System (ECS), which is comprised of a series of receptors with the sole purpose of accepting cannabinoids throughout the body. The ECS is responsible for physiological processes such as appetite, pain-sensation, mood and memory, and despite the multitude of functions performed in each area of the body, the primary objective of the ECS is always the same – homeostasis, as it is quite literally the bridge between the body and our mind.

Most interestingly, the ECS is not just affected by endocannabinoids (cannabinoids created by the human body), but it is also affected by plant-sourced cannabinoids, like THC and CBD. Of the 113 different cannabinoids found in the hemp plant, the two most prominent are tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD). Although THC is easily the most popular cannabinoid due to its psychoactive effects, which result in the user feeling “stoned”

*The human endocannabinoid system

The ECS is comprised of two primary endocannabinoid receptors: CB1 (found predominantly in the brain, nervous system, and outlying organs and tissues), and CB2 (found predominantly in white blood cells, tonsils, and spleen). Although CBD has a low affinity for either receptors, it does interact with other nominal receptors with remarkable effects. CBD also binds with various TRPV ion channels, namely TRPV1 receptors, which are responsible for both pain perception, and inflammation, as well as activating the receptor GPR55

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