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When it comes to hemp products, there might be a lot of terms being thrown around that might not sound familiar to you. (Don’t worry, we are here to help!) Below we outline a few keywords to get you speaking hemp in no time!


This term refers to the degree and rate at which the body’s circulatory system absorbs the cannabidiols.

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.

Cannabidiol (CBD)

The second most commonly used cannabinoid found in the cannabis plant. CBD is an antagonist to THC and is nonpsychoactive as it blocks the formation of 11-OH-THC and mitigates the psychoactive effects of THC. CBD has become popular for its therapeutic effects in autism, epilepsy, and nerve problems (Prichard & Brown, 2018).

Cannabinoid 1 (CB1) and cannabinoid 2 (CB2) receptors

CB1 receptors mediate physical and psychoactive effects. In contrast, CB2 receptors regulate inflammation and immune response throughout the immune and peripheral nervous systems, including the gut, spleen, liver, heart, kidneys, bones, blood vessels, lymph cells, endocrine glands, and reproductive organs (Healer, 2018).

Certificate of Analysis

A document from an accredited laboratory is 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.

Concentrate (or extract)

Refers to any material created by refining cannabis flowers, such as hash, dry sieve, and hash oils. Concentrates or extracts have much higher potency (Prichard & Brown, 2018).

Cultivator: An entity licensed to cultivate, process, and package cannabis, to deliver cannabis to cannabis establishments, and to transfer cannabis to other cannabis establishments, but not to consumers (Commonwealth of Massachusetts, 2018).

Endocannabinoid system (ECS)

A group of receptors that make up a very complex regulatory system throughout the human brain, body, and central and peripheral nervous systems. ECS creates and maintains our body’s internal stability (homeostasis) by adjusting the flow of neurotransmitters and regulating bodily functions, including appetite, sleep, emotion, and movement (Healer, 2018).

(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.


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


The plant of the genus Cannabis or any part of the plant, whether growing or not, with a delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol concentration that does not exceed 0.3% on a dry weight basis of any part of the plant of the genus Cannabis (Commonwealth of Massachusetts, 2018).


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 powder or crystalline form of CBD is left. This means that isolate users will not benefit from the entourage effect.


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


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.

Delta-9 tetrahydrocannabinol (THC)

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.


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


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


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