Glossary of Terms

Glossary of Terms

(Amalgamated, paraphrased, harvested, abbreviated, edited, and condensed from print and on-line sources/references.)

Adaptogen – A natural substance thought to aid in stress relief and/or “normalize” bodily processes.

Alcohol Extraction – The use of using ethyl or isopropyl alcohol as a solvent to extract oils and trichomes from hemp and marijuana… the latter leaving behind “hash.”

Anandamide – The named derived from the Sanskrit language, and is a term, when literally translated, that means “joy and happiness” (“Ananda”). Anandamide functions as a neurotransmitter and is considered an endocannabinoid said to bind to cannabinoid receptors promoting homeostasis. (Some cultures even go so far as call it the bliss molecule.) According to some references, anandamide was the first cannabinoid receptor to be discovered in the human body, unlocking a relationship between cannabis and human health.

Aroma – The smell or taste of a plant or flower. 

Bioavailability – The rate and/or degree a substance is absorbed by the human body.

Broad-Spectrum – A non-specific term sometimes used to describe a “full-spectrum” cannabis extract but without (or with a negligible trace of) THC. It can (and often does) contains the “full spectrum” of cannabinoids, terpenes, flavonoids and fatty acids….

Carrier Oil – The material in which CBD is mixed or “carried” and is usually at great volume than the CBD oil itself. Most CBD aficionados suggest that the best carrier oils are MCT or hemp seed oil.

CB1 Receptor and CB2 Receptor – In humans, receptors that generally mitigate the effects of cannabinoids.

CBD Oil – Usually a combination of CBD oil (CBD extracted directly from hemp) combined with a “carrier” oil (often MCT or hemp seed oil). Although there are exceptions, CBD oil is most often used as the active ingredient in cannabis tinctures, topicals, edibles, etc.

CO2 Extraction (Super-Critical CO2 Extraction)– The process of pressurizing CO2 to its “supercritical state” and using it to distill CBD from hemp. Products derived from CO2 extraction are said to a much higher level of purity and a much lower (usually non-existent) level of impurities. Some consumer advocates lobby for CO2 extraction and lobby against Butane, Propane, and even ethanol extraction methodologies because of the increased chance of unwanted residual chemicals from synthetic solvents. Informed CBD users consider this the preferred extraction.

Cannabacitran (CBT) – A cannabinoid with the same structure as THC.

Cannabichromene (CBC) – A minor phytocannabinoid which early animal research suggests might help with general stress and some forms of acne.

Cannabichromevarin (CBCV) – A minor phytocannabinoid that researchers suggest is similar in molecular structure/effects to Cannabichromene (CBC).

Cannabicyclol (CBL) – A minor phytocannabinoid with still unknown effects on animals and humans.

Cannabidiol (CBD) – One of the most abundant cannabinoids with very promising therapeutic effect. CBD is non-intoxicating and medical researchers sometimes use the term “promiscuous” to describe CBD because some research seems to show numerous positive therapeutic effects, both physiologically and biologically.

Cannabidiol Acid (CBDA) – The acidic form of Cannabidiol (CBD) produced by heating CBDA (a process known as decarboxylation). When cannabis is heated CBDA is transformed into Cannabidiol (CBD).

Cannabielsoin (CBE) – A minor phytocannabinoid with still unknown effects on animals and humans.

Cannabigerol (CBG) – A minor phytocannabinoid that some suggest might have antibacterial properties, anti-inflammatory possibilities, perhaps work as an appetite stimulant, and might even inhibit muscle spasms.

Cannabinoids – Chemical compounds found in cannabis purported to have wide therapeutic and/or prophylactic effects, at least in mammals. The cannabis plant contains 80 plus known cannabinoids (at this writing). Factoid: Only female cannabis plants contain cannabinoids.

Cannabinol (CBN) – A minor phytocannabinoid which many believe (but have not, as of yet, scientifically proven) may provide health benefits. 

Cannabis – A family of plants that includes Cannabis indica, Cannabis ruderalis, and Cannabis sativa. Historical research on this topic shows that Cannabis is one of the oldest sources of food, fiber, and numerous folk medicines.

Cannabis Indica – Some botanical taxonomists consider C. indica a separate species of marijuana within the genus Cannabis. Others consider it a sub species of Cannabis sativa. Many aficionados claim that C. indica is the most psychoactive of all varieties and suggest it has the highest levels of THC.

Cannabis Ruderalis – Another species of Cannabis considered benign because of its notoriously low THC content and susceptibility to less-than-perfect growing conditions.

Cannabis Sativa – The scientific name for “hemp,” and a catch-all term for a group of traditionally wild-growing herbaceous plants. Used as medicine and fiber for millennia, it usually has lower levels of THC when compared to its sister strain, C. indica.

Capsule – A small orally ingested (swallowed) “container” containing medicine and/or herbs.

Chronic – A colloquial and/or slang term for marijuana.

Concentrate – A purified and potent form of any cannabis product, often in the form of oil, wax and/or tincture. They usually contain higher levels of cannabinoids and/or other compounds.

Cross-breeding – The process of producing, via “cross-breeding,” a new strain of cannabis, eventually producing a stable yet new genetic line. Inheriting traits from both “parent” plants, the new strain usually exhibits better potency, look, sometimes flavor, etc.

Decarboxylation – A usually gentle heating process that converts CBDa to CBD. Decarboxylation converts cannabinoids (and other components) into a more usable and beneficial form.

Delta(8)-Tetrahydrocannabinol – Similar to Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), it has a much-reduced psychoactive effect. Some research suggests that Delta(8)-THC may suppress appetite, unlike the more well-known effects of THC, specifically appetite enhancement.

Dispensary – A facility where, if legal, medical cannabis patients may legally buy marijuana products.

Edible – Ingestible cannabis products (e.g. cookies, brownies, granola bars, infused chocolate, “gummy” candy, soft chews, mints, infused butter/oil, etc.). With edibles, active ingredients are absorbed through the stomach and intestines instead of the lungs. Edibles require a longer period to take effect.

Endocannabinoid Deficiency Syndrome (CEDS) – is an “umbrella term” for a number of illnesses, including fibromyalgia, irritable bowel syndrome, and others. A growing number of researchers feel that reduced levels of endocannabinoids may be responsible for some of these conditions. However, more research is needed to firmly establish a causal link.

Endocannabinoid System (ECS) – The homeostatic regulatory system, which many researchers feel impacts every physiological process (e.g. appetite, mood, pain, etc.). In addition, many also argue that it is one of the most important physiologic systems involved in health, perhaps even playing an important role in regulating pain, bone growth, protection of neural tissues, mood, memory, appetite, immune function, inflammation, blood pressure, and other human processes not previously considered.

Endocannabinoids – Cannabinoids that are naturally found in humans. Many believe that they regulate a wide range of processes, including (but not limited to) stress/mood, digestion, appetite/metabolism, immunity, inflammatory response, bone health/development, skin condition, respiratory balance, sleep, etc.

Entourage Effect – The idea that cannabinoids, terpenes, and phenols somehow activate and/or catalyze each other therefore work best together. For example, one theory proposes that CBD and THC activate each other’s best effects. Other theorists suggest that CBD enhances THC’s pain-killing properties. Many also report that they believe (anecdotally) that CBD can actually mitigate the adverse effects of excessive amounts of ingested THC. They further opine if both compounds are present in sufficient amounts, CBD may actually lower the psychoactive impact of THC plus prolong its duration-of-effect. Still other researchers and aficionados suggest that this “Entourage Effect” is proof that broad or full-spectrum products do a better job maintaining the “natural balance” of the original plant chemistry which they purport optimizes the many hoped-for benefits of the plant.

Flavonoids – Phyto-nutrients that provide color pigmentation in plants. With more than 6,000 varieties of flavonoids found in nature (so far), flavonoids (called “cannaflavins” in hemp plants) play a remarkably important role in aroma and/or flavor differences in marijuana strains.

Flower – The reproductive organ of flowering plants which produce seeds that, when fertilized, are the method of plant reproduction. In cannabis, flowers are harvested and then dried for use. If un-fertilized, flowers will continue to produce resin.

Full-Spectrum – Cannabis extract that contains the complete range of cannabinoids, fatty acids, terpenes, and flavonoids found in hemp plants. Compared to other extract forms, a “full-spectrum” oil contains everything the source plant contained.

Genotype – All or part of the genetic constitution of an individual or group of species. In hemp specifically, the isolated and/or combined genes from which a specific plant’s genetic makeup was developed and/or crossed.

Genus – A taxonomic rank used in the classification of living things. In animals from larger to smaller… Kingdom, Phylum, Class, Order, Family, Genus, and Species; in plants…  Kingdom, Division, Class, Order, Family, Genus, and Species.

Germination – The start of the plant’s growth when the seed cracks and/or opens and sprouts a seedling plant. In hemp, this process is sometimes intentionally triggered/accelerated (or “forced”).

Heirloom – Cannabis strain that has not been mixed or crossed with another strain, maintaining its original genetic makeup.

Hemp – Often described in the literature as Cannabis sativa L., a hemp is one of the world’s earliest domesticated plants. Hemp contains more than 700 active compounds, including cannabinoids, terpenes, phenols, etc.

Hemp Seed Oil – An oil extracted by pressing and/or grinding (depending upon methodology) the seeds of the hemp plant to release its resident oil. High in linoleic acid, alpha-linolenic acid, and essential fatty acids (omega 6 and omega 3), hemp oil is sometimes used as a “carrier oil.” When cold-pressed/unrefined, it is green in color with a flavor sometimes described as nut-like. Hemp seed oil is different from standard hemp oil in that it is derived only from seeds, not flowers. As such, hemp seed oil contains no significant levels of cannabinoids.

Homeostasis – The body’s state of balance purportedly essential for cells and physiological systems to function efficiently. When stressors and/or environmental toxins disrupt homeostasis, researchers suggest that the human body is naturally able to regain “balance” and internal “stability.” Hemp and CBD aficionados often opine that cannabinoids bind to receptors perfectly (in the human body), and, therefore, directly support homeostasis.

Homeostasis Imbalance – An inability to maintain homeostasis. Many in various health fields suggest that homeostatic imbalance (even leading to actual cellular malfunction) is considered an underlying element of many health issues.

Hybrid – A cross between two different strains of cannabis. Hybrids today are often created by crossbreeding two or more “preferred” traits from two plants in order to create a higher-demand more combination.

Hydroponics – A “soil-free” growing system. Nutrient rich water is circulated or misted directly to plant roots water and nutrients to plant roots without using any soil. No soil mean nutrients are delivered directly to the hemp plant,  reducing waste and enhancing productivity.

Indica – The colloquial term for Cannabis indica.

Industrial Hemp – Cannabis variety that is grown specifically for industrial uses, including paper, textiles, some eco-friendly plastics, medicine, some “health” foods, and fuel. Many states/governments only allow a maximum of 0.3% THC to qualify as Industrial hemp.

Intoxicating – Capable of causing intoxication. Legal CBD cannot cause intoxication and/or inebriation… while THC can.

Isolate – The extraction of CBD from hemp to produce a product with a single desired molecule. Pure isolate contains no additional cannabinoids nor terpenes.

Major Cannabinoids – In cannabis, primarily CBD and THC.

Marijuana – The original nickname (in Spanish) or term for cannabis plants (most often female) and/or its dried pieces/parts. Literally translated it means “Maryjane.”

Medical Marijuana – Cannabis used as medicine to help with medical conditions. Medical marijuana is different from recreational marijuana in that its use has a different goal.

Minor Cannabinoids – All cannabinoids from cannabis other than CBD and/or THC.

MCT Oil – Medium Chain Triglyceride, often used a carrier oil because of its benign effects. The best MCT is organic (usually from coconuts).

Neurotransmitter – A conductor of neurologic information from one cell to another. Some aficionados claim CBD enhances this function.

Organic – Produced without the use of chemicals, pesticides, fertilizers, or any other artificial agents. When consumers see “Maine Certified Organic land” on a product label, they can feel assured about the origin and genesis of the CBD products they are using.

Pharmaceutically-Certified Glass Containers – Glass bottles for storing CBD products containing no residual arsenic, mercury, lead, etc. Pharmaceutically-Certified Glass is much safer for consumers. High Tide Holistics only uses Pharmaceutically-Certified glass.

Pharmaceutically-Certified Glass Droppers – Glass droppers for administering liquid CBD products containing no residual arsenic, mercury, lead, etc. in the glass… and no residual melamine or other contaminates in the dropper bulb. Pharmaceutically Certified droppers are much safer for consumers. High Tide Holistics only uses Pharmaceutically-Certified glass droppers.

Pharmaceutically-Certified Plastic Caps – Plastic bottle caps used on high quality liquid CBD products. Pharmaceutically Certified Plastic Caps contain no residual melamine and/or other contaminants. Pharmaceutically Certified plastic caps are much safer for consumers. High Tide Holistics only uses Pharmaceutically-Certified caps.

Phenol – Active compounds in cannabis and/or cannabis products (and, of course, other plants and microorganisms). Phenols include aromatics and other hydrocarbons.

Phenotype – The observable properties of an organism that are produced by the interaction of the genotype and the environment. A plant’s inherit characteristics combined with physical traits (outward appearance, scent, taste, etc.). In agriculture, Phenotypes are the expression of genetics in the growing environment. Plants with the same genotype can display different phenotypes if grown in different conditions.

Phytocannabinoids – Medically active compounds found in the hemp and marijuana plants, similar in structure and function to endocannabinoids (which are naturally produced by all mammals). Phytocannabinoids interact with (and some claim support) the Endocannabinoid System to promoting homeostasis. The above is why many health professionals suggest using pharmaceutical-grade CBD oil and tinctures.

Pistil – The cannabis plant’s female reproductive parts (ovule, stigmas, etc.).

Pot – A colloquial and/or slang term for marijuana. The origin of the term is said to come from the Spanish term “potiguaya,” a wine or brandy in which marijuana buds were steeped. Literally translated, “potiguaya” means “the drink of grief.”

Receptors – A chemical group and/or molecule in-or-on our individual cells that have an affinity for a specific chemical, molecule (or even virus). Researchers propose that Endocannabinoid System receptors have an affinity for endocannabinoids.

Recreational Marijuana – Cannabis products primarily used for pleasure to produce euphoria, relaxation, and (for some individuals) even to enhance their sociability.

Sativa – The scientific “short” name (species) for the Cannabis sativa plant.

Seed – A flowering plant’s method of reproduction. Seeds carry genetic information from two parent plants. Some cannabis farmers will plant many seeds and then cull for the best plant to be ultimately harvested.

Sinsemilla – From the Spanish “sin semilla” which means “without seeds.” Seedless female cannabis plants grow larger and produce higher amounts cannabinoid-rich resins.

Super-Critical CO2 Extraction – see CO2 Extraction

Stigma – The vibrant, hair-like strands of the pistil (in the female cannabis flower) used to collect pollen from males. The resins produced to attract the pollen grains are the most potent part of the plant.

Strain – A specific variety of a plant species. Strains can be different in appearance, aroma, cannabinoid content, terpene content, and other characteristics.

Terpenes – Compounds found in the cannabis plant that are instrumental to the physiological effects of the plant. More than 200 cannabis terpenes have been discovered so far… with only a small number studied for their pharmacological capabilities. Different combinations/ratios of terpenes to cannabinoids give various strains different appearances, flavors, scents, purported medicinal properties, etc.

Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) – The main phytocannabinoid in the marijuana plant responsible for the euphoric and psychoactive effects on the body. Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) is presently the only known intoxicating phytocannabinoid. It is known to alter behavior, consciousness, mood, appetite… even perception.

Tetrahydrocannabinolic Acid (THCA) – The acidic form of Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). It is considered benign until it heated (via decarboxylation). After heat transformation, it then becomes THC.

Tetrahydrocannabivarin (THCV) – A psychoactive phytocannabinoid known often described as the “sibling” of THC. Some researchers suggest THCV might prove promising as an appetite suppressant.

Tincture – A liquid extract often made by combing alcohol, glycerol, or a carrier oil and CBD extract. Ingested orally, cannabis tinctures are taken orally via dropper. When a tincture is made with a carrier oil (e.g. hemp seed oil or MCT, rather than alcohol or glycerol), it is absorbed by the digestive system. High Tide Holistics never uses alcohol and/or glycerol as carrier.

Topical – A type of cannabis extract-containing product applied directly to the skin. As the body’s biggest organ (the integumentary system), the skin can act as an effective absorption pathway (transdermal absorption) into the bloodstream. Some suggest that the skin has its own Endocannabinoid System, which is why several cannabinoid authorities (along with numerous anecdotal reports) claim that cannabis-infused topicals are effective for localized pain relief.

Trichomes – Crystal-like structures of the cannabis plant that contain the most concentrated cannabinoids.

Vaporizer – A device used to consume cannabis via inhalation. The process involves heating cannabis or cannabis-infused oils in order to create a cannabinoid vapor.



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