Cannabidiol / CBD
CBD is the second most common cannabinoid found in cannabis, and the most common cannabinoid in cannabis cultivated for fiber and oil production (ie, hemp). CBD is of medical interest as an antispasmodic and anxiolytic compound. Epidiolex, CBD purified from cannabis plants by a pharmaceutical company, has recently gained FDA approval as a treatment for Dravet Syndrome and Lennox-Gataut syndrome, rare forms of pediatric epilepsy.
Cannabigerol / CBG
Most phytocannabinoids develop from CBG, sometimes referred to as the ‘parent cannabinoid’. Different genetic signalling determines what cannabinoids CBG develops into. CBG is a non-intoxicating compound of medical interest as an antinociceptive and anxiolytic.
Cannabinoid receptor type 1 / CB1R
Found primarily in the central nervous system, CB1R are responsible for the feeling of intoxication, or ‘high’, when consuming THC.
Cannabinoid receptor type 2 / CB2R
Found throughout the immune system, the peripheral nervous system, and the gastrointestinal system, CB2R are of interest for immunomodulatory action.
Cannabinoids are compounds that are found in the cannabis plant and compounds similar to those found in cannabis. Some cannabinoids interact with the body’s endogenous cannabinoid system (ECS).
Cannabinol / CBN
When Δ9-THC oxidizes, as happens over time, it degrades into CBN. CBN has about 25% the intoxicating effect as compared to Δ9-THC. Some have attributed sedative properties to CBN. These claims are not substantiated in scientific literature.
Cannabis (aka “marijuana,” “weed,” “bud”) is a flowering plant common to many parts of the world. Cannabis has been cultivated for fiber, oil, food, and medicine for millennia. The scientific name of the plant is Cannabis sativa L.
The chemical phenotype (aka chemotype) is the phytochemical expression of a given phenotype. Chemotypes are classified by their particular chemistry and determined by the results of analytical lab tests.
A chemical varietal. It is a new classification that moves beyond indica and sativa labeling and that reflects differences in the composition of secondary metabolites.
Clean Green Certified / CGC
Clean Green Certified is the number one certifier nation-wide for cannabis cultivated using sustainable, natural and organically based practices. Legally, marijuana cannot be called organic — no matter how environmentally friendly the cultivation practices used to grow it — because the term is federally regulated and the USDA does not recognize cannabis as a legitimate agricultural crop. The Clean Green Certified program was created in 2004 as a way to regulate legal cannabis-products that called themselves “organic.” Consumers can rest assured when they buy a Clean Green Certified cannabis product that it has met all of the requirements of the rigorous program.
A distinct expression of a cannabis plant that has been produced via selective breeding and cultivation. “Strain” remains the common term used to describe different varieties of cannabis (eg, “OG Kush”). Also known as strain or varietal.
Delta-9-Tetrahydrocannabinol / Δ9-THC
When THCA is heated it is decarboxylated to become Δ9-THC, commonly referred to as simply “THC.” Δ9-THC is intoxicating and is therefore of particular interest to recreational consumers. It is also of interest to medical researchers for treatment of nausea, pain, and sleep disorders.
Endogenous cannabinoid system / ECS
(AKA endocannabinoid system) Comprises two cannabinoid receptors, endogenous cannabinoids, and the enzymes that synthesize and break down endocannabinoids. It is present in all mammals. The system was first identified identified in 1990, nearly three decades after the identification of THC. The ECS is found primarily throughout the central and peripheral nervous systems. It is also expressed in the skin, intestine, reproductive organs, and bones. The two ECS receptors are thought to mediate the effects of endocannabinoids, synthetic cannabinoids, and some phytocannabinoids. There are many other receptors with which cannabinoids interact (PPARs, GPRs, TRPs, 5HTs), but none are currently considered part of the ECS.
Compounds found in the body that interact with the body’s endogenous cannabinoid system (also known as endocannabinoids). The most frequently discussed endocannabinoids are anandamide (AEA) and 2-arachidonoylglycerol (2-AG). Both were identified after THC and CBD.
The full spectrum of effects is not possible when isolating just THC or CBD, as all the compounds together fortify the overall effects. This is known as the Entourage Effect, which determined that non-psychoactive compounds (i.e. CBD) can support the psychoactive effects from THC.
A genotype refers specifically to the genetic material of a particular cultivar. Genotypes allow growers to consistently identify plants and group them beyond shared physical traits.
Hemp is legally, not genetically, distinct from cannabis. Many governments define hemp as cannabis that produces flower that has very low THC content, either none at all or ≤0.03%. The US government considers hemp to be cannabis, and is therefore included in the Class I scheduling of the plant. Traditionally grown for fiber, this form of cannabis has recently received a great deal interest as a producer of the non-intoxicating cannabinoid cannabidiol (CBD).
Indica / Sativa
“Indica” and “sativa” are colloquial terms used to describe intoxicating varietals of cannabis with different effects. The terms derive from early attempts to describe the morphology of the cannabis plant. The morphology of the cannabis plant, however, does not dictate its chemical composition or its effects. Thus, there is currently an effort to move away from using the binary indica/sativa classification, and instead focus on specific chemical compositions (or “chemotypes”) in describing the potential effects of cannabis.
The way in which a genotype expresses its genetic structure in a given environment creates a phenotype. One genotype can have multiple phenotypes depending on environmental conditions such as humidity, temperature, light intensity/spectrum/interval, soil, etc. Phenotypes describe both the physical attributes and other non-visible traits.
Cannabis interacts with many other receptors and pathways in addition to the receptors that comprise the endocannabinoid system. CBD alone interacts with at least fourteen channels. The ability of cannabinoids to bind to so many sites makes it difficult to determine the pharmacological basis of promising medical therapies.
Chemical compounds found in cannabis plants. Some, but not all, cannabinoids interact with the endogenous cannabinoid system. There have been at least 127 identified to date.
Every cannabis strain possesses a unique ratio of THC and CBD. THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) is the psychoactive compound in cannabis, and what may inhibit the proliferation of cancer cells. CBD (cannabidiol) is a therapeutic compound showing promise at relieving certain pain and regulating body systems. A Type 1 THC rich plant, with high THC and low CBD ratios, can have a more intoxicating effect than a plant with a mixed ratio Type 2, or a Type 3 CBD rich plant.
These compounds tend to have different binding affinities to receptors in the endogenous cannabinoid system, and are frequently unable to replicate effects of phytocannabinoids. Dronabinol, a synthetic Δ9-THC drug, has been approved in the US for the treatment of nausea and vomiting in cancer patients, and for appetite stimulation in HIV/AIDS patients.
Terpenes are what make up a plant’s essential oils, driving richness in flavor and experience. Each Prūf strain contains multiple terpenes. Other than Type, terpene profile is the biggest factor determining how cannabis affects your body. Cannabis has expressed over two hundred terpenes in varying quantities, with roughly a dozen showing up most frequently. It has been suggested that these different combinations of terpenes contribute to the different effects when consuming cannabis. This idea is supported by some preliminary evidence using cultivars with known effects (energizing vs. relaxing).
Tetrahydrocannabinolic Acid / THCA
THCA is the most common cannabinoid found in cannabis that has been bred for medicinal and recreational use. It is the raw, non-intoxicating, form of Δ9-THC.
Tetrahydrocannabivarin / THCV
THCV is likely non intoxicating, and may antagonize the primary receptor responsible for the intoxicating effects of
Δ9-THC. THCV has been investigated in rodent models and a human case study as a compound of interest for obesity and diabetes.
These are very small, hair-like outgrowths found on individual cannabis flowers and fan leaves. Vigorous trichome production can give cannabis the appearance of being covered in sugar or frost, and is generally sought after in the marketplace. The most common type of trichome in cannabis is composed of a stalk and a gland head, often milky-white in color. The gland head is where most of the notable compounds (cannabinoids and terpenes) are produced. Trichomes are quite fragile, and the gland head readily falls off during handling.