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Glossary – A Guide to The Language of Cannabis

Common Cannabis & Hemp Industry Terms

Adaptogens – are a select group of herbs (and some mushrooms) that support the body’s natural ability to deal with stress. They are called adaptogens because of their unique ability to “adapt” their function according to the specific needs of the body. This may be physical, chemical or biological.

Anandamide – The name is taken from the Sanskrit word ananda, which means “joy, bliss”, and amide. Anandamide is a fatty acid neurotransmitter and plays a role in mood, depression, appetite, memory, pain, and fertility. Anandamide is an endocannabinoid. An endocannabinoid is a compound produced by the human body that act on cannabinoid receptors.

Anther – part of the stamen where pollen is produced.

Agonist A drug that binds to and activates a receptor. Can be fullpartial or inverse. A full agonist has high efficacy, producing a full response while occupying a relatively low proportion of receptors. A partial agonist has lower efficacy than a full agonist.

Antagonist – A drug that attenuates the effect of an agonist.

Autoflower – or day neutral cannabis varieties automatically switch from vegetative growth to the flowering stage based on age or root stress, as opposed to the ratio of light to dark hours required with photoperiod dependent cultivars.

Axillary Buds – is formed at the junction between a leaf and the stem or grow within the nodes of each branch.

Broad Spectrum – the goal of a broad-spectrum product is to maintain the complex range of desirable compounds in a cannabis plant while extracting the delta 9 THC compound. All Broad-Spectrum products will contain no THC. A fuller discussion on the pros and cons of Broad Spectrum CBD here.

Bioremediation – remediation of contaminated landscapes using organisms such as plants and fungi to breakdown, absorb, or transform present contaminants. Hemp has been used to remove toxins from the soil allowing us to clean and reclaim polluted lands.

Bract In botany, a bract is a modified or specialized leaf, especially one associated with a reproductive structure such as a flower, inflorescence axis or cone scale. Bracts are often different from foliage leaves. They may be smaller, larger, or of a different color, shape, or texture.

Calyx – the sepals of a flower, typically forming a whorl that encloses the petals and forms a protective layer around a flower in bud.

Cannabinoid – class of compounds that interact with cannabinoid receptors. Located in the trichomes of the cannabis plant. Common cannabinoids are CBD, THC, CBN, CBG, CBDV.

Cannabinoid Receptors – CB1 & CB2 Receptors – located throughout the body, are part of the endocannabinoid system, which is involved in a variety of physiological processes including appetite, pain-sensation, mood, and memory. Cannabinoid receptors are of a class of cell membrane receptors in the G protein-coupled receptor superfamily. 

Cannabis or “Marijauna” – part of the cannabaceae family, containing more than 0.3% THC content by dry weight. Compared to Hemp, also part of the cannabaceae family, containing less than 0.3% THC content by dry weight. Cannabis is also known as “Marijauna”. Marijauna is not a plant, it is a slang term while cannabis is the scientific name for the plant.

Capsules – CBD capsules offer a delayed onset time and longer duration due to the process of passing through the gastrointestinal tract and liver before being absorbed into the bloodstream. 

Carrier oil carrier oils are used to dilute botanical oils and help “carry” them into the body. Different carrier oils chosen for specific treatments will depend on the desired outcome. Examples of carrier oils in CBD products are MCT oil, hempseed oil, extra virgin olive oil, sunflower oil, and black seed oil just to name a few. 

CB1 Receptors Cannabinoid type 1 receptors (CB1) are expressed mainly in the brain, spinal cord, and peripheral nervous system, but are also found in organs and tissues, including endocrine glands and parts of the reproductive, urinary, and gastrointestinal tracts.

CB2 Receptors – Cannabinoid type 2 receptors (CB2) are expressed primarily in the immune system, or in immune-derived cells. 

CBD – CBD, or Cannabidiol, is an oily compound found in the sticky resins of the hemp and cannabis plant. It is one of at least 113 identified cannabinoids in the plant. Ongoing research on CBD includes studies of anxiety, cognition, movement disorders, and pain. For a fuller discussion on CBD, please join us here.

Chemotype – the chemical profile of a living thing; the chemotype of Cannabis and Hemp typically includes the cannabinoid and terpenoid content, and sometimes the flavonoid content.

Clone – organism that is genetically identical to the original cell or organism from which it is derived. Plants that are able to be propagated by asexual means will produce almost genetically identical plants called clones.

COA (Certificate of Analysis) – an official laboratory document displaying the results of an ordered service by an appropriate laboratory representative. All CBD product should have a COA. At Artemis, we require a Certificate of Analysis (COA) for each product from the brand.  

Cull or Culling – In biology, culling is the process of segregating organisms from a group according to desired or undesired characteristics.

Cultivar is an assemblage of plants selected for desirable characteristics that are maintained during propagation. Cherry Wine and Hawaiian Haze are examples of Hemp cultivars because of their own unique phytochemical and physical profiles.

Decarboxylation – a chemical reaction that results from heating a cannabinoid to the point of removing a carboxyl group. Decarboxylation is dependent upon time and temperature. For example, the decarboxylated form of CBDA is CBD.  Once CBDA is heated, it turns into CBD.

Delivery Method – ways one can get the hemp or cannabis products into our bodies. Different delivery methods will be more beneficial than others depending on what the desired outcome is. Common delivery methods are sublingual, capsules, transdermal, inhalation, and topicals.

Dioecious – (of a plant or invertebrate animal) having the male and female reproductive organs in separate individuals.

Distillate – is an oil devoid of the waxes or undesirable compounds from the original plant. Distillate is desirable in Hemp and Cannabis due to its potency and versatility. It can be used to mix into edibles, topicals, serums, tinctures, and other products. Distillate concentrates are achieved through an extensive refinement process that separates compounds from cannabis plant matter.

Drops or Tinctures CBD drops or tinctures are commonly made by infusing hemp extract with a carrier oil. Drops or tinctures are recommended to be taken sublingually under the tongue for up to 1 minute. The most effective way is to place the liquid in the area between the gums and cheek where a large number of blood vessels reside. The active ingredients are absorbed by the blood vessels in the mouth tissue.

Edibles – CBD edibles include confections such as gumdrops and chocolates. Edibles offer a delayed onset time and longer duration due to the process of passing through the gastrointestinal tract and liver before being absorbed into the bloodstream. 

Endo  internal; or from within the body.

Endocannabinoid – compounds produced by the human body that act on cannabinoid receptors including anandamide and 2-Arachidonoylglycerol.  Humans and some mammals (including cats and dogs) naturally produce endocannabinoids whereas the hemp and cannabis plants produce phytocannabinoids. These phytocannabinoids directly and indirectly stimulate the human body’s cannabinoid receptors. 

Endocannabinoidome – complex interconnected series of physiological components associated with the functioning of the endocannabinoid system including non-cannabinoid receptors, pharmacologically active degradation products of cannabinoids, cannabinoid and non-cannabinoid receptor complexes, etc.

Endocannabinoid System (ECS) – a group of compounds and receptors involved in various physiological processes such as appetite, pain modulation, mood, and memory that include endocannabinoids, certain enzymes, and cannabinoid receptors. A deeper discussion of the ECS here.

FAAH –  is a member of the serine hydrolase family of enzymes, and has shown to break down anandamide. Inhibiting the activity of FAAH restores anandamide levels in the body.

Filial Generation – a generation in a breeding experiment that is successive to a mating between parents of two distinctively different but usually relatively pure genotypes.

Flavonoid a member of a group of polyphenolic plant pigment compounds that are water-soluble. Flavonoids are a diverse group of phytonutrients (plant compounds) found in almost all fruits and vegetables.

Full Spectrum – the goal of a full-spectrum product is to maintain the complex range of desirable compounds in a cannabis plant without altering them through extraction or refinery processes. All Full Spectrum CBD products will contain THC at the legal limits of under 0.3% by dry weight. A fuller discussion on the pros and cons of Full Spectrum CBD here.

Genotype – the genetic makeup of an organism.

Germinate – (of a seed or spore) begin to grow and put out shoots after a period of dormancy. Come into existence and develop.

Germination Rate The number of seeds that successfully germinate from a pack. To calculate germination rate divide the number of healthy seedlings by the total number of seeds and multiply by 100. For example, if you started with 25 seeds and had 20 healthy sprouts, your germination rate would be 80%.

GMP – Good Manufacturing Practice.

G-Protein Coupled Receptor – group of receptors that are a part of a large family of proteins that sense molecules outside of cells and control cell signaling and responses. Cannabinoid receptors are g-protein coupled receptors. 

Hemp – part of the cannabaceae family, containing 0.3% or less THC content by dry weight.

Hermaphrodite – a plant having both male and female sex organs or other sexual characteristics.

Homozygous having two identical alleles of a particular gene or genes.

Hybrid an offspring of two animals or plants of different subspecies, breeds, varieties, species.

Isolate – the goal of an isolate product is to remove all other compounds and waxes that the cannabis plant produces, except CBD. Isolate products contain CBD only, there is no THC in isolate products. A fuller discussion on the pros and cons of Isolate CBD here.

Isomer – two molecules with the same molecular formula but differ structurally. Therefore, isomers contain the same number of atoms for each element, but the atomic arrangement differs. An example of this in Cannabis and Hemp would be Delta 8 THC and Delta 9 THC.

Isomerization – is the process by which one molecule is converted into another molecule with the identical atoms. This may occur spontaneously or a reaction may be required to achieve this effect. Converting Delta 9 THC to Delta 8 THC would be an example of this. 

Inbred Line or “IBL” – are organisms of a particular species which are nearly identical to each other in genotype due to long inbreeding. A cultivar is inbred when it has undergone numerous generations of brother x sister or offspring x parent mating, at which point at least 98.6% of the loci in an individual of the strain will be homozygous, and each individual can be treated effectively as clones.

Inhalation – the inhaling of cannabis or hemp in the form of a gas or vapor.

Integrated Pest Management (IPM) –  is an ecosystem-based strategy that focuses on long-term prevention of pests or their damage through a combination of techniques such as biological control, habitat manipulation, modification of cultural practices, and use of resistant varieties. Pesticides are used only after monitoring indicates they are needed according to established guidelines, and treatments are made with the goal of removing only the target organism. Pest control materials are selected and applied in a manner that minimizes risks to human health, beneficial and nontarget organisms, and the environment.

In vitro – “in glass”; procedures performed in a Petri dish or test tube – most cannabinoid research and studies are done using in vitro.

In vivo “in the living”; procedures performed on a living organism, typically a rodent.

Lipid – used to store energy, contribute to the structure of cell membranes, and conduct signaling. Insoluble in water but soluble in organic solvents. They include many natural oils, waxes, and steroids. The endocannabinoid system is a lipid signaling system. 

Living Soil – is a growing method centered on the microbial life inside the soil. A community of microbes and living organisms working together to break down organic matter which, in turn, provides valuable nutrients to plants.

Microdose/Microdosing – technique used for studying the behavior of drugs in humans through the administration of doses so low they are unlikely to produce whole-body effects, but high enough to allow the cellular response to be studied.

MCT Oil – medium-chain triglyceride (MCT), a carry oil most commonly derived from coconut. Most CBD oils/tinctures use MCT oil as the carrier oil.

Milligram (mg) – one thousandth of a gram. Most commonly used to measure weight. Most CBD products will provide the mg count on the outside of the bottle.

Milliliter (mL) – one thousandth of a liter. Most commonly used to measure liquids. A standard dropper/pipette is 1 mL and broken into four parts: .25 mL, .50 mL, .75 mL, 1 mL. The pipette and milliliter reader with help with serving size.

NELAP – National Environmental Laboratory Accreditation Program.

Pistil – the female organs of a flower, comprising the stigma, style, and ovary.

Pistillate (of a plant or flower) having pistils but no stamens.

Phenotype – the physical characteristics of an organism. In genetics, the phenotype is the set of observable characteristics or traits of an organism. The term covers the organism’s morphology or physical form and structure, its biochemical and physiological properties, its behavior, and the products of behavior.

Photoperiod – dependent – Plants which are dependent on changes in lights cycles to grow to full maturity. The period of time each day during which an organism receives illumination.

Phyto – of a plant; relating to plants.

Phytocannabinoid – cannabinoid produced by a plant.

Polyhybrid – a hybrid whose parents differ in a number of characters an individual or group heterozygous for more than one pair of genes.

Resin or Cannabis Resin – a sticky insoluble organic compound secreted by plants. In cannabis plants, the resin contains the cannabinoids and terpenes. During the growth cycle, cannabis resin serves as a defense mechanism for the plant, developed to protect it from predators and pests. When growing Cannabis you want your plants to produce lots of resin.

Route of Administration – the path by which CBD is taken into the body. Routes of administration are generally classified by the location at which the substance is applied. Common examples include oral (with capsules), sublingual (with tinctures), local (with topicals or creams), and inhalation (with vape pens).

Serotonin – a neurotransmitter with biological functionings that are complex and multifaceted – modulating mood, cognition, reward, learning, memory, and numerous physiological processes. Serotonin is found mostly in the digestive system. It impacts every part of the body, from emotions to motor skills. Serotonin is considered a natural mood stabilizer, and is a chemical that helps with sleeping, eating, and digesting. 

Solvent – a chemical used to dissolve other compounds to form a solution.

SSRI – “Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitor” the designation for a class of antidepressants that work by increasing levels of serotonin in the brain.

Stamen – the male fertilizing organ of a flower, typically consisting of a pollen-containing anther and a filament.

Staminate – (of a plant or flower) having stamens but no pistils.

Stigma – part of the pistil where pollen is received or germinates.

Sublingual – applied under the tongue.

Super Agonists – In the field of pharmacology, a super agonist is a type of agonist that is capable of producing a maximal response greater than the endogenous agonist for the target receptor, and thus has an efficacy of more than 100%. Spice and K2 are synthetic Cannabinoids that are super agonists.

Supercritical Fluid – a substance at a temperature and pressure at which the substance can pass through solids like a gas but dissolve compounds like a liquid. Supercritical fluid can be used to extract essential oils from plants.

Synthesizing – In chemistry, chemical synthesis is the artificial execution of useful chemical reactions to obtain one or several products. This occurs by chemical manipulations usually involving one or more reactions. An example of this would be converting CBD or Delta 9 THC to Delta 8 THC.

Terminal Buds – grows at the tip of a shoot and causes the shoot to grow longer. These buds produce hormones that move downward along the shoot, inhibiting the growth of other buds on that shoot.

Terpenes – organic chemicals synthesized by the cannabis plant for aroma and taste. Common terpenes in cannabis and hemp are myrcene, limonene, pinene, and linalool.

Tinctures or Drops – tinctures, or commonly known as drops, are traditionally made by infusing the cannabis or hemp extract with alcohol. Common CBD tinctures or drops now are made with plant and seed-based oils and hemp extracts. Tinctures or drops are recommended to be taken sublingually under the tongue for up to 1 minute. The most effective way is to place the liquid in the area between the gums and cheek where a large number of blood vessels reside. The active ingredients are absorbed by the blood vessels in the mouth tissue.

Titration – the process of adjusting a serving size for the maximum benefit without undesired effects. For a full discussion on CBD serving size, dosing, and titration, please visit – CBD Dosing – How Much Should I Take?.

Topicals – topicals are products applied directly to a part of the body, and are an effective way to treat localized pain. Topicals do not enter the bloodstream, instead they are picked up by the many endocannabinoid receptors in the skin, where they are absorbed locally to reduce inflammation and provide pain relief in a specific area.

Transdermal  – application of a medicine or drug through the skin, typically by using an adhesive patch, so that it is absorbed slowly into the body and bloodstream. 

Trichome – glandular or non-glandular growth from the skin of a plant. In cannabis and hemp this is where the cannabinoids and other beneficial phytocompounds are stored. 

Winterization – process of precipitating heavy lipids from an oil by bathing the oil in alcohol and exposing the mixture to cold temperatures for an extended period of time.

The landscape of hemp and CBD is constantly evolving. To stay updated with the latest discoveries, we work closely with medical and scientific advisors. As we embrace change, the definition of these terms might change with time. We will continuously update this page to reflect the most up-to-date information.