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CBD Lingo Simplified: A to Z's Complete Guide from A to Z

Written by: AtoZ Botanicals Staff



Time to read 17 min

Are you looking for natural, alternative remedies to ease your aches and pains? Have you heard about CBD but feel overwhelmed by all the unfamiliar terminology surrounding it? Well, you are not alone! As we age, many of us are turning towards more holistic and natural solutions for our health concerns. CBD has been gaining traction as a potential game-changer in this area. But with terms like "isolate," "broad-spectrum," and "entourage effect" being thrown around, it can be challenging to navigate the world of CBD confidently. That's why we've put together this comprehensive glossary to help clarify the jargon and empower you to make informed decisions about using CBD.

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The Ultimate CBD Glossary: Your Go-to Reference Guide


  • 2-Arachidonoylglycerol, or 2-AG for short, is a natural substance that our bodies create. Think of it as your brain's mail carrier, delivering important messages that help control feelings of pain, our moods, and even our hunger. It's a part of the endocannabinoid system, which helps keep our body balanced. When we use CBD, it can indirectly affect how much 2-AG we have and how it works. This could help keep our bodies in balance and might even make us feel better.
Person Meditating


  • Think of this as a natural 'bliss molecule' your body produces. It's a type of neurotransmitter, which is a 'message sender' in your brain. Anandamide helps regulate things like mood, appetite, and sleep. When you use CBD, it may increase the levels of anandamide in your system by slowing down its breakdown. This could potentially lead to a better mood or more restful sleep.


  • This is how much of a substance your body can use. For CBD, it varies based on how you take it (like eating a gummy or using a lotion). Higher bioavailability means more CBD for your body to use.

Broad Spectrum:

  • Broad Spectrum CBD is full spectrum CBD without any THC.

  • It offers all the entourage benefits associated with full-spectrum CBD, without any chances of THC being ingested into the body. It is an excellent choice for individuals that can’t have any traces of THC in their system. AtoZ Botanicals creates its own formulated Broad Spectrum for each product.   


  • Also known as CBD. This is a natural compound found in hemp plants. Cannabidiol is a specific type of cannabinoid (see below). It's known for its potential health benefits without causing a 'high' feeling that some other cannabinoids, like THC (tetrahydrocannabinol), can cause.


  • A broad term that refers to a group of active compounds found in the cannabis plant. There are over 100 different cannabinoids, each with its own potential effects on the body. These include CBD, CBG, CBN and CBC.

Cannabinoid Receptors:

  • Our body’s endocannabinoid system, which is responsible for regulating various bodily functions such as sleep, pain, appetite and immune response, is equipped with cannabis receptors. The 2 major receptors are known as the CB1 and CB2.

  • These are like tiny locks on the cells in your body. Cannabinoids, like CBD, are the keys that fit these locks. When they connect, it triggers your body to do certain things, like reducing pain or inflammation



  • This is a type of plant that has been around for centuries. It's used in everything from clothing to health products. CBD comes from the cannabis plant. There are different types of cannabis plants, including hemp and marijuana. While both contain CBD, hemp has more CBD and less THC compared to marijuana.
    • Cannabis Indica: Indica CBD is known for its calming and soothing effects, which can make it better suited for nighttime use or when relaxation is desired.

    • Cannabis Sativa: Sativa CBD enhances creativity, increases focus, provides anxiety relief, and provides an overall sense of well-being, making them great for daytime activities.

Cannabis Plant


  • In the world of CBD, a capsule is like a tiny container usually made from gelatin or a vegetarian substitute. Inside this little package, you'll find a specific dose of CBD oil. People like capsules because they're easy to take (just swallow with water), the dose is consistent, and there's no hemp taste. Plus, they're discreet and portable, which makes them a good choice if you're always on the go. Just remember, it might take a bit longer to feel the effects compared to other methods since your body needs to digest the capsule first.

CBC - Cannabichromene:

  • This is one of the many 'siblings' of CBD, found in the cannabis plant. While it doesn't get the limelight like CBD or THC, it's starting to gain attention for its potential health benefits. Just like CBD, CBC doesn't make you feel 'high'. It interacts with your body's built-in balancing system (the endocannabinoid system) to possibly help with things like pain, inflammation, and mood. It can also promote bone growth and inhibit cancer cell growth..

CBD Concentrates

  • These concentrates are extracted directly from hemp plants and contain the natural cannabinoid and terpene profiles of the plant. They come in many forms like CBD wax, CBD shatter (chrystalines that are smoked) and CBD Isolate.

CBG - Cannabigerol:

  • This is often called the 'mother' of all cannabinoids because it's the one that other cannabinoids, like CBD and THC, come from. On its own, CBG has some promising health properties. It's not intoxicating and has the potential to help with things like pain, inflammation, and mood.  Like CBD, you can find CBG in various products, from oils to edibles, providing a natural approach to wellness.

CBN - Cannabinol:

  • It's a lesser-known sibling of CBD, found in the cannabis plant. Unlike CBD and CBG, CBN is mildly psychoactive, which means it can have a slight sedative effect, but it won't make you feel 'high' like THC does. CBN is unique because it's usually found in aged cannabis, developing as THC breaks down over time. It has the potential to help with sleep, pain, and inflammation.

Cannabinoid Profile:

  • This term refers to the mix of different cannabinoids (like CBD, THC, CBN, etc.) present in a cannabis product. Each strain of cannabis has a unique profile, much like a fingerprint. The profile influences how the product might affect you. Some people look for a specific profile to target certain health and wellness goals, like relaxation or pain relief. Knowing the cannabinoid profile can help you choose the right product for your needs, ensuring you're not just getting CBD, but also benefiting from the 'entourage effect' of other helpful cannabinoids.
CBD Topical

Cannabidivarin (CBDV):

  • This is often called the 'mother' of all This is a non-psychoactive cannabinoid found in cannabis, similar to CBD. It's gaining attention for its potential therapeutic properties. CBDV could play a role in the treatment of conditions like epilepsy and inflammation, as well as improve motor function and sociability.

Carrier Oil:

  • In the context of CBD, a carrier oil is a plant-based oil used to dilute the highly concentrated CBD extract. It 'carries' the CBD, making it easier for your body to absorb and process. Common carrier oils include coconut, MCT, hemp seed, and olive oil. The type of carrier oil can influence the taste, shelf life, and absorption rate of the CBD product. Carrier oils are also used to determine the strength of the CBD oil by diluting it to various concentrations.

Certificate of Analysis (CoA):

  • This is an important document provided by a third-party lab that verifies the quality, purity, and potency of a CBD product. It confirms whether the product contains the amount of CBD advertised, and checks for harmful substances like heavy metals, pesticides, or microbes. A CoA is crucial in ensuring you're buying a safe, high-quality CBD product. Always look for a CoA when purchasing CBD products to ensure you're getting exactly what's on the label.

Controlled Substances:

  • Controlled substances are drugs or chemicals whose manufacture, possession, or use are regulated by government authorities due to their potential for abuse or harm. Some forms of cannabis are classified as controlled substances, but hemp-derived CBD with less than 0.3% THC is not. This distinction is key because it determines the legality and accessibility of different CBD products.

CO2 Extraction:

  • This is a method used to isolate CBD from the hemp plant while preserving other beneficial compounds. It involves using carbon dioxide under high pressure and extremely low temperatures to extract, isolate, and preserve CBD. CO2 extraction is considered one of the safest and most effective ways to produce high-quality CBD oil, ensuring that the final product is free of solvents and impurities that can be left behind by other extraction methods.


  • In the CBD world, distillate refers to a highly purified form of CBD oil that has gone through a process called distillation. This method removes all impurities, including unwanted compounds and plant materials, leaving behind a potent, pure CBD product. Distillates often have higher concentrations of CBD and can be used in various products for a more intense effect. It's a preferred choice for those seeking high potency without other cannabinoids or terpenes..

Delivery Method:

  • Refers to how CBD is introduced into the body. Common methods include inhalation (vaping or smoking), oral consumption (capsules, edibles, tinctures), topical application (creams, balms), and sublingual (drops placed under the tongue). Each method has different absorption rates, affecting how quickly and efficiently the CBD is processed in your body. The choice of delivery method typically depends on personal preference and the desired effect.


  • In the CBD world, an 'edible' refers to a food or drink product infused with CBD. These can range from gummies and chocolates to teas and coffees. Edibles offer a tasty and discreet way to consume CBD, typically providing a slower onset but longer duration of effects compared to other methods like vaping or tinctures. The CBD in edibles is absorbed through the digestive system. 

Endocannabinoid System (ECS):

  • The ECS is a complex cell-signaling system in our bodies that plays a key role in regulating a wide range of functions and processes including sleep, mood, appetite, and immune response. It's composed of endocannabinoids (naturally produced compounds similar to cannabinoids like CBD), receptors they bind to, and enzymes that break them down. CBD interacts with the ECS, potentially helping to maintain its balance and promote overall health and wellness. Understanding the ECS can help us understand how CBD and other cannabinoids work in our bodies.
Example of Edibles

Entourage Effect:

  • Refers to the synergy achieved by all the components in cannabis — cannabinoids like CBD and THC, terpenes, and other compounds — working together more effectively than they would individually. The idea is that these compounds interact with one another to enhance the overall effects of the product, potentially improving absorption in our bodies or influencing the endocannabinoid system in different ways.


  • In the CBD world, 'extraction' refers to the process of removing valuable compounds like CBD from the cannabis plant. There are several methods, but one common method is Ethanol Extraction. In this method, ethanol, a type of alcohol, is used as a solvent to separate CBD and other cannabinoids from the plant material. The result is a concentrated form of CBD that can be used in various health and wellness products. This method is known for its efficiency and for producing a full-spectrum extract, capturing the 'entourage effect'. 

Farm Bill:

  • The 2018 U.S. Farm Bill legalized the commercial production of hemp, a variety of cannabis with low THC content. This bill was a game-changer as it allowed for the widespread production and sale of CBD products derived from hemp, opening up opportunities for businesses and consumers in the health and wellness sector.


  • U.S. government agency that regulates various products, including food, drugs, and cosmetics. In the context of CBD, while hemp-derived CBD was legalized by the 2018 Farm Bill, the FDA retains control over its use in food or as a dietary supplement. The FDA's Cannabis Product Committee (CPC) develops and enforces policies for cannabis product regulation. This committee ensures the safe, effective regulation of CBD products, balancing public access and safety.


  • Naturally occurring compounds found in plants. They contribute to the plant's color, smell, flavor, and overall nutrient profile. Flavonoids are known for their antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties, which can offer health benefits. In CBD products, they work together with other compounds like cannabinoids and terpenes in what's known as the "entourage effect," potentially enhancing the therapeutic effects of CBD.

Full Spectrum:

  • CBD oil includes all of the naturally occurring compounds in the cannabis plant. This includes not just CBD, but also other cannabinoids, terpenes, and flavonoids. These compounds work together in what's known as the "entourage effect," potentially enhancing the health benefits of the CBD. However, full spectrum CBD contains trace amounts of THC, the psychoactive compound in cannabis, but not enough to induce a 'high'.


  • A variety of the Cannabis Sativa plant species that is grown specifically for its industrial uses and health benefits. Unlike marijuana, another variety of cannabis, hemp contains high levels of CBD and low levels of THC (less than 0.3%), the psychoactive compound that causes a 'high'. This makes hemp-derived CBD products a popular choice for those seeking the potential therapeutic benefits of CBD without the mind-altering effects of THC.
Industrial Hemp

Hemp Oil:

  • Often referred to as CBD oil. It is extracted from the flowers and leaves of the hemp plant and contains significant amounts of CBD.

Hempseed Oil:

  • Hempseed oil is derived solely from the seeds of the hemp plant. It does not contain CBD or THC, but it is rich in essential nutrients like omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids, proteins, and antioxidants. While hempseed oil can contribute to a healthy diet and skincare routine, it does not offer the potential therapeutic benefits associated with CBD.

Industrial Hemp:

  • A variety of the Cannabis Sativa plant that is grown specifically for industrial uses. Unlike marijuana, another variety of Cannabis Sativa, industrial hemp contains less than 0.3% THC (the psychoactive compound), making it non-intoxicating. This plant is primarily grown for its seeds and stalks, which can be used to produce a wide array of products, including CBD oil. The low THC content in industrial hemp makes it the preferred choice for extracting CBD used in wellness products.

Isolate (CBD):

  • The purest form of CBD, where all other compounds found in the cannabis plant, including THC, are completely removed. What remains is 99%+ pure CBD extract, often in a crystalline powder form. This option is preferred by those who wish to consume CBD without any traces of THC or other cannabinoids. While it offers a high concentration of CBD, it lacks the potential benefits of the 'entourage effect' seen with full-spectrum CBD products, which contain a variety of cannabis plant compounds.


  • A variety of the Cannabis Sativa plant that contains more than 0.3% THC (the compound causing psychoactive effects). Unlike industrial hemp, which is used to extract CBD for wellness products due to its low THC content, marijuana is often associated with recreational or medicinal use for its psychoactive properties. While marijuana can contain CBD, its higher THC levels can lead to legal restrictions and potential intoxicating effects, making it distinct from CBD derived from industrial hemp.
Marijuana Plant


  • The practice of taking small amounts of CBD over an extended period of time rather than a single large dose. The idea is to maintain a consistent level of CBD in your system for balanced health benefits. This method allows individuals to experience potential benefits of CBD without the risk of over-consumption or unwanted side effects. Microdosing can be a useful approach, especially for beginners or those sensitive to CBD, as it allows for gradual adjustment to its effects.


  • A product derived from food sources that provides extra health benefits beyond basic nutritional value. These products often come in the form of supplements or concentrates. CBD can be considered a nutraceutical as it is extracted from the hemp plant and is believed to offer various health benefits such as pain relief, anxiety reduction, and improved sleep, among others. Notably, these benefits go beyond the standard nutritional content found in traditional food items.


  • In the CBD health and wellness context, organic refers to CBD products sourced from hemp plants grown without the use of synthetic fertilizers, pesticides, or genetically modified organisms (GMOs). These practices ensure the purity and safety of the final product. Organic CBD is considered higher quality because it's free of potentially harmful chemicals, providing a more natural and potentially beneficial option for those seeking the wellness benefits of CBD. Always look for certification to verify a product's organic status.


  • A naturally occurring compound found in the cannabis plant, including hemp. These compounds, which include CBD and THC among others, interact with the body's endocannabinoid system to potentially provide various health benefits. Phytocannabinoids can influence physiological processes such as mood, pain sensation, appetite, and sleep. CBD products often contain multiple phytocannabinoids, offering a broad spectrum of potential wellness effects.


  • The strength or concentration of CBD in a product. It's usually measured in milligrams (mg). High-potency products contain a large amount of CBD per serving, offering stronger effects. Potency is important because it helps you determine the appropriate dosage for your needs. Remember, while high-potency CBD may offer more pronounced benefits, it is best to start with a low dose and gradually increase until you find what works best for you.


  • Refers to substances that can alter the mind's function, mood, or consciousness. THC, a compound found in cannabis, is psychoactive and can cause euphoria or a "high." However, CBD itself is not psychoactive. It doesn't alter your state of mind but may influence the body to use its own endocannabinoids more effectively, potentially offering health benefits without the "high" associated with THC. This makes CBD a favored choice for those seeking the therapeutic benefits of cannabis without the mind-altering effects.


  • A type of topical product infused with CBD. It's a thick lotion or balm that you apply directly to your skin. CBD salves are designed for localized relief of discomfort, such as muscle soreness or joint pain, because they allow the CBD to be absorbed right where it's needed. Unlike CBD oils or edibles, salves don't enter your bloodstream, so they provide targeted rather than systemic effects. They are a popular choice for those seeking the potential therapeutic benefits of CBD without ingestion.


  • Refers to a specific variety of the cannabis plant. Each strain has its own unique blend of compounds, including varying levels of CBD and THC. Strains are usually bred to enhance certain characteristics, such as higher CBD for therapeutic benefits or different flavors and aromas. The effects you experience from CBD can vary depending on the strain used, as each has a unique profile of cannabinoids and terpenes, which work together to produce the plant's overall effect.


  • A method of administration where you place the CBD oil or tincture under your tongue and hold it there briefly. This allows the CBD to be absorbed directly into your bloodstream through the mucous membranes in your mouth, bypassing the digestive system. The sublingual method is known for its quick onset of effects compared to edibles or capsules, making it a preferred choice for those seeking immediate relief from their symptoms.


  • Naturally occurring compounds found in plants that give it its distinctive aroma and flavor. More than just scent providers, terpenes also play a crucial role in influencing the overall effects of a CBD product. They can enhance or modify the properties of CBD and other cannabinoids through a phenomenon known as the 'entourage effect.' This means they can potentially contribute to the therapeutic benefits of CBD, such as pain relief, relaxation, or mood elevation.


  • A variety of similar compounds found in the cannabis plant, known for their psychoactive effects. Delta-9 THC, specifically, is one type of THC and is the most common and potent form, responsible for the 'high' associated with marijuana use.
    Other variants like Delta-8 THC, also exist but are less potent and produce milder effects. While all types of THC share similar chemical structures and psychoactive properties, their potency, effects, and legal status can vary.

  • Delta-8 THC products have not been evaluated or approved by the FDA for safe use.  The FDA has received adverse event reports involving Delta-8 THC containing products, as the natural amount of Delta 8 THC in hemp is very low; thereby, chemicals are needed to convert other cannabinoids in hemp, like CBD, into Delta-8 THC, i.e., a synthetic conversion.  This has led the FDA to notify the public of the concerns related to these products and monitor the market for product complaints and adverse events.


  • Liquid extract that is typically consumed sublingually, i.e., under the tongue. It's made by soaking CBD-rich hemp flowers in high-proof alcohol, then applying low heat for a significant period. The result is a potent liquid that delivers CBD compounds into the body quickly and efficiently. Tinctures are favored for their ease of use, long shelf life, and fast absorption, offering a quick onset of effects compared to other CBD delivery methods like edibles or capsules.


  • Any product - such as creams, lotions, balms or salves - that is applied directly to the skin rather than ingested. These products are infused with CBD and are designed to target specific areas for localized relief. Topicals can help address pain, inflammation or skin conditions because they allow the therapeutic benefits of CBD to be delivered directly to where it's needed most. Unlike other forms of CBD, topicals do not enter the bloodstream, instead interacting with cannabinoid receptors in the skin.

Water Soluble:

  • In the CBD realm, water-soluble refers to a form of CBD that has been scientifically processed to dissolve in water, as opposed to regular CBD oil which is fat-soluble and doesn't mix well with water. Water-soluble CBD is more easily absorbed by the body, leading to a higher bioavailability - meaning more CBD reaches your bloodstream to provide its therapeutic effects. It's ideal for beverages and edibles, as it mixes seamlessly with water-based products. This innovation allows for more versatile and efficient use of CBD.


And there you have it! As you continue to explore the benefits and applications of CBD, having this knowledge at your fingertips will undoubtedly enhance your experience. But remember, learning is an ongoing process. Let's continue this journey of discovery together, making wellness an accessible reality for all.

If you want to learn more about how CBD can change your life and improve your health, check out more through our CBD University blog.

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