71 CBD Glossary of Terms: All in One Page

Even though the CBD industry is well established, there are still terms some people are not familiar with. Being the co-founder of a Colorado-based CBD company, I often meet people who use CBD but are still confused about various things. 

Wouldn’t it be nice if there was a CBD glossary to reference? I took the time to create a list of CBD-related terms and explanations. Understanding these terms will help increase your understanding of CBD.  Let’s get started.

Table of content

CBD Glossary: 15 Common CBD-Related Terms

CBD has an extensive glossary, but before we dive into the long list, we will begin with the basics; the most common CBD-related words that you will hear in the CBD community. I am not going to mention CBD in this list.

CBD Glossary: 15 Common CBD Related Terms

However, if you are interested in knowing about CBD in detail, you can click here. So, here are the most common 15 CBD terms:

1. Cannabis

When I talk to someone about CBD, the very fast thing I describe is where the CBD comes from. CBD can come from 2 different sources. One is the hemp plant (cannabis sativa) and the other is the Cannabis plant. Cannabis contains THC in large quantities, while hemp contains very little THC and an abundance of CBD. 

2. Broad-spectrum

Broad-spectrum is a type of CBD that contains additional hemp compounds, known as minor cannabinoids, along with CBD. However, it does not contain any THC. Broad-spectrum gives you the benefits of the additional phytocannabinoids but without the THC. Therefore, some people prefer to use broad-spectrum because of the absence of THC.

3. Cannabis sativa

Cannabis Sativa is a specific species of the cannabis plant. Also known as hemp, it is one of the three primary cannabis species, alongside Cannabis Indica and Cannabis Ruderalis. Cannabis sativa contains a high amount of CBD and very little THC. 

4. CBN

CBN is a minor cannabinoid found in the cannabis plant. It is typically present in aged cannabis or when THC degrades over time. The compound is mildly psychoactive and is known for its sedative abilities. CBD infused with CBN provides superb results for sleep. 

5. CBG

CBG stands for cannabigerol. It is a lesser-known, minor cannabinoid found in cannabis. An interesting fact about CBG that might surprise you is it is known as the mother of all cannabinoids as it converts into CBD, THC, and other compounds as the cannabis plant matures.


6. Cannabinoid

I have mentioned this word several times in this article. So, what is a cannabinoid? Cannabinoids are compounds found in the cannabis plant. There are over 100 known cannabinoids, though CBD and THC are the most commonly known ones. I referenced CBN and CBG as “minor cannabinoids” as they are less abundant in the cannabis plant. 

7. COA

A Certificate of Analysis, or COA for short, is a document that is provided by a third-party laboratory. It verifies the contents of a CBD product as well as the potency and proves the presence or absence of any harmful things like heavy metals, pesticides, molds, and bacteria. The USDA mandates that all products must be tested. If the product does not have a COA, it’s best not to use or buy it. While purchasing your CBD products, you should always check if the brand has COA certificates for every product, like Cowgirlsoss has. 

8. Full-spectrum

Full-spectrum CBD refers to a CBD product containing all the naturally occurring compounds of the cannabis plant, such as terpenes, a small amount THC, as well as minor cannabinoids like CBN and CBG.


The effectiveness of full-spectrum is thought to be more than CBD isolate due to the entourage effect of the minor cannabinoids. 

9. Farm Bill 2018

The farm bill of 2018 also known as the Agriculture Improvement Act of 2018 refers to agricultural legislation passed in the United States in 2018. Most importantly the bill erased the name of hemp from the list of controlled substances, differentiating it from marijuana and paved the way for the legal production and development of safe and innovative hemp-derived products.

10. Hemp

Hemp is one of the most common terms related to CBD. So what is hemp? Hemp is part of the Cannabis Sativa group of plants that are cultivated for industrial purposes and contain very low levels of THC. Hemp is the primary source of CBD. As a CBD expert, I recommend you always go for hemp-grown CBD products. 

11. Isolate

CBD isolate refers to a pure form of CBD that has been isolated from all other compounds found in the cannabis plant. If you are only interested in CBD and want to avoid other compounds, CBD isolate is your ideal choice. 

12. Psychoactive


I am often asked questions around this term. Psychoactive literally means “affecting the mind,” and refers to substances or compounds that can alter:

  • Mental state
  • Mood
  • Perception
  • Behavior
  • Emotions, and
  • Consciousness 

13. Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC)

THC is the primary psychoactive compound found in the cannabis plant. It interacts with the endocannabinoid receptors in the brain and central nervous system, leading to various psychoactive effects, including euphoria. THC consumed in very small amounts increases the effectiveness of CBD and provides the user with a better result. At Cowgirlsoss, all THC containing products are within the 0.3% amount legal by the state laws. 

14. Additive

An additive is a substance that is intentionally added to something else to change its properties or make it different.  Some CBD companies use additives to alter characteristics like flavors, preservatives, stabilizers, or others. 

15. Bioavailability

Bioavailability refers to the measurement at which a substance, such as CBD, is absorbed and becomes available for the body to utilize. 

CBD Glossary: 60 Regularly Used Terms

I hope the above definitions have helped with your fluency of CBD terminology and you feel more comfortable choosing products now. There are some other terms related to CBD that will help increase your knowledge even more. Welcome to CBD 201. 

CBD Glossary 60 Regularly Used Terms

I will try to keep the descriptions simple but understandable.   

TermWhat it means
AnandamideIt is an endocannabinoid neurotransmitter. It plays a role in regulating mood, pain, and pleasure. CBD increases the levels of Anandamide in the system.
BioaccumulatorThe absorption and accumulation of a contaminant over time in an organism.  
Biphasic effectPhenomenon where a substance produces different effects at low and high doses.
CapsuleAn oral form of medication or supplement usually enclosed in a gelatin or vegetable-based shell.
CBCCannabichromene, a non-intoxicating minor cannabinoid found in cannabis with potential therapeutic properties.
BiosynthesisProcess of creating complex organic compounds, such as cannabinoids, using biological methods.
CBDaAn acidic form of CBD and a precursor found in raw cannabis plants.
Cannabis oilConcentrated liquid derived from cannabis plants, typically containing cannabinoids and terpenes.
CB1 receptorsCannabinoid receptors primarily found in the peripheral tissues and immune system.
CB2 receptorsCannabinoid receptors primarily found in the peripheral tissues and immune system.
CO2 ExtractionA method of extracting CBD from cannabis using carbon dioxide as a solvent.
ConcentrateA highly potent form of cannabis extract, often containing high levels of cannabinoids.
DistillateA purified form of cannabis extract containing THC. It is achieved through distillation.
Delivery methodThe way of consuming CBD products. You can select from oral, sublingual, topical, inhalation, etc. methods.
DecarboxylationIt is a process of heating CBD. It activates and converts the precursor cannabinoids into CBD. 
DosageA specific measurement of taking CBD for recreational or therapeutic purposes. The right dose is important for the best result. 
DronabinolDronabinol is a synthetic form of THC. This form is used in pharmaceuticals for various medical conditions.
EdibleA food or beverage infused with CBD or cannabis extract, designed to be consumed orally.
E-liquidA liquid formulation of CBD extract. The intention is to use it in electronic vaporizers or e-cigarettes.
Entourage effectCBD is often mixed with other compounds to produce a better result. The synergistic interaction of CBD and other elements is known as the entourage effect. CBD can be infused with various cannabinoids, terpenes, and other compounds. 
Ethanol extractionA method of extracting cannabinoids and other compounds from cannabis using ethanol.
ExtractConcentrated form of cannabinoids and other beneficial compounds obtained through various extraction methods.
FDAAbbreviation for the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. The organization is an agency of the Department of Health and Human Services. It is responsible for regulating food, drugs, and dietary supplements in the United States.
FlavonoidPlant compounds found in many plants, fruits, vegetables, and leaves and also found in cannabis.They are popular for their potential therapeutic properties and also have an excellent antioxidant effect.
Food supplementProducts intended to supply a missing nutrient to a diet. They are consumed orally as a supplement to provide additional nutrients or health benefits. You will find them in the form of capsules, tablets, or liquids.
Genetically Modified Organism (GMO)Organisms with altered DNA as a result of genetic engineering procedures.
Hemp seed oilOil derived from hemp seeds that contain a rich profile of fatty acids, vitamins, and minerals. However, the oil contains very little CBD.
Immune SystemHemp plants are cultivated for various industrial purposes. For example fiber production, seed production, and CBD extraction, with low THC content.
InflammationThe body’s immune response to injury, infection, or irritation. The common responses are often characterized by redness, swelling, heat, and pain.
IndicaCannabis Indica is a strain of the cannabis plant with a high THC content appreciated for feelings of calmness and physical relaxation. 
Industrial hempHemp plants cultivated for various industrial purposes. For example fiber production, seed production, and CBD extraction, with low THC content.
KetonesKetones are organic compounds produced by your body when it metabolizes fat. They have potential therapeutic effects and energy production.
MarijuanaThis term for Cannabis originated in Mexican Spanish.
MicrodosingIt is a practice of consuming cannabinoids in a very small amount. It offers therapeutic benefits without the psychoactive effects. 
NutraceuticalA product that combines elements of nutrition and pharmaceuticals often derived from plants or plant extracts.
NeurotransmittersChemical messengers in your nervous system, transmitting signals between nerve cells.
Omega oilsEssential fatty acids. They include Omega-3, Omega-6, and Omega-9. They have potential health benefits, including heart health and cognitive function.
OrganicProducts that are produced without the use of synthetic chemicals, pesticides, or modified organisms. 
PesticidesChemical substances used in farming and agriculture. They can kill pests, insects, and control harmful weeds. 
PhytocannabinoidsNaturally occurring cannabinoids found in cannabis plants, including THC and CBD. They are known for their interaction with the body’s endocannabinoid system.
PotencyThe concentration or strength of cannabinoids in a cannabis or CBD product. They are usually measured as a percentage or milligram content.
SalveA topical ointment or balm infused with CBD and other beneficial ingredients meant to be applied to the skin for therapeutic effects.
StrainA specific variety or type of cannabis distinguished by their genetic lineage, chemical profile, and specific effects.
SativaA cannabis strain known for its uplifting and energizing effects, often associated with increased creativity, focus, and sociability.
SublingualSublingual means under the tongue. It is a method of administration. CBD tinctures or oils are placed under the tongue for absorption through the sublingual blood vessels.
TerpenesAromatic compounds in cannabis and various other plants that add distinct flavors and potential therapeutic effects.
TinctureA liquid formulation of CBD mixed with alcohol or oil, taken orally by placing drops under the tongue.
TopicalA CBD product applied directly to the skin, such as salves, creams, lotions, or balms. They are good for getting quick relief from inflammation
Transdermal patchesPatches containing CBD or other cannabinoids that are . applied to the skin. It allows slow and controlled release of active compounds into the bloodstream.
Third-Party TestingIndependent testing conducted by accredited laboratories. They verify the quality, purity, potency, and safety of CBD or cannabis products.
Vape penA portable device used to vaporize CBD or cannabis concentrates, allowing for the inhalation of the vapor for rapid absorption.
VaporizationThe process of heating CBD extracts to generate a vapor to inhale for its potential therapeutic effects.
VaporizerThe device that is used to heat CBD extracts. It converts the extract into vapor that can be inhaled. This method provides a better therapeutic effect.
Water solubleCBD or cannabis extracts formulated to be soluble in water, enhancing their bioavailability and allowing for easier incorporation into various products.
Whole plantRefers to the use of the entire cannabis plant, including its flowers, leaves, and stems. Cannabinoids and other beneficial compounds can be extracted from them.
Vegetable GlycerineA clear, odorless liquid derived from plant-based oils, often used as a carrier in CBD vape liquids and other formulations.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the meaning of CBD in medical terms?

In medical terms, CBD stands for cannabidiol, a naturally occurring compound found in cannabis plants, including hemp and marijuana. CBD is known for its immense potential for health benefits.

Is THC bad for my health?

THC is not bad for your health if consumed in a measured and limited amount. CBD products, for example, contain 0.03% THC which does not do any harm but rather boosts the quality and effect of the product. 

What are the common additives in CBD products?

CBD products commonly include additives such as carrier oils, flavorings, and terpenes.


In conclusion, I hope this CBD glossary has provided you with a solid foundation of knowledge and clarity when it comes to understanding the world of CBD. Whether you’re a newcomer or a seasoned user, being informed about the terminology associated with CBD can empower you to make well-informed decisions and find products that suit your needs.

Now equipped with this newfound understanding, you can embark on your CBD shopping journey with confidence. Remember to carefully read product labels, research reputable brands, and consider factors such as potency, extraction methods, and third-party lab testing. By doing so, you’ll be well on your way to finding high-quality CBD products that align with your preferences and requirements.

If you have any further questions or need more information, don’t hesitate to reach out to us at Cowgirl Soss or consult with other professionals in the field. Wishing you the best of luck as you venture into the world of CBD. Happy shopping, and may you discover the many potential benefits that CBD has to offer!


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