cannabis 101 glossary
Cannabinoids (see definition below) can be found in both acidic and non-acidic forms – depending on if they have been heated and converted to their non-acidic form. THCA and CBDA or “THC-acid” and “CBD-acid” are the two most common acidic cannabinoids. When these acidic cannabinoids are heated, a chemical reaction takes place called “decarboxylation” during which cannabinoids change form to become THC and CBD. The properties of cannabinoids in their acidic and non-acidic forms will vary, however, acidic cannabinoids are generally considered non-psychotropic.
Anandamide, also known as N-arachidonoylethanolamine or AEA, is an endogenous cannabinoid neurotransmitter. The name is taken from the Sanskrit word ananda, which means “joy, bliss, delight”, and amide.
A subcategory of absorption; the fraction of an administered dose of unchanged drug that reaches the systemic circulation, one of the principal pharmacokinetic properties of drugs. By definition, when a medication is administered intravenously, its bioavailability is 100%.
A class of diverse chemical compounds that act on cannabinoid receptors on cells that repress neurotransmitter release in the brain. There are more than 80 known cannabinoids in the cannabis plant, however, the most well-known cannabinoids include THC, CBD, CBN, CBG and THCa. Cannabinoids can be found in both acidic and non-acidic forms, with varying properties.
Also known as an Extract; refers to any product which involves flower that has been refined into a more concentrated form. This umbrella term includes any type of hash, kief or hash oil.
The process of converting the raw, acidic form cannabinoids such as THCa and CBDa into THC and CBD, respectively. Though the acid forms of these cannabinoids have some medicinal benefits, normally decarboxylation is desired for maximum potency and effect in edibles, tinctures, and salves. Decarboxylation occurs at around 115 degrees Celsius.
The size or frequency of a dose of a medicine or drug.
The endogenous cannabinoid system, named after the plant that led to its discovery, is perhaps the most important physiologic system involved in establishing and maintaining human health. Endocannabinoids and their receptors are found throughout the body: in the brain, organs, connective tissues, glands, and immune cells. In each tissue, the cannabinoid system performs different tasks, but the goal is always the same: homeostasis, the maintenance of a stable internal environment despite fluctuations in the external environment.
A separation process consisting in the separation of a substance from a matrix. In cannabis processing, this is the process of pulling essential oils, cannabinoids and terpenes from cannabis material. There are a variety of extraction methods and solvents, such as butane, hexane, carbon dioxide and ethanol.
The phenomenon of drug metabolism whereby the concentration of a drug is greatly reduced before it reaches the systemic circulation. It is the fraction of lost drug during the process of absorption, which is generally related to the liver and digestive system.
An acronym for ‘Good Manufacturing Practices,' GMP standards are a system for ensuring that products are consistently produced and controlled according to quality standards. It is designed to minimize the risks involved in any pharmaceutical production that cannot be eliminated through testing the final product.
Indica strains originated from a higher altitude and can be found predominantly in countries known for their hash culture such as Morocco, Afghanistan, Nepal and Turkey. These plants are shorter and fuller plants compared to their sativa counterparts. Indicas are known for providing strong analgesic and soporific effects.
The US Pharmacopeia (USP) publishes official monographs for certain substances. These monographs include specific assay methods and product specifications to assure identity and potency. Material that is tested by these methods to meet those specifications is then eligible to be called pharmaceutical grade, or USP.
Sativa strains originated in an area around the equator and can be found in countries like Colombia, Mexico, Thailand and several African Nations. Sativas are generally known for producing more mental, energetic effects than indicas.
The pungent oils that give cannabis varieties their distinctive properties, aromas and flavors.
Relating or applied directly to a part of the body. Cannabis Topicals are generally used for skin conditions, muscle soreness, acne, scars and other ailments localized to a certain area.
A route of administration wherein active ingredients are delivered across the skin for systemic distribution. Transdermal delivery systems can include patches, gels and lotions.
A device that generates a particular substance in the form of vapor, especially for medicinal inhalation.