Your Real Good Hemp Glossary
We’ll use this page as a supplement to our other articles, and do our best to make sure that the first reference to any of these terms links here first so you have somewhere to go as you’re ready to learn more.
Think we’re missing something? Shoot us a note. We’ll add it right away or research it and learn something in the process. We also list our sources at the end of the document.
Technically, a cannabinoid is a chemical compound that acts on cannabinoid receptors in humans and animals. There are three different types of cannabinoids:
- Endocannabinoids produced naturally by humans and animals
- Phytocannabinoids produced in cannabis plants
- Synthetic cannabinoids that are manufactured in a lab
Thus far, 113 cannabinoids produced by the cannabis plant have been identified. The best known are tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD).
Cannabinoid receptors are a type of cell membrane receptor, which means that certain chemicals outside the cell wall that interact with them cause certain activities inside the cell. They are also part of the endocannabinoid system that are activated by the three types of cannabinoids.
Cannabinoid receptors are broken down into two distinct sub-types, not surprisingly called Type 1 (CB1) and Type 2 (CB2).
Type 1 (CB1)
These receptors are primarily found in the nerves in the brain and spine (although they can be found elsewhere in lower concentrations) which is one of the reasons why cannabinoids impact memory, pain, and motor skills.
Activation of CB1 receptors is generally associated with the psychoactive effects of cannabinoids like THC.
Type 2 (CB2)
Type 2 receptors are found in highest concentrations in the immune system. Chemicals that interact with these receptors are undergoing study for potential anti-inflammatory and anti-cancer properties.
Cannabinoids like CBD interact primarily bind with CB2 receptors. They also influence pain management, inflammation, and appetite.
This term is derived from the genus of the hemp plant, but the compounds unique to and derived from hemp are also referred to as cannabis as well.
The Cannabis (Hemp) Plant
The two most popular species are cannabis sativa and cannabis indica, however, there are hundreds (or perhaps thousands) of different hybrids and strains.
Originally thought to have grown on the steppes of Central Asia, it’s believed that hemp did not come to the United States until the early 1900’s.
The plant can be grown indoors or outdoors using different methodologies. Various strains are well-suited to certain climates and environments and have different growth and maturation times.
In 2018, Congress federally legalized industrial hemp (containing less than 0.3% THC.) There are many other states that have legalized the growth of hemp strains with varying degrees of requirements, licensing, and restrictions.
Cannabis as Slang
The word “Cannabis” is also broadly applied to parts, byproducts, or chemicals found within hemp plants.
The most common is substitution of the word for marijuana in much the same way “pot” is used. However, as the hemp plant is better understood scientifically and has achieved a more prominent place in mainstream culture, it has also become a reference to all things hemp-related.
You can now find references to the “cannabis culture” as well as numerous references related to elements of the plant, including phytocannabinoids, terpenes, flavonoids.
In fact, people who are interested in learning what all of the fuss is about for cannabis-related products are called “canna-curious” in the industry.
This is the term for a cannabinoid that is created naturally within the body by a living organism. Essentially, it’s the naturally-occurring cannabinoids that we make ourselves. Endocannabinoids bind with cannabinoid receptors associated with our endocannabinoid system.
Endocannabinoid System (ECS)
The endocannabinoid system was discovered in the 1980’s and is one of the biggest neurotransmitter networks in our bodies. It’s primary purpose is to achieve and preserve homeostasis, which is a fancy word for stability and balance for our internal systems.
Some of the things that the ECS monitors and regulates include sleep, pain (and pleasure), our mood, creation and storage of memories, movement, appetite, and reproductive systems. Important stuff!
Phytocannabinoids are cannabinoids that occur naturally within plants. Not surprisingly the cannabis genus of plants contain many of these compounds! Each individual strain contains varying levels of each phytocannabinoid, resulting in different effects (psychoactive and non-psychoactive.)
THC is the primary psychoactive cannabinoid – it’s what causes the “high” from the use of marijuana, and is found in at least trace amounts in all full-spectrum cannabis extracts.
In the United States, “industrial hemp” is differentiated from marijuana primarily by the amount of naturally-occurring THC in the plant. Industrial hemp has less than 0.3% THC, which means that is the maximum concentration of THC one can find in any non-concentrated extract from the plant.
We didn’t come up with this stuff on our own. We looked a lot of it up. Here are some of the places where we found good info that we used.
These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.
As with any dietary or nutritional supplement, it’s always a good idea to consult your doctor or a trained medical professional. It’s also important to keep in mind that the information in this article should not be considered medical advice.
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