We don’t think we have looked much up in a dictionary for a long time… But when it comes to CBD and cannabis over the years we’ve been confronted with some weird terms which we’ve nodded along with knowingly despite not really knowing what’s being talked about. “Yeah sure I know what sublingual means…” *frantically checks Wikipedia on Iphone*
Cannabis sometimes seems like an impenetrable subculture of scary slang – the preserve of medical professionals or aficionado’s but not normal people like us.
We decided to create a rundown of some of the key words you might be coming across.
Ways of taking CBD
Anything CBD or Cannabis infused item which can be eaten or swallowed is an edible. Drinks, gummies and technically even tinctures. As we’ve mentioned in previous posts, the effect from edibles takes much longer to feel than other methods of consumption such as vaping as the relevant cannabinoids need to pass through the digestive system before they are absorbed into the blood stream, although for this same reason typically have a longer lasting effect on the body
Tincture / Sublingual
Anything that comes in small bottle and you drop under your tongue with a pipette is a tincture - sublingual being the fancy way of saying under the tongue (our Latin isn’t great either…). This is one of the fastest ways of absorbing CBD into the blood stream given the rich blood supply under the tongue.
Any CBD product such as a spray, balm, lotion or cream is known as a topical, and is usually best suited for skin based conditions or deeper muscular relief.
There are two main ways of vaping CBD. First is via the traditional method of vaping favoured in Europe which is when a CBD isolate is dissolved in a mixture of vegetable glycerine (VG) propylene glycol (PG). But unlike the tobacco replacement vapes, CBD vapes made this way typically do not contain any added nicotine so are not addictive – great news! J
Another method of vaping CBD and other Cannabis products is to directly vape their oils. This is a much less common way of vaping in Europe compared to the US, largely for cultural reasons and because your vaporizer cartridges need to be produce enough heat to heat and vaporize these viscous oils.
Types of CBD products
In Europe Hemp is the plant which CBD is extracted from, and is a variety of the Cannabis sativa plant which has high amounts of CBD but low amounts of THC (less than 0.2% which is the legal limit for THC content in industrial hemp in most of Europe). Historically hemp was one of the most important crops used for oils, cloth, rope and building materials, but gradually lost favour with the invention of plastics in the 20th century.
To get from hemp to consumable CBD, you need to extract the CBD. This is usually done via a process called CO2 extraction which you can learn a little more about here - https://www.60acres.co.uk/blogs/news/why-are-cbd-products-expensive.
CBD distillate is the concentrated extract which is the result of this process which is then diluted down using carrier oils such as hemp oil or MCT oil to make different concentrations of CBD oil.
This is CBD in its purest form, where all other cannabinoids, terpenes, plant matter and flavonoids are refined away.
Cannabidiol / CBD
CBD stands for Cannabidiol, one of the naturally occurring cannabinoids found in hemp. CBD is non-psychoactive meaning is cannot get you high.
A cannabinoids a type of chemical compound found in cannabis strains, including hemp. There are over 150 cannabinoids present in the hemp plant and other cannabis strains – the main ones being CBD and Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC).
Tetrahydrocannabinoid / THC
THC or at least its effects are probably well known to most of us. Remember that time when sitting glued to the sofa unable to move after an “relaxing” hash brownie…? THC is this psychoactive compound associated with getting “high” and is currently illegal in the UK when found in concentrations exceeding 1mg per item.
Terpenes are the fragrant organic compounds - hydrocarbons secreted in the trichomes of the flower - found in hemp, marijuana and several other herb, fruit and plant groups giving them their unique fragrance.
Whatever the desired effects of using CBD, its potentially therapeutic benefits would not be possible without our bodies having a biological system capable of interacting and processing cannabinoids such as CBD.
This internal system is called the endocannabinoid system (“ECS”) and is one of the most important physiological systems which maintains the body’s homeostatic system, the process by which body self-regulates its internal environment (regardless of changes to its external environment) in a state of equilibrium to allow for the body’s optimum performance.
This is the concept that different compounds in the cannabis / hemp plant – cannabinoids and terpenes – work together synergistically to create an effect which is more than the sum of their parts resulting in the maximum effect in stimulating the body’s endocannabinoid system.
More on this in next week’s blog post…