Understanding CBD Lingo


Ever felt confused by all the different words used when talking about CBD? You’re not alone. There are so many terms like “full-spectrum”, “terpenes”, or “endocannabinoid system” that can make it hard to figure out what is what. Below you’ll find all these tricky words in a way that’s easy to understand, and split into categories that make the terms you’re looking for even easier to scroll through! 

So let’s get started. Welcome to your simple guide to CBD language. 

What is Hemp? Terms To Get Started

  • Cannabis: A genus of flowering plants in the family Cannabaceae. The term is most often associated with marijuana, which is derived from the Cannabis plant, but it also includes all hemp plants as well.
  • Industrial Hemp: Varieties of the Cannabis sativa plant species that were traditionally grown for industrial use. It has many uses, from making materials like cloth and rope to producing CBD oil. Hemp is bred to contain low levels of Delta-9 THC, and is not known to be a biologically psychoactive plant. Illuminent, extracts cannabinoids from Industrial hemp plants.
  • Marijuana: Marijuana is a slang term often used to refer to the dried flowers, leaves, stems, and seeds from psychoactive Cannabis plant strains. Marijuana is used both recreationally for its psychoactive effects and medicinally for various health benefits. Like hemp, these plants also contain a variety of cannabinoids outside of having much higher Delta 9-THC amounts than hemp.
  • Strain: A strain refers to a variation of cannabis that differ in color, aroma, and effect.  Strains are bred for their unique combinations of cannabinoids and terpenes, which can result in different experiences.

    • Sativa: Cannabis sativa is known for its taller growth, narrow leaves, and typically has a longer flowering cycle than the Cannabis indica subspecies. It is associated with more cerebral, uplifting effects, making it popular for daytime use.

    • Indica: Cannabis indica plants are generally shorter, bushier, and have broader leaves than Cannabis sativa plants. Indica strains are associated with more physical, relaxing effects, and are often recommended for evening use or to help with sleep.

    • Hybrid: A hybrid cannabis plant is one that is genetically a cross between two or more different strains of cannabis, combining desirable traits from each parent strain. Hybrids can be either Sativa or Indica-dominant, or balanced, and their effects can vary widely depending on the traits they’ve inherited from their parent strains.
  • Cannabinoid: Cannabinoids are a class of chemical compounds that are innate to the Cannabis plant. They act on cannabinoid receptors in cells that alter neurotransmitter release in the brain. The most well-known are CBD and THC.
  • Terpene: Terpenes are aromatic compounds found in many plants, including cannabis. They give cannabis its distinctive smell and taste and are also believed to play a role in the different effects of different cannabis strains while complimenting cannabinoid efficacy.
  • Flavonoids: Flavonoids are a diverse group of naturally occurring plant compounds, different from terpenes that are responsible for many of the vibrant colors we see in plants and are found in a variety of the foods we eat. Flavonoids contribute to the aroma, flavor, and color variations found in different strains of Cannabis and work together with cannabinoids and terpenes to enhance the overall therapeutic effects of the plant.

Endocannabinoid System Terms

  • Endocannabinoid System (ECS): The endocannabinoid system is a complex cell-signaling system identified in the early 1990s by researchers exploring THC. The ECS is involved in regulating a range of functions and processes including sleep, mood, appetite, memory, reproduction, and fertility. The system is active in your body even if you don’t use cannabis.
  • Endocannabinoid Receptors: These are found throughout the body and are part of the ECS. Endocannabinoids bind to these receptors in order to signal that the ECS needs to take action. There are two primary types of endocannabinoid receptors, CB1 & CB2 receptors.

    • CB1 Receptors: Type of ECS receptor predominantly located in the brain and central nervous system, as well as in other tissues. They are involved in the regulation of various brain functions and are the primary target of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC).

    • CB2 Receptors: Type of ECS receptor primarily located in the peripheral nervous system and in immune cells. They play significant roles in managing inflammation and immune responses.
  • Endogenous Cannabinoids: Also known as endocannabinoids, these are naturally occurring compounds in the human body that interact with the endocannabinoid system. The body produces them as needed, and they help regulate a wide variety of bodily functions.

    • Anandamide: A primary endocannabinoid that helps regulate bodily functions such as sleep, appetite, and memory by interacting with the body’s ECS. Its name comes from the Sanskrit word “ananda”, which means “bliss”.

    • 2-Arachidonoylglycerol (2-AG): Another major endocannabinoid involved in managing various physiological and cognitive processes, and it has a higher concentration in the brain than anandamide. 
  • Endocannabinoid Enzymes: These are responsible for the synthesis and degradation of endocannabinoids. The two key enzymes are fatty acid amide hydrolase, which breaks down anandamide, and monoacylglycerol lipase, which breaks down 2-AG. 
  • Phytocannabinoids: These are cannabinoids that occur naturally in the cannabis plant.  
  • Homeostasis: Homeostasis is the ability of an organism or system to maintain a stable, constant condition necessary for survival, despite external changes. The ECS works continuously to maintain a stable internal environment. In short, homeostasis is balance within the body.  
  • Entourage Effect: This is a proposed mechanism by which all the natural compounds in a plant or extract interact together, and with the human body, to produce a stronger, synergistic influence than any one of those components used alone. It is thought that CBD works with the ECS best when taken with the full range of other cannabinoids, terpenes, flavonoids, and compounds present in the cannabis plant, rather than as an isolated molecule. 

Cannabis Legality Terms

  • The Agriculture Improvement Act: Also known as the 2018 Farm Bill, this legislation marked a significant change in U.S. federal policy towards industrial hemp. Prior to this act, hemp was classified as a controlled substance. This law reclassified hemp as an agricultural commodity and removed it from the federal controlled substances list, as long as it contains no more than 0.3% Delta 9-THC on a dry weight basis. This shift made it legal to produce, distribute, and sell hemp-derived products, including various cannabinoids, across state lines, subject to state laws.
  • Controlled Substances Act (CSA): A U.S. federal law that regulates the manufacture, importation, possession, use, and distribution of certain narcotics, stimulants, depressants, hallucinogens, anabolic steroids, and other chemicals. It was enacted in 1970 as part of the Comprehensive Drug Abuse Prevention and Control Act. Substances are classified into five schedules based on their medical use, potential for abuse, and safety or dependence liability. Marijuana is currently classified as a Schedule I substance, federally. Hemp was removed from the CSA in 2018.
  • 0.3% Delta 9-THC: THC, or Delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol, is the psychoactive compound found in cannabis that produces the “high” often associated with cannabis use. According to the 2018 Farm Bill, for cannabis to be legally considered hemp and therefore be lawful to cultivate under federal law, it must contain no more than 0.3% Delta-9 THC on a dry weight basis. If the THC concentration exceeds this limit, the cannabis plant is classified as marijuana, which remains a Schedule I controlled substance under federal law, although state laws vary. 

Consumption Method Terms

  • Inhalation: This refers to the process of inhaling cannabinoids, typically in the form of smoke or vapor. When inhaled, the compounds are absorbed through the lungs into the bloodstream, making it one of the fastest delivery methods for CBD to enter the system. 

    • Flower: Cannabis flower refers to the bud/flowering part of the plant that is typically harvested, dried, and used for consumption. Flower contains the highest concentration of cannabinoids. 

      • Decarboxylation: The process, usually through heating, that activates cannabinoids in cannabis, turning compounds like CBDa into CBD or THCa into THC. Although heat is the primary method, time and acidity can also cause decarboxylation, but less predictably. 

      • Cartridge: A cartridge, or cart, refers to a pre-filled container of CBD oil or e-liquid designed for use with a vape pen. They come in various sizes, concentrations, and flavors and can facilitate cannabinoid consumption effectively. 

      • Vape: This refers to the use of an electronic device (a vape pen or vaporizer) to heat a liquid or concentrate to a temperature that turns it into a vapor which can be inhaled. The term is often, but not always, synonymous with cartridge or cart. 

      • Dab: A method to quickly and potently consume cannabis or CBD, or THC concentrates using specialized equipment like a dab rig. Dabs often have a consistency similar to honey, though textures can vary. Types include glass-like “Shatter,” soft “Wax or Budder,” crumbly “Crumble,” and viscous “Live Resin.” 
  • Sublingual: This is a method of administering cannabinoids by placing it under the tongue, allowing it to be absorbed by the mucus membranes into the bloodstream, avoiding digestion. This allows for rapid absorption and typically provides effects more quickly than edible ingestion.
  • Tincture: A cannabinoid tincture is a concentrated solution combined with a carrier oil such as MCT which is what Illuminent uses. Tinctures are absorbed sublingually but can also be added to food or beverages.
  • Edible: These are foods or drinks that are infused with cannabinoids. Edibles have to be digested, which means they take longer to take effect than some other methods, but the effects also last longer.

    • Gummy: Cannabinoid gummies are like regular gummy candies but infused with various parts of the cannabis plant. They are a popular choice due to their taste, ease of use, and precise dosing.

    • Capsule: Oral capsules designed to easily deliver CBD, and or other cannabinoids, to the body through the digestive system
  • Topical: CBD topicals are creams, lotions, balms, and other products applied directly to the skin. They are used to address localized discomfort, skin conditions, and general wellness. Topicals allow for targeted relief as they do not enter the bloodstream. 

Extraction & Formulation Method Terms

  • Extraction: The process of removing desired compounds (like CBD) from the cannabis or hemp plant.  
  • CO2: CO2 extraction is a method that uses pressurized carbon dioxide to pull CBD (and other phytochemicals) from the plant. It is known for producing a pure and clean product.
  • Closed-Loop: A type of extraction system that ensures solvents used in the extraction process are contained within the system and not released into the environment. It is a more environmentally friendly method.
  • Alcohol: A common solvent used in extraction processes, especially ethanol. Alcohol extraction is known for its ability to extract a wide range of compounds from the plant.
  • Solvent: A substance, typically a liquid, that can dissolve into another substance to form a solution. In the CBD extraction process, solvents like CO2, alcohol, water, or even hydrocarbons are used to pull the desired compounds out of the hemp plant. Solvents and extraction methods directly influence the quality and safety of CBD products.
  • Oil: Refers to the oils (like MCT, hemp seed, or olive oil) in which cannabinoids can be dissolved, suspended in, and consumed. It is also the term used for the concentrated liquid form of CBD post-extraction.
  • Distillation: A process that separates compounds based on their boiling points. In the context of hemp, it is used to refine and purify cannabinoid extracts.
  • Distillate: A highly concentrated, purified form of cannabinoid-specific oil, such as CBD, achieved through the distillation process.
  • Homogenize: The process of making a mixture uniform in consistency. In hemp products, this ensures that the cannabinoids and other ingredients are evenly distributed throughout.
  • Live Resin: A type of cannabis concentrate made from fresh plants that are frozen immediately after harvest, preserving the plant’s terpenes and flavor. If you see the word “Resin” this means solvents are used during the process of turning the fresh frozen flower into a concentrate.
  • Rosin: A solvent-less cannabis concentrate made by applying heat and pressure to cannabis flowers, producing a resinous sap.
  • Isolate: A isolated and pure form of cannabinoids, usually in a crystalline powder, that contains 99% of one specific cannabinoid and no other cannabinoids or terpenes.
  • Cannabinoid Blends: Formulations that combine different cannabinoids (like CBD, THC, CBG, etc.) in specific ratios to achieve desired effects or benefits.
  • Full Spectrum: Refers to CBD products that contain all or most of the natural compounds found in the hemp plant, including other cannabinoids, terpenes, and flavonoids. It is believed to offer an “entourage effect,” where the combined compounds work synergistically in the ECS and includes trace amounts of THC. 
  • Broad Spectrum: CBD products that contain multiple cannabinoids, terpenes, and other beneficial compounds found in the hemp plant with THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) removed. 

Lab & Lab Result Terms

  • ISO-7 Certified Lab: A laboratory that meets the ISO (International Organization for Standardization) Class 7 requirements. This certification ensures that the lab maintains specific air purity levels, reducing the risk of contamination during product testing or manufacturing.
  • Third-Party Testing: An unbiased evaluation of a product by an independent lab not tied to the product’s seller or maker. For hemp products, it confirms the product’s quality, content, and safety.
  • Certificate of Analysis (COA): An official document issued by a laboratory that details the results of various tests performed on a product. It verifies the product’s quality, purity, and safety
  • Batch or Lot Number: A unique identifier given to a particular batch of product, allowing it to be traced back to its origin. This is crucial for quality control and in case of product recalls.
  • Cannabinoid Profile: A report or analysis detailing the specific cannabinoids present in a cannabis or hemp product and their concentrations. This might include compounds like CBD, THC, CBG, and others.
  • Terpene Profile: An analysis that details the specific terpenes (aromatic compounds responsible for the scent and flavor of plants, including cannabis) present in a product and their concentrations.
  • Potency: A measure of the concentration or strength of cannabinoids in a cannabis or hemp product.
  • LOQ (Limit of Quantitation): The smallest concentration of a substance (like a cannabinoid or contaminant) that can be reliably measured using a specific testing method.
  • Heavy Metals: Metallic elements, like lead, arsenic, mercury, and cadmium, that can be harmful if ingested. Testing for heavy metals ensures that these harmful elements are not present in dangerous amounts in cannabis or hemp products.
  • Solvent Residues: Remnants of solvents that might remain in a product after an extraction process. Testing for solvent residues ensures that any solvent used in the extraction process has been fully purged from the final product. 
  • Microbiological Contaminants: Harmful microorganisms like bacteria, mold, and fungi. Testing ensures that cannabis or hemp products are free from these potentially harmful contaminants. 

Cannabinoid Terms

  • Cannabinoid: Chemical compounds found in the cannabis plant that interact with receptors in the body’s ECS that are known to produce various health benefits.
  • Psychoactive: Cannabinoids that change mood, thinking, or behavior. In cannabis, THC is the main psychoactive component.
  • Non-Psychoactive: Cannabinoids that do not produce a mind-altering or intoxicating effects.
  • CBD (Cannabidiol): A non-intoxicating cannabinoid known for its potential therapeutic benefits, including bringing the ECS into homeostasis.
  • CBG (Cannabigerol): Referred to as the “mother” of cannabinoids, as other cannabinoids are derived from it. It is non-intoxicating and is known to gently boost energy and vitality as well as improve digestion.
  • CBC (Cannabichromene): A common yet non-intoxicating cannabinoid, it boosts other cannabinoids when combined. It benefits brain health, reduces body discomforts, and promotes skin health.
  • CBD-v (Cannabidivarin): A non-psychoactive cannabinoid similar in structure to CBD and is being researched for its gentle focus and mood boosting properties.
  • CBN (Cannabinol): CBN is the result of aged THC. CBN is known for its potential sedative/relaxation effects.
  • THC (Tetrahydrocannabinol): The primary psychoactive compound in cannabis that produces the “high” sensation.
  • Delta 9-THC: The most well-known form of THC, responsible for the primary psychoactive effects associated with cannabis.
  • Delta 8-THC: A less prevalent form of THC with a slightly altered chemical structure, resulting in slightly milder psychoactive effects compared to Delta 9.
  • THC-v (Tetrahydrocannabivarin): A mildly psychoactive cannabinoid similar to THC but is known to reduce hunger cravings and improve mental clarity. 
  • Hexahydrocannabinol (HHC): Offers a mild “social buzz” — less intoxicating than D8 but more so than CBD. It is helpful for an active lifestyle, reducing infla*mation, enhancing mood, and easing social discomfort.

Learn more about how all the major cannabinoid players work inside the body in our in-depth analysis HERE

Terpene Terms

  • Terpene: Aromatic compounds found in many plants, including hemp. They contribute to the distinct aromas and flavors of different hemp strains and are believed to have various health benefits when consumed, aiding in the Entourage Effect.
  • Myrcene: Known for its earthy aroma and is believed to be relaxing and sedative. It is the most abundant terpene in many cannabis strains and might play a role in the ‘couchlock’ sensation associated with some strains.
  • Limonene: Terpene with a citrus scent and is believed to be uplifting and stress-reducing. It is also thought to boost the immune system.
  • Linalool: Found also in lavender, linalool has a floral scent and is associated with calming and relaxing effects.
  • Beta-Caryophyllene: This terpene has a spicy, peppery aroma. This unique terpene can bind to CB2 receptors in the body and helps with internal balance within the body.
  • Pinene: Has a pine-like aroma and is known for alertness and memory retention.
  • Humulene: This terpene, also found in hops, has an earthy aroma.
  • Ocimene: With its sweet, herbaceous aroma.
  • Terpinolene: It has a complex aroma with notes of pine, floral, and herbs. Uplifting, and may have antioxidant and sedative properties.
  • Camphene: Recognized by its woody aroma, camphene is believed to have antioxidant properties.
  • Eucalyptol: Found also in eucalyptus, this terpene has a refreshing aroma and is often associated with clarity and concentration.
  • Bisabolol: With a gentle, floral aroma, bisabolol is often linked with skin-soothing properties. 

Health Benefit Terms

  • Medical Terms: Terms hemp and cannabis companies need to steer clear from as to avoid FDA, FTC, and merchant bank payment processing interfering with company operations. Terms naming diseases are prohibited.
  • Mood Enhancement: Improving one’s emotional state or feelings of well-being.
  • Overall Wellness: A general state of good health and well-being in both body and mind.
  • Discomfort: A mild or severe feeling of body aches or unease.
  • Tenderness: A sensitivity to touch, often accompanied by achiness or soreness.
  • Immune Boosting: Strengthening the body’s natural defense system against illnesses.
  • Stress Relief: Reduction of tension or nervous feelings.
  • Vitality: A sense of energy, life, and vigor.
  • Mental Clarity: Clear and focused thinking or understanding. 

Illuminent Product Line & Specific Terms

  • Flavored With Purpose: Illuminent’s product-specific formulations that include terpenes to complement and enhance the entourage effect and efficacy of the results customers are seeking.
  • Become the Results Nature Intended: Illuminent slogan that calls us to remember that nature provides us with the tools to help our bodies achieve optimal health and that if we simply use them, we will become the type of ‘healthy’ that nature was designed to create within us.
  • Generational Health: The change in health that Illuminent’s mission is based on. Illuminent is dedicated to not only helping the individual or their families, but their family’s families for generations to come.
  • Isomer Labs: Sister company to Illuminent that helps separate certain psychoactive products from the Illuminent name in order to protect the integrity of Illuminent in today’s current state of cannabis law formulations between states. Isomer Labs’ product lines are included in the Illuminent product lineup and include both psychoactive and non-psychoactive inhalant and sublingual consumption options.
  • Illuminent Product Lines:

    • The Fundamentals Line: Group of CBD isolate sublingual tinctures ranging in strengths from 1000-5000MG and various natural flavorings. Non-Psychoactive.

    • The Essentials Line: Group of Full Spectrum CBD sublingual tinctures that include legal trace amounts of Delta 9 THC. Strengths range from 1000-5000mg. This line also includes Full Spectrum CBD cartridges and capsules. Non-Psychoactive.

    • Thrive: Specifically formulated Full Spectrum CBD capsules that include cannabis-derived terpenes and turmeric. Non-Psychoactive.

    • The Boost Line: Group of CBG-centered sublingual tinctures that help boost mood, and energy, and promote digestive health. Non-Psychoactive.

    • The Chill Line: Group of CBN-centered sublingual tinctures that provide a relaxed calming effect while promoting better sleep. Non-Psychoactive.

    • The Cognitive Line: THC-Free sublingual tincture called Enhance that provides a boosted yet gentle awakened focus, mental clarity, and energy throughout the day. Non-Psychoactive.

    • The Focus Line: Group of THC-v centered sublingual tinctures that provide focus, energy, and mental clarity. Non-Psychoactive at recommended serving sizes.

    • The Vibe Line: Group of Delta-8 THC sublingual tinctures and Delta-9 THC Gummies that promote stress relief, better sleep, refreshed mornings, and relief from body discomforts. Psychoactive.

    • The Mushie Line: Group of sublingual tinctures that combine the power of functional edible mushroom extracts with specific cannabinoids and terpenes to produce a robust set of health benefits for the entire body. Non-Psychoactive.

    • The Soothe Line: Group of topical cannabinoid-rich products, including lotions, salves, lubrication, bath bombs, and more that provide localized support to various areas of the body. Non-Psychoactive.

    • The Paws Line: Group of pet-specific cannabinoid-rich products, including an edible tincture, shampoo, and paw balm for one’s furry friends and family. Non-Psychoactive. 

Navigating the world of hemp and CBD can be complex, especially with the abundance of terminology and regulatory considerations. While the potential benefits of these products are exciting and continually being researched, it is essential for both companies and consumers to approach the topic with knowledge and caution. As the industry evolves and research expands, fostering a culture of trust and education will be paramount to unlocking hemp and CBD’s full potential responsibly


These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease or ailment. Illuminent assumes no responsibility for the improper use of these products. We recommend consulting with a qualified medical doctor or physician when preparing a treatment plan for any and all diseases or ailments. Illuminent does not make any health claims about our products and recommends consulting with a qualified medical doctor or physician prior to consuming our products or preparing a treatment plan. It is especially important for those who are pregnant, nursing, chronically ill, elderly or under the age of 18 to discuss the use of these products with a physician prior to consuming them.  

Illuminent Cannabidiol (CBD) is a naturally-occurring constituent of the industrial hemp plant. Illuminent does not sell or distribute any products that are in violation of the United States Controlled Substance Act (US.CSA).  Illuminent does sell and distribute industrial hemp-based products.