There are many confusing, scientific, and often misused terms associated with Cannabis. This list is by no means comprehensive, but it contains some of the more common terms associated with this phenomenal plant. We hope you find these definitions helpful!
The Cannabis Plant
Cannabis: A genus of flowering plants in the Cannabaceae family. It includes three main species: Cannabis sativa, Cannabis indica, and Cannabis ruderalis. Cannabis is known for its psychoactive and medicinal properties.
Hemp: A legal classification of the cannabis plant used to produce CBD, CBG and other non-intoxicating cannabinoids. Cannabis grown for CBD production is referred to as “phytocannabinoid rich hemp” (PCR) and is different from “industrial hemp,” which is grown for fiber and textiles. PCR hemp is indistinguishable from marijuana without lab results. Industrial Hemp, on the other hand, is a tall fibrous version that looks more like wheat than marijuana. Think of it like this. PCR hemp is marijuana that has been selectively bred for low levels of THC and high levels of CBD. One the THC level drops below 0.3%, it is classified as Hemp.
Marijuana: This common name for high THC cannabis has been legally defined federally as cannabis plants containing MORE than 0.3% THC by weight. The term denotes cannabis grown for high THC, commonly found in medical and recreational dispensaries. The term usually refers to the dried flowers and leaves of the cannabis plant, which are consumed for recreational or medicinal purposes.
CBD (Cannabidiol): A non-psychoactive (non-intoxicating) compound found in cannabis with various potential health benefits, such as pain relief and reducing anxiety. All CBD is the same in that the compound itself always acts on the endocannabinoid system similarly. However, the process used for extraction, blending, and added ingredients can make a difference in the overall effectiveness of CBD. Some important CBD terms:
Full Spectrum CBD:
Full Spectrum CBD refers to a type of CBD extract that contains a wide range of cannabinoids, including CBD (Cannabidiol), THC (Tetrahydrocannabinol), and other minor cannabinoids, such as CBG (Cannabigerol), CBC (Cannabichromene), and CBN (Cannabinol). Additionally, it contains various terpenes and flavonoids found naturally in the cannabis plant. The presence of THC in Full Spectrum CBD is usually within the legal limit of 0.3% in the United States. The combination of multiple cannabinoids and other plant compounds is believed to produce an “entourage effect,” where these components work synergistically to enhance the overall therapeutic benefits of CBD.
Broad Spectrum CBD:
Broad Spectrum CBD is somewhat similar to Full Spectrum CBD in that it contains a few cannabinoids some of the other beneficial compounds from the cannabis plant. However, the key difference is that Broad Spectrum CBD has undergone additional processing to remove almost all of the THC, ensuring that it contains only trace amounts (usually below the detectable limit of 0.01% THC). We have observed through looking at many lab results and sampling hundreds of products that more is lost than just the THC in the filtering process. A typical broad spectrum CBD will have only 2-3 minor cannabinoids and few or zero terpenes. The low THC content may make Broad Spectrum CBD a preferable option for individuals who need zero THC. But, be aware that it rarely has “everything except the THC.”
CBD Isolate is CBD alone (isolated). It is extracted from the cannabis plant and then refined to remove all other cannabinoids, terpenes, and plant matter, leaving behind a crystalline powder containing 99+% pure CBD. CBD Isolate is entirely THC-free, making it an excellent choice for individuals who wish to avoid any THC content altogether. Some people prefer CBD Isolate for its precise dosing and to ensure they are only consuming cannabidiol without any other compounds from the cannabis plant. While this can be a great option, in our experience, higher doses of isolate are required to be effective.
THC (Tetrahydrocannabinol): The primary psychoactive (intoxicating) compound found in cannabis. It produces the "high" or euphoric feeling when consumed. THC has been widely researched for helping with extreme pain, nausea, anxiety (low dose) and insomnia among other conditions. It is also commonly used recreationally and has a higher safety profile than almost any other intoxicating substance. Please always use THC responsibly. There are many types of THC. They are different versions of the same molecule, with extremely similar makeup, but small differences in potency and effects.
Delta-9 THC – the most well-known, prevalent in marijuana. It is a schedule 1 controlled substance federally unless under 0.3% by weight. This is why hemp licensed stores can carry THC edibles and sell them to people over 21. They contain less than 0.3% Delta-9 THC by weight.
Delta-8 THC - the “mellower cousin” – it leans more relaxing and is about 50% as potent as Delta-9 (mg for mg). It is currently legal in Florida and Hemp licensed stores can sell it to people over 21.
Delta-10 THC – the energizing “mellower cousin” – also less potent, but more uplifting.
THCP (Tetrahydrocannabiphorol) – the most potent of all natural THCs – reputed to have 33x the binding affinity of Delta-9 THC. Small quantities of THCP are commonly added to Delta- 8 THC vapes to increase the potency while remaining legal.
THC-O – A 100% synthetic compound, not present in the plant in nature, originally created as a biological weapon. It is illegal in the state of Florida and not carried by Blue Lotus.
THCA – The acidic precursor to Delta-9 THC, which becomes Delta-9 THC upon heating. THCA is not specifically prohibited by Florida law. However, FDACS has rules disallowing it, so we don’t carry it either.
Strains (Varieties of Plants)
Strain: A specific variety of cannabis distinguished by its genetics, appearance, aroma and effects.
Indica: One of the main cannabis species known for its relaxing and sedative effects, often used for relaxation and sleep aid. Think Indica – into couch.
Sativa: Another main cannabis species associated with uplifting and energizing effects, used for increased creativity and focus.
Hybrid: A cannabis strain bred from a combination of indica and sativa genetics, aiming to combine the effects of both.
Terpenes: Organic compounds responsible for the aroma and flavor of cannabis. They can also interact with cannabinoids, influencing the overall effects. The different blends of terpenes give each stain its unique aroma and flavor characteristics. They also add effects and help the cannabis “lean” more relaxing or more uplifting.
Delivery Methods for Cannabis
– All can be used for consumption of almost any primary cannabinoid.
Dabbing: A method of consuming cannabis concentrates, where a small amount of concentrate is vaporized and inhaled.
Capsules / Softgels: Convenient choice for those who don’t care for oil and need to avoid the sugar in gummies. Capsules come in all kinds of different doses.
Edibles: Cannabis-infused food or beverages, which provide a slower onset but longer-lasting effects compared to smoking. These include CBD gummies, THC chocolates, beverages, cereal treats and more!
Joint (AKA Pre Roll): A cannabis cigarette rolled with rolling papers for smoking. Inhalation provides the fastest onset, but the shortest length of effects.
Tincture (Oil): An oil-based cannabis extract, often consumed by placing drops under the tongue. Most tinctures are made with MCT oil from coconuts, though Hemp seed oil and olive oil are sometimes used. MCT oil has a longer shelf life.
Topical: Cannabinoids can be added to any massage oil, lotion, gel, cream, or salve. Topical application is effective for local pain only. That is, they only affect the area where they are applied. They work well for muscle soreness and inflamed joints.
Vaporizer (Vape): A device used to heat cannabis without combustion, producing vapor for inhalation. Vape “carts” (short for cartridge) require a separate battery to heat them. Disposable vapes are an all-in-one unit containing oil and battery.
Who can Sell Cannabis:
Dispensary: A licensed store where cannabis classified as marijuana and products derived from marijuana are legally sold. In Florida, dispensaries require a Medical Marijuana card issued by the state.
Cannabis Store (aka Hemp Store, CBD Store) – these can include establishments like Blue Lotus, smoke shops, and supplement shops. In Florida and many other states, almost any store can obtain a license to sell Hemp-derived products. Therefore, you can find cannabis products in gas stations and quality wellness stores alike. We cannot vouch for the quality or efficacy of products carried by the first. 😊
Decarboxylation: The process of heating cannabis to activate its cannabinoids, this converts the “raw” or acidic form of the cannabinoids into their “active” version. This means converting CBDA into CBD and the non-psychoactive THCA into the psychoactive THC. This can be done during extraction, post extraction, by burning the flower, by heating the oil, or by baking edibles. The typical temperature for decarboxylation is 200-300 degrees F. Most cannabis products other than smokable flower are already decarboxylated and “ready to use.” The exception to this is the CBDA and THCA products, which purposely preserve the raw form.
Extraction: The process of extracting cannabinoids and other beneficial compounds from the cannabis plant. Each extraction method has its advantages and disadvantages, and the choice of method often depends on the desired product, safety considerations, and scalability. Some extraction methods decarboxylate during extraction. Here are some of the most common types of cannabis extraction:
a. Ethanol Extraction: Involves soaking the cannabis plant material in ethanol (high-grade alcohol) to dissolve cannabinoids and other compounds. The mixture is then filtered and evaporated to remove the solvent, leaving behind a concentrated extract.
b. Hydrocarbon Extraction: Uses hydrocarbon solvents (such as butane or propane) to extract cannabinoids and terpenes. The solvent is then purged from the extract, usually through a vacuum process, to ensure no residual solvent remains. Blue Lotus does not carry any products that use hydrocarbon extraction.
c. Supercritical CO2 Extraction: Utilizes pressurized carbon dioxide (CO2) in its supercritical state to extract cannabinoids and other compounds. CO2 acts as a solvent under specific conditions, and once the extraction is complete, it can be depressurized, allowing the CO2 to revert to its gaseous state, leaving behind a clean extract.
Olive Oil Extraction:
Involves heating cannabis plant material in olive oil to extract cannabinoids. The resulting product is not as concentrated as other methods, but it is safe and easy to do at home.
Rosin Press Extraction:
Uses pressure and heat to extract cannabinoids and terpenes from cannabis flowers or hash without the need for solvents. It is a relatively simple and safe method, often used by home enthusiasts.
We hope you enjoyed this summary of some of the most common cannabis terminology. We are always happy to talk with you to give additional details or help you select the right product for your needs. Please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 407-235-0653.