Medical Cannabis Glossary of Terms

 

The Cannabis Plant

Buds: A term used to define the flower of the plant where the cannabinoids, or medicine, grow and are housed in the plant. Only female plants produce these flowers that are used by humans for cannabis consumption. 

Cannabidiol (CBD): The second most prevalent active ingredient of the cannabis plant, it is one of many cannabinoids found in the plant. It is most commonly known for its anti-inflammatory and non-intoxicating properties. 

Cannabis: A group of plants with psychoactive properties, encompassing the cannabis indica, cannabis sativa, and cannabis ruderalis plants. 

Flower: A general term that describes the usable part of the cannabis plant for medical purposes. The plant is generally grown for the purpose of harvesting these flowers, which host the trichomes and phytocannabinoids.  

Hemp: A variety of the cannabis sativa plant known for its industrial use for fibers, paper, biodegradable plastics, paint, biofuel, and more. Hemp contains such negligible amounts of Tetrahydrocannabinol, there are usually no potential psychoactive effects. 

Hybrid: A genetic crossbreeding of two or more cannabis plants, often bred together to inherit traits from both parent plants. While they are typically either more sativa or indica dominant, they can provide a more balanced combination of therapeutic effects. 

Indica: A subspecies of the cannabis plant, indica strains are short and bushy plants that are associated with relaxation and assistance with sleep. They often contain higher levels of CBD than the sativa plant, and generally grow more quickly to produce higher yields. 

Phytocannabinoids: Plant derived cannabinoids produced by the trichomes which cover the surface of the plant’s flowers. Trichomes are responsible for producing almost all of the plant’s medically beneficial compounds. When consumed, these act on our bodies naturally occuring receptors in our endocannabinoid system amongst other receptors. 

Sativa: A tall & skinny plant, cannabis sativa is known for its uplifting and energizing effects. During growth, the sativa plant can take up to 100 days before flowering. 

Terpenes: Aromatic compounds found in many plants that affect the taste and smell of a plant. Depending on the plant type, and external factors such as the environment where it is grown, there are thousands of different types of terpenes that can be produced in a plant. Some of the more common ones include limonene, linalool, pinene, & eucalyptol. 

Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC): Delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol, better known as THC, is one of the most well known cannabinoids in the cannabis plant. As the primary component in the plant that can cause a psychological effect when consumed, it contains a wide variety of potentially medicinal benefits including sleep assistance, muscle relaxation, pain relief, and much more. 

Trichomes: Fat-based, hairlike appendages found on the surface of the plant that house and contain the medicinal cannabinoids, terpenes, and flavonoids. While beneficial to us for consumption, they also serve a purpose to the plants by offering a resin surface that helps protect the flowers against fungus and insects. As a grower, the color and cloudiness can assist in knowing when the plant is ready to harvest. 

Weed: A slang term for cannabis or marijuana. 

Biology

Cannabinoids: Naturally occurring compounds found in cannabis plants and in the human body. There are three subsets of cannabinoids: endocannabinoids, phytocannabinoids, and synthetic cannabinoids. Cannabinoids act on receptors in the endocannabinoid system in our body. The most well known phytocannabinoids are tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) & cannabidiol (CBD). 

CB1: Cannabinoid receptor type 1 is part of your innate endocannabinoid system, and plays an important role by regulating many bodily functions and effects. Primarily found in the brain, central nervous system, lungs, liver and kidneys, they can be thought of as THC receptors. CB1 is the target of endocannabinoids, anandamide and 2-AG.

CB2: An important part of our body’s endogenous cannabinoid system, it is heavily involved in regulating our immune system and fighting inflammation. Mostly found on immune cells, when inflammation occurs, CB2 receptors help inhibit inflammatory signaling pathways in order to help bring things back to homeostasis. 

Endocannabinoid System: A biological and molecular system in our bodies, it is composed of neurotransmitters and receptors that is responsible for regulating many processes and systems in our body including immune response, cell communication, memory, and much more. 

Endocannabinoids: Endogenous lipid-based retrograde neurotransmitters, endocannabinoids are naturally produced in the body (endogenous) and act on the endocannabinoid system to help maintain homeostasis (balance) within many different systems in our body. 

Cannabis Products & Medicines

Cart / Cartridge: A prefilled cartridge of cannabis oil concentrate to be used with a vaporizer battery. It usually contains a variety of cannabinoids and terpenes extracted from a cannabis plant. The attachment piece or “thread” must match between the cartridge and battery for the two to work together, for example the 510 thread vape cartridges. 

Concentrates: The distilled down version of the medicinal parts of the cannabis plant. These concentrates can be consumed in a wide variety of options, including inhalation, edibles, topicals, and more.  Extracts are also a type of concentrate and are made using a specific solvent. 

Edibles: Food or beverages infused with cannabis. These can range from beverages and confectionery, all the way to gourmet meals. These products can have a different effect on a person than a traditional oil or softgels, with some effects felt sooner, as the cannabis has been altered chemically in order to place the cannabinoids inside the food or beverage item. 

Infuse: To embed cannabis or cannabinoids into another product such as oils and edibles. 

Ingestibles: Any form of cannabis that can be taken orally and is processed by the liver in your body. 

Tincture: An alcohol-based cannabis product extract, usually consumed with a dropper orally or infused into an edible. 

Topicals: An infused cream or lotion that is used on a localized area of the body’s surface. The cannabinoids are absorbed through the skin, and do not enter the bloodstream. 

Vaporizer: A device used to heat up cannabis without reaching the burning point, to create a mist or steam rather than smoke for inhalation. There are both flower and oil concentrate based vaporizers available depending on the preference of the patient. Apollo offers a wide variety of vaporizers to it’s patients for purchase. <<Link to vape sheet>> Mark McGown

Wax: A potent cannabis extract with a wax-like texture. 

Medical Cannabis Terminology

Access to Cannabis for Medical Purposes Regulations (ACMPR): Replacing the MMPR in 2014, it once again allowed medical cannabis patients to grow their own medicine and laid out other legal groundworks for medical cannabis in Canada. 

Dosage: The recommended dose of medicine prescribed by your physician or educator. It will include the amount, as well as frequency for a patient to take their medication. Your dosage is dependent on the mg of CBD and/or THC in the product, ingestion method, and symptomatology of the patient. 

Licensed Producer (LP): A company that has been approved by Health Canada  to grow, produce, and sell cannabis and cannabis products. 

Marijuana/marihuana: Another word for cannabis. 

Marihuana Medical Access Regulations (MMAR): The first Canadian medical marijuana program that was the legal framework from 2001 until 2014. 

Marihuana for Medical Purposes Regulations (MMPR): Canada’s second legal framework to govern medical cannabis.

The Entourage Effect: The Entourage Effect refers to the way marijuana’s chemicals—called cannabinoids—interact when they’re present together.  Terpenes, which are responsible for the smell of each plant strain, are also involved in this effect. Each cannabinoid has its own set of therapeutic benefits. However, when multiple cannabinoids are consumed, they enhance each other’s effects. In this way, cannabinoids are more effective together than they are alone.

Endocannabinoid Deficiency Syndrome: A theory that suggests that low endocannabinoid levels in your body can contribute to the development of certain symptoms and conditions. This may be one of the reasons that phytocannabinoids may be able to assist with bringing your body back to homeostasis.