Hemp & CBD Terms Defined and Explained: A Glossary

Defining and Explaining Popular CBD Terms

There’s a wealth of hemp and CBD hemp related products on the market right now and with it. You’ve likely heard a lot of CBD terms being thrown around: broad spectrum, isolate, full-spectrum, indica, sativa, etc. The list really is endless and there’s a lot of terminology out there that probably sounds like gibberish.

We thought we’d define and explain some of the more confusing cannabis terms you’ve been hearing with a list of helpful definitions in one hemp and CBD glossary right here. Read on for CBD and hemp terms defined and explained below.

CBD terms

Endocannabinoid System:

The human biological system that interacts with chemical compounds, such as THC, CBD, CBG, and many others.

Our endocannabinoid system (ECS) also plays a pivotal role in regulating crucial functions in human biology (i.e., homeostasis).

Throughout the ECS, there are endocannabinoids, which are neurotransmitters that bind to cannabinoid receptors. Then, cannabinoid receptor proteins are dispersed throughout the central nervous system (including the brain) and peripheral nervous system. These cannabinoid receptor proteins interact our with our body to produce different effects.


Cannabinoid is the term used to classify any compound comprised of cannabinol or any other traces of cannabis. 

Cannabinoids are the active chemicals in marijuana and hemp. They resemble biological compounds that play a role in appetite, memory, movement, and pain.

There are 140+ cannabinoids, all promoting different effects on the body and working together to provide relief from pain and quell anxiety. 

Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC):

THC is the cannabinoid responsible for “high” people get from cannabis. THC is a chemical that triggers psychoactive effects.

THC makes it seem as though cannabinoid chemicals are naturally produced in the body. It does so by attaching to and then activating cannabinoid receptors. This reaction affects a user’s memory, pleasure, movements, thinking, concentration, etc.

The amount of THC in a product determines whether the product is considered a cannabis product, and therefore heavily regulated at the federal and state level, or if it is a hemp product, and therefore subject to less stringent regulations. In Sky & Wyatt teas, for example, we use hemp flower that is abundant in many cannabinoids like CBD, but bred to have very little (<.3%) THC. This makes Sky & Wyatt a hemp product, legal in all 50 states, rather than a cannabis product. 


Terpenes are essential oils that give the cannabis and hemp flower its distinct smell.  Terpenes are known mainly for their strong, enticing odors. All plants have terpenes in different amounts and proportions. 

There are 100-plus unique terpenes and each strain of hemp flower. Terpenes are widely considered to interact with cannabinoids to produce the unique effects felt from different cannabis and hemp products.

Cannabidiol (CBD):

CBD is derived from hemp, it is one of the many cannabinoids.

CBD is considered to be non-psychoactive—in other words, it won’t get users high. CBD is the cannabinoid that researchers have found to have a range of therepuratic and medical benefits

There is an abundance of research indicating that CBD-based products such as oils, capsules, and of course teas, have a litany of health benefits. Many experts believe CBD can effectively treat inflammation, anxiety, poor gut health, and insomnia, etc.


Most researchers agree that to maximize the benefits of hemp and CBD, full-spectrum products should be used. Full-spectrum means the product contains all of the naturally occurring cannabinoids and terpenes, as opposed to just a single compound (like only CBD or only THC)

By definition, a full-spectrum product is going to contain trace amounts of THC. So long as that THC stays below .3% by dry-weight, the product is totally legal and will not cause any sort of “high”. 

Full-spectrum products include all the other great compounds found in hemp such as terpenes, cannabinoids, and flavonoids. Individually, these various kinds of plant matter possess tremendous therapeutic value and contribute to the entourage effect (discussed below).

It’s believed that full-spectrum hemp products is far more potent and impactful at treating symptoms than CBD isolates (discussed below).

CBD Isolate:

CBD isolate completely pure CBD (about 99.9%).

As the name “isolate” suggests, the CBD is removed from everything else in the plant matter (e.g., terpenes, waxes, oils, THC). 

In order to extract CBD from the hemp flower, producers use a range of chemicals, solvents, and energy-intensive manufacturing processes. Many are dubious of the effects of CBD on its own, and most recommend finding CBD products that contain other plant-compounds.

Broad-Spectrum CBD:

Broad-spectrum hemp products are almost identical to full-spectrum, except for the fact that producers have made steps to reduce the THC to essentially 0. 

While broad-spectrum hemp offers many of the health benefits of the full-spectrum variant, users don’t have to worry about trace amounts of THC being found in their system.

Entourage Effect:

The Entourage Effect is the harmonious interaction between flavonoids, fatty acids, terpenes, and cannabinoids found in cannabis.

The entourage effect is what accounts for most of the medicinal benefits in cannabis-related and CBD products.

Since the entourage effect requires the ingesting of multiple components of the cannabis plant together, it can only be experienced through broad-or-full-spectrum hemp product, which our tea is, of course!


Decarboxylation is one of those poorly understood CBD terms. Decarboxylating hemp or cannabis flower is a critical step to allowing your body to reap the benefits of these plant compounds.

Decarboxylation is mainly used as the first step in cooking with cannabis, necessitating the use of low heat for an extended period. This method converts THCA and CBDA into the more active THC and CBD. Decarboxylation refers to the removal of the carboxyl group (the “A”). 


Extraction is the process of concentrating a cannabis plant’s most potent elements.

Extraction removes oils found in a plants’ trichomes. It produces some of the most potent cannabinoid-based products on the market and is commonly utilized in making edibles, candies, and infused beverages.


Trichomes are minuscule, mushroom-shaped, and responsible for producing cannabinoids, terpenes, and flavonoids.

Trichomes protect against plant predators because of their bitter taste and intense aromas. They also fend off environmental factors, such as strong winds and UV rays.


To make distillate products, cannabinoids, terpenes, and flavonoids are pulled from the cannabis plant matter together through various extraction processes to produce concentrates.

From there, these compounds are distilled into their purest form. Known as “short path distillation,” this process produces single compound oils (the distillate) of nearly 100% purity.   

Hemp Flower:

Hemp is a type of Cannabis sativa plant species with naturally low concentrations of THC and high levels of CBD. For our Sky & Wyatt products, we use Colorado-grown hemp flower that has been decarboxylated. This means our teas contain the purest, most natural cannabinoids and terpenes. Check them out here.

Because our hemp is so low in THC, there are no psychoactive effects in our products.