Glossary of Terms


Analyte (on a COA) – A chemical, compound, element, bacteria, yeast, fungus, or toxin to be tested or measured.

Bioavailability – Bioavailability is a measurement of the rate and extent to which a molecule reaches the site of action. In the case of CBD, it is the extent of cannabidiol molecules reaching the endocannabinoid receptors.

Blood-Brain Barrier – A barrier between the brain’s blood vessels (capillaries) and the cells and other components that make up brain tissue. The purpose of the blood-brain barrier is to protect against circulating toxins or pathogens that could cause brain infections, while at the same time allowing vital nutrients to reach the brain. It also helps maintain relatively constant levels of hormones, nutrients, and water in the brain.

Cannabidiol (CBD) – Pronounced “ka-nə-bə-ˈdī-ˌȯl” – The primary cannabinoid found in hemp and the 2nd most abundant cannabinoid found in cannabis. It is non-intoxicating (meaning no “high” is felt) and is often used by people (and animals) seeking the potential health benefits of cannabis products without the high or breaking federal law.

Cannabinoids – Pronounced “kə-ˈna-bə-ˌnȯid” – Active chemical compounds found naturally in the seeds, stalk and flowers of cannabis plants. Cannabinoids are sort of like chemical messengers. Their job in the body is to help regulate the endocannabinoid system (defined below) to maintain homeostasis (balance). Currently, there are over 110 known cannabinoids, with more likely to be discovered as studies continue to reveal the complex molecular structures of the cannabis plant. Some of the cannabinoids that you may be familiar with are THC, CBD, CBN, CBG, and CBC.

Cannabinoid Receptors – Pronounced “kə-ˈna-bə-ˌnȯid” – A class of cell membrane receptors found throughout the body. Cannabinoid receptors are a crucial component of the body’s endocannabinoid system (defined below) and work closely with cannabinoids. When they come together, they trigger a series of reactions designed to bring functions back into balance. There are two primary cannabinoid receptors – Type 1 (CB1) and Type 2 (CB2).

Cannabinoid Receptor Type 1 (CB1) – Pronounced “kə-ˈna-bə-ˌnȯid” – Mainly located in the brain and nervous system, as well as in the lungs, liver, and kidneys.

Cannabinoid Receptor Type 2 (CB2) – Pronounced “kə-ˈna-bə-ˌnȯid” – Mainly located in the immune system, with a heavy concentration in the spleen and in the gastrointestinal system.

Cannabinol (CBN) – Pronounced “kuh-nab-uh-nawl” – Sometimes referred to as “aged cannabis”. CBN is one of the lesser-known cannabinoids found in the cannabis plant. It is sometimes known for its powerful sedative properties. CBN shares a very similar chemical composition to THC and is thought to primarily bind with the CB2 receptor but may also interact with the CB1 receptor.

CBD Drops (Tincture) – At NGO we say “drops” while other companies may say “tincture.” Essentially, they are interchangeable words for the same type of product. Put simply, CBD drops/tinctures are potent liquid extracts of hemp combined with alcohol and/or other carrier oils like MCT. They tend to work relatively fast and have a long shelf life.

CBD Isolate Powder – This form of CBD is the most purified. After a distillation extraction, the product oil will go through a subsequent purification step to produce a crystalline powder of over 99% CBD molecules. All other plant matter contained in the hemp plant such as oils, waxes, terpenes, vitamins, minerals, THC, chlorophyll, and more are removed, offering a finished product that’s CBD and nothing more.

CBD Vape Pods – Pod systems provide CBD users with a convenient and effective way to enjoy the many benefits of CBD oil in vape form. They are pre-filled, disposable once empty, are interchangeable, and designed to be put inside a specific type of vaporizer.

Certificate of Analysis – A document issued by an analytical testing lab that reports back data on a cannabis sample. A common list of tests in the cannabis industry is: cannabinoid percentage, terpene percentage, water percentage, water activity, residual solvents, pesticides, microbials, mycotoxins, and heavy metals.

CO2 Extraction – A solvent-based extraction process that uses carbon dioxide in its supercritical state (above its critical point) for an efficient method for creating potent concentrates. Supercritical CO2 looks like a dense fog and has no surface tension, so it moves through vegetative material like a gas in a gaseous state yet it dissolves trichomes. A CO2 oil comprises of cannabinoids, terpenes, and waxes. CO2 is a tunable solvent, so different cannabinoids and terpenes can be targeted by changing the pressure and temperature of the extraction. For a highly purified oil, scientists will put the CO2 oil through a distillation process to bring the cannabinoid content up to 85%+. This is the most expensive extraction method, and is widely considered the most effective and safest plant extraction method in the world.

CO2 Oil – A potent concentrate made from supercritical CO2 extraction. CO2 oil is typically 50-80% cannabinoids with a potent terpene profile.

Crude Hemp – Cheap biomass extract that is used as the input for a distillation process.

Delivery Method – The way CBD is delivered into your body. In order to get the desired effects of cannabinoids, users have multiple options for its delivery method. Topicals, drops, vaporizing, and even our new toothpicks are all viable methods for delivering CBD into the body. There are pros and cons to each method, differing in the overall effectiveness and desired treatment result.

Disposable Vape Pen – A handheld vaping device. The oil, atomizer, battery and other components are all contained within the pen. The pens come pre-charged and do not require charging. To trigger the heating element, simply inhale. Once the CBD is gone you can throw away the pen and purchase a new one.

Distillate Oil – Distillate is a potent oil generated from a distillation process. This process uses heat to evaporate the volatile molecules in the biomass such as terepens, THC, and CBD. After the molecules evaporate, they are cooled back down into a liquid oil while leaving behind all of the other plant matter. Distillate oil has the highest cannabinoid contents, with most oils containing above 85%. Since heat is used during distillation, the final oil has already been decarboxylated, so it can be infused into other products such as gummies. The most common forms of distillate on the market are THC oil and CBD oil.

Endocannabinoids – Pronounced “en·do·can·na·bi·noid” – The cannabinoids naturally produced in the human body. Their purpose is to work with the endocannabinoid system (defined below) to help maintain homeostasis (balance) in the body.

Endocannabinoid System (ECS) – Pronounced “en·do·can·na·bi·noid” – Present in all mammals, this system plays a crucial role in regulating our physiology, mood, and everyday experience. It works with the central and peripheral nervous systems to help maintain proper function and signaling procedures. Cannabinoid receptors throughout the body are associated with aiding the ECS with maintaining balance. Some of the major systems of the body that work with the endocannabinoid system include the digestive system, memory, immune system, and mood.

Entourage Effect – A benefit you can get from ingesting multiple components of the cannabis plant together instead of ingesting one component at a time. The entourage effect occurs when all of the cannabinoids and terpenes of a cannabis strain or hemp plant work together. The main three components of cannabis plants that are thought to provide you with the benefits of the entourage effect are phytocannabinoids, terpenes, and flavonoids (all defined below).

Flavonoids – Flavonoids are compounds in plants that give plants their pigmentation (color), filter out UV rays, attract pollinators, and prevent plant diseases. There are about 20 flavonoids in cannabis. Flavonoids are important because they have shown to have beneficial effects such as antioxidant, antifungal, anti-bacterial, and anti-allergic activity.

Full-Spectrum CBD Oil – Full-spectrum means that all of a plant’s natural contents are present in the extracted oil. Full-spectrum hemp extraction leaves any present cannabinoids, lipids, waxes, vitamins, and terpenes intact. Full-spectrum CBD oil must contain less than 0.3% THC.

Heat-Based Extraction – An example of heat-based extraction is rosin extracts. Instead of chemical solvent extraction such as butane, ethanol, or carbon dioxide, rosin relies on heat and pressure to squeeze out cannabinoids and terpenes. A rosin machine looks like a large hair straightener!

Hemp Oil – Hemp oil is the essential oil extracted from the hemp plant. While this type of oil can be extracted from all plants in the cannabis genus, industrial hemp is the only plant used for hemp oil.

Hemp Seed Oil – Hemp seed oil is oil pressed from hemp seed and contains no CBD. This can often be found in the aisles of the grocery stores and is an ingredient in many nutritional and cosmetic products. If you are looking for the benefits of CBD, you should be aware that hemp seed oil does not contain the beneficial CBD compound.

Homogeneity – A measure of or the degree to which multiple units from a batch are similar. Oil and water don’t mix! Here’s an example. When oil separates out in salad dressing that has been sitting in the refrigerator, the dressing is not homogenized or has a low degree of homogeneity.

Industrial Hemp – Comes from the Cannabaceae family and has been used worldwide to produce a variety of industrial and consumer products. In the United States, production is controlled under drug enforcement laws. To produce industrial hemp in the United States, the grower must obtain a permit from the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA). There are some 50,000 products that can be made from industrial hemp.

Ingesting – When you deliver a substance into the body by swallowing it.

ISO 17025 Accreditation – In most countries, ISO/IEC 17025 is the standard for which analytical laboratories must hold accreditation in order to be deemed technically competent.

Kilos – Short for the unit of measurement, kilogram(s).

Limit of Detection (on a COA) – The lowest quantity of a substance or analyte that can be positively identified as present in an analytical sample.

Limit of Quantitation (on a COA) – The lowest quantity of a substance or analyte that can be accurately measured to a given confidence level.

Microdosing – A dosing technique involving taking smaller, more consistent doses of cannabis or CBD. Rather than consuming a full day’s worth of CBD at one time, the serving is broken into smaller sizes and taken several times. By taking a CBD supplement several times throughout the day, you may be better able to maintain stable CBD levels. Discovering an individual’s ideal CBD microdose requires self-experimentation.

Phytocannabinoids – The naturally occurring cannabinoids found in the cannabis plant. There are 113 known phytocannabinoids in the cannabis plant, including CBD, CBN, THC, etc. CBD is a phytocannabinoid with the ability to mirror cannabinoids that the body produces itself (endocannabinoids). ‘Phyto’ is simply a prefix meaning “pertaining to derived from plants.” Most people refer to phytocannabinoids simply as cannabinoids.

Psychoactive – Affecting the mind or behavior.

Rechargeable Vape Pen – A handheld vaping device that uses a rechargeable battery. Unlike disposable vape pens, these pens use interchangeable/disposable vape pods filled with CBD and the pen itself can be used over and over again until the battery needs to be recharged.

Crystallization/Recrystallization – A technique used to purify chemicals. This is the final step in purifying chemicals such as CBD isolate. Here is an example. After cannabis distillation, CBD may be present in the oil. If there is a lot of CBD present, then the oil may be supersaturated with CBD molecules. In this case, the CBD molecules will begin to bind with each other forming crystal. These crystals constitute CBD isolate.

Solvent Based Extraction – Solvent-based extractions use organic solvents such as butane, ethanol, and carbon dioxide to pull out the valuable content in cannabis. Heat based extractions, such as rosin presses, don’t use any solvents.

Sublingual – A delivery method that means “under the tongue.” The reason for this method of administration is that products can enter the bloodstream better or faster this way.

Terpenoids/Terpenes – Terpenoids are metabolites of terpenes. Terpenoids represent the largest and most diverse class of beneficial, naturally occurring plant chemicals. More than 40,000 individual terpenoids exist, and new ones are discovered every year. Each terpene can have a different benefit. Accumulating research suggests terpenoids may help prevent metabolic disorders, exert anti-aging benefits and more. Terpenes are what give cannabis and hemp its flavor and aroma. Terpenes may be listed as ingredients on some CBD products. Common terpenes are beta-caryophyllene, limonene, linalool, terpineol, and myrcene.

Topical/Topically – A delivery method that means that it is applied to a particular place on the body. Most often topical administration means application to body surfaces such as the skin.

Vaping – Vaping is the act of inhaling and exhaling vapor produced by products such as CBD.

Water Soluble CBD – Made using a process known as nano-emulsification, which breaks down CBD clusters into micro-sized particles that can be homogenized with water-based solutions. This is necessary for CBD products such as CBD beverages because CBD is what is known as a hydrophobic compound, meaning it does not mix well with water.

Winterization – An extraction process that further purifies a hemp extract. During this process, hemp oil is soaked in alcohol and then frozen to separate out the waxes. It also removes additional phytonutrients such as terpenes.

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