What does CBD stand for? And the Other ABC’s of Hemp

Every industry has its fair share of technical jargon. The hemp industry is no different. 

“What does CBD stand for?” 

“What about THC?” 

“A C.o.A?” 

It’s easy to get a little turned around in the sea of hemp abbreviations. In this post, we’re going to address some of the more common terms and do our best to dispel any confusion. 

What does CBD stand for? 

CBD is the abbreviation for Canna-Bi-Diol. CBD is one of the many chemical compounds present in cannabis plants. 

What is Cannabidiol? Learn more here

Unlike it’s cousin THC, cannabidiol is not psychoactive. In other words, consuming CBD by itself will not make you feel intoxicated or “high.” This lack of high has even led the World Health Organization to state, “In humans, CBD exhibits no effects indicative of any abuse or dependence potential….To date, there is no evidence of public health-related problems associated with the use of pure CBD.”

How does CBD work? 

CBD interacts with our bodies in a number of ways— the main being with our endocannabinoid system which is a system that helps our bodies regulate:

  • Sleep 

  • Mood

  • Stress

  • General appetite and metabolism

  • Memory and learning

  • Inflammation

Some believe that consuming CBD and other cannabinoids can actually help our endocannabinoid system run more efficiently. There is still plenty of research to be undertaken, but early returns suggest that CBD can help with pain management, feelings of nausea, and symptoms related to inflammation. 

What does CBDa stand for?

CBDa stands for cannabidolic acid. It is the precursor to CBD. Found mainly in raw forms of CBD hemp flower, CBDa will convert to CBD through a process called decarboxylation. 

What does THC stand for? 

Perhaps the one cannabinoid better known than CBD, THC stands for Tetrahydrocannabinol. THC is generally a common stand-in for Δ9-THC (delta-nine tetrahydrocannabinol,) a schedule I substance in the United States. There is also a similar unscheduled molecule known as Δ8-THC (delta-eight tetrahydrocannabinol) that affects our bodies similarly to Δ9-THC.

THC is best known for its psychoactive properties— inducing euphoria in users, heightened awareness, and time dilation. 

What does CBG stand for? 

CBG is short for Cannabigerol, another of the 120 cannabinoids found in hemp. Both CBG and CBD come from the same parent cannabinoid— Cannabigerolic Acid (CBGa for short.) 

CBG research is relatively new and in pre-clinical stages. That said, the benefits of CBG are being studied in animals currently and there are some promising signs: 

  • Like CBD, CBG is believed to have anti-inflammatory properties. 

  • In early animal models, CBG has been shown to slow and inhibit tumor growth. 

  • CBG is believed to have neuroprotective properties. If this is true, the molecule could help further research into treatments for Huntington’s Disease, Multiple Sclerosis, and several other diseases.

Cannabigerolic Acid is the precursor to CBD by way of CBDa Synthase; a process in which CBGa splits into CBDa and hydrogen peroxide. It’s believed that this synthase step may help contribute to the hemp plant’s own self-defense system. CBDa can then become CBD through the same decarboxylation process described above. 

What does CoA stand for? 

CoA stands for Certificate of Analysis— a document provided by a third-party laboratory that certifies the potency of a specific CBD product. 

You should always ask to be provided with a CoA when purchasing (or even looking at) CBD products. Any reputable vendor will happily provide you with one.

Learn how to read your CoA here

What does Kief/Keef stand for?

Kief isn’t an abbreviation, but it does deserve its own little section here. Kief is the name for a collection of trichome heads that develop on flowering cannabis plants. The word itself is derived from the Arabic word meaning pleasure.

Usually, kief is used in conjunction with other cannabis products to enhance the effects. Check out Sunset Lake’s in-depth explainer on kief here.

What does Terps stand for? 

Terps, short for terpenes, refers to the organic compounds in the essential oils that give cannabis flowers their fragrance and flavor. As of this writing, there are believed to be around 120 identifiable terpenes that develop in cannabis.