What Does CBD Stand For?

Every new industry has its fair share of jargon and the CBD industry is no different. There are so many three-letter abbreviations that it’s easy to feel a little turned around. 

In this post, we’re going to cover a few of these abbreviations, including:

  • What does CBD stand for? 
  • What does THC stand for? 
  • What is a C.o.A.? 

By the end of this post, you’ll know what CBD stands for and much more.


What Does CBD Stand For CBD Molecule
Credit: Nationwide Testing Association, Inc.

What Does CBD Stand For?

CBD is an abbreviation for cannabidiol. The letters CBD come from within the word shown here: Canna-Bi-Diol.

CBD is one of the more than 113 cannabinoids, or chemical compounds, found in hemp and cannabis. Cannabinoids are under-researched but present exciting avenues in the health and wellness field. THC is another cannabinoid, but unlike THC, CBD is non-psychoactive and non-addictive. 

Related: What is Cannabidiol?

How Does CBD Work?

CBD interacts with our body as an endocannabinoid system facilitator meaning that it helps optimize our endocannabinoid system responsible for: 

  • Mood 
  • Stress
  • Appetite and metabolism
  • Inflammation

What Are The Benefits Of CBD?

While the research has yet to be confirmed, there are some studies that suggest CBD can help with a number of issues, including:

This post is in no way claiming that CBD can diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent illness or disease.

Is CBD A Drug?

In the most technical sense, yes, CBD is a drug. It’s a naturally-occurring substance that you can take to help relax, improve focus, or help manage sleep. 

CBD is also the main ingredient in Epidiolex, an FDA-approved anti-seizure medication. 

Thanks to the 2018 Farm Bill, CBD was removed from the Controlled Substance Act. While we can think of CBD as a beneficial substance, it would be incorrect to consider CBD a drug in the same way that narcotics are.

Raw hemp rich in CBDa

What Does CBDa Stand For?

The letters CBDa are an abbreviation of cannabidiolic acid, Canna-Bi-Diolic Acid, the acidic precursor molecule of CBD. 

Cannabidiolic acid is mainly found in raw, unprocessed forms of hemp and will convert to CBD via a process called decarboxylation

As of now, less is known about CBDa and its potential benefits, though some early studies indicate that CBD may help with inflammation and seizure management.

What Does THC Stand For?

The only cannabinoid more widely recognized than CBD, THC is an abbreviation of tetrahydrocannabinol (Tetra-Hydro-Cannabinol.) More specifically, THC is often used interchangeably with Δ9-THC— spoken as delta-nine-THC. 

Δ9-THC is a schedule I substance in the United States. Under the greater THC umbrella, some legally murky THC analogs exist, like:

  • Δ8-THC (delta-eight tetrahydrocannabinol) 
  • Δ10-THC (delta-10 tetrahydrocannabinol)
  • THCv (tetrahydrocannabivarin)
  • THC-O (THC-O acetate)
  • HHC (hexahydrocannabinol)
  • And more…

THC and its analogous molecules are best known for their psychoactive properties like euphoria, heightened awareness, and time dilation.

What Does THCa Stand For?

THCa is an abbreviation for tetrahydrocannabinolic acid (Tetra-Hydro-Cannabinolic Acid,) the acidic precursor molecule of THC.

Tetrahydrocannabolic acid is mainly found in raw forms of marijuana and recreational cannabis. THCa will convert into Δ9-THC via decarboxylation.

What Does CBG Stand For?

CBG is short for Cannabigerol (Canna-Bi-Gerol,) another of the dozens of natural cannabinoids produced by hemp and cannabis plants. 

CBG is still relatively under-researched and in pre-clinical stages. As of right now, CBG research is limited to animals, but there are some promising early results like:

  • CBG is believed to have anti-inflammatory properties.
  • CBG has been shown to slow and inhibit tumor growth in animals 
  • CBG is believed to have neuroprotective properties and could further research into Huntington’s Disease, Multiple Sclerosis, and several other auto-immune diseases. 

CBG also has an acidic precursor just like CBD and THC, but CBGa is a little more special than the rest. By way of a process called “CBDa/THCa synthase” CBGa will actually turn into each respective molecule + a hydrogen peroxide molecule. 

It’s also believed that synthase may contribute to the cannabis plant’s self-defense system. Hydrogen peroxide is a powerful antifungal and antibacterial agent.

What Does CBN Stand For? 

CBN is short for cannabinol (Canna-Bi-Nol,) and is another of the dozens of naturally-occurring cannabinoids produced by cannabis plants. CBN, like its precursor cannabinoid THC, is considered to be mildly psychoactive. 

CBN is one of the newest cannabinoids on the market. CBN is underresearched and its potential benefits are probably overhyped. That said, there is some evidence to suggest that CBN may help:

What Does CoA Stand For?

CoA is short for Certificate of Analysis— a document, usually provided by a neutral third-party laboratory, that certifies what’s in a product. In the hemp and cannabis industry, certificates of analysis are used to verify potency, dosing, and to ensure no harmful substances like solvents or heavy metals are in the product. 

You should always ask to be provided a CoA when purchasing CBD or cannabis products. Reputable vendors should happily provide you with one. Have a look at ours here!

We also have a guide explaining in-depth how to read your very own CBD CoA. Learn how to read your CoA here

What Does CBD Stand For: Final Word

CBD is everywhere now: in your soaps, in your candy, and even in your dog’s favorite treats. While knowing what CBD stands for is a great introduction, there’s still plenty to learn about the world of CBD. 

Check out our blogs on CBD, CBN, and how to become a sharper CBD consumer here.

Updated 8/10/2022


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  2. “Endocannabinoid System: A Simple Guide to How It Works.” Healthline, Healthline Media, 17 May 2019, https://www.healthline.com/health/ endocannabinoid-system#how-it-works.
  3. Watson, Kathryn. “Everything You Need to Know About Flavonoids.” Healthline, Healthline Media, 23 Oct. 2019, https://www.healthline.com/health/ what-are-flavonoids-everything-you-need-to-know.
  4. Atalay, Sinemyiz et al. “Antioxidative and Anti-Inflammatory Properties of Cannabidiol.” Antioxidants (Basel, Switzerland) vol. 9,1 21. 25 Dec. 2019, doi:10.3390/antiox9010021
  5. Parker, Linda A et al. “Regulation of nausea and vomiting by cannabinoids.” British journal of pharmacology vol. 163,7 (2011): 1411-22. doi:10.1111/j.1476-5381.2010.01176.x