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CBD: Complex to Simple Terms

Posted by World of Hemp on

Aside from learning your dosage, there are quite a few scientific concepts and terms you’ll likely encounter when you start looking into using CBD. We frequently read through current medical journals for most up to date research into the impact adding CBD to your diet can have. We’ve put together some example statements we frequently come across and will explain each of the more complex terms that commonly crop up. 

Sublingual application offers one of the highest bioavailability levels. Administering CBD in this way may have an antiemetic effect⁽¹⁾.”


This refers to the practice of administering drops under the tongue. Your mouth is essentially covered in a mucous membrane which is filled with blood vessels. By allowing a CBD tincture to settle on this membrane it can be absorbed quickly into your blood vessels.


This terms simply refers to how readily your body will absorb something. Essentially, whatever you put into your system will absorb at different rates and in different amounts. Oral drops administered under the tongue, edibles like gummies, capsules and inhaling CBD through vaping all have different bioavailability rates. The highest and fastest absorption method is vaping and the slowest and least bioavailable is through capsules. 


CBD can have an antiemetic effect⁽¹⁾ which means it can reduce the feeling of nausea and help prevent vomiting.  

Essentially, the above statement translates to:

“Applying CBD under the tongue offers one of the highest absorption rates of any product type and may help with feelings of nausea.”

CBD oral drops

“The endocannabinoid system serves to synthesize both endogenous and exogenous cannabinoids through CB1 and CB2 cannabinoid receptors spread throughout the brain, nervous system and immune system.”

Endocannabinoid system:

The name for the system in your body that’s made up of receptors designed to synthesise cannabinoids. It regulates physiological complaints like pain⁽²⁾ and inflammation⁽³⁾ to psychological functions like stress, cortisol levels⁽⁴⁾ and sleep patterns. 

Cannabinoid receptor:

The name for the receptors in your endocannabinoid system. There are two kinds, CB1 and CB2, both of which have slightly different functions. CB1 receptors are spread throughout the brain, nervous system and other vital organs. They normalise pain and inflammation as well as mood function. The CB2 receptors are fewer in number and are predominantly found in the immune system as well as the spleen, gut and in the brain. They help regulate mood to an extent but are particularly important for healthy immune function⁽⁵⁾. 


If something is endogenous, it means it’s a substance or chemical your body produces within itself. Your body produces its own cannabinoids for use in the ECS but can also use cannabinoids from external sources too. 


This refers to anything that comes from an external source. In the same way your body can’t make vitamin D so you get it from sunshine (or a supplement) you can also get cannabinoids by using CBD - making them exogenous cannabinoids. 

In simple terms the above statement translates to:

“Your body is able to synthesize cannabinoids that are created internally as well as from external sources. This takes place in receptors that are spread throughout your vital organs, brain and immune system.”

CBD compound harvester

“In the absence of an adequate amount of endocannabinoids, the human body and endocannabinoid system can be supplemented with exogenous phytocannabinoids like cannabidiol. A normally functioning endocannabinoid system contributes to homeostasis.” 


Endocannabinoids are your endogenous (internally) produced cannabinoids. Your body uses these to support normal function across the ECS however some people can have lower levels than others, or have a system that’s less capable of synthesising them. When your body is thrown out of kilter as far as stress goes or if you’re suffering from pain or an injury, you can support your ECS by supplementing with external sources. 


This term refers to cannabinoids that have been derived from the hemp plant. It encompasses all cannabinoids, including CBD, CBN, THC and CBC etc. CBD doesn’t attach directly onto the neurotransmitter itself, rather it acts as a key to make it easier for your own endocannabinoids to be synthesised. 


Cannabidiol is simply the full name of the CBD phytocannabinoid. 


This term refers to the normal function and regulation of internal processes, regardless of changes in external influences. For example, being able to remain relatively calm in a stressful situation or maintaining a normal body temperature on a hot day. In the instance of using CBD, this would refer to the regulation of the ECS which supports both psychological and physiological function despite daily stressors. 

In simple terms the original statement translates to:

“If your body has a low level of its own cannabinoids or is having difficulty synthesising them, supplementing with CBD can improve the function of the ECS. This in turn can support a feeling of general wellbeing.” 

CBD distillation

“Separating phytocannabinoids from the hemp plant is often done so by utilising the supercritical CO2 extraction method. This allows the non-psychoactive cannabinoids like CBD to be isolated from trace amounts of psychoactive cannabinoids like THC.”

Supercritical CO2 extraction:

This method of extracting cannabinoids from the hemp plant is generally considered the best. It retains the structural integrity of the compounds as well as the organic nature of the product (if the hemp has been organically farmed). It doesn’t use any solvents, rather heat is passed over the harvested plants to get them to release their oils. These are then further processed to separate out things like THC, leaving only CBD isolate and the naturally occurring terpenes in the plant. The industrial hemp that CBD is usually extracted from has incredibly low levels of THC anyway but is naturally high in CBD. 


If a substance is psychoactive (like THC) it will cause changes to brain function that can change perception, mood and motor function. 


A non-psychoactive substance will not have any mind-altering effect, though it may still be absorbed and synthesised by your body. CBD is an example of a non-psychoactive cannabinoid which is why it’s safe for daily use without any other ill-effects. 

The above statement roughly translates to: 

"Cannabinoids can be extracted from the hemp plant using heat. They are then separated into their base components like CBD and terpenes can either be left in tact or removed to create CBD isolate."


  1. Regulation of nausea and vomiting by cannabinoids - ncbi.nlm.nih.gov 
  2. The Endocannabinoid System, Cannabinoids, and Pain - ncbi.nlm.nih.gov 
  3. The Endocannabinoid System as an Emerging Target of Pharmacotherapy -  ncbi.nlm.nih.gov
  4. Effect of cannabidiol on plasma prolactin, growth hormone and cortisol in human volunteers - ncbi.nlm.nih.gov 
  5. An introduction to the endogenous cannabinoid system - ncbi.nlm.nih.gov

Medical Disclaimer

The World of Hemp website contains general information about diet, health, wellbeing and nutrition. This is general information and should be considered as is and not as specific medical advice to treat specific conditions. World of Hemp makes no representations or warranties in relation to the health information on this website and as such you should not rely on this information as an alternative to advice given by a doctor or specialist medical practitioner. Read disclaimer in full.

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