MEDICAL CANNABIS GLOSSARY OF TERMS
A natural monocyclic sesquiterpene alcohol.
A bicyclic monoterpene.
Cannabinoids are the chemical compounds unique to cannabis that act upon the human body’s cannabinoid receptors, producing various effects which may benefit patients. Cannabis’ primary cannabinoid is tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), which is responsible for the psychoactive effects (or the high). There are over 85 known cannabinoids with varying effects.
Cannabis is a plant genus that produces three species of flowering plants: Cannabis sativa, Cannabis indica and Cannabis ruderalis. All three species are used to produce medical cannabis.
CBD is the abbreviation of cannabidiol, one of at least 85 cannabinoids found in cannabis, and is the second most prevalent cannabinoid after THC. Research has shown that CBD produces a physical effect without the psychoactive effects (the high) associated with THC.
Concentrates are a potent consolidation of cannabinoids made by dissolving cannabis in its plant form into a solvent. Referred to by a variety of slang terms, the classification of concentrates is often dependent on the manufacturing method and the consistency of the final product.
Edibles and medibles are edible goods that have been infused with cannabis extracts. They are commonly baked goods such as cookies and brownies, but can also be flavoured drinks, breads, candies and more. Edibles have a slower effect than other delivery methods since the cannabinoids first must be absorbed through the digestive system.
Cannabis flowers are the hairy, sticky, crystal-covered bits that are harvested and dried to be used as medication. When they are allowed to be fertilized by male plants, these flowers will produce cannabis seeds. If not, they will continue to produce the resin that contains active cannabinoids until they are harvested or begin to die.
Hemp is a fibrous product that can be produced from the male cannabis plant and can be used in the manufacture of rope, paper, beauty products and more. Commercial production (including cultivation) of industrial hemp has been permitted in Canada since 1998 under licenses and authorization issued by Health Canada.
A monocyclic sesquiterpene.
Hybrid cannabis plants are a genetic cross between two or more separate strains of cannabis. Hybrids can happen unintentionally, but they are usually bred specifically to combine desired traits of the original plants. Most cannabis available today is some form of hybrid.
Indica is used to refer to the Cannabis indicaspecies of cannabis. Generally these plants originated in the Middle East and Asia. Compared to their Sativa counterparts, Indica plants are shorter and bushier, and have more compact flower structure.
A terpene alcohol.
Marihuana Medical Access Regulations (MMAR)
Canadian government regulations that allow approved and licensed patients to possess and use cannabis to treat specific medical illnesses or conditions. As of March 31, 2014, the Marihuana Medical Access Regulations was repealed and replaced by the Marihuana for Medical Purposes Regulations. To read the Marihuana Medical Access Regulations, visit: Justice Laws website.
Marihuana for Medical Purposes Regulations (MMPR)
Canadian government regulations replacing the Marihuana Medical Access Regulations (MMAR) as of March 31, 2014. Marihuana for Medical Purposes Regulations (MMPR) allow Tilray and other licensed cannabis producers to provide patients with dried cannabis for medical purposes. To participate, a patient must have a health care practitioner complete a medical document to be submitted to Tilray or another licensed producer along with a completed registration form. As of April 1, 2014, MMPR is the only legal means for Canadians to acquire medical cannabis. To read the Marihuana for Medical Purposes Regulations, visit: Justice Laws website
Marijuana is the general term for female cannabis plants or their dried flowers. Females are distinct from male plants in that they produce flowers containing a high percentage of cannabinoids. “Marihuana” is the spelling that appears in Canada’s Controlled Drugs and Substances Act and is used by Health Canada in legal documents related to the Act.
A sesquiterpene also known as peruviol.
A bicyclic monoterpene.
Sativa refers to the Cannabis sativaspecies of cannabis plant. In general, these plants originated outside of the Middle East and Asia and include strains from South America, the Caribbean, Africa and Thailand. These strains tend to grow taller than indicas, are lighter in colour and take longer to flower.
A strain is a specific variety of a plant species. Cannabis strains are developed to produce distinct desired traits. Cannabis strain names often reflect the plant’s appearance, effects or place of origin.
Terpenes modify the effects of THC and other cannabinoids, augmenting a strain’s medicinal properties. Cannabis strains can be distinguished by the variety of terpenes they produce.
THC is an abbreviation for tetrahydrocannabinol. THC is the most well-known and most abundantly available cannabinoid in cannabis plants. THC is also the component in cannabis that is responsible for the psychoactive effects or high. Research has shown THC to be an effective medical treatment for a range of conditions.
A tincture is a liquid cannabis extract, usually made with alcohol or glycerol, that is often administered with a dropper. Tinctures can be flavored and are usually placed under the tongue, where they are absorbed quickly.
A topical is a cannabis product where the active properties of the flowers have been extracted and added to a product such as a lotion or a cream that is applied to the skin.
Trichomes are the resin production glands of the cannabis plant. THC, CBD and other cannabinoids are produced in these glands.
A vaporizer is a device used to consume cannabis. It heats either flowers or cannabis-infused oils to a temperature that produces a cannabinoid-laced vapour to inhale. Vaporizing is healthier than smoking since there is no smoke to ingest, but this method still produces almost instantaneous effects.
Wax is a form of concentrate.
Weed is a slang term for cannabis.