Science

Get some clarity in the terminology and science.

The concept of bioaccessibility can be defined as the quantity or fraction which is released from the food matrix in the GI tract and becomes available for absorption. The same drug in different formulations, solvents, and oils can lead to varied absorption and subsequent plasma levels.

Bioaccumulation is defined as the net accumulation of a contaminant in or on an organism from all sources including water, air, soil, and diet. Contaminants have been shown to bioaccumulate in cannabis plants.

A marketing term for a cannabis-based formulation that is meant to imply that the product contains many plant constituents, cannabinoids, and terpenes, but is claimed to contain no THC content.

 “Cannabis” is the generic term for the plant, Cannabis sativa L. Cannabis is a plant that is widely cultivated for fiber, food, oil, and medicine. Under U.S federal law, cannabis is subdivided into two categories: hemp and marijuana. Hemp (LGL) is defined as the cannabis plant and/or its constituents containing less than 0.3% D-9 tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) by dry weight volume. Marijuana (LGL) is defined as all cannabis plants and/or constituents containing greater than 0.3% THC by dry weight basis. Hemp and products derived from it are descheduled, whereas, marijuana and products derived from it are Schedule 1.

Term used to refer to molecules found in the cannabis plant and/or that interact with cannabinoid receptors that fall into three classes: phytocannabinoids, endocannabinoids, or synthetic cannabinoids.

A term to describe the misconception that cannabis and cannabis-based products are harmless and free of side effects because cannabis is a “natural plant”. Many drug molecules come from plants and have been shown to be both beneficial and harmful (eg, digitalis from foxglove plant, nicotine from tobacco plant). FDA has recognized (or acknowledged) this phenomena.

The two most well known varieties of cannabis—sativa and indica—historically, were considered to be subspecies. However, current botanical thinking refers only to a single species, Cannabis Sativa L., as most cannabis plants grown today are hybrids of the historical varieties. The hybrid nature of current cannabis plants means their cannabinoid content cannot be determined by their variety description or appearance. Therefore, composition analysis is necessary for all plants to determine cannabinoid content.

Endocannabinoids are molecules that help regulate a number of physiological processes needed to maintain a healthy body. They most commonly bind to the cannabinoid receptor 1 (CB1) and cannabinoid receptor 2 (CB2). Endocannabinoids were identified after discovering the mechanism of THC on CB1 and CB2 receptors.

This commonly used term originates in endocannabinoid science to suggest that combining multiple constituents of the whole cannabis plant may result in enhanced therapeutic effects, compared to each constituent individually. More data are needed to support or refute this theory in specific disease states.

A marketing term for a cannabis-based formulation that is meant to imply that the product contains many plant constituents, cannabinoids, and terpenes, which could include a significant amount of unlabeled THC.

Hemp is a strain of Cannabis sativa L. that after the passage of the 2014 Agriculture Improvement Act (Farm Bill), was legally defined as containing no more than 0.3% THC on a dry weight basis. The 2018 Farm Bill expanded the definition of hemp to include extracts, derivatives, and cannabinoids with less than 0.3% of THC by dry weight. Hemp and the products made from it are now descheduled, whereas marijuana (plant containing more than 0.3% THC by dry weight) remains in Schedule 1. Historically, hemp was grown for the fibrous materials found in stalks and oils in seeds. The flowering portions of the hemp plant may be used to extract phytocannabinoids, like CBD

A marketing term for a cannabis-based formulation that is meant to imply that the product contains a single cannabinoid that has been isolated from the rest of the botanical mixture. The cut-off of purity to be deemed an isolate is arbitrary

A term derived from combining “nutrition” and “pharmaceutical;” there is no regulatory definition, and it does not fall within a recognized regulatory category of the FDA. Individual nutraceuticals do not undergo testing for medical or health benefits, nor safety.

Phytocannabinoids are molecules found in the cannabis sativa L. plant. The cannabis plant contains over 100 known phytocannabinoids with THC and cannabidiol (CBD) being the most well-characterized.

Phytoremediation refers to the use of plants and associated soil microbes to reduce the concentrations of toxic contaminants in soils, surface waters, and groundwater through absorption. Cannabis is a known phytoremediator.

Synthetic cannabinoids are compounds made in the laboratory to structurally or functionally mimic the phytocannabinoids and endocannabinoids. There are 3 FDA-approved synthetic cannabinoids. In contrast, there are many illegal synthetic cannabinoid products, sometimes called spice or K2, sold online, in stores, or found in CBD products, some of which have caused illnesses and deaths.

The primary aromatic constituents are found in the glandular trichomes of the cannabis plant, providing its scent and flavor. Ongoing preliminary research is investigating the therapeutic potential of terpenes.

Fine hair-like structures or other outgrowth from the epidermis of cannabis plants that secrete cannabinoids and terpenoid compounds. They function to absorb harmful UV-B rays, protect from cold and heat stress, and likely act as deterrents to herbivores.

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