What Does CBD Stand For? And The Other ABCs of Hemp
Every industry has its fair share of technical jargon. The hemp industry is no different. With so many three-letter abbreviations, it’s easy to get a little turned around. Even those who work in the hemp industry have a hard time with all the shorthand.
- “What does CBD stand for?”
- “What’s the difference between CBD and CBG?”
- “What is a COA?”
In this post, we’re going to define some of the more common terms that you should know.
What Does CBD Stand For?
CBD is an abbreviation for cannabidiol ( C anna- B i- D iol,) one of the dozens of naturally occurring chemical compounds produced by the hemp plant. These compounds, known as cannabinoids, are under-researched but present many potential health benefits.
The cannabinoid CBD, second to only THC in popularity, is not psychoactive nor is CBD addictive. The World Health Organization has stated that “…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:
- Appetite and metabolism
It’s believed that consuming CBD helps our endocannabinoid system run more efficiently by facilitating the uptake of beneficial chemicals and curbing the uptake of harmful chemicals.
There is still plenty of research to be done, but early studies suggest that CBD can help with pain management, feelings of nausea, inflammation, and managing seizures.
Credit: Nationwide Testing Association, Inc.
Is CBD A Drug?
In the most technical sense, CBD is a drug. It’s a substance that you can take to help you relax, improve your focus, and manage your sleep.
CBD is also the main ingredient in Epidiolex, an FDA-approved anti-seizure medication.
However, thanks to the 2018 Farm Bill, industrial hemp (and its active ingredient— CBD) was removed from the Controlled Substance Act. So while CBD can be thought of as a beneficial substance, it would be incorrect to consider CBD a drug in the same way that narcotics are.
What Does CBDa Stand For?
The letters CBDa are an abbreviation for cannabidiolic acid ( C anna- B i- D iolic A cid,) the acidic precursor molecule of CBD.
Cannabidiolic acid is mainly found in raw, unprocessed forms of hemp and will convert to CBD through a process called decarboxylation.
As of right now, less is known about CBDa and its potential health benefits. Some early studies indicate that CBDa may help with inflammation and seizure management.
What is Decarboxylation?
Decarboxylation is a process in which CBDa is subjected to heat and drops a few of its atoms called a carboxyl ring. Once this happens, CBDa becomes CBD and is considered activated and ready for consumption. Decarboxylation is often overlooked by folks the first time they attempt to make CBD edibles.
What Does THC Stand For?
The only cannabinoid more widely recognized than CBD, THC is an abbreviation of tetrahydrocannabinol ( T etra- H ydro- C annabinol.) 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 analogues 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 ( T etra- H ydro- C annabinolic A cid,) 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 ( C anna- B i- G erol,) 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 ( C anna- B i- N ol,) 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 C ertificate o f A nalysis— 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
Honorable Jargon Mentions: What Is…
What Is Hemp And Is It Different Than Marijuana?
This is a question we get all the time. Hemp and marijuana look, smell, taste, and smoke the same, so what’s the difference?
The difference is a question of legality. Hemp and marijuana are both types of cannabis plants. Hemp, as defined by the 2018 Farm Bill, contains less than 0.3% Δ9-THC by dry weight.
Cannabis plants are considered marijuana when they contain more than 0.3% Δ9-THC by dry weight.
What Is The Difference Between Hemp Flower And CBD Flower?
There is no difference between hemp and CBD flower. The two terms are used interchangeably. It really comes down to preference. Vendors likely use them both to increase their keyword traffic.
What Does Kief/Keef Mean?
Kief is the name for a collection of trichome heads that develop on flowering cannabis plants. These trichomes are where desirable cannabinoids form and as a result, kief is a highly sought-after cannabis concentrate.
What Are Terps?
“Terps” is short for terpenes. Terpenes are the organic compounds found in essential oils and give cannabis plants their fragrance and flavor. It’s also believed that a cannabis plant’s terpene profile can work in conjunction with its cannabinoid profile to produce different desired effects.
What Are Flavonoids?
Flavonoids are compounds found in fruits, vegetables, and also cannabis plants (to a much lesser extent.) Flavonoids work in tandem with terpenes to give cannabis a distinct smell and taste profile.
“CANNABIDIOL (CBD) Pre-Review Report.” World Health Organization , World Health Organization , Nov. 2017,
CBD 101: What Does CBD Stand For?
If you’re learning about CBD for the first time, there are probably a ton of questions going through your head. You’ve already determined that the term “CBD” is clearly an acronym, and naturally, the next question that comes to mind is “So, what does CBD stand for?”
A Google search and a few clicks later, and here you are reading this article.
First off, welcome to CBD Origin, we’re so happy to have you. CBD Origin is the leading online publication for CBD knowledge and we’ve made it our mission to provide our readers with all the information and resources they need to fully understand what CBD is and how it can be used in their lives.
Naturally, answering the first question “What does CBD stand for?” is right up our alley.
What Does CBD Stand For?
First off, the three letters “C”, “B”, “D” do not represent an abbreviated form of any three terms, so CBD is technically not an acronym.
“CBD” is the abbreviation for the specific cannabis-derived compound, Cannabidiol.
Occasionally, you will see people misuse the term CBD to refer more generally to cannabinoids, which would include not only Cannabidiol, but other cannabinoids like Delta-9 THC, cannabigerol, Delta-8, etc. That is not the correct definition though, and CBDs is not a plural for cannabinoids in general.
What is Cannabidiol?
Cannabidiol (CBD) is one of the many active compounds that are naturally produced in cannabis known as cannabinoids.
While there is still much to learn about these unique compounds, researchers have confirmed that cannabinoids are the source of the cannabis plant’s various medicinal and recreational properties.
Unlike some of the other cannabinoids, most notably Tetrahyrdacannbinol (THC), CBD is a non-intoxicating compound, which means that it will not induce the mind-altering effects associated with “being high.”
Essentially, CBD can deliver the natural, therapeutic properties of the cannabis plant, without the negative side effects of traditional cannabis use.
How Does CBD Work?
While it was initially believed that cannabinoids were only found in cannabis, in the middle of the 20th century, researchers discovered that cannabinoids were produced in the body of most mammals as part of the Endocannabinoid system (ECS).
The ECS is comprised of millions of endocannabinoid receptors, which are classified into two groups: CB1 receptors and CB2 receptors.
The ECS is spread throughout the body in core health systems including the digestive system, central nervous system, cardiovascular system, and immune system. By utilizing the CB1 and CB2 receptors to relay neurological signals across the body, the ECS acts as a biological communication system that helps to moderate and maintain important functions throughout the body.
Discover the Wonders of CBD
Now that we’ve discussed What CBD stands for and shared some general information about CBD, your journey into the amazing world of CBD has just begun.
While there is still so much to learn about this amazing cannabinoid, what we have discovered thus far is absolutely amazing. We are very excited for you and are honored to help guide you through your journey to learn all about CBD and the many ways it can be used to improve your life.
Explore the wide selection of articles, guides, and resources available on our website to expand your knowledge of CBD, what it means to use CBD or other cannabinoids for health reasons, how to pick out and use CBD products, and other non-medical questions you may have about this amazing cannabinoid. As always, please feel free to reach out to our team with any questions you have about CBD.
We created CBD Origin with a goal to provide everyone with a credible resource for everything to know about CBD. We are proud supporters of CBD and the wonders that it promotes, and want to help the world learn about it! Please continue to visit our blog to find new and exciting articles about CBD, and always feel free to engage in our community!
To kick off your journey, here are some quick links to help you navigate throughout our CBD Origin website:
Tools and Resouces
Thanks for reading and we hope to see you around in our community! If you have any questions or comments, please engage in the comments section below 🙂