The following overview of terminology can be helpful for patients who are inexperienced or new to medical cannabis:
Cannabinoids are the chemical compounds unique to cannabis that act upon the human body’s cannabinoid receptors. There are over 80 known cannabinoids present in the Cannabis plant, each with varying effects.
Terpenes are a class of organic compounds present in a variety of plants, including Cannabis. Different strains can be distinguished by the variety of terpenes they produce, which contributes to differences in aroma, flavour and effects. Terpenes and terpenoids are the primary constituents of the essential oils of many types of plants and flowers.
Trichomes are the resin production glands of the cannabis plant. They contain the highest concentration of cannabinoids in the plant.
THC is the primary psychoactive constituent present in medical cannabis, commonly related to the euphoric effects or “high” from cannabis.
CBD is the second-most prevalent cannabinoid in cannabis after THC. Research has shown that CBD provides a therapeutic effect without contributing to the psychoactive “high."
Hybrid cannabis plants are a genetic cross between two or more separate strains of cannabis, exhibiting characteristics of both. Plants can be balanced or sativa-dominant and indica-dominant hybrids.
A strain is a specific variety of medical cannabis, with a unique cannabinoid and terpene profile that contributes to its specific effects.
A vaporizer is a device used to inhale cannabis without combusting it. Vaporizers work by heating the dried cannabis matter to a temperature below the burning point that produces a cannabinoid-rich vapour that can be inhaled directly.