A useful glossary of terms. 

Cannabinoids. The collective name for the group of active compounds found in the Cannabis plant such as CBD.

CBD – short for Cannabidiol, CBD is one of the active compounds known as cannabinoids found in high concentration in the hemp plant. See our potted history of CBD for further information.  

THC – Short for delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol. Considered the most psychoactive of the cannabinoids and found in high concentration in the cannabis plant.

Cannabis, marijuana and hemp - This is the part that is very confusing. Hemp and cannabis are both members of the Cannabis plant family Cannabis Sativa.  Although cannabis and hemp both come from the cannabis sativa plant family they are different. Cannabis contains high concentration of the psychoactive compound THC and Hemp contains very low levels of THC and high levels of CBD. Marijuana is the slang term for the psychoactive cannabis plant. The confusion lies in the word cannabis. When something is called a cannabis oil or has cannabis listed on the ingredients it can be either cannabis (marijuana) or hemp.  When the media talk about medical marijuana they are only talking about the high THC containing cannabis oil.

Medical marijuana.

As mentioned, Marijuana is the slang name for psychoactive cannabis plant that has naturally high levels of THC and low levels of CBD. When the media talks about medical marijuana they are referring to a high THC containing property that has been derived from the marijuana/cannabis plant. THC containing product and marijuana use is legal in 29 states of the US. In Europe it can be confusing with small amounts for personal use permitted in some countries. In the UK marijuana and THC containing products are illegal. When we read about cases of epilepsy and cancer patients travelling outside of the UK to seek this treatment they are looking to administer and purchase medical marijuana that is not permitted under UK law. This is not CBD oil which contains only trace THC and is permitted for sale as a food supplement.