The ABCs of the Cannabis Industry

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The cannabis industry comes with a lot of specific terminologies. We’ve defined some common acronyms that you might encounter in the cannabis industry.

The cannabis industry and the use of cannabidiol, or CBD, have gained exponential popularity in recent years. With many individuals using it for pain, anxiety relief, and wellness benefits, producers of these products have rapidly grown and expanded their efforts. 

However, many individuals new to the use of CBD, and the industry itself, have been exposed to a long list of industry-specific terms that they might not have previously used, or even heard of. With misconceptions about what CBD is, we wanted to take this opportunity to provide additional information and definitions for some of the acronyms or terms you might hear in relation to the cannabis industry

What is Cannabis?

To start things off, we want to define what cannabis is. Cannabis is shorthand for three plants, Cannabis Sativa, Cannabis Indica, and Cannabis Ruderalis, that produce cannabinoids. Cannabinoids are the chemically diverse compounds found within the cannabis plants. Some common Cannabinoids are tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC, and cannabidiol, or CBD. While tetrahydrocannabinol does produce psychoactive effects, cannabidiol does not. You might also hear the term THCa. THCa is a shorthand for tetrahydrocannabinol acid. This compound is a non-psychoactive property that can be found in raw and live cannabis plants and has gastrointestinal benefits when the plant is consumed orally. Tetrahydrocannabinol acid slowly converts to tetrahydrocannabinol when the cannabis plant is dried. This process can be accelerated by heat when the flower is smoked or vaped. 

To Review: 

  • Cannabis: Shorthand for Cannabis Sativa, Cannabis Indica, and Cannabis Ruderalis, or the plants that produce cannabinoids. 
  • Cannabinoids: Diverse chemical compounds found within cannabis plants, commonly tetrahydrocannabinol and cannabidiol. 
  • Cannabidiol: Commonly called CBD. A variety of cannabinoid that does not cause psychoactive effects and can be used to treat different health conditions and concerns. 
  • Tetrahydrocannabinol: Commonly called THC. One of the chemical compounds found in cannabis that can cause psychoactive effects. 
  • Tetrahydrocannabinol Acid: Commonly referred to as THCa. A non psychoactive compound found in raw or live cannabis plants, that is processed into THC through the drying or heating of cannabis flowers. 

What Products Are Made From Cannabis? 

There are a plethora of products that can be made using cannabis plants. The first of these products that most individuals are familiar with is the traditional flower product. Some flower products might be labeled as FF, which means fresh-frozen. These flowers are cryogenically frozen immediately after harvest to preserve the flower and the concentrates it contains. Another product with similar effects is butane hash oil, or BHO. BHO is a potent cannabis concentrate that can take on many forms and is commonly used for dabbing (we don’t mean the dance move). Diving deeper into BHO, you might also hear the term FSE. FSE stands for full-spectrum extract and is a variety of hash oil that contains higher percentages of the cannabis plant’s cannabinoids. All of these products are used recreationally in some areas and are referred to as REC, an acronym for recreational cannabis. 

Another term you might hear in the CBD industry is MMJ. MMJ is the acronym for medical marijuana or cannabis. MMJ can take many different forms from flowers to oils. Prescribed and recommended by doctors, this category of cannabis product is used to treat various conditions, diseases, illnesses, and disorders. Most commonly, MMJ is prescribed to cancer patients, terminally ill individuals, and those suffering from chronic pain disorders. 

You might’ve heard the term MIPs. MIPs is shorthand for marijuana-infused products. These products can range from food items, beverages, tinctures, and other products containing cannabis concentrates. MIPs can include CBD-infused smoothies, gummies, capsules, or even baked goods. MIPs can also include products made from FSE or BHO for recreational or medical use when the user prefers not to smoke, dab, or vape. 

To Review: 

  • FF: Shorthand for fresh-frozen. When flowers are cryogenically frozen directly after harvest to preserve the plant.
  • BHO: Acronym for butane hash oil. A concentrated THC product that can be made into various consistencies such as shatter, wax, and more. 
  • FSE: Another acronym for full-spectrum extract. A variety of hash oil containing higher percentages of cannabinoids. 
  • MMJ: Shorthand for medical marijuana. Recommended and prescribed by doctors to help reduce symptoms and treat various medical conditions. 
  • REC: Meaning recreational cannabis.
  • MIPs: Acronym for marijuana-infused products. These products range from candy and food, drinks, tinctures, and other forms of edible products. 

Is Cannabis Regulated?

The cannabis CBD industry is one of the most heavily regulated industries. There are several manufacturing procedures and agencies that work diligently to ensure consumers are receiving safe products that do not contain compounds that can be harmful to users, while also ensuring farming practices are legal and safe. Individuals, companies, farms, and dispensaries that do not adhere to the very strict guidelines can face serious fines, penalties, criminal charges, and potentially have their license to grow and dispense cannabis products revoked. 

Here are 14 additional terms you might hear in relation to the cannabis industry:

  1. BOE – This acronym for based on experience is listed on many listings and can directly impact compensation rates. 
  2. CDC – The Center for Disease Control and Prevention is the US agency responsible for investigating and tracking human health. The CDC provides many resources and tools dedicated to cannabis use. 
  3. cGMP – This manual of instructions is made for manufacturers and details how to use the latest technologies and systems to comply with FDA regulations. 
  4. DEA – Standing for Drug Enforcement Agency, this government division works to minimize and prevent drug abuse and drug smuggling within the US. Cannabis is considered a Schedule I drug on the Controlled Substances List within the DEA. 
  5. EPC – Extended Plant Count regulates the number of cannabis plants that qualifying medical patients are allowed to grow in their homes for personal use. 
  6. FDA – The Food and Drug Administration is a government agency that protects public health as it pertains to food, tobacco, and other drug products for medical use. There is currently one FDA-approved CBD product. 
  7. GMP – Standing for good manufacturing practices, these protocols ensure safety and quality per the FDA.
  8. HIA – The Hemp Industries Association is a non-profit responsible for representing US and Canadian hemp companies, researchers, and supporters. This association works for the fair and equal treatment of industrial hemp. 
  9. MED – This acronym is for Colorado’s Marijuana Enforcement Division. This agency provides operational rules for the legal cannabis industry. 
  10. METRC- The Marijuana Enforcement Tracking Reporting Compliance is a regulatory system that cannabis businesses use to track their plants from the very beginning to ensure state regulations are being followed. 
  11. MITS – The Marijuana Inventory Tracking Solution is a way for growers to track individual plants according to government regulations. 
  12. OLCC – The acronym for the Oregon Liquor Control Commission, which operates in conjunction with the Oregon MED Badge to allow businesses and individuals to operate in the legal cannabis industry. 
  13. OSHA – Referring to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, this organization sets and enforces safe working conditions. 
  14. POS – Also called a Point of Sale System, this software is used in dispensaries for transactions and management of inventory. This operating system is similar to those in traditional retail settings. 

At PeopleSuite, we work directly with companies in the cannabis & hemp industry to find incredible talent that drives the industry forward. Of the various roles within each facet of the cannabis industry, our search professionals have a strong grasp on key talent that will bring a competitive edge to your company. We have been successful in helping our cannabis clients maintain a competitive edge in the industry by securing executive, management, and scientific talent.

If you’re already in the cannabis industry and looking to partner with a talent search firm, we can help! Our team of experts is ready to discuss your needs and answer any questions you may have about our staffing solutions.

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