Notes on this glossary: JMCC has developed this glossary as a simple reference for users to words and terms used on our website and in other public resources. Note that some definitions are widely debated by scientists and within the industry and will be subject to change as more is learned about cannabis and its medical uses in future. Check this page often for additions and updates.
Cannabis: for practical purposes, we define “cannabis” as varieties with higher THC content and “hemp” as those with less CBD (no more than 1% in Switzerland, 0.3% in the U.S., and .02 in most European countries).
Coir: or, coconut fibre, is the fibrous material or “pith” found between the hard, internal shell and the outer coat of a coconut. Coir is natural and rot-resistant, so it’s ideal for horticultural uses.
Endocannabinoid system: Briefly, a system of cannabinoid receptors, lipids, and enzymes that performs a large role in maintaining homeostasis, or internal regulatory balance, in many bodily functions. All mammalian vertebrates have an endocannabinoid system, which interacts with endocannabinoids that are found in cannabis. There is lots more information available online, e.g.: https://www.leafly.com/news/science-tech/what-is-the-endocannabinoid-system.
Landrace: Cannabis landraces are native plant populations that have developed over centuries by adapting to the environmental conditions of their geographical location and somewhat influenced by the preferences of local growers for certain characteristics.
Marijuana: Believed to be derived from the Mexican-Spanish and sometimes spelled “marihuana”, the term came into English usage after 1910, during a period when nearly a million Mexicans emigrated to the U.S. to escape the Mexican Revolution. Although cannabis was used medicinally prior to this period, it was not commonly smoked for the intoxicating factor of THC. Some historians today believe that global cannabis prohibition, led by the U.S. government in the 1990s, was a racist reaction to its common use among Black and Mexican Americans.
Medical cannabis: Also often referred to as “medicinal cannabis”, medical cannabis is cannabis (or hemp) in dried form, oils extracted from the plant, and related medical preparations used to treat conditions and symptoms such as reducing nausea and vomiting during chemotherapy, improving appetite in people with HIV/AIDS, reducing chronic pain and muscle spasms from illnesses such as Multiple Sclerosis and severe forms of epilepsy. Medical cannabis is produced to meet strict standards of safety and quality as set by regulating health authorities in countries that have legalized it for medical and research purposes, and is increasingly available via a doctor’s prescription.
Strain: Defined by many as having some combination of characteristics including botanical lineage, appearance, chemical profile and accompanying effects. The term itself is essentially a slang term for a variety of the cannabis plant, as well as its derivative products, as the characteristics can vary considerably between one grower’s “strain” and another’s. In horticultural and botanical circles, “cultivar” has become the preferred term to delineate the smell, flavours, yield, pharmacological effects and other distinct characteristics of a cultivated plant variety. “Chemovars”, also known as chemotypes, refers to the breakdown of a plant species according to its chemical composition.