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Cannabis Advertising Terms: All the Vocabulary You Need to Know

  • Advertising regulations for cannabis products like CBD, marijuana and hemp are constantly changing
  • The cannabis industry is full of unfamiliar terms and acronyms that can confuse both consumers and marketers
  • CBD advertising with Viant allows marketers to address the industry’s challenges and reach the right consumers

The cannabis industry is exploding – sales are projected to reach $20 billion by 2024 – but research shows that consumers and marketers alike are confused by the unfamiliar terminology in the marketplace.

To help, we’ve compiled the top cannabis terms to know as everything from CBD to hemp to marijuana becomes more mainstream.


A genus of flowering plants. Hemp and marijuana are simply broad classifications of cannabis that were adopted into our culture. They are, however, not legitimate nomenclature for the cannabis plant.


A term used to classify varieties of cannabis that contain more than 0.3% THC (by dry weight).


A term used to classify varieties of cannabis that contain 0.3% or less THC content (by dry weight).


One of a class of diverse chemical compounds that acts on cannabinoid receptors, also known as the endocannabinoid system in cells.


One of more than 100 cannabinoids found in cannabis plants (hemp and marijuana). Studies find application for anxiety and cognitive movement disorders, and find that consumers look to CBD for health and wellness benefits, including improved quality of life, to sleep better and to relieve pain.


One of over 100 cannabinoids found in cannabis plants. The primary psychoactive or intoxicating compounds. Beyond intoxicating effects, applications include anti-nausea and appetite suppressant.

Adult Market:

Adult Use, Recreational Use and Social Use are used interchangeably to describe the Recreational Dispensary Channel. You will also see Medical, which refers to purchases made by someone holding a medical card/license.

Level 1 States:

These are fully legal cannabis (marijuana markets) states, where a retail landscape is established — AK, CA, CO, OR, WA, NV and MA. Looking at the size, growth and consumer behavior in fully legal markets provides an indication of the future U.S. marketplace


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