MINI-DICTIONARY

In July, 2014, Granny wrote; “Our government [United States] has lied to us about the effects of Cannabis for over seven decades. They have blocked virtually all research into Cannabis and how it heals. They have ranked a never fatal herbal medicine with the most deadly kinds of drugs, against all scientific evidence! Yet, somehow, that inconvenient truth keeps coming out – Cannabis heals! It is time that we, as a nation, demand that the truth be openly acknowledged and research into this amazing plant begun! As my Grandfather said, “If the truth won’t do, then something is wrong”!

Granny made a few suggestions for dealing with The List as a pdf; here are those hints adapted for online use:

  • Try reading the news articles first, then move on to the studies,

  • Open the Mini-dictionary in a new window or tab to refer to while reading the studies,

  • Open another window or tab to Google (or another search engine) those ‘weird words’ – usually you won’t even need to open a link – the definition is often visible in the excerpts shown.

Granny further noted that as studies age, they are often freed up for public use. PubMed (‘ncbi’ in the URL), in the time it takes for Granny to collect the abstract and you clicking the link, sometimes will make the study ‘open access’. So Granny’s link may take you to the abstract, but in the top, right-hand corner will sometimes be a link to the free full study either at PubMed, or another site. Always check for the full study.

“Also, don’t be afraid of going to PubMed – they don’t bite, and the site is free, simple and user-friendly. Older studies often have the basic information on Cannabis that many people will find helpful, and they are usually easier to read! Don’t pass them up just because they are not the latest!

Remember that studying the Endocannabinoid System (ECS) is brand-new science. There are bound to be contradicting studies and studies with mixed results! Scientists or ‘just regular folks’, all of us are figuring out and learning about the ECS as we go along!”

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Sci-Speak to English

Just a Few Definitions to Help You Along

Acetylcholine – a common neurotransmitter

Acute – sharp or severe in effect; intense

Adenosine – a compound that makes you tired

Adipose tissue – fat

Adipocyte – a fat cell

Adjunct – a medication used in conjunction with another to help it work better

2-AG – A “messenger chemical” made by your body – similar to THC

Agonist – a chemical that activates a receptor/p>

Allodynia – pain due to a stimulus which does not normally cause pain, (i.e., a light touch)

Allosteric – works through a “back door” mechanism, not the usual binding site

Analgesic – pain relieving

Analogue – a synthetic version

Anandamide/AEA – a “messenger chemical” made by your body – similar to THC

Angiogenesis – making new blood vessels, often to feed a tumor

Anorectic – pertaining to anorexia, a lack of appetite

Antagonist – a chemical that blocks the action of an agonist

Antigen – a substance which causes an immune response

Anti-nociception – pain relieving

Anxiolytic – calming, anti-anxiety

Apoptosis – a process that leads to the normally programmed death of a cell

Aqueous humor – the liquid between the coloured iris and the clear cornea of your eye

Ataxia – lack of muscle coordination during movements like walking, or picking up objects

Autophagy – the cell self-destructs, literally “eats itself”

Autopathic – relating to the structure and characteristics of a diseased organism. Idiopathic

Baroreflex – the way your body uses your heart rate to control blood pressure
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Beta amyloid plaque / β-amyloid/ Aβ – the stuff that gums up your brain in Alzheimer’s

Biphasic – different results for different doses, THC stops or causes nausea depending on dose

Bronchodilator – opens up the lungs

Cannabinoids – they activate CB receptors and are made in your body, Cannabis or labs.

Cannabinomimetic – acting like a cannabinoid

Carcinoma – cancer

Cachexia – severe wasting away due to illness

Caveolae – little caves or pits in the cell membrane that trap fluids

CCK – an intestinal hormone that tell you that you are full and satisfied

Central nervous system/CNS – the brain and spinal cord

Chemotaxis – the movement of a cell or bacteria toward, or from a stimulus (food or a poison)

Cholinergics – drugs that inhibit, enhance, or mimic the action of acetylcholine

Chondrocytes – the only kind of cells found in healthy cartilage

Chronic – long term

Cirrhosis – scarring (usually) of the liver, impairing function

Cogeners – related chemicals

Cross tolerance – tolerance to a drug causes tolerance to another, similar, drug

Cryofixed – frozen with liquid nitrogen for electron microscopic examination

Cutaneous – pertaining to the skin

Cytotoxic – poisonous to living cells

Demyelinating diseases – diseases in which the myelin on nerves is destroyed, as in MS

Dopamine – a neurotransmitter that helps control the brain’s reward and pleasure centres

Dose-dependent manner – the more they got, the better it worked

Downregulation – a decrease in number

Dysregulation – malfunctioning, out of kilter

Eicosanoids – a group of bioactive compounds that include the endocannabinoids

Emesis – vomiting

Endocannabinoid – a chemical messenger made by your body- anandamide and 2-AG

Endocannabinoid System/ECS – a system of chemical receptors on and between your cells

Endogenous – made in your own body, opposite of exogeneous

Epidermal – pertaining to the skin
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Epigenetic – genes being turned on, or off, by chemical reactions, but with no change to the DNA

Epithelial cells – cells lining of your gut and surfaces of structures throughout the body

Excitotoxic – when nerve cells are damaged or killed by over-stimulation

Exogenous – from outside the body, opposite of endogenous

Extracellular – outside of the cells

FAAH/Fatty acid amide hydrolase – an enzyme that breaks down anandamide

Follicle – sac or cavity having excretory, secretory, or protective function: a hair follicle

GABA Glycine – it keeps nerves from firing too often

Ganglia/ganglion – a bunch of nerves outside the CNS, or some grey matter bits in the brain

Gene expression – the body reads a gene’s info and translates it into a product (protein, etc)

Genotype – all the genetic traits of an organism, both visible and hidden

Glutamate – a compound that many nerves use to “talk to each other”

Gut microbiota – micro-organisms that live in the digestive tract

Hemp – Cannabis sativa, usually with a low level of THC

Hemoptysis – coughing up blood

Hematopoiesis – the making of new blood cells in bone marrow

Hemopressin – a haemoglobin fragment that dilates blood vessels using nitric oxide

Hepatic – pertaining to the liver

Heteromer – a group containing two or more different types of things.

Hippocampus – part of the brain, controls mood and memory.

Homeostasis – your body keeping everything in balance and working right

Hydrolysis – breaking down a compound using enzymes

Hyper – over, above, extreme

Hyperalgesia – severe pain

Hyperemesis – severe vomiting

Hyperphagic – over-eating

Hyperthermia – a fever

Hypo – under, or below

Hypophagic – under-eating

Hypothermia – lowered body temperature

Hypoxia – not getting enough oxygen

Idiopathic – of unknown cause

Indica – short plants, broad leaves, solid buds; “heavy” body high, good pain relief, some CBD
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In silico – done on a computer

In vivo – in a live animal

In vitro – in a test tube

Infarction – damage from a lack of blood due to a blood vessel blockage

Intraocular – inside the eye

Intrathecal injection – injected under the arachnoid membrane of the brain or spinal cord

Intrauterine – inside the uterus

Inverse agonist – binds to a receptor like an agonist, but causes the opposite effect

Ischemia – damage from lack of blood to an area

Jejunum – the middle section of the small intestine in most higher animals

Koro – a fear that one’s genitals are retracting and will disappear, “genital retraction syndrome”

Lactating – producing breast milk, nursing

Leptin – a hormone that turns on hunger

Ligand – a chemical that binds to a receptor – THC is a ligand of CB1 and CB2 receptors

Lipids – fats and oils

Lysis – the destruction or decomposition of a cell

Macrophages – specialised cells that attack foreign substances, disease, germs and cancer cells

MAGL – an enzyme that breaks down 2-AG

MAPK-JNK signal pathway – the way the receptor’s message gets into the nucleus’ DNA

Metabolites – what’s left over after your body breaks down a compound

Metastasis – spreading through the body

Microphage – a white blood cell capable of ingesting bacteria, etc.

Micro RNA – short, single-stranded RNA molecules that regulate gene expression

Micturation – urination, peeing

Modulate – control or regulate something

Murine – mouse

Mydriasis – a disorder in which the pupil of the eye dilates abnormally, and stays dilated

Myelin – a protective covering on the axion part of a nerve cell

Myocardial – pertaining to the heart muscle

Myopericarditis – Inflammation of the heart wall and the sac around it, the pericardium

Nanomolar – a very tiny amount

Necrotic – dead or dying
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Nephro – referring to the kidneys

Neurogenesis – new brain cells are being formed

Neuropathic Pain – pain due to nerve injury

Neuroprotective – protects nerves and brain cells

Neurotransmitter – a chemical messenger that carries messages between neurons and other cells

Neutrophil – the most common type of white blood cell

Nocebo – a harmless substance that creates harmful effects in a patient. Opposite of placebo.

Nociceptive – experiencing pain from a stimulus such as heat or tissue damage

Nociceptor – pain nerve

Nonpsychoactive – won’t get you high

Nonpsychotropic – won’t get you high

Occluded – blocked up, as in an occluded artery

Ocular – referring to the eye

Olfactory – pertaining to smell, odour detection

Oligodendrocytes – cells that make the myelin sheath that protects CNS nerves.

Oromucosal – pertaining to the lining inside of the mouth

Ortholog – the same gene in different species doing the same job, traceable to a common ancestor

Osteoblast – a cell that makes new bone

Osteoclast – cell that eats away and breaks down bone causing bone resorption

Palliative – healthcare focused on relieving and preventing suffering

Partial agonist – doesn’t activate receptor fully, may “hog” receptors, blocking full agonists

Pathogenesis – the origin and development of a disease

Peptide – string a bunch of peptides together, and you get a protein

Peripheral nervous system ( PNS) – the nerves and ganglia outside of the brain and spinal cord

Peritoneal – pertaining to the peritoneum that lines the walls of the abdominal cavity

Phagocyte – a “clean-up crew” cell that “eats” harmful foreign particles, bacteria, and dead cells

Phenotype – the genetic traits that you can see

Phytocannabinoid – a cannabinoid produced by a plant – THC and CBD are examples

Phyto – referring to plants

Phytochemical – a compound produced by a plant
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Polymorphism – having more than one form, different phenotypes in genes

Porcine – pertaining to pigs

Prions – they cause Mad Cow Disease

Pruritus – chronic itchiness

Pulmonary – pertaining to the lungs

Receptors – These receive the chemical messages and send them into our cells.

Refractory pain – pain not responding to the usual treatments, stubborn pain

Renal – pertaining to the kidneys

Reperfusion damage – damage caused when blood returns to an area

Reuptake – reabsorption of a substance by the cells that originally produced it

Rhabdomyolysis – the rapid destruction of skeletal muscle

RNA – ribonucleic acid, a long, single-stranded chain of cells that processes protein

Ruderalis – small, short-season, auto-flowering strains, potency varies

Sativa – tall plant, long skinny leaves, slow maturing; a mental/party high, occasional paranoia

Sebaceous glands – oil glands in the skin

Seronegative – testing negative for a disease

Seropositive – testing positive for a disease

SiRNA – used to inactivate or “silence” a gene to validate the gene’s function

Substance P – it sends pain info through the spinal cord

>Tau proteins – another thing that messes up your brain in Alzheimer’s

Teratologic – causing birth defects

Terpenoids – gives Cannabis its odor, may help cannabinoids to enter cells more easily

Thrombocytopenia – a loss of platelets in the blood

Transgenic – genetically modified, a GMO

Trichome – in Cannabis, it usually refers to tiny mushroom-shaped structures that hold THC

Trigeminal nerve – responsible for sensation in the face, and biting and chewing

Ubiquitination – The “kiss of death” for proteins. The protein is inactivated by ubiquitin

Ubiquitin – a regulatory protein that inactivates other proteins

Upregulation – increase in number

Uveitis – infection of the middle layer of the eye involving the iris, ciliary body and/or choroid

Vascular – referring to blood vessels

Vasodilator – expands the blood vessels

Vasoconstrictor – contracts the blood vessels

Visceral – pertaining to internal organs, guts

Xenograft – transplanting living cells, tissues or organs from one species into another
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*Kindly note that North American English (for the most part) is used across this site, thank you

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