Proposing a Standard Nomenclature for Cannabis and Hemp Derivatives
The Cannabis Scientist
The lack of standard terminology in the cannabinoid industry is a barrier to communication in business and science. At the Emerald Conference 2020, a popular workshop on nomenclature generated draft definitions for a number of cannabis and hemp products. Here, we present the results of the workshop and invite comments from our colleagues across the industry.
The US cannabinoid industry has experienced exponential growth since California first legalized medical cannabis in 1996 under Proposition 215. After the enactment of Proposition 215, 32 individual states have legalized medical marijuana under State statutes, and the US Federal government officially declassified industrial hemp from a Schedule 1 Controlled Substance, thus legalizing the crop on a national level.
The past 24 years have expanded opportunities for the legal cannabis and hemp industries to develop; however, agreement on terms and definitions across the product life cycle has lagged compared with more developed and established markets, such as world agriculture, metals, and energy.
Nomenclature within the cannabinoid industry has developed naturally over time; even during prohibition, there was an unwritten naming system for buyers and sellers to communicate specific products and characteristics. The current loose naming system has provided the industry with a rudimentary way of structuring and mapping its world. With legalization, an increasing number of derivative products have emerged in the market; for example, distillate, resin, live resin, rosin, diamonds, crystalline, and isolate.