PLANT MEDICINE TERMS

The Green Glossary
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Adaptogens

Adaptogens

plants and mushrooms which exhibit neuroprotective, anti-fatigue, antidepressant, anxiolytic, nootropic and central nervous system stimulating activity. Adaptogens help the body resist and adapt to stressors to return to and maintain a state of balance. They have been used in Chinese and Ayurvedic healing traditions for centuries.

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Analgesic

Analgesic

medications that relieve pain, also known as painkillers.

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Angelica Root (Wild celery)

Angelica Root (Wild celery)

a flowering plant used in medicine to treat heartburn, circulation problems, runny noses, tension relief and more.

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Anti-inflammatory

Anti-inflammatory

a drug or substance that reduces inflammation (including redness, swelling, and pain) in the body.

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Antimicrobial

Antimicrobial

medicines used to prevent and treat infections in humans, animals and plants by killing microorganisms such as bacteria or mould, to stop them from growing and causing disease.

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Aromatherapy

Aromatherapy

the practice of using essential oils and plant extracts with strong aromas for therapeutic benefit.

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Astragalus

Astragalus

an adaptogenic herb known for supporting the immune system, preventing colds and respiratory infections and supporting energy, stamina and cognition. (Also known as huáng qí or milkvetch).

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Australian Register of Therapeutic Goods (ARTG)

Australian Register of Therapeutic Goods (ARTG)

the reference database of the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA). It provides information on therapeutic goods that can be supplied in Australia.

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Authorised Prescriber (AP)

Authorised Prescriber (AP)

a doctor who has already applied for and received the authority from the TGA to write prescriptions for patients with specific medical conditions. These practitioners don’t need to apply for approval from the TGA for each individual patient they see as they have been pre-approved.

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Buccal

Buccal

the method of administration where medicine is absorbed through the mucous membrane between the gum and cheek.

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Bud

Bud

a slang term for cannabis flower.

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CBD

CBD

Cannabidiol or CBD is one of the most abundant in a long list of cannabinoids found in the cannabis plant, alongside THC. Unlike THC, CBD won’t bring on a feeling of being ‘high.’ CBD is known for its calming effects on the body, with potential therapeutic benefits ranging from relieving anxiety and depression to reducing seizures, pain and inflammation (+ more).

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CBG

CBG

Cannabigerol or CBG is an active, non-intoxicating minor cannabinoid found in cannabis. CBG can work synergistically with CBD to mitigate the ‘high’ produced by THC while also helping to compound each cannabinoid’s therapeutic effects, depending on the ratios of each cannabinoid present. CBG’s potential therapeutic benefits can range from regulating appetite and sleep to reducing pain (+ more).

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Cacao

Cacao

the flavonoid, mineral and nutrient-packed plant which can improve blood flow and uplift mood.

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Cannabinoids

Cannabinoids

compounds which support your endocannabinoid system, created by your body and found within the cannabis plant – examples of cannabinoids include: THC, CBD (phytocannabinoids), anandamide, 2-AG (endocannabinoids) and more.

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Cannabis

Cannabis

a genus of flowering plants in the family Cannabaceae known for the Cannabis sativa, Cannabis indica, and Cannabis ruderalis species.

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Cannabis clinician

Cannabis clinician

A qualified doctor, GP or healthcare practitioner who has knowledge and experience in prescribing medicinal cannabis treatments to treat a range of conditions.

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Cannabis oil

Cannabis oil

extracts from cannabis plants which may contain all or many of the original compounds of the cannabis plant – such as cannabinoids, terpenes and more –  or may be an isolated cannabinoid extract, such as a CBD oil.

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Chaga Mushroom

Chaga Mushroom

an antioxidant-packed adaptogenic mushroom that eases inflammation and soothes the stomach.

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Chronic condition

Chronic condition

a medical condition with persistent symptoms or long-lasting effects, lasting 3 months or more.

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Chrysanthemum

Chrysanthemum

an edible flower used traditionally to support respiratory function and relief from allergy symptoms while soothing irritation in the chest, throat and eyes.

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Cinnamon

Cinnamon

a spice with metabolism boosting benefits and antibacterial, antifungal, antiviral and antioxidant properties. Cinnamon can also balance blood sugar levels, while its scent is known to improve memory.

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Cultivar

Cultivar

short for ‘cultivated variety’ – a group of cultivated plants that have been selectively bred by humans to maintain their unique characteristics.

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Dopamine

Dopamine

a type of neurotransmitter and hormone that can make us feel good and which plays a role in many important bodily functions, including pleasure, movement, satisfaction, memory and motivation.

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Dosing

Dosing

the measured amount of medicinal cannabis that a patient consumes.

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E
Endocannabinoid system

Endocannabinoid system

the molecular system responsible for regulating and balancing many processes in the body – including immune response, communication between cells, appetite, metabolism, memory, and more. The ECS is made up of cannabinoid receptors, endogenous cannabinoids (endocannabinoids), and the enzymes responsible for the synthesis and degradation of the endocannabinoids.

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Endocannabinoids

Endocannabinoids

cannabinoids produced naturally within the body such as anandamide and 2-AG which help cells within your body to communicate via the endocannabinoid system. Endocannabinoids are naturally present in the body regardless of whether or not you consume cannabis.

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Entourage effect

Entourage effect

an effect where cannabinoids act synergistically with one another and numerous other compounds within the plant, such as terpenes, flavonoids and resins, to enhance and alter the effects on the user.

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F
Flower

Flower

the trichome-enriched part of a cannabis plant that is often dried to be smoked, vaporised or incorporated into edibles.

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G
Green Tea

Green Tea

a tea with high antioxidant content and health benefits which promotes focused energy, immune system support, improved brain function and more.

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H
Hemp

Hemp

a plant belonging to the cannabis sativa family with less than 0.3% THC. Widely used for food or industrial purposes.

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Herbal medicine (or plant medicine)

Herbal medicine (or plant medicine)

a type of medicine that uses roots, stems, leaves, flowers, or seeds of plants to improve health, prevent disease, and treat illness.

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Holistic health

Holistic health

the overarching philosophy of looking at a person’s health from every aspect – be it physical, emotional, social, spiritual or mental – and observing how imbalances in one or more of these areas can bring about unwanted symptoms in others.

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Hybrid

Hybrid

refers to a cannabis strain that has a mixture of both indica and sativa genetics.

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Indica

Indica

a species of the cannabis plant with broad leaves and short stems. Historically, indica plants have been associated with more relaxing and sedating properties.

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M
Magnesium

Magnesium

a vital mineral which supports 300 bodily functions including muscle and nerve function, energy production and sleep.

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Maitake Mushroom

Maitake Mushroom

an edible adaptogenic mushroom containing beta-glucan compounds for immune support, reduced cholesterol and cardiovascular health.

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Marijuana

Marijuana

a colloquial name for the cannabis plant originating in Mexico in the 1850s. This term was popularised in America by opponents of cannabis to increase associated stigma of cannabis for political means.

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Medical / Medicinal Cannabis

Medical / Medicinal Cannabis

the range of legal, approved and quality assured preparations of the cannabis plant and its compounds for therapeutic use.

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Microdosing

Microdosing

the practice of taking very small amounts of a drug or substance in order to benefit from or trial its effects on the mind and body while minimising unwanted side effects.

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Mushrooms

Mushrooms

the fleshy, spore-bearing fruiting bodies of fungi that are typically produced above ground, on soil, or on its food source. There are over 10,000 species of fungi that produce mushrooms with varying uses, effects and appearances. As well as being a food source, some mushrooms may be consumed for their medicinal or psychedelic properties. Approximately 1–2% of mushrooms are poisonous to humans.

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Natural therapies

Natural therapies

natural products, treatments and lifestyle changes used in place of, or in conjunction with, conventional medicines and treatments for a more holistic healing process.

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Naturopathy

Naturopathy

a type of alternative medicine that focuses on providing a holistic approach to treating and preventing health issues with an emphasis on natural solutions, including herbal medicine, lifestyle changes, exercise and stress reduction.

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P
Phytocannabinoids

Phytocannabinoids

cannabinoids produced by plants such as cannabis – including THC, CBD, CBG and many more. Phytocannabinoids are also present in other plants, like black truffles and cacao.

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Psilocybin

Psilocybin

a naturally occurring psychedelic compound produced by more than 200 species of fungi. The key ingredient in 'magic mushrooms' is psilocybin.

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Psychoactive drug

Psychoactive drug

a substance that affects cognition and the mind, including the cannabinoid THC, as well as caffeine and alcohol.

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Psychotropic drug

Psychotropic drug

a potentially intoxicating substance that can affect your mental activity, behaviour, perception and ability to cognitively function as normal.

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S
Sativa

Sativa

a species of the cannabis plant with narrow leaves and longer stems – historically, sativa plants have been associated with more uplifting and energising properties.

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Serotonin

Serotonin

a mood-boosting chemical produced naturally in the brain which helps to promote happiness, improve sleep and reduce hunger.

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Special Access Scheme (SAS)

Special Access Scheme (SAS)

a program setup by the TGA to allow doctors to apply to prescribe medications that are not listed on the Australian Register of Therapeutic Goods, including medicinal cannabis.

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Standard (or conventional) treatments

Standard (or conventional) treatments

treatments that are widely accepted and used by most healthcare professionals. Standard treatments differ from alternative or complementary therapies, which are less widely used.

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Strain

Strain

the individual genetics of a cannabis plant, including its cannabinoid and terpene profiles – also known as a cultivar or chemovar.

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Sublingual

Sublingual

the method of administration where medicine is placed under the tongue to dissolve and absorb into your bloodstream via the tissues there.

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T
THC

THC

Tetrahydrocannabinol or THC is the main psychoactive compound found in the cannabis plant. Known for its psychoactive effects or the 'high' feeling that THC users describe, this compound is also used medicinally, with potential therapeutic benefits ranging from pain and nausea relief to reducing inflammation, anxiety and insomnia (+ more).

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Telehealth

Telehealth

the use of technology, such as computers, telephones and mobile devices, for the purpose of providing healthcare services from a distance.

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Terpene

Terpene

the organic compounds found in the essential oils of plants which give the plant its unique flavour and aroma alongside a range of therapeutic and other benefits.

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Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA)

Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA)

the medicine and therapeutic regulatory agency of the Australian Government. As part of the Department of Health, the TGA regulates the quality, supply and advertising of medicines like medicinal cannabis. In some cases, your doctor will need to apply to the TGA for medicinal cannabis access on your behalf.

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Titration

Titration

process of determining the minimal amount of a dose of medicine that will provide the desired results to the consumer.

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Tolerance Breaks

Tolerance Breaks

when you give your body a break from medicinal cannabis in order to reset your cannabinoid receptors so you can return to your ideal dose.

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Topicals

Topicals

anything applied to the surface of the skin – such as creams, balms, salves, oils, lotions, etc. Topicals are typically used for localised relief and do not reach the bloodstream unless labeled ‘transdermal.’

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Transdermal

Transdermal

the method of administration where medicine is absorbed into the bloodstream through the skin via patches, gels or other methods.

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Turkey Tail Mushroom

Turkey Tail Mushroom

an adaptogenic medicinal mushroom containing powerful polysaccharides and beta-glucans for immunity and gut health.

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Vaping

Vaping

one of two inhalation methods for consuming cannabis flower, alongside smoking. In medicinal contexts, vaping is preferable to smoking because it reduces the amount of undesired hydrocarbons being absorbed into the body. It also allows for a more precise dose to meet the therapeutic needs of a patient, given that less of the THC dose is lost in side stream/combustion.

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Vaporiser

Vaporiser

a device used to warm cannabis plant material to release its beneficial cannabinoids and terpenes for inhalation by a patient.

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W
Weed

Weed

a slang term for cannabis.

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