Cannabis 101: Glossary of Cannabis Terms

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420 is one of the most common symbols in the cannabis community that can be used to describe or refer to anything cannabis-related. In some contexts, 420 refers to the time 4:20 or the date 4/20, both of which are popular reasons to consume cannabis. “What do you have planned for 420 this year?” “Our apartment is very 420-friendly.” Learn more about 420 in these articles: The Legends Behind 420 and 710 Explained Ask a Budtender: Tips for 420 Shopping


710 is a cannabis symbol used to celebrate oils and other concentrates as well as dabbing. This is because 710 spells “OIL” when viewed upside-down. Though not as widely recognized as 420, 710 is becoming a more prominent symbol with the rising popularity of dabbing and vaping. “Do you wanna come over and dab on 710?” Learn more about 710 in these articles: The Legends Behind 420 and 710 Explained Ask a Budtender: What Is 710 and How Can I Join the Party?


“Adult-use” is another way of saying “recreational.” In most jurisdictions, adult-use refers to cannabis products that can be legally purchased by adults ages 21 and above for recreational rather than medical purposes. Michigan just legalized adult-use cannabis.


In the world of cannabis, an advocate is a person who publicly supports and/or recommends cannabis. Advocates have played an important role in cannabis reform by helping to educate the masses about the plant’s broad potential and the harm that results from stigmatizing it. Many people don’t know that Olivia Newton-John was a cannabis advocate despite her public support for the plant's healing properties.


Anandamide (AEA) is an endocannabinoid, which is a cannabinoid that is created by the body. The word anandamide hails from the Sanskrit word “ananda,” meaning internal bliss, which is why anandamide is often called the “bliss molecule.” Due to its activation of CB receptors in the body’s endocannabinoid system, anandamide is responsible for the sensation known as “runner’s high,” a feeling of joy and pain relief brought on by intensive exercise. Anandamide is one of the body’s major endocannabinoids. Learn more about anandamide here.


Similar to a bowl on a bong, a banger is the detachable part on the body of a dab rig that holds the cannabis concentrate. Bangers have a different shape than nails, so choosing between them comes down to personal preference. Typically made of quartz, titanium, ceramic, or glass, the banger is heated with a torch either before or after the extract is placed into it depending on the dabbing method. Connoisseurs will say that different materials will give different flavor profiles, temperatures, and thus effects. To prevent the buildup of carbon and oil, you should clean your banger after every dabbing session. “I need to clean my banger before we dab.” Learn more about dabbing terminology here.


Bhang is a traditional method of preparing cannabis that involves soaking and grinding the plant’s leaves and stems to create a paste. The paste is then usually consumed in a drink mixture with water or milk. Bhang is traditionally available during the Hindu festivals Maha Shivaratri and Holi.


When used as a verb, blaze means to smoke cannabis. When used as an adjective, blazed refers to being under the influence of cannabis, or “high.” “Wanna blaze after work?” “I was so blazed after we smoked that joint last weekend.” After a long week at work, there’s nothing better than getting blazed with some friends.


Blunts are cigars that have been modified to include cannabis, and there are a few different ways to make them. Blunt consumers purchase a cigar wrapper (“blunt wrap”) and a cigar or cigarillo (a shorter, more narrow cigar). The inner smokable tobacco is then removed by splitting the cigar open, using either fingers or a tool such as a knife or a blunt splitter to cut an even line along the length of the cigar. Finally, ground cannabis flower is inserted into the tobacco paper, rolled, and resealed to create a blunt. “Some pals are coming over later, so I rolled a couple of blunts for us to share.” Learn more about blunts here.


A bong, or water pipe, is a device used for smoking cannabis. It has a bowl for packing the ground cannabis, a base that holds water, and a vertical chamber used to inhale the smoke. Thanks to the fact that the cannabis smoke is filtered through water before being inhaled, bongs are less harsh on the throat and lungs than regular pipes or joints. Bongs are a common choice for smoking cannabis, but cleaning them can be tedious. While there are many ways to clean your bong, here is a super easy and effective way to do so: Take your bong apart and place the parts in a plastic bag. Next, pour rubbing alcohol or bong cleaner (which you can find at most smoke shops) into the bag, covering the parts. Add coarse salt (unless using a bong cleaner), seal the bag, and shake well. Let the parts sit for at least 30 minutes before rinsing them with soap and warm water. More and more cannabis consumers are upgrading from pipes to bongs. Learn more about cleaning your bong here.


The bowl is the part of a bong or pipe that holds the ground cannabis flower. On bongs, the bowl is detachable, but on pipes, the bowl is built into the device. “Packing the bowl” is a slang phrase for filling the bowl with flower before smoking. “I’m packing the bowl to the brim so we can each get a few hits.”

Broad-spectrum CBD

Broad-spectrum CBD products contain all of the cannabis compounds besides THC, placing these products somewhere between full-spectrum products and isolates. While all of the organic plant matter is processed, the THC molecules are isolated and thoroughly excluded. Those who use broad-spectrum products are still able to experience the benefits from the entourage effect because all of the other cannabinoids and terpenes besides THC remain in the product. If you’re nervous about your upcoming drug test, opt for broad-spectrum CBD instead of full-spectrum. Learn more about the various forms of CBD here.


“Bud” is a slang term for cannabis that alludes to the buds of a cannabis plant. The plant’s buds, or flowers, are the parts of the plant that are dried and cured for consumption due to their heavy concentration of cannabinoids and other compounds. “This is the strongest bud I’ve smoked in a long time.” Learn more about the anatomy of cannabis plants here.


Budder is a type of cannabis concentrate that is extracted from the cannabis plant. It is essentially wax with higher moisture content. The consistency of budder is oily and malleable, while wax concentrates are crumbly and solid. Colors will range from a variety of amber shades complete with a milder aroma and flavor profile. Budder is a great concentrate for dabbing. Learn more about budder and other cannabis concentrates here.


A budtender is a cannabis dispensary employee who assists customers with the purchase of cannabis products. Budtenders possess general cannabis knowledge and can point consumers toward products based on their needs. If they provide good service, many customers tip their budtenders. Dispensary shopping can be overwhelming, but your budtender can help you find what you need. Learn more about budtenders here.


Cannabinoids are the active chemical compounds in the cannabis plant that primarily contribute to the plant’s effects in consumers. More than 100 different cannabinoids have been discovered, including tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), cannabidiol (CBD), and cannabigerol (CBG). Cannabinoids produce effects by interacting with receptors in the body’s endocannabinoid system after being consumed. A cannabis product’s cannabinoid content will determine the effects it produces. Learn more about cannabinoids here.

Cannabinoid acids

Cannabinoid acids are acid precursors that are dominant in the plant. Essentially, cannabinoid acids are the original form of cannabinoids and have a slightly different chemical structure—that is, they have a carboxylic acid ring. This ring is removed through the process of decarboxylation, which involves exposing the cannabis to heat or light. The end result is an activated cannabinoid that affects the body much differently when consumed. Examples of cannabinoid acids include cannabidiolic acid (CBDA) and cannabichromenic acid (CBCA). Thanks to emerging research, there is an increasing interest in cannabinoid acids. Learn more about cannabinoid acids here.

Cannabinoid (CB) receptors

Cannabinoid receptors (CB receptors) are a key component of the body’s endocannabinoid system (ECS). They exist throughout the body’s immune and nervous systems and play key roles in regulating neural plasticity, electrical activity, coordination, proprioception, and cognitive function. When we consume cannabis, the cannabinoids in the plant interact with cannabinoid receptors in our body to produce effects. Cannabinoid receptors allow our bodies to benefit from cannabis’ compounds. Learn more about CB receptors here.


Cannabis, also called marijuana, is a plant that is consumed for its medical and recreational benefits. It is considered psychoactive due to various mental and physical effects that occur in the body after it is smoked, vaporized, orally consumed, or topically applied. Cannabis contains 483 known compounds, with tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD) being the most well-known. Despite being federally illegal in the U.S., cannabis is one of the most popular recreational substances. Learn more about the cannabis plant here.

Cannabis tea

Cannabis tea is made by steeping cannabis in hot water. Cannabis tea typically contains small concentrations of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), because THC is only slightly water-soluble. Adding milk with fat into the tea allows the THC to bind to the fat. Before bed, sip on a cup of cannabis tea to calm your mind.

Carb cap

A carb cap is a device used for dabbing. It is placed on top of the dab rig’s nail or banger to improve airflow and temperature control while the user inhales the vapor. Usually made of glass or metal, domes and carb caps prevent the loss of vapor when the concentrate is being heated, leading to a stronger, better-tasting dab. You may have also heard of a dome, which functions similarly to a carb cap. The main difference between a dome and a carb cap is the size of the air intake hole: A dome’s is much larger than a carb cap’s. Many dabbers have upgraded from domes to carb caps because of their heat-retaining ability that allows for low-temperature dabbing, a popular form of dabbing that preserves the terpene-fueled flavor profile of the concentrate and makes the vapor easier on the airways. Learn more about dabbing terminology here.


A caregiver is a qualified person who assists a registered medical cannabis patient. Caregivers help their assigned patients with various things, including cultivating cannabis at home, purchasing cannabis from dispensaries, and dosing cannabis for the patient’s medical needs. Elderly and minor patients are the most common types of patients to have caregivers, but caregivers can be helpful for anyone with a debilitating condition or other barriers to access (e.g., no driver’s license). The qualifications for becoming a caregiver vary by state. Megan’s caregiver tends to her home cannabis garden. Learn more about caregivers here.


Cannabichromene (CBC) is a cannabinoid found in cannabis that does not cause intoxicating effects. Although research on CBC is still in its infancy, it is believed that it has antiviral and antibacterial properties. In addition, CBC is known to alleviate and prevent cases of active acne. It is also considered an anti-inflammatory and works well in combination with CBD. I saw that my local dispensary started carrying CBC products. Learn more about CBC here.


Cannabidiol (CBD) is one of the most sought-after cannabinoids after having grown popular for its medicinal potential without the intoxicating effects associated with THC. Thanks to the 2018 Farm Bill, CBD extracted from hemp is federally legal. CBD is known for its ability to relieve pain and inflammation in the body as well as control nausea and vomiting. CBD products are typically more beneficial for those who experience anxiety compared to high-THC products. Learn more about CBD in these articles: The Complete Guide to CBD: Everything You Need to Know About Cannabidiol. CBD for Pets: Does It Actually Work?.

CBD isolate

CBD products come in three forms: full-spectrum, broad-spectrum, and isolate. Unlike full-spectrum and broad-spectrum products, which contain other cannabinoids and compounds, CBD isolate contains CBD only. CBD isolate is the purest form of CBD available. Learn more about the various forms of CBD here.


Cannabigerol (CBG) is a cannabinoid found in cannabis that is believed to offer similar medicinal benefits as CBD. It is considered a parental cannabinoid because it plays a vital role in the production of THC and CBD in the cannabis plant. Even though CBG research is very new, CBG is thought to target specific bodily systems and problems. There has been promising research suggesting that it helps with glaucoma, Huntington’s disease, and irritable bowel disorders such as ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease. CBG is gaining popularity as a remedy for depression and anxiety. Learn more about CBG here.


Cannabinol (CBN) is a cannabinoid in cannabis that has been dubbed the “sleepy cannabinoid” on account of its potentially sedative effect on consumers, though more research is needed to support this use. CBN is also being explored for other potential benefits, including antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, and pain-relieving effects. It is slightly intoxicating but not nearly as intoxicating as THC. CBN is mostly found in aged cannabis following long periods of storage. Learn more about CBN here.

Certificate of analysis

A certificate of analysis (COA) is a report that reveals the compound content and confirms the safety of a cannabis product. It provides the results of a series of third-party laboratory testing on a cannabis product. If you purchase a cannabis product from a reliable company, it should be able to provide you with a COA for the product. “Could I have the certificate of analysis for this distillate?” Learn more about certificates of analysis here.


A clone is a cannabis plant that has the exact same genetic composition of its mother plant. Cultivators make clones by cutting off part of a cannabis plant, which is then grown into an identical cannabis plant. They do this to ensure that a strain’s properties remain consistent for consumers. You can grow cannabis from a seed or a clone. Learn more about clones here.


The term “concentrates” encompasses a class of potent cannabis products that are extracted from the cannabis plant. Concentrates, also called extracts, have a high concentration of the plant’s compounds, such as cannabinoids and terpenes. These products are most often vaporized using a vape pen or dabbed using a dab rig, and they tend to deliver stronger effects than cannabis flower. Some concentrates you might see at a dispensary include distillate, wax, shatter, rosin, budder, honeycomb, and live resin. All are made using a variety of different methods, but concentrates are typically divided into two different categories: solvent-based and solventless. Many people consume concentrates because they don’t produce smoke. Learn more about cannabis concentrates here.

CO2 concentrate

CO2 concentrates are a kind of concentrate that is made with CO2, a nonflammable solvent commonly used to extract compounds from the cannabis plant. CO2 can be cost-effective and results in high-quality concentrates. CO2 concentrates, which can include shatter, crumble, honey, oil, etc., vary in consistency and color. Learn more about cannabis concentrates here.

Contact high

The term “contact high,” or secondhand high, refers to the phenomenon that a person who has not consumed cannabis may experience its effects just from being near or exposed to another person who is smoking it. Apart from leading to unwanted intoxication, many fear that a contact high can cause a person to fail a drug test. While there is some evidence suggesting this can happen in certain circumstances, there is still a lot of controversy surrounding the legitimacy of this phenomenon. “I think I got a contact high from being in that smoky room for so long!” Learn more about contact highs and drug tests here.

Cotton mouth

“Cottonmouth” is a slang term for dry mouth, a side effect of consuming THC. Just like it sounds, the term is based on the feeling of having a mouth full of cotton. Make sure to stay hydrated while you’re smoking weed to avoid bad cotton mouth.


A crossbreed is the result of the process of crossbreeding a male strain and a female strain, which results in a seed containing the genetics of both stains. While some cultivators want to preserve the genes of their strains, others experiment to create new and exciting strains. For example, the strain Mokum’s Tulip is a crossbreed between Gelato and Sherbet.


A cultivator is a person who propagates, plants, grows, cares for, harvests, dries, cures, and grades cannabis crops. Learn more about cannabis cultivation here.


Dabbing is a cannabis consumption method that involves vaporizing concentrates, or "dabs," using a device like a dab rig or dab pen. Dabs are known to contain very high levels of THC and produce an intense high. Dabbing has been around since the 1960s and is popular among recreational users. Learn more about dabbing here.

Dab rig

A dab rig is a device specifically designed to handle the high heat necessary for dabbing (i.e., vaporizing) cannabis concentrates. Learn more about dab rigs here.


"Dank" is slang for cannabis, usually implying that the cannabis is high-quality.


Decarboxylation, also called decarbing, is the process of applying heat to cannabis to activate the cannabinoids. During decarboxylation, a carboxyl group is removed from the compounds, releasing carbon dioxide. Make sure to decarb your cannabis before using it to make edibles, or they won't get you high. Learn more about decarboxylation here.


Decriminalization refers to lessened penalties for cannabis consumption; however, decriminalization does not make cannabis legal. Many countries have opted to decriminalize cannabis rather than fully legalize it.


A dispensary is a store where cannabis is sold. Learn more about shopping at a dispensary here.


"Doobie" is slang for a joint, or cannabis cigarette. "Pass the doobie!"


"Dope" is slang for cannabis.


"Edible" is a generalized term for food or drink that has been infused with cannabis. Edibles can be bought from dispensaries in the form of gummies, chocolate, cookies, soda, and more. In addition, many people make their own edibles at home using ingredients infused with cannabis, like cannabutter or infused coconut oil. Taking edibles is ideal for people who want to consume cannabis but are weary of smoking or vaporizing. Unlike smoking, which has an immediate psychoactive effect, edibles can take anywhere from 45 minutes to 90 minutes to take effect. Edibles usually produce a high that can last four hours or more. Learn more about edibles in these articles: The Pros and Cons of Edible Marijuana vs. Smoking How to Make Edibles: Simple Steps to Tasty Cannabis-Infused Treats

Endocannabinoid system (ECS)

The endocannabinoid system is a cell-signaling system that consists of receptors located all over the body. These receptors control various bodily functions, such as regulating temperature, pain, inflammation, appetite, sleep, etc. The endocannabinoid system is the reason why we can benefit from cannabis and its therapeutic properties. The ECS has cannabinoid receptors of its own, which is what the cannabinoids in cannabis interact with. Learn more about the body’s endocannabinoid system here.

Entourage effect

The entourage effect is a phenomenon referring to increased or improved effects from consuming different compounds in cannabis together instead of in isolation. Learn more about the entourage effect here.


Cannabis extracts, also called cannabis concentrates, are products made from cannabis resin after undergoing extraction. Learn more about the extraction process here.


"Feminized" refers to cannabis plants that have been bred only to produce female versions of the strains. Cultivators often purchase feminized seeds to ensure that their plants are female and that there will not be any males, which would reduce the quality of a crop if they pollinated the feminized plants.


Flavonoids are compounds in cannabis that are primarily responsible for giving the plants pigmentation and contributing to their flavors. They are commonly found in many different foods and contribute to the therapeutic properties of cannabis. Learn more about flavonoids here.


Cannabis flower is the consumable, trichome-enriched part of the plant, also commonly referred to as "bud." Flower is generally smoked, vaporized, or used to make edibles. Some consumers like smoking flower, while others prefer edibles or concentrates. Learn more about the anatomy of cannabis plants here.

Full-spectrum CBD

Full-spectrum CBD, or whole plant CBD, is created using the whole hemp plant and thus contains many of the plant’s cannabinoids and compounds—including up to 0.3% THC. As long as the product contains 0.3% THC or less, it is federally legal under the 2018 Farm Bill. Broad-spectrum CBD products, on the other hand, are entirely free of THC. Learn more about the various forms of CBD here.


Ganja is another term for cannabis. “Can you pass the ganja so I can roll a jay?”

Gateway drug

The term "gateaway drug" refers to the theory that the consumption of cannabis leads to the use of more dangerous substances, which can lead to addiction. Many people still believe that cannabis is a gateway drug despite the fact that there are many studies that disprove the theory. Learn more about the cannabis gateway theory here.


"Grass" is slang for cannabis. “I don't think this grass is dry enough to cure.”


A grinder is an apparatus that is used to break up cannabis flower so that it can be smoked or vaporized. “Can you pass me the grinder? I'm gonna load the bong." Learn more about grinders here.


The harvest is the process of gathering cannabis crops in preparation for drying, curing, and preparing for sale. “Look at those buds; it’s almost time to harvest!”


Hashish, also called hash, is an extracted form of cannabis that is made from resin. Hashish is typically consumed in a pipe, bong, vaporizer, or joint. This extracted form of cannabis is made from compressed resin glands, more commonly known as trichomes, making it very potent. Hash has a long history of use in Afghanistan, Morocco, India, and Pakistan. In Europe, hash is the most popular form of cannabis, as opposed to smoking flower, which is a popular method of consumption in the United States. Learn more about hash here.

Heirloom strains

Heirloom strains are cannabis strains that have been taken from their native locations and propagated in other locations. Heirloom strains have supposedly never been crossbred with other strains and have been propagated in other locations naturally, such as pollination by wind, animals, etc.


Hemp is a species of cannabis most commonly used to make fibrous products. In the U.S., hemp is legally different from cannabis in that it contains 0.3% THC or less. “Do you like my backpack? It’s made from hemp.” Learn more about hemp here.


Hempcrete is a form of concrete made from hemp hurds. “We should consider building our new home with hempcrete. It’s said to be a nontoxic building material with excellent insulation properties.” Learn more about hempcrete here.

Heroic dosing

Heroic dosing refers to a significantly large dose of a substance, often psychedelics or cannabis. “I tried heroic dosing shrooms last week, and it helped me break through my writer's block.” Learn more about heroic dosing here.


Taking a hit means inhaling, or smoking, one puff of cannabis. “This joint is too small for so many people. Please just take a hit or two and pass it on."

Homegrown cannabis

Homegrown cannabis is cannabis that has been grown on private property, either indoors, outdoors, or in a small greenhouse. Learn more about growing your own cannabis here.


A hybrid is a cannabis strain that results from crossing two strains. These days, the vast majority of strains available are hybrids. “My favorite hybrid strain is White Widow.”here.

Hydroponic growing

Hydroponics is a growing system for cannabis that relies on using nutrient-rich water instead of soil. “Have you ever tried hydroponically grown strains?" Learn more about hydroponic cannabis cultivation here.

Illicit/illegal market

The illicit or illegal market is the underground economy that trades illegal, unregulated cannabis.


Indica is a type of cannabis strain. Cannabis indica and Cannabis sativa are the two primary subspecies of the cannabis plant. They are categorized based on the appearance of the plant and the different effects the cannabis has when consumed. Cannabis indica plants are typically shorter and bushier than sativa plants. They have dark green leaves, while sativa plants have leaves that are lighter in color. Indicas are thought to contain higher levels of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and are a good choice for nighttime use, as they act as a sedative, relieve pain, and help with insomnia. Indicas are known for producing a relaxing “body high." When you go to a dispensary, the budtender will often ask you if you are looking for an indica or sativa. However, recent research shows that the effects are more complex than this comparison, though it is a good starting point for selecting a strain that is right for you. “Did you say this strain is indica-dominant? I really need something with more relaxing properties.” Learn more about indica strains here.


Isolates are cannabis products that contain only one cannabinoid, usually CBD or THC. Isolate products may not allow the consumer to benefit from the entourage effect, but they do provide an option for patients to use cannabis that does not contain the intoxicating cannabinoid THC. Additionally, it has been suggested that a CBD isolate product is a good alternative to full- or broad-spectrum products for those who have reacted poorly to other cannabinoids in the past.


A joint is a cigarette made from rolling paper and cannabis. First, the cannabis is ground up with a grinder or by hand and then sealed inside of the rolling paper. Sometimes joints include a filter, also known as the crutch or roach, to reduce the throat and lung irritations that smoking can cause. In addition, the filter prevents the resin from the burning cannabis from getting in the smoker’s mouth. Lighting the joint burns the cannabis and releases cannabinoids so they can be inhaled through the mouth. Sometimes a joint can contain both cannabis and tobacco; this is known as a spliff. “Can you roll us a joint?”


Kief is a powder-like substance of very fine cannabis. Kief can also be created by shaking crystallized trichomes off of cured buds. Kief is easily extracted from the cannabis plant, and many cannabis smokers extract it with their grinders. Some grinders contain two to three screens inside of them, which filter the particles in smaller and smaller sections, leaving the concentrated kief at the bottom of the grinder. Kief can be smoked in a pipe or a joint. It is also considered a cannabis concentrate because it is a primary ingredient in making hash or hash oil, as it contains cannabis resin. Learn more about kief here.


The term "kush" is historically used to refer to a subset of indica varieties but is now commonly used to refer to cannabis in general. “This kush looks moldy. Are you sure you stored it correctly?"

Landrace strain

Landrace is used to describe cannabis that has not had its genetics altered and is indigeous to its region of growth. “My dispensary just got a new batch of this landrace strain called Afghani—apparently, it’s a must try.”

Live resin

Live resin is a substance extracted from fresh cannabis that is kept at freezing temperatures as opposed to being dried. Learn more about live resin and other concentrates here.


Microbials consist of bacteria, viruses, and fungi that could be present in a cannabis product.


Microdosing is the act of consuming small doses of a substance, often psychedelics or cannabis. Microdosing cannabis allows the consumer to reap the benefits of cannabis without experiencing intoxication. Learn more about microdosing cannabis here.


"The munchies" is the phenomenon associated with an increased appetite after having consumed cannabis. Make sure to keep some snacks on hand for when the munchies hit. Learn more about the munchies here.


Similar to a bowl on a bong, a nail is the detachable part on the body of a dab rig that holds the cannabis concentrate. Nails have a different shape than bangers, so choosing between them comes down to personal preference. Typically made of quartz, titanium, ceramic, or glass, the nail is heated with a torch either before or after the extract is placed into it depending on the dabbing method. Connoisseurs will say that different materials will give different flavor profiles, temperatures, and thus effects. To prevent the buildup of carbon and oil, you should clean your nail after every dabbing session. Learn more about dabbing terminology here.


The node is the part of the cannabis plant where a branch grows off of the main stem. Nodes are also where the flowers and leaves grow off the branches. One can look near the nodes to see what gender the plant is and whether it is being exposed to the proper temperatures and amounts of light. Learn more about the anatomy of cannabis plants here.


Nug is slang for a bud of cannabis flower. One or two nugs are usually enough to fill a joint.


A pharmaceutical is a medical drug that is man-made. The pharmaceutical industry and the cannabis industry are becoming competing industries as more people turn to cannabis as a more natural, effective means of treating and managing symptoms. However, the two can also be used in a symbiotic relationship, so be sure to discuss combining the two in your treatment plan with your physician. Learn more about the pharmaceutical industry here.


The phenotype is the observable characteristics of a cannabis plant's genetics. When a female plant produces seeds, the seeds will have characteristics of the male plant that pollinated the female plant, producing the seeds. This is a common practice when cultivators are trying to crossbreed strains with specific characteristics. The environment in which the female plant and her seeds are being grown can also impact which genes of both the male and female plant get expressed in the different genes. Learn more about cannabis genetics here.


A pipe is an apparatus for smoking cannabis by means of inhaling the burning cannabis with no water filtration. There are many different types and designs of pipes for consumers to choose from.


The pistil is the reproductive organ in female cannabis plants. The pistil protrudes out of the calyx and is also known as the stigma. Learn more about the anatomy of cannabis plants here.


A pre-roll is a cannabis cigarette that has already been rolled and is ready for consumption after purchase. Learn more about pre-rolls here.


Prohibition refers to laws that ban the cultivation, sale, and/or consumption of cannabis. Cannabis prohibition began in America in the 1970s under the Controlled Substances Act.


Psychoactive refers to substances that affect the mind. Cannabis contains multiple psychoactive compounds, including THC and CBD. Many people forget that CBD and other non-intoxicating cannabinoids are psychoactive.


Reform is an umbrella term for social movements that advocate for change in cannabis policy. After decades of prohibition, cannabis reform is taking the industry to new heights.

Residual solvents

When cannabis undergoes the process of extraction, solutions such as ethanol or CO2 are used. Residual solvents refers to those solutions that may still be present in cannabis products. Learn more about solvents here.

Rolling paper

Rolling paper is a paper product used to roll joints (i.e., cannabis cigarettes). There are many types of rolling paper to choose from.


Rosin is a solventless cannabis extract made using heat and pressure. Learn more about rosin here.


Sativa is one of the two main subspecies of the cannabis plant. The other is indica. Both are thought to have distinct effects. Sativas are known for an energizing “head high” and for increasing focus and easing depression. This varies from the relaxing effects thought to be perceived from indicas, which create more of a “body high.” In addition to the psychoactive effects of these cannabis strains, the sativa and indica plants have different physical appearances. Indica is more bushy, while sativa plants are taller, skinnier, and have lighter green leaves. Despite all these differences, current research shows that sativa and indica are more similar than we initially thought. Research now suggests that the terpene profile and the cannabinoid profile are responsible for the differences between strains more so than we previously realized. Learn more about sativa strains here.


Scromiting is a medical disorder that causes cannabis consumers to experience severe abdominal pain and vomiting. The proper name for scromiting is cannabinoid hyperemesis syndrome. Scromiting has been linked to high-potency cannabis products. Learn more about scromiting here.


Shake is all of the loose trichomes that fall off packaged cannabis flower and gather at the bottom of the container it’s in. Learn more about shake here.


Shatter is a type of extracted cannabis concentrate that is brittle, somewhat transparent, and appears to break like glass. Learn more about shatter and other concentrates here.


A spliff is a cannabis cigarette that contains both loose cannabis flower and loose tobacco in rolling paper. A spliff is different from a joint, which contains only cannabis. Learn more about spliffs here.


A sploof is a device that consists of a tube with a filter. Sploofs are used to hide the smell of cannabis—the consumer simply exhales the smoke into the sploof. Parents and patients who live with minors and want to conceal their cannabis consumption should consider using a sploof. Learn more about sploofs and other ways of hiding the smell of cannabis here.


The stem is one of the main structural axes of the cannabis plant. It supports the branches, leaves, and flowers by transporting water and nutrients. Learn more about the anatomy of cannabis plants here.


A strain is a variety of cannabis. There are more than 700 known strains of cannabis, each of which offers its own potency, taste, smell, and effects. Learn more about cannabis strains here.


"Stoned" is slang for being under the influence of cannabis. "Let's get stoned before the concert!"

Synthetic cannabis

Synthetic cannabis is man-made cannabis; examples are spice and K2. Synthetic cannabis is associated with significantly more adverse effects than naturally grown cannabis. Learn more about spice here.


Taffy is a cannabis extract that has a flexible, dough-like consistency.


Terpenes, or terpenoids, are chemicals produced by plants that are responsible for the different flavors and aromas of cannabis strains. Plants produce terpenes to protect themselves from predators or to attract pollinators. In combination with cannabinoids, such as tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD), terpenes are thought to enhance the health benefits of cannabis. Terpenes help us differentiate the different strains of cannabis through scent, as the combinations are all unique. Many terpenes that are found in cannabis are also found in other plants and products that we already consume. For example, linalool is a terpene that can also be found in lavender and provides anti-anxiety effects. Pinene is another terpene that is found in rosemary and is thought to provide an invigorating effect and improve mental alertness. Learn more about terpenes here.

Thai stick

A Thai stick is a type of cannabis cigarette that consists of cannabis flower from Thailand tied around a stick.


Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) is the most well-known and abundant chemical component of cannabis. It is the component that has psychoactive effects and makes you feel “high.” THC is not found in fresh cannabis; by burning or heating the cannabis, tetrahydrocannabinolic acid (THCA) is converted into THC. The flowers of the cannabis plant typically contain the largest amounts of THC. THC attaches to cannabinoid receptors in certain areas of the brain that affect thinking, memory, pleasure, coordination, and sensory and time perception. When THC stimulates the brain, dopamine is released and creates euphoria and relaxing effects. In addition, it changes how new information is processed in the hippocampus portion of the brain. This explains why many people experience short-term memories differently when consuming THC. Learn more about THC here.


Tetrahydrocannabinolic acid (THCA) can be found in all cannabis and is considered essential for extracting tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) from the plant. When cannabis is heated or burned through a process called decarboxylation, THCA is converted to THC, the psychoactive component of cannabis. Some strains of cannabis have higher concentrations of THCA in it, as does fresher cannabis flower. It is important to note that when you are purchasing cannabis flower and you see the chemical breakdown of it on the packaging, the amount of THCA and THC are typically the same. THCA has different benefits than THC, so it can be beneficial to hold off on decarboxylation in some cases. THCA has been found to be highly effective in treating nausea and is an anti-inflammatory that can help with chronic pain. It has also been suggested that it has the potential to inhibit prostate cancer tumor growth. In order to reap the benefits of THCA, you can find it in lotions, oils, tinctures, and transdermal patches for purchase from a dispensary. Juicing with raw cannabis leaves is also another popular method of consumption. If you would like to tap into the benefits of THCA without feeling intoxicating effects, we recommend that you avoid applying any sort of heat that will convert it to THC. Learn more about THCA here.


Tetrahydrocannabivarin (THCV) is another psychoactive compound found in cannabis that research is beginning to address. THCV’s effects can be thought of as a cross between the intoxicating effects of THC and CBD. It makes patients feel more energized and alert as well as providing an anti-appetite effect, among other benefits to diseases like epilepsy and Alzheimer’s. Learn more about THCV here.


A tincture is a liquid form of cannabis that is infused into alcohol or glycerin. It typically comes in a bottle with a dropper and can be easily measured and titrated for using cannabis for medical purposes, such as for anxiety or neuropathy. The dosage measured in the dropper is typically placed sublingually, or under the tongue, for a quicker effect. Learn more about tinctures here.


"Toke" is slang for a puff/inhale/hit of cannabis. "Can I get a toke off that joint?"


Tolerance is the body's ability to get used to a substance, causing the consumer to experience weaker or fewer effects from the substance. Consider taking a break from smoking for a few days to lower your tolerance. Learn more about cannabis tolerance here.


Topicals are cannabis-infused products intended to be applied directly to the skin, such as lotions, ointments, balms, etc. If you suffer from localized muscle or joint pain, you might benefit from a cannabis topical.


Trichomes are microscopic, mushroom-shaped hairs on the cannabis plant that play a direct role in the effects consumers experience from cannabis. This is because trichomes contain the majority of the plant’s cannabinoids—the active chemical compounds—and terpenes—the aromatic compounds. Together, these compounds determine how our cannabis smells, tastes, and makes us feel. Learn more about trichomes here.


Vaporizing cannabis is done by heating any form of cannabis, including flower, waxes, and oils, to 329-374°F. This temperature is important because it allows the cannabis to evaporate into vapor to inhale instead of burning the plant or plant extracts like smoking does. You can purchase a vaporizer for your home and it will emit the evaporated particles into the air where you can breathe it in, free from the hazards of smoke. Many people who vaporize cannabis choose to do so with a vape pen, which is a more affordable and portable alternative to buying a tabletop vaporizer. Learn more about vaping cannabis here.

Wake and bake

"Wake and bake" is slang for smoking cannabis in the morning after waking up. Many seasoned cannabis consumers like to wake and bake.

Water pipe

A water pipe is a device that uses water to filter cannabis smoke. Common examples include a bong or hookah.


Wax is a sticky form of extracted cannabis that is commonly used for dabbing. Learn more about wax and other concentrates here.


The xylem is a part of the cannabis plant. It consists of transport tissue in the roots that pumps water and minerals to the plant.


Yield is the amount of cannabis that has been obtained from a harvest. A large amount of time and resources go into planning and preparing land for the cultivation of cannabis so that the largest possible yield can be harvested.

Data Last Updated 07/24/2024

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