Cannabis Glossary


BHO (a.k.a. Butane Hash Oil)

A cannabis extract that is created by using butane as a solvent during the extraction process. Commonly referred to as BHO, butane hash oil comes in a variety of consistencies and textures depending on equipment and techniques used in the extraction process.


The proportion of a drug or other substance which enters the circulation when introduced into the body and so can have an active effect.


The exact definition of biphasic is “in two phases.” In the world of cannabis medicine,

this term is used to describe the somewhat contradictory effects of THC. The beneficial effects of the cannabinoid increase until they reach a certain dosage point. After crossing a particular dosage threshold, a patient might experience a worsening of the symptoms they hope to treat. Many of the therapeutic effects of THC occur on a bell curve, with diminishing returns in high doses.


A traditional blunt is a hollowed-out cigar filled with ground cannabis. Since cigars tend to be larger than joint rolling papers, they can hold more cannabis and have a small amount of nicotine. Modern blunt wraps are made from Palm, Mint, and even Hemp and do not contain nicotine.


A glass, ceramic, or plastic device used to smoke cannabis flower. Bongs use water to filter out any undesirable plant matter—allowing only smoke to reach the user’s lungs.


The part on a bong, pipe, or any smoking device that holds the cannabis. “Pack a bowl” means to place cannabis flower into the bowl where it will be ignited and smoked.


A smoking device that uses water to filter smoke, like a bong but smaller.


Another word used to describe cannabis flowers. Once dried and manicured, buds are ground up and smoked.


A term used to describe the appearance and consistency of a cannabis concentrate. Budder typically has a malleable texture that is like a stick of butter.


An employee of a dispensary who works at the storefront to assist and educate customers about cannabis products.



The calyx is the part of the flower that forms first, and eventually becomes the base that supports the rest of the flower.

Within the cannabis calyx, you will find all the important reproductive organs, including the pistil and stigmas. You will also find resin glands, which are responsible for producing cannabinoids, including THC.


A class of diverse, naturally occurring chemical compounds that influence CB1 and CB2 cell receptors in the brain and body.

Acidic/Raw Cannabinoids

In the raw cannabis plant, which has been unheated and uncured, cannabinoids are found in their acidic form. Instead of calling these molecules cannabinoids, they are considered cannabinoid acids. These acids are the precursors to both dominant and sub-cannabinoids. They do not produce intoxicating effects. The two most common cannabinoid acids are THCA and CBDA, which are the precursors to THC and CBD, respectively.


Sub-cannabinoids are cannabinoids that are less abundant in the cannabis plant. Apart from THC and CBD, some of the most common sub cannabinoids include CBN, CBG, and THCV. None of these cannabinoids produce a psychotropic experience that is as strong as THC. These sub-cannabinoids are expected to have medicinal properties, though they have been studied far less than the more dominant cannabinoids.


A plant genus with three subspecies, including Cannabis sativa, Cannabis indica, and Cannabis ruderalis. Cannabis sativa and Cannabis indica have intoxicating properties and are used for both medical and recreational purposes. Cannabis ruderalis is naturally lower in THC and is not usually farmed. The Cannabis plant is native to Asia but is grown all around the world to produce hemp and medicine, textiles, food and more.

Cannabis Naive

A cannabis-naive patient is a first-time consumer. This patient will have a low tolerance for cannabis medicines and will need to titrate up to their optimal therapeutic dose. This consumer is the most likely to experience negative side effects from cannabis products. When introducing a cannabis-naive patient to cannabis, that patient must slowly titrate up to their optimal therapeutic dose.


A caregiver is a person that has been designated to provide for a medical cannabis patient.

Qualifications and regulations for caregivers vary by state law. In general, however, a caregiver can pick up cannabis products and/or grow cannabis plants in their homes on behalf of a patient. A caregiver is not legally allowed to consume the cannabis products that they acquire or cultivate for another.

Cartridge (a.k.a. cart)

A small container prefilled with cannabis extracts/oils that are rich in cannabis’ active ingredients. Cartridges come in multiple formats. Some snap into place magnetically while others come threaded and twist into a battery.


A type of cannabis concentrate that is very potent with extremely high levels of THC. It is often made by dipping buds in hash oil and sprinkling them with kief.


Cannabidiol (CBD) is one of many cannabinoids produced by cannabis, second only to THC in abundance. CBD is not intoxicating, meaning it does not create the “euphoric high” of THC.


Cannabis plants that display chemical characteristics are called chemovars. Thus far, it is accepted that at least three different chemovars dominant today’s cannabis market. These three chemovars are:

Chemovars: THC-Dominant

A THC-dominant chemovar contains mostly THC relative to other chemical constituents found in cannabis resin. Until recently, most cannabis cultivars in illicit, recreational, and medical markets were high-THC varieties. These varieties range in psychoactive potential depending on the amount of THC present in the cannabis product.

Dried flower typically contains between 8 and 25 percent of the cannabinoid. Based on data from 2014, the average percentage of THC in high-THC varieties fell at 12 percent total (Elsohly et al, 2016). Some particularly impressive cultivars may feature beyond 30 percent of the psychoactive. These high-producing cultivars are recommended for consumers who are comfortable with intoxicating cannabis and who have prior experience with THC.

Chemovars: CBD-Dominant

As mentioned above, cannabis cultivars are often dominant in one cannabinoid or another. Though, some cultivars can be dominant in both. A CBD-dominant cultivar will contain more CBD than THC. While there are more THC-dominant cultivars than CBD- dominant ones, today’s CBD varieties often feature anywhere from 6 to over 20 percent CBD.

Chemovars: Mixed

Some chemovars, however, will present more of a mixed cannabinoid ratio. These chemovars will contain equal or sizable proportions of both CBD and THC. Some mixed chemovars display a one-to-one ratio of THC to CBD. Others may feature a two-to-one, one-to-two, or another combination. These mixed chemovars will produce more wide- ranging effects, depending on the unique ratio of a given sample. The higher the THC content, the greater the likelihood that the product or flower will produce a psychoactive effect.


The cannabis plant traditionally breeds by exchanging genetic material between both male and female plants. In some cases, when a plant is under stress and this type of breeding becomes impossible, a plant will develop hermaphroditism. In commercial and home operations, growers have another way of reproducing plant. A clipping can be taken from a “mother” plant and this clipping will grow to be a genetic copy of the plant it was taken from. This clipping is a clone. This allows for more control over the genetic makeup of the plant and ensures that a plant will showcase the same phenotypic characteristics as the mother plant.


Carbon dioxide (CO2) is one of the solvents used to extract cannabis resin. CO2 extracts tend to have a syrup-like texture and feature a golden to dark amber coloration. CO2 is among the safest solvents to use to extract cannabis resin.

CO2 Oil

A term for some cannabis concentrates that are made by using CO2 as a solvent to extract terpenes, cannabinoids, and other beneficial compounds from the cannabis plant to create products for vaping and dabbing.


The central flower cluster that forms at the top of the main stems in mature female cannabis plants. Buds that grow on the cola are the largest and are prized for their high concentrations of active resin. Their size and luster make them a popular choice for cannabis photography.


Highly concentrated cannabis extracts, with potencies reaching as high as 98% THC. They are produced by extracting cannabinoids and terpenes from cannabis flower in a process that typically uses a solvent, like CO2 or butane. The effects of concentrates are felt almost immediately after inhalation.


A rolling paper that comes in the shape of a cone that you fill with ground flower to make a joint. It tends to be an easier alternative to rolling a joint with regular papers.


In cannabis cultivation, the process of curing is the method used to properly age buds before they are ready for consumption. When plants are moved from the drying stage to the curing stage at the right time, the flavor, potency, and desirable characteristics are greatly improved.



Dabbing is a way to consume cannabis concentrates, like wax or shatter. It’s done by dropping a small amount of concentrate (a dab) on a heated nail, then inhaling the vapor through the glass piece it is attached to. See also: Rig.


A term used to describe high-quality, desirable cannabis flower. It is often used to refer to buds that are extra sticky, hairy, pungent, and highly potent.


The process of heating cannabis flower to alter the cannabinoids so they will better interact with the body. Cannabinoids, such as THC, are inactive until they are heated decarboxylated). Once heated, the molecular structure shifts and turns inactive compounds into active cannabinoids that can get you high.


A dispensary is a retail location where consumers and patients can purchase legal cannabis in a safe manner. Customers receive friendly assistance from expert staff (called budtenders) who help them find products to suit their individual needs and tolerances.


A highly refined cannabis concentrate. Distillation removes terpenes, many pigments, and other non-cannabinoid components, generally producing a higher potency and purer concentrate than other forms of cannabis extracts. Distillate is often used in edibles due to its lack of characteristic cannabis flavor as well as in vape pens.


A wooden box with two compartments to hold a short tubular metal pipe and a small amount of cannabis. Dugouts are popular for their discreteness and ease of use.



Produced by infusing a product with cannabis concentrate or cannabutter, edibles can range from baked goods and chocolate bars to drinks and capsules.


A standard weight measurement of cannabis flower that refers to an eighth of an ounce. This amount equals about 3.5 grams.

Endocannabinoid System

The endocannabinoid system is made up of receptors found in the central and peripheral nervous systems. These receptors are primarily responsible for maintaining homeostasis—or a stable equilibrium—between the body’s many physiological and psychological processes, including appetite, pain-sensation, mood, and memory. Cannabinoids like THC, CBD, CBN, and more interact with these receptors and can contribute to maintaining the body’s homeostasis.

Entourage Effect

A term coined by Dr. Raphael Mechoulam in 1998 to describe the physiological synergy of combining compounds such as terpenes and cannabinoids.


Ethanol is another common solvent used to make cannabis extractions. Like CO2, ethanol is one of the safest solvents to use during extraction. Unlike BHO and CO2, however, ethanol is more likely than other solvents to remove chlorophyll, which is the compound that gives plant their green coloration. As a result, ethanol extractions tend to feature greater color variance than other extracts.  Depending on how the extract was processed, the resulting concentrate may maintain more of a green coloration or a light to dark amber hue.


Extraction refers to the separation of cannabis resin from plant material. To extract the essential oil from the cannabis plant, a solvent is needed to pull the fat-based compounds from the fiber and other substances that make up the structure of the cannabis plant. Extractions are cannabis concentrates, meaning that they are highly potent. In fact, extractions are the strongest cannabis products available in terms of total cannabinoid content.



Full-Extract Cannabis Oil (FECO) is a cannabis concentrate that is most commonly extracted with ethanol. It has earned the term “full-extract” because it contains cannabinoids, terpenes, and flavonoids, and other compounds found in the cannabis plant. Other solvents, like butane and CO2, remove many terpenes and flavonoids that naturally occur in the plant. FECO, in contrast, best maintains the integrity of the plant by maintaining a greater diversity of cannabis compounds in the concentrate.


Flavonoids are pigment molecules in plants. Many flavonoids provide a bitter flavor to plant foods, but they may also be responsible for some of the nuance of tastes found in fruits and vegetables. Flavonoids are the molecules responsible for providing coloration to cannabis leaves and flowers. They also hold numerous medicinal and nutritional benefits.


The flowering part of the cannabis plant that is dried, cured, and smoked. This smokable part of the cannabis plant is also referred to as “bud.”

Full Plant or Whole Plant

A full-plant concentrate is one that is made using whole cannabis flowers. Like FECO and RSO, the goal of full-plant extracts is to maintain the integrity of the plant. With a full- plant extract, extractors seek to maintain terpene, cannabinoid, and flavonoid profiles of individual cannabis cultivars. Trim and sugar leaves may also be included in these extractions, though full-plant extracts are not made solely with trim.

Full spectrum

Refers to cannabis concentrate that includes the full range of cannabinoid, terpene and other therapeutic compounds contained in the raw cannabis plant to maintain the desirable cannabis compounds without altering them with decarboxylation or oxidation.



A device used to break cannabis buds into smaller pieces for joints and bowls. Buds are placed in between the teeth of the grinder, and the top and bottom pieces of the grinder are twisted in opposite directions to break down the flower.



Short for “hashish,” hash is a cannabis concentrate that is made by pressing together the resin glands of the cannabis plant to form a hardened, solid piece called a slab or brick. Hash is usually inhaled or smoked and is one of the older types of cannabis concentrates, dating as far back as the 12th century.


A tall, stalky variety of Cannabis sativa that is usually extremely low in THC. These fibrous plants have been used for over 10,000 years for a variety of purposes, like making paper, clothing, rope, and building materials. Hemp is a popular source of protein, cooking oil, body care products, and is used to make CBD isolates.


Being “high” refers to the intoxicating effect of cannabinoids like THC. It is often reported as feelings of happiness and relaxation, as well as altered time and sensory perception.


To take a “hit” means to inhale cannabis. Each singular inhale from a joint or bong, and puff on a vape pen are considered “hits.”


A combination of two or more different strains of cannabis. Centuries of crossbreeding have turned most strains into hybrids; some sativa-dominant, and some indica-dominant.


A method of cannabis cultivation that uses water, sand, or gravel rather than soil. Hydroponic cannabis cultivation is considered by some to be more efficient than traditional soil-based cultivation because the open root system creates a pathway for direct uptake of nutrients and oxygen.


Ice Water Hash

Ice water hash is a type of solventless extraction. This extraction method uses ice water to freeze trichomes, which then become bitter enough to break off. These trichomes will then condense into a crumble-like powder and are sometimes compressed to create a more solid hash. Compared with solvent extractions, ice water hash is less refined and less potent. This type of hash can take on a dark amber to deep green coloration, depending on the quality of the processing.


Indica is one of the three cannabis species (the other two being Sativa and Ruderalis). It most likely originated in Afghanistan around the Hindu Kush Mountain Range. Indica is generally considered to have more body-focused, physically relaxing effects, and users often prefer Indica strains for nighttime relaxation and physical relief.

Infused Products

Live resin is a unique type of butane hash oil that is prepared using flash-frozen cannabis Cannabis’s active constituents can be infused into foods and drinks for easy consumption. Cannabis is most often infused into butter and cooking oils. However, isolates and other concentrates can also be used to infuse edibles and beverages. Infused foods can

take between 30 minutes and two full hours to take effect. Infused drinks have a faster activation time, with an average onset time closer to 30 minutes.



One of the most popular methods for consuming cannabis, joints are a rolled cigarette containing cannabis instead of tobacco. Joints are made by spreading a strip of ground-up cannabis flower onto a rolling paper, then rolling it up to form the shape of a cigarette. Joints appeal to many users because they are portable and easy to discard when finished.



A powdery substance of the tiny trichomes collected by sifting cannabis flowers and leaves. Kief can be pressed into hash, used in food, or sprinkled into joints and blunts. As one of the most natural methods of concentrating cannabis, kief is easy to collect and very potent.


Refers to a variety of cannabis that descends from the Hindu Kush mountains in Afghanistan. If a strain has strong Kush genetics, it usually has dense, chunky buds that produce smooth and herbaceous smoke and vape. These strains are dominant in the terpene limonene and will often produce heavy, sedative effects.



The term Landrace is used to describe strains of cannabis developed in their natural environment and have not been cross bred with other varieties. They have a reduced genetic variety that often makes the plants very uniform in appearance and cultivation characteristics.

Live Resin

A type of concentrate created by freezing freshly harvested cannabis before starting the extraction process, allowing the plant to retain more terpenes, thus giving it a more authentic flavor and aroma profile.



This Spanish word was one of the original terms for cannabis. While it can have negative connotations associated with cannabis being brought to the U.S. from Spanish speaking immigrants, it is still an accepted term in the cannabis community.


Mg/mL stands for milligrams per milliliter. Cannabis products are often dosed in milligrams of active cannabinoid infused into a milliliter of oil, solvent, topical, or another solution. In edible cannabis, the dosage of active cannabinoid is measured in milligrams per serving. In dried flower, the active cannabinoid content is measured as a percentage.


Micro dosing is a term that describes consuming small amounts of cannabinoids. A standard micro dose is between one and three milligrams of THC or CBD. These micro doses are thought to help patients maintain a low tolerance to cannabis medicines while still reaping some of the health and wellness advantages of the plant. Micro doses of cannabis are typically so small that no intoxication is experienced. Over time, however, concentrations of fat-soluble cannabinoids like THC and CBD will build up in the

body. This potentially enables long-term effects from small doses of cannabinoid medicines.



Nails are usually made from quartz, glass, or titanium, and are used to smoke cannabis concentrates. The nail is heated, commonly by a hand torch, and when it comes in contact with a concentrate, a vapor is produced and inhaled.


A slang term short for “nugget.” It refers to the way a manicured piece of smokable bud material looks. The term is also often used to describe high-quality cannabis.



An abbreviation for the cannabis strain called OG Kush. A long-time staple in the cannabis scene, OG is a strong Indica strain that originates from California. While no one is exactly sure where the term OG originated, some believe it to be short for terms like “ocean grown,” “original gangster” and possibly “overgrown.”

Onset Time

Refers to the amount of time it takes for the effects to become noticeable after using cannabis. For example, smoking and edibles have different onset times.

Optimal Therapeutic Dose

When dosing cannabis medicines, patients often start with small dosages and titrate up until they reach their optimal therapeutic dose. At this dosage, they have reached the precise amount of cannabis medicine needed to achieve the desired effect. As a tolerance develops to the effects of cannabis over time, a patient’s optimal therapeutic dose may change.


A standard weight measurement of cannabis flower that equals about 28 grams.



A phenotype is an observable genetic characteristic passed down from a parent to an offspring. In cannabis, different plants will express different phenotypes depending on their breeding. Individual plants may express different coloration, differences in leaf shape, differences in height, and other observable physical traits.

Pollen Sac

Pollen sacs are small balls on the male cannabis plant that open when they’re fully mature, releasing pollen into the air. The tiny pollen grains hold the male plant’s DNA information which combines with the female gametes that contain its DNA information, resulting in cannabis seeds.


One of the many terms used for cannabis that originated during the underground days of cannabis prohibition. The word is likely derived from the Mexican Spanish word “potiguaya,” the Spanish name for cannabis-infused wine or brandy.


A joint that is already rolled, or “pre-rolled” and sold in dispensaries.



A standard weight measurement of cannabis flower that refers to a quarter of an ounce. This amount equals about 7 grams.



The ratios of dominant cannabinoids in cannabis flower and products provide important information regarding the overall effect that the product will have. A given ratio quantifies the parts of THC relative to parts of CBD. In some products, ratios including different cannabinoids, like CBN, may be listed.

Rick Simpson Oil – RSO

RSO is similar to FECO and the terms are often used synonymously. A traditional RSO, however, uses naphtha as a solvent. As cannabis oil continued to gain popularity over the past decade, the use of naphtha as a solvent has fallen out of favor. Now, many home extractors use a high-proof grain alcohol or ethanol to extract resin from cannabis plants and extract it into a concentrated oil. RSO was first developed by the Canadian activist Rick Simpson, who used the oil to treat his own skin cancer.


The full setup of equipment used for dabbing. A rig typically consists of a water pipe fitted with a “nail” instead of a bowl. The nail is usually made of ceramic, titanium, or quartz, and is heated with a flame where the concentrate is immediately vaporized and inhaled.

Roach/Roach Clip

A roach is what remains of a joint or blunt after most of it has been smoked. Because roaches are small, they are difficult to hold and smoke. A roach clip is a small clipping device that holds the roach, making it easier to smoke.


A type of concentrate that is extracted by applying heat and pressure to the cannabis plant without the use of solvents.



One of the three cannabis species (the other two being Indica and Ruderalis) that likely originated around Nepal. Sativa strains are generally considered to have more cerebral, uplifting, and energizing effects and users often prefer Sativa dominant strains for creative work and physical activities.


The embryonic plant protected by an outer shell, formed when pollen fertilizes the female plant. Marijuana seeds are ready to plant and grow once they successfully germinate, or once the root has broken through the seed. They can be found in multiple forms; regular, feminized, and auto-flowering. Home growers of cannabis often choose to grow feminized seeds to ensure that the adult plant will be a flowering female.


The loose pieces of plant material that collect at the bottom of a bag or container of cannabis. Small scraps of cannabis tend to fall off larger buds as a result of regular handling.


A type of concentrate that is a solid material resembling a thin, honey-colored shard of glass. When touched, shatter easily breaks into pieces—hence the name.


In the world of cannabis, solvents refer to the liquid used to separate THC from the cannabis flower when making concentrates.


A joint filled with a mixture of cannabis and tobacco. The term originated from the phrase “splitting the difference” between cannabis and tobacco.


A slang term used to describe the state of being under the influence of cannabis.


Refers to a cannabis flower’s particular variety. Strains are used to characterize the shape, color, taste, aroma, and effects of cannabis. Cannabis strains are typically broken up into three groups: Indica, Sativa, and Hybrid.



Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) is an intoxicating cannabinoid and is largely responsible for the “high” associated with using cannabis. THC is the most well-known molecule in the cannabis plant and can produce many effects like euphoria and increased sensory awareness, as well as offering many medical benefits.* Cannabis has been cultivated for generations, primarily for the effects that are attributed to THC.


Fragrant oils secreted from the resin glands of many types of plants and flowers that provide aromatic diversity. Terpenes can bind to different receptors in the brain, producing different effects. For example, Linalool is a terpene, also found in Lavender, that produces a sedative or relaxing effect.


A liquid extract created by soaking cannabis flower in a solvent to remove the cannabinoids and terpenes from the plant material. Tinctures were one of the original ways people used medical cannabis, and before cannabis prohibition in the 1930s, most households had a bottle of cannabis tincture in their medicine cabinet.


The process of adjusting medication amounts until the desired effect is achieved. In the cannabis industry, titration refers to the process of gradually increasing or decreasing a dosage of a cannabinoid or individual cannabis product over time. Titration is used to ease patients onto cannabis medicines, find their optimal dose, and reduce the potential negative side effects.

Toker Poker

A small, stiff wire-like device used to poke a bowl to aid in lighting the buds or putting them out.


A cannabis-infused cream, lotion, oil, or balm that is applied to and absorbed through the skin. Topicals are used to ease pain and inflammation in a localized area. They are fast-acting and non-intoxicating, which allows users to reap the therapeutic benefits of compounds like THC without any unwanted psychoactive effects.


A tool that uses propane to produce a consistent flame, usually used to heat concentrates, or dabs.


The tiny outgrowths that cover the buds and leaves of the cannabis plant. They are usually very shiny, sticky, and aromatic, often appearing as a blanket of frost on the plant surface. Trichomes contain many cannabinoids, terpenes, and flavonoids that contribute to the plant’s flavor and effect.


Trim refers to the sugar leaf and other plant matter that is cut off cannabis flowers during the manicuring process. Trim is often collected and used to make extractions, tinctures, and both culinary and topical infusions.



The act of absorption of a substance by a living organism. In the world of cannabis, uptake refers to the absorption of compounds like cannabinoids and terpenes into the human body.



A device that uses heat to vaporize and deliver the active compounds in cannabis flower or concentrates by inhaling vapor, without burning the material and creating smoke.



A type of cannabis concentrate that resembles the texture of candle wax. Depending on consistency, wax can also be called sugar, budder, or crumble.


Weed has been one of the most popular slang terms for cannabis during the 20th century. It probably originates as a reference to how fast and easily cannabis can grow.

Whole Flower

The term whole flower is often used synonymously with full plant. Like full-spectrum extracts, whole flower extracts oppose cannabinoid isolates. CBD, THC, and terpenes can all be purified and sold as isolated extractions. Whole-flower and full-plant extracts are not purified and instead include as many beneficial compounds as the solvent allows.

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