Are you new to the world of cannabis? Most likely, you have no clue what many of the cannabis terms you have found meaningful. If that is the case, you might have already encountered terms like “THC,” “strain,” or “CBD.” But, fret not! There is nothing to be ashamed of. We are here to give you a helping hand.
Being a novice in a sea of terms and options can be pretty challenging. Though many people don’t realize it, the world of CBD can be complex. Having a list of terms and their meanings before dipping into a new subject might be just what you need. Hence, we bring you all the basic terms and slang. Ready to quench your thirst for knowledge? Read on!
Most Basic Cannabis Terms You Need to Know
There are tons of slang and cannabis-specific terminology. However, there is no need to get overwhelmed. Below you will find some of the terms you must know before going through any cannabis website. Little by little, we will guide you through all the basics, so you become a pro at your favorite new activity.
Cannabis – Marijuana or Weed – Hemp
First, let’s discuss what the cannabis plant is. Cannabis is a plant genus, which produces flowering plants, including Cannabis sativa, Cannabis Indica, and Cannabis Ruderalis. Therefore, marijuana and hemp are both types of cannabis. This means there is no taxonomical difference between the two plants. But, how do we distinguish marijuana from hemp?
It is not that hard to tell the difference. We use the term “marijuana” to describe female cannabis plants and their dried flowers. These plants contain much THC, a psychoactive ingredient that causes people to get high. Legally, we consider marijuana any cannabis plant with more than 0.3% THC. On the contrary, hemp contains less than 0.3% THC by dry weight. Also, it can be produced from the male cannabis plant. Unlike marijuana, hemp cultivation is legal and typically used for CBD products.
Another commonly heard term is “cannabinoids.” These are chemical compounds found in cannabis. According to recent studies, to this day, research has found that the cannabis plant produces more than 113 cannabinoids. These chemical substances join the cannabinoid receptors in the endocannabinoid system, also known as ECS. This interaction with specific receptors located within the nervous system results in many benefits.
The two main cannabinoids in marijuana are THC and CBD. THC is the most abundant intoxicating cannabinoid and CBD the most non-intoxicating one. CBD stands for cannabidiol and is usually in high concentrations in hemp. CBD interacts with the receptors producing anti-psychoactive effects. Nowadays, researchers are also investigating the potential benefits of other cannabinoids, such as CBN and CBC.
Indica, Sativa, Hybrid & Ruderalis
As we had already mentioned when we talked about cannabis, this plant produces three types of flowering plants. The short and bushy Cannabis Indica plant provides a feeling of relaxation and sedation. Therefore, most people use it during the evening. In contrast, the reasonably tall Cannabis sativa plant functions as an energy booster. For that reason, consumers tend to use it during the daytime.
There are also hybrid strains. In other words, strains that went under the crossbreeding process. Even though there is a considerable difference between the two, many marijuana strains are a mixture of Indica and Sativa.
Last but not least, we have the short, squat, and durable Cannabis Ruderalis plant. This strain was the last of the trio to be found and analyzed. Ruderalis strains usually contain less THC than the other two.
Cannabis Strains & It’s Crossbreeding
If you were a good student, you probably noticed we mentioned words such as “strains” and “crossbreeding.” Most likely, you don’t know what these mean. A strain is a specific species of the cannabis plant. There are thousands of cannabis strains available today. The fantastic thing about strains is that it is possible to crossbreed them. Crossbreeding is the act of mixing two or more strains. Breeders have been doing this for decades now. This explains why they are constantly releasing a new one.
Products that contain an extremely high level of cannabinoids are called “concentrates.” But, which cannabinoids do companies use? Typically, they lean towards THC, making products that contain up to 90% THC. Moreover, concentrates differ based on the manufacturing process and their consistency. The most popular types of concentrates are:
BHO: This stands for Butane Hash Oil. It is a thick and sticky oil.
Budder: You guessed it! It has a soft, butter-like consistency.
Crumble: This is a brittle version of budder.
Shatter: Being one of the purest concentrates, it usually looks like a piece of colored glass.
Types of Cannabis Products
Among the many options, these are the most common cannabis products:
Edibles: If we ask you to name one marijuana edible, you will probably say cannabis brownies. However, there are many options, such as chocolate, gummies, and even lattes!
Flowers: Growers harvest and dry the sticky hairy bits of the plant. Usually, consumers smoke them in a bowl, joint, or blunt.
Oils: People also know them as tinctures. Producers sell both CBD oil from hemp and THC oil from marijuana. It is a sublingual product because users take it by placing drops beneath their tongues before swallowing. Nevertheless, it is also possible to consume oils by adding them to food or beverages.
Topicals: Some people prefer to apply creams or salves infused with cannabinoids. There are different kinds of topicals based on their consistency.
Vaporizers: Instead of a joint, people use this device to consume cannabis. You add vape juice and inhale clouds of vapor. While smoking releases carcinogenic substances, this method doesn’t.
Cannabis Smoking Methods
Despite some disadvantages, people still tend to prefer smoking to other consumption methods. Some different devices used for this purpose include:
Bong: This is a large pipe used for smoking. This filtration device works by utilizing water to diffuse cannabis smoke. Therefore, you inhale cooler smoke, which causes minor irritation to the throat and lungs.
Bowl: This is where you place the buds before igniting them.
Blunt: larger than the joint, a blunt is a marijuana cigarette rolled using cigarillo paper or tobacco leaf wrappers. Another difference between a joint and a blunt is that the latter holds more marijuana and burns longer.
Bubbler: This is a kind of bong but small enough to hold in one hand.
Dab Rig: People typically consume with a dab rig. The process goes like this. You heat the material on a ‘nail’ and inhale the vapor it produces.
Joint: Here comes the legendary way of smoking cannabis. If you have been living under a rock, maybe you don’t know what a joint is. It is a thin cigarette paper filled with flowers.
Spliff: It is almost the same as a joint, only that you use cannabis flower and tobacco.
Terminology of Cannabis Plant
These are a few basic terms you need to know:
Clone: You can trim a mature cannabis plant to root and grow it and create a clone.
Feminized: Female plants are the only ones that produce flowers. With this information in mind, you will understand the importance of feminized cannabis seeds. That’s to say, and seeds guarantee to produce a female plant by breeding them to eliminate male chromosomes.
Flowering Time: This “blooming period” is the time it takes the cannabis plant to produce its mature flowers. Usually, Sativa strains take longer to flower than Indicas. On the other hand, Ruderalis will flower, no matter what, after a short period.
Pistil: These are tiny ‘hairs’ that, when the plant is almost ready to be harvested, turn orange, red, or brown. Besides, the pistil is the female organ of a flower. So it also collects the male pollen during fertilization.
Terpenes: Terpenes are highly aromatic compounds. They determine the scent and taste of cannabis. They also play a role in the effects of the plant.
Trichomes: These are located on the plant´s glands and look like crystals. They contain a significant number of cannabinoids.
Vegetative Stage: This is when the explosive growth begins. Depending on the strain, this phase can last anywhere between 3 to 16 weeks.
Marijuana for Medical Purposes
There are four terms you should know if you are a new medical marijuana (MMJ) patient:
Access Point: This is where they authorize you to purchase cannabis.
Budtender: There will be budtenders, trained professionals who will answer all your questions at a licensed dispensary.
Dispensary: This is a store licensed to sell marijuana.
MMJ Card: You will receive this after you complete your medical marijuana application. This card enables you to purchase MMJ in a licensed dispensary.
If you are still eager for more knowledge, here are some miscellaneous terms:
Weed: This is a popular slang term for cannabis.
Bud: This is the consumable part of the cannabis part.
CO2 Extraction: Carbon dioxide extraction is a method to remove the cannabis plant’s compounds. No residual solvents are left behind.
Co-Operative: “co-op” is a group of people, often MMJ patients, who join forces to grow large amounts of cannabis.
Hydroponics: Instead of growing the marijuana on soil, you grow the plants in water with this method.
Kief: These are the trichomes that fall from the flower, which are high in THC. Growers catch them with “kief catchers.”
Live Resin: This type of cannabis concentrates is typically extracted using a solvent, such as butane.
Before your next visit to a dispensary, the most important term you should know is “budtender.” As we have already mentioned, this is your go-to person to ask about all the different strains and products. They know whether a product is best for recreational or medical use. They are also informed about how much THC each product has and all the long-term effects of cannabis. So, don´t be afraid to ask! They are there to help you make an informed purchase.
Slang Terms for Marijuana
These are some popular slang terms for cannabis:
Pot: This is an abbreviation of the Spanish word Potiguar or potaguaya. Short for Potación de guava, this is wine or brandy that marijuana buds were steeped in. Do you want to know what it translates to? “Drink of grief.”
420: The story goes that, in 1971, a group of school kids used to meet after school at 4.20 pm. During this time, they would search for a secret cannabis crop. Allegedly, it belonged to US Coast Guard Gary Philip Newman.
Mary Jane: A play on words for the word “marijuana.”
Grass: Widespread in the 1960s and 1970s, though a little outdated now, it was used to refer to cannabis.
Reefer: Maybe you have heard about the 1930s anti-marijuana movie called ‘Reefer Madness.’ Well, this is when the term became popular.
Green: It refers to the color of weed. As simple as that.
Chronic: Smokers use this term to talk about high-quality and potent cannabis.
Hash: This is a cannabis concentrate that comes from kief.
Ganja: It derives from a Hindi word for the hemp plant.
Doobie: This is simply a widely-used slang for a cannabis joint or cigarette.
Hopefully, you have found this guide enlightening. Remember that the essential part of this learning process is not to get overwhelmed. If you start feeling defeated, you can dip in and out of this article as many times as you need. Though it will most likely take a lot of effort, you shouldn’t give up. We can promise you, in the end, knowing all this terminology is rewarding.
Knowing the different terms will allow you to have a complete user experience. Why might you ask? Now you will be able to understand what you are consuming. We can’t underestimate the importance of that! Of course, all products come with labels, but it is impossible to understand if you don´t know the words. Besides, we all like showing off from time to time. Please don´t lie to us. We all know you can´t wait until your next gathering with friends to use all this slang.