Cannabis Terminology 101: Everything You Need To Know
The number of frequent cannabis users has been growing steadily, and with it, a growing glossary of cannabis terms. With an estimated 71 million users by the time we reach 2030, we think it’s time you had all the language you need in your arsenal to be able to traverse the cannabis world comfortably.
All Things Cannabis
From slang to outdated terminology, we’ll take you through a comprehensive guide on all things cannabis to keep you up to date and informed of the latest idioms and jargon associated with this delectable plant.
Just like other plants and flowers, cannabis can offer consumers a unique “aroma” – that is, a general smell and/or taste – ranging from “earthy” to “skunky,” and sometimes, even “citrus.” That being said, these descriptions are merely a basic guideline.
The bud refers to the actual flower of the marijuana plant that gets harvested and used for both medicinal and recreational purposes. Typically, the bud contains a high concentration of active cannabinoids, making them the ideal part of the plant for smoking purposes.
BHO (Butane Hash Oil)
BHO, or butane hash oil, is a potent concentrate of cannabinoids. It is made by dissolving marijuana into a solvent form, resulting in a product that has incredibly high levels of THC – more so than flowers or hashish.
While most BHO results in a thick, sticky oil, the consistency and texture will vary depending on the equipment and techniques used during the extraction process.
Cannabis is a plant that belongs to the Cannabaceae or hemp family and is native to certain mountainous regions of the world. It has historically been used for thousands of years for both its medicinal and intoxicating properties.
While cannabis and hemp are different, the cannabis plant can also be used to make hemp products.
CBD, or cannabidiol, is perhaps the most popular among non-psychoactive cannabinoids and is believed to offer multiple health benefits. Recent studies have explored CBD’s potential ability to treat and/or ease symptoms related to neuropathic pain, anxiety, seizures, sleeplessness, and nausea.
Concentrates refer to highly potent cannabis extracts using the cannabis plant’s resinous oils. Oftentimes, these concentrates are produced in the form of wax, shatter, and/or oil, and can be vaporized, smoked, or sublingually applied in a tincture.
A distillate is a type of oil that is distilled from the cannabis plant. Typically sticky and amber in color, cannabis distillates contain the plant’s most essential compounds, including THC and CBD, but without other impurities found in the plant.
Cannabis extracts are specific types of concentrates produced with the use of a solvent. The most common solvents used to extract cannabis are propane, butane, CO2, and ethanol.
Flower is a general term used to describe the smokable parts of the female cannabis plant. Cannabis flower is typically where you can find the highest concentration of beneficial cannabinoids, making them especially delectable for smoking purposes.
Hash, short for hashish, is a cannabis resin that gets extracted from trichomes at the top of the cannabis plant. This resin is particularly high in cannabinoids and terpenes and, when consumed, can produce more potent effects than smoking a bud.
While often confused with cannabis, hemp is a variety of the marijuana plant grown for its fibrous material. Hemp is non-psychoactive and has been manufactured into rope, paper, and an assortment of other products.
Hemp plants themselves typically have no value as a drug since male cannabis plants don’t produce nearly as many cannabinoids as female cannabis plants. That being said, hemp production remains illegal in certain US states.
Hybrid refers to a combination of two or more different strains of cannabis. Cross-breeding has become much more commonplace as hybrids are usually bred to combine the most desired traits of each original plant.
Indica is the shorthand name for the Cannabis Indica species native to Central Asia and the Hindu Kush Mountain Range. They are typically short with thicky, bushy leaves and tend to offer a more relaxing high than its Sativa counterpart.
Sativa is the shorthand name for the Cannabis Sativa species that originate from just outside of the Middle East and Asia. These strains tend to grow taller than Indica plants and produce more cerebral effects than sedative ones.
While marijuana was originally the Spanish word for cannabis, it has since been legally defined in the United States as female cannabis plants that contain a certain level of tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC.
Some within the cannabis community choose to limit their usage of this term as it has deep historical ties to anti-cannabis propaganda that promoted anti-immigrant sentiment in the 1930s. That being said, some still use the term “marijuana” interchangeably with cannabis.
THC, or tetrahydrocannabinol, is another major cannabinoid found in the cannabis plant, and is most well-known for its psychoactive effects. In fact, it is perhaps the most sought-after molecule due to its ability to produce euphoric feelings and sensations.
Weed is a slang term for marijuana and cannabis.
A bong is a marijuana water pipe, typically made of glass. While used interchangeably with the terms “pipe” and “bowl,” a bong utilizes water to cool the smoke and remove impurities, making for a smoother, lighter hit.
A blunt refers to cannabis wrapped in tobacco leaf paper. Traditionally, blunts consisted of hollowed-out cigars filled with ground cannabis, although modern blunt wraps may be produced from palm, mint, and even hemp leaves. Blunts are thought to burn longer than joints, making them ideal for larger social gatherings.
A bowl is a small basin typically found on a smoking device like a water pipe or bong that holds the cannabis flower as it gets burned. Usually made of glass, a bowl is ideal for cleaning purposes as it can be removed from the smoking device.
In the world of cannabis slang, a cone is used to described a cone-shaped joint or a type of rolling paper that comes in the shape of a cone, making it easier to fill with ground cannabis flower. Pre-rolled cones are particularly useful for those new to rolling joints.
A joint refers to dried marijuana flower or leaves that are rolled into non-tobacco rolling papers. Rolling a joint requires certain cannabis paraphenernalia including rolling papers, a grinder, cannabis, a lighter, anda rolling tray.
Pre-rolls refer to pre-rolled joints or marijuana cigarettes. They are particularly popular at dispensaries as they are consumer-ready and save the buyer both time and supplies needed to roll a joint on their own.
While commonly mistaken for joints, spliffs combine a mixture of tobacco and cannabis into smoking paper. Although, the definition of a spliff may vary depending on where you are in the world. Read this blog for more info on the origin of a spliff!
Tinctures refer to solvent-based concentrates that may be consumed sublingually (under the tongue) to deliver faster effects. Infusing cannabis with alcohol, tinctures can be added to any drink or meal and are particularly ideal for those not interested in smoking.
Topicals include cannabis-infused lotions, oils, and balms that may be applied directly to the user’s skin. Typically, cannabis topicals are used to treat pain and inflammation as they deliver non-intoxicating effects.
Language and culture seem to change rapidly these days. But harnessing these cannabis terms in your arsenal should give you the confidence to accept those changes without a beat.
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