Cannabis Glossary

When some people first become familiar with the cannabis industry, they’re amazed by how many different terms there are to learn. You might hear people talk about indica, sativa, and hybrid strains. You might hear people talk about wax, topicals, tinctures, and all kinds of other products. The cannabis community definitely has a vocabulary of its own, and this glossary will help you feel more connected, informed, and ready to talk about cannabis confidently.

Backcross

This is what it’s called when a hybrid cannabis plant is crossed with one of its own parent strains. This is typically done to create a hybrid that has more of the qualities from one of its parents. This is common when cannabis cultivators are trying to maximize the presence of recessive genes.

BHO

A butane hash oil, or BHO for short, is a type of cannabis concentrate. It’s made by washing a solvent (in this case, butane) over cannabis plant material to extract the most desirable natural components of cannabis. The resulting product is thick, sticky, and packed with THC. You might hear the finished products called oil, dabs, wax, shatter, or something else depending on its consistency and the exact extraction process used. These products are common among people who are always looking for the highest THC levels possible.

Bong

The bong is one of the most classic types of glass pipes, although bongs can occasionally be made of other materials. The bong has a chamber at the bottom to hold water, and smoke passes through that water to become cool and smooth before going up the pipe and into the smoker’s mouth.

Blunt

A blunt is cannabis that’s been rolled up in a cigarillo paper or tobacco leaf. The name originally came about because it was common to use a popular brand called Phillies Blunt Cigars. Blunts are typically larger than joints, so they’re commonly found when larger groups of people are smoking together.

Bubbler

A bubbler is like a smaller, handheld version of the bong. Bubblers have significantly smaller water chambers than bongs do, but they can still cool and filter the smoke a little bit.

Bud

This is the actual flower from the cannabis plant. Buds are fluffy little nuggets that are harvested from adult plants and sold in stores. Cannabis buds are desirable because they have much higher concentrations of THC, CBD, and other cannabinoids than the rest of the plant, like the leaves and stems.

Budtender

This is the person behind the counter at your local dispensary in Colorado. Your budtender helps by answering your questions, getting your products for you, and generally guiding you through the transaction.

Cannabinoids

These natural, plant-based organic compounds are found in the cannabis plant. The most popular cannabinoids are CBD and THC, but there are actually dozens of known cannabinoids. People enjoy cannabinoids both recreationally and medicinally.

CO2 Concentrates

CO2 oil is a type of cannabis concentrate extracted with supercritical carbon dioxide. Pressurized carbon dioxide can be used to wash over the cannabis plant material. Once the resulting solution returns to room temperature, the carbon dioxide turns into a gas again and leaves a cannabis concentrate behind.

Clone

A clone is a clipping from a cannabis plant that gets rooted and grown into its own plant. This is one of the best ways to preserve and propagate very specific genetics instead of trying to recreate a premium cannabis plant by breeding.

Cross

A genetic cross feres to the result of breeding two different strains together to create a new cannabis strain. The best growers in Colorado are always crossing different plants to create new cannabis strains.

Dabs

Some people refer to cannabis concentrates as dabs. These extracts can be added to flower and smoked, and some people even cook with them. Most of the time, though, people enjoy cannabis concentrates by dabbing them.

Dabbing

To dab, a concentrate means to drop it onto a hot surface to be vaporized and inhaled. Many cannabis connoisseurs perform this task with intricate dab rigs, while others simply buy cannabis vape pens, also known as dab pens.

Dank

You normally wouldn’t think of a place as especially pleasant if it’s described as dank, but the opposite is true of cannabis. Dank buds are sticky, aromatic, and loaded with cannabinoids.

Edibles

Cannabis edibles are foods that have been infused with THC, CBD, or some combination of both.

Flower

Flower is another way to describe cannabis buds. This is the most traditional way to enjoy the cannabis plant.

Hybrid

Hybrids are a broad category of cannabis strains. Basically, anything that isn’t an indica strain or a sativa strain is a hybrid strain. Hybrids can be indica dominant, sativa dominant, or balanced.

Indica

Indica strains are generally associated with feelings of relaxation. Many people buy indica strains when they’re looking for a body high or something to smoke at night, though this isn’t always the case.

Kief

Kief is a collection of trichomes that have fallen off of the cannabis flower. These sticky crystals contain almost all of the plant’s cannabinoids.

Live Resin

Live resin is generally regarded to be the most flavorful cannabis concentrate. It’s extracted at low temperatures to preserve the terpenes that give cannabis plants their unique flavors and aromas.

Pre-Roll

A cannabis pre-roll is a joint or marijuana cigarette that’s already been rolled. Many dispensaries sell these because they’re so convenient for customers. Buy pre-rolls if you don’t know how to roll a joint or just don’t want to worry about it.

Sativa

Sativa strains are typically associated with uplifting, energetic, and creative effects. For that reason, many people buy sativas for daytime enjoyment or times when they still want to stay active. Do keep in mind that every strain is different, though.

Shatter

Shatter is a type of hard, glassy cannabis concentrate. It’s a little bit harder to work with than other concentrates, but still easy to get the hang of if you have the correct tools.

Tincture

A cannabis tincture is a type of cannabis concentrate that’s made in alcohol or glycerol, though some cannabis oils are also called tinctures from time to time. They can be added to food and drink, swallowed on their own, or held under the tongue.

Topical

A cannabis topical is a type of product that’s intended to be applied directly to the skin. Types of cannabis topicals may include lotions, transdermal patches, and similar products.

Trichomes

Trichomes are named from the Greek word meaning “growth of hair.” While trichomes may look like little hairs under a microscope, they actually appear more like shiny little crystals to the naked eye. These are the resin glands of the cannabis plant, and they’re where an overwhelming majority of the cannabinoids are found.

Wax

Wax is a type of cannabis concentrate that has a consistency like wax. It’s relatively easy to work with because it’s so soft, which makes it appealing to a lot of cannabis concentrate fans.

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