Dictionary of Cannabis Terms


Adult-Use The same as recreational use. Refers to the use of cannabis products without medically qualifying reasons.
Atomizer The heating element in a vape pen which produces the vapor.
Blunt A cigar that has been hollowed out and filled with marijuana.
Bong A water pipe used to smoke cannabis. The marijuana is placed in a bowl and is heated. When the user inhales the smoke passes over the water cooling it and adding some moisture to the smoke. Bongs where thought to have originated or become popular in Thailand. US soldiers that visited Thailand noticed locals smoking marijuana in bamboo water pipes which the they called “baungs” and was later called “bongs” by the soldiers.
Bowl The part of a pipe that holds the cannabis and where the cannabis is heated.
Bud The bud is the smokable portion of the female marijuana plant.
Cannabidiol (CBD) The main non-intoxicating cannabinoid found in cannabis. CBD has many medicinal properties but does not produce a “high” like THC does.
Cannabinoid Just one of many chemical compounds that act on cannabinoid receptors in the human body. The cannabinoid receptors are part of the endocannabinoid system and influence neurotransmitter releases in the brain.
Cannabis Cannabis can refer to either marijuana (which contains the psycoactive ingredient THC) or hemp (which contains no, or trace amounts of THC).
Decarboxylation Decarboxylation is a chemical reaction that removes a carboxyl group and releases carbon dioxide (CO2). All cannabinoids in marijuana and hemp plants have an extra carboxyl ring or group (COOH). Essentially, as just one example, in the raw marijuana plant, there is little or no THC naturally occuring. The plant would contain THC-A or Tetrahydrocannabinolic Acid. The process of decarboxylation removes the extra carboxyl group turning THC-A into THC. A similar process is requred to turn CBD into a usealbe form. The process of decarboxylation is accomplished by applying heat to the cannabinoids (smoking the plant or heating extracts)
Decriminalize Decriminalization involves changing the legal penalties to be less severe. It does not make something legal though. That would be legalization. Decriminalization might be reducing the penalty for possession of marijuana from a criminal offense with a fine and possible jail time to an infraction involving only a small fine.
Dose Refers to a measured quantity of CBD or THC being taken, similar to an aspirin pill being a single dose measurement.
Edible Anything that you can eat that has been infused with either CBD or THC (or both). Gummy Bears are a popular format for edibles but they can include anything from sports drinks infused with THC or CBD to cookies baked with butter infused with THC or CBD.
Endocannabinoid Endocannabinoids are chemicals naturally produced by the body that bind to cannabinoid receptors in the nervous system.
Endocannabinoid System The endocannabinoid system (ECS) helps regulate sleep, appetite, pain, mood, memory, and the immune system.
Ensemble Effect The ensemble effect refers to the obdservation that certain drugs like CBD and THC exhibit different physiological effects in the presence of other chemicals. For instance, CBD by itself acts differently than CBD infused with THC. This is one reason why many experts recommend CBD extracts which contain multiple other cannabinoids and terpenoids rather than synthetic CBD or CBD that has been isolated to its purest form.
Entourage Effect The entourage effect is very similar to the ensemble effect in that both describe the various cannabinoids and terpenoids in cannabis work synergistically to produce results that are different than taking the isolated THC or CBD by itself.
Extract An extract is the resulting substance after the extraction process to remove CBD or THC (or both) from a cannabis plant.
Extraction Extraction is the process of separating CBD, THC, or both from a cannabis plant. The most common types of extraction are CO2 Extraction, Solvent Extraction, and Olive Oil Extraction
Ganja Thai name for marijuana. Also a term used in India, Jamaica, and elsewhere. Often used as slang for marijuana in other countries.
Hashish A potent form of THC obtained by compressing the resin glands of a marijuana plant.
Hemp Hemp is a cannabis sativa plant with very low quantities of THC (typically under 0.3% THC). Hemp is very fiborous and has been used in making papers and textile products. Along with the hemp seeds, it can be used in cosmetics and as a dietary supplement.
High A high is the feeling one gets due to the psychoactive properties of THC. There’s no single experience that applies to all people but users often report feeling relaxed, euphoric, happy, an altered sense of time (things are slowed down), increased appetite (the munchies), and laughter. People have also reported, “bad highs” with marijuana which include anxiety, paranoia, and fear.
Hybrid Cannabis plants that have been bred to have a mixture of traits from indica and sativa strains. The unique blend of cannabinoids resulting from this cross-breading produces psycoactive experiences (a “high”) that is unique to the blend. For instance, sativa strains tend to have an uplifting high and indica tends to have a relaxing high. A marijuana plant that results from the cross-breading of sativa and indica strains might have a high that is somwhere in the middle.
Hydroponics A very specialized method of cannabis cultivation whereby the plant is not planted in the soil, rather it is grown with the root submerged in water with something like pebbles or another growing medium. Nutrients are then introduced to the plant through the water and growing medium.
Indica The indica strain of marijuana produces a high that is supposed to be more relaxing and sedative.
Indoor Canabis plants are typically grown either in an indoor or outdoor environment. Indoor growing allows for exact control over the soil, sunlight, water, temperature, pests, and other variables that go into growing cannabis. This makes indoor cultivation more expensive than outdoor cultivation.
Joint A joint is a marijuana cigarette.
Kief Keif is produced from the filtered resin glands of a marijuana plant. It is the most potent part of the plant.
Landrace Landrace is a locally adapted strain of cannabis. You will often hear it used in reference to things like Thai Stick which was a landrace strain of marijuana. It grows best in the agricultural conditions found in Thailand.
Legalize To remove legal penalties. The difference between decriminalization and legalization is that decriminalization only lowers the legal penalty, while legalization removes legal penalty.
Marijuana Marijuana is the dried flower of a cannabis plant that contains THC and CBD. In common usage, it is almost exclusively used to refer to cannabis containing THC.
Medical/Medicinal Cannabis has been shown to have many medicinal uses. The laws in many countries, such as Thailand, make a distinction between the medical use of cannabis and the use of cannabis for recreational purposes (getting high), which has allowed medical professionals to incorporate cannabis into their treatment protocols. Medicianl use is typically at the direction or under the supervision of a medical professional for a specific health-related condition.
Outdoor Outdoor cultivation involves growing cannabis in an outdoor environment where the plants will receive natural sunlight and be exposed to other environmental conditions. Outdoor cultivation is the opposite of Indoor cultivation where all environmental factors are strictly controlled. Outdoor cultivation produces more environmental risk (pests, too much or too little sunlight, etc) than Indoor cultivation but is substantially less expensive.
Preroll A marijuana cigarette, aka, a joint, that has been manufactured by cannabis vendor. One might think about it as the difference between people that buy loose tobacco and roll their own cigarettes vs. buying a pre-rolled package of cigarettes at the store.
Quality Assurance Quality Assurance (QA) is the process that seeks to limit and detect defects in production. In cannabis cultivation this might include measuring for the presence of pesticides or other harmful contaminants.
Recreational Recreational use, aka Adult-Use, is the use of cannabis for purposes other than medicinal. To put it bluntly (no pun intended), it’s typically used in reference for the use of marijuana to get high rather than to treat a specific medical condition.
Sativa The sativa strain of marijuana is said to have a more uplifting, cerebral high.
Seed-to-Sale Seed-to Sale refers to the entire lifecycle of cannabis. It traces the cannabis from the seed stage, through cultivation, harvesting, processing, wholesale distribution, and eventual sale to the end consumer. In most jurisdictions that have legalized cannabis products, there is a strong seed-to-sale accounting process put in place in order to make sure the cannabis is not being sold on the blackmarket either to avoid paying taxes or to get rid of product that did not meet quality standards.
Sinsemilla A seedless form of cannabis.
Stoned AKA to be high on cannabis. It is a slang term thought to have originated from the fact that some users of marijuana feel so relaxed that they are unable to move, like a stone.
Strain A strain in a specific genetic type of cannabis. Much like other crops, cannabis can be crossed-bred with other cannabis plants to produce specific, genetically unique, new types of cannabis. These different strains will contain a different mix of THC, CBD, other cannabinoids, and terpenes.
Terpenes Terpenes are the chemical compounds found in cannabis that give it its aroma and taste. Terpines also impact how various cannabinoids interact with the Endocannabinoid System.
Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) Tetrahydrocannabinol, abbreviated as THC, is the main psychoactive cannabinoid found in cannabis. In simple terms, it is what gets you high. THC and CBD have similar medicianal properties, but CBD in often preferred in medicine due to the lack of mind-altering side-effects.
Thai Stick Thai Stick is a cigar made from whole buds, wrapped in plant leaves, with a bamboo stick down the core. While common in Thailand for many years, they gained prominence during the Vietnam War when US soldiers on R&R in Thailand were introduced to Thai Sticks and began smuggling them back to the US.
Tincture A tincture is ethanol infused with cannabis. It is usually taken orally by placing a few drops under the tongue and allowing the tincture to be absorved into the mucas membrances in the mouth.
Topical A topical is an ointment or creme that is applied directly to the skin which contains cannabis. Topicals are often used for many of the same reasons and in the same manner as a sports creme.
Vape Vaping is the process of heating cannabis or a cannabis oil solution to its vaporizing temperature without creating combusition. The vapor is then inhaled.
Weed A slang word for marijuana.