Cannabis from A to Z
While Cannabis has been enjoyed by many for thousands of years, much of the terminology is still very new and unfamiliar, especially to those who are new to cannabis culture. We’ve put together a glossary to help you understand any terminology associated with cannabis, because you’ll likely hear and read about it.
“Aroma” is a term that is used to describe the general smell and/or taste of a certain plant or flower. It’s important to note that aroma descriptions are meant to be a basic guideline, because everyone’s definition of aromas will vary.
This is a hybrid cannabis plant that has been bred to focus on letting a targeted and desirable trait pass through from a parent to its offspring.
BHO is a potent concentrate of cannabinoids made by dissolving weed in its plant form, into a solvent (usually butane). The result is a product with very high THC levels, which is generally higher than flowers and hashish. The result is a thick and sticky oil and may also be referred to as “dabs” or “dabbing”, shatter and honey oil.
A large pipe which uses water to diffuse and cool the smoke as you inhale it. It is a preferred method for those who are looking to eliminate any dry heat from a joint, producing a cooler, creamier and smoother sensation.
Cannabis that is wrapped in a tobacco leaf cigar (or cigarillo paper). In most cases, it’s hollowed out and then re-rolled with weed and can often burn longer than joints do.
A handheld pipe which is usually made of glass. It has a water reservoir at the bottom to cool and diffuse the smoke before it is inhaled by the user.
Bud refers to the actual flower of the cannabis plant. These are the fluffy parts that are harvested, containing the highest concentrations of active cannabinoids.
This name is used to describe the attendant working behind the counter at a retail cannabis shop, answering any questions about strains and cannabis products. Some provinces require that their retail budtenders acquire certification before they can start selling. For example, in Ontario, budtenders are required to obtain CanSell Standard certification.
These are the chemical compounds unique to cannabis that act upon the human body’s existing endocannabinoid system, producing various effects for the user. The most well-known cannabinoid is Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), because it produces the psychoactive effects (or the “high”) that drives the plant’s recreational use. While THC is the most recognized cannabinoid, there are over 100 known in the cannabis plant, with varying effects.
This is a plant genus that produces three species of flowers: Cannabis Sativa, Cannabis Indica, and Cannabis Ruderalis.
Both Sativa and Indica are used to produce recreational and medical cannabis while Ruderalis is rarely farmed due to its natural lower THC content.
CBD (Cannabidiol) is one of at least 100 cannabinoids found in the cannabis plant and the second only to THC when it comes to average volume. CBD has been recognized for its use as a medical treatment as research has shown it effectively treats pain, inflammation, and anxiety without the psychoactive effects (the “high” feeling) associated with THC.
Recently, you’ll see CBD as an ingredient included in many innovative products within the health and wellness industry. For example, you’ll see CBD listed in many new beauty products due to its popular association to age-defiance.
Concentrates are high in potency and are made by dissolving cannabis into a solvent. The resulting product has very high THC levels (generally more than flowers), and can produce varying products that range from thick sticky oils (BHO) to moldable goo (budder/wax) to resinous bits (shatter).
This refers to a clipping from a cannabis plant, which can then be rooted and grown through a cloning process of the mother plant, from which the clone was cut.
A cross (referring to crossbreeding) is the result when two different plant strains are bred together. For example, our popular Cindy Jack is a cross between Cinderella 99 and Jack Herer strains.
A dab is slang terminology used to refer to a dose of cannabis concentrates “dabbed” onto a hot surface and inhaled. The act of “dabbing” refers to the act of inhaling in dabs.
A word used to describe sticky, high-quality cannabis with a strong aroma.
A general term used to refer to any location where a patient or consumer can access cannabis.
Edibles are goods that have been infused with cannabis extracts. They are commonly baked goods such as cookies or brownies, but other options such as flavoured coffee drinks, breads, and candies exist as well. Consuming edibles means the active components from the extracts require longer to take effect as they need to be absorbed through the digestive system however the effects can last up to 12 hours.
Edibles is one of the categories that became legal during Cannabis 2.0 (October 17, 2019, the second wave of Cannabis legalization in Canada).
Hash is short for hashish, which is derived from cannabis plants and can be used for recreational or medication. To produce hash, the plant’s trichomes are removed by sieving or filtering. Once the powder is collected, it is pressed and ready to be used.
Hash ranges in potency, but is generally stronger than flowers because everything except the active part of the plant has been removed.
Hemp is a fibrous product that can be produced from the male cannabis plant and can be used to manufacture many products, including rope, paper and beauty products.
Hybrid refers to a cannabis plant that is genetically a cross between one or more separate strains. Hybrids can happen unintentionally, but they are usually bred intentionally to combine desired traits of the original plants. Most cannabis on the market today is some form of hybrid.
Hydroponics refers to a system of gardening where plants are grown in water and receive their nutrients from the addition of solutions rather than soil.
For growers, hydroponic advantages include more control over nutrient intake and stability.
Fun Fact: Cannabis plants grown hydroponically are said to have cleaner and more distinct flavours.
Indica Cannabis plants originated in the Middle East and Asia and include both the famous kush and Afghan lineages. These plants are shorter, bushier and have a more compact flower structure, compared to Sativa.
This species tends to produce relaxing physical effects and can have a sedative quality.
Kief is a collected amount of trichomes that have been separated from the rest of the cannabis flower. Since trichomes are the sticky crystals that contain the vast majority of the plant’s cannabinoids, kief is known to be extremely potent.
A line of cannabis plants that originated in the Hindu Kush mountains in Afghanistan and Pakistan. Kush strains are indicas, and have a unique aroma, which is described as “earthy” and often piney, with a combined hue that’s citrusy and sweet.
Marijuana is the general term for female cannabis plants or their dried flowers. Females are distinct from male plants in that they are the ones that produce flowers which contain the high percentage of cannabinoids that hold both their medicinal and psychoactive properties.
Southern California’s Ocean Grown Kush (which was shortened to OG Kush) grew quickly in both fame and reputation. Most OG’s are different variations of the original OG Kush genetics or have also been grown on the West Coast.
This is a term that is used to describe the physical characteristics of a cannabis plant, such as height, colour, branching, leaf configuration down to the cell structure.
Pistils are part of a female plant’s anatomy. It’s identified as the little hair-like extensions on the flower and can vary in colour (from white to red, and even darker to orange-brown). When plants are going to be fertilized, the pistil acts to collect the male pollen. When a plant is unfertilized, the pistils change and can be used to indicate a plant’s ripeness.
Pot is a slang term for cannabis (similar to weed or grizzle).
A low-THC Cannabis that is primarily selected by breeders for its CBD-rich genetics, it uses light cycles to flower, making it an “autoflowering” variety.
Ruderalis hails from Russie and is a hardy cannabis plant that can survive harsh climates.
Sativa Cannabis plants originate from areas such as South America, the Caribbean, Africa, and Thailand. Sativa plans tend to grow taller (over 5 feet tall), are lighter in colour and take longer to flower. Sativa’s produce more cerebral effects, as opposed to Indica’s, which produce physical and sedative effects.
Shatter or ice are terms used to refer to BHO (Butane Hash Oil)
A strain is a specific variety of a plant species. Strains are developed to produce distinct desired traits in the plant and are usually named by their breeders. Strain names often reflect the plant’s appearance, the type of buzz a user will get, or its place of origin.
An abbreviation for tetrahydrocannabinol, it is the most well-known and most abundantly available cannabinoid in cannabis plants. THC is also the component in cannabis that is responsible for the psychoactive effects, or the “high.”
A tincture is a liquid cannabis extract usually made with alcohol or glycerol that is often dosed with a dropper. Tinctures can be flavoured and are usually placed under the tongue, where they are absorbed quickly with effects felt within minutes.
A topical where the active properties of the flowers have been extracted and added to a product such as a lotion or a cream that’s applied to the skin. The medicinal properties are absorbed through the skin and can be used to treat muscle aches, long term soreness, or ailments like dry skin.
These are the resin production glands of the cannabis plant. They are sticky protrusions that look hair-like. THC, CBD and other cannabinoids are all produced in these glands.
Also referred to as a Vape, this device is used to consume marijuana. It heats either flowers or marijuana-infused oils to a temperature that produces a cannabinoid-laced vapor to inhale.