Cannabis terminology understandably confuses a lot of people. So let’s clear up the confusion with this blog.

Like most communities, cannabis has a language all its own. And the glossary of cannabis terms constantly expands.

Cute Blonde Reading a Book

Those terms and phrases can be overwhelming if you’re new to the plant!

We want to tear down barriers that keep people like you from enjoying cannabis to the fullest, so we decided to assemble this blog.

Keep reading to learn every term we think you should know. And then put those terms into practice the next time you visit us (ready to place an online order? Click here).

Cannabis Terms You Should Know

Adult-Use

Adult-use is the official term for recreational cannabis intended for adult consumption. It’s reserved for products that promote general wellness – and a good time.

Bong

Most of the cannabis-consuming public understands the meaning of “bong.” Still, here’s a simple definition: a bong is a smoking apparatus made from glass or other material designed to filter cannabis smoke through water.

Blunt

Typically filled with a mixture of cannabis and tobacco, a blunt is a longer burning form of a joint wrapped in cigarillo paper or a tobacco leaf (some consumers probably remember assembling blunts using the classic Swisher Sweet).

Bubbler

A bubbler is a handheld version of a bong featuring a water reservoir that cools and diffuses smoke—typically made of glass, although other materials are sometimes used.

Badder/Budder

Badder and budder are forms of concentrated, refined cannabis oil extracted from the raw plant and treated to create a soft, spreadable paste.

Bud

An abbreviation for cannabis bud. In slang terms, bud refers to the finished product of the plant which has been cured and is ready for smoking.

Budtender 

The cannabis version of a bartender. Someone who guides you towards your preferred products and helps you discover new favorites during your dispensary visit.

BHO (Butane Hash Oil)

An ultra-potent cannabis concentrate, BHO is made by dissolving the plant in butane to create a thick, sticky oil high in THC.

Cannabinoids

Cannabinoids are the naturally-occurring compounds produced by the cannabis plant. They’re primarily responsible for the unique range of physical and mental effects cannabis provides. THC and CBD are the two most common cannabinoids you’re likely to encounter. 

CBD (Cannabidiol)

One of the primary cannabinoids in the cannabis plant, CBD, is short for cannabidiol. It is known for its wellness applications and is non-psychoactive (CBD won’t get you high).

CBG

CBG is short for cannabigerol, and it’s one of potentially thousands of lesser-known cannabinoids in the plant. 

CBN

Most people today call CBN (cannabinol) the “sleep cannabinoid” because anecdotal evidence shows it helps people, you guessed it, get a good night’s sleep. 

Clone

Grown from clippings, clones are genetically identical replicas of existing strains, often used as starter plants or to meet the demand for popular strains.

Cross (Genetics)

Short for crossbreeding, a cross is created when two unique plant strains are bred to develop a new strain that combines the strengths of both parent plants.

Concentrates

Describing any product that concentrates cannabis resin into a more intense form, concentrates offer a high impact distillation of psychoactive and physical benefits of cannabis.

Crumble

Sometimes called honeycomb or crumble wax, this cannabis extract gets its name from the way it crumbles like a cookie when handled.

ABC letters illustrated in marijuana leaves
DEF letters illustrated in marijuana leaves

Dab/Dabbing

Describes a particular method of consuming cannabis “dabs” or concentrates by vaporizing them on a heated surface called a banger or nail.

Dank

High-quality cannabis flower that’s sticky, aromatic, and packs a serious punch—basically, anything you’d find at High Country Healing. 

Distillate

Another name for purified cannabis oil, distillate, is a thick amber oil composed primarily of a cannabinoid like THC or CBD, removing all other impurities or minor cannabinoids.

Dispensary

We’re a dispensary (you’ve probably figured that out)! A dispensary is any licensed retail store where cannabis is sold legally, either for medical or recreational purposes.

Edibles

More than a simple snack, “edible” indicates any cannabis-infused food (or drink!). 

Endocannabinoid

Short for endogenous cannabinoids, these are molecules similar to cannabinoids that are naturally produced within the human body.

Endocannabinoid System (ECS)

The endocannabinoid system, or ECS, is an essential component of the nervous system that gives cannabis its impact. The active ingredients of cannabis bind to ECS receptors in our bodies, creating a physiological and psychological response.

Entourage Effect

Describes the heightening effect caused by components of cannabis such as terpenes and minor cannabinoids, which may increase the impact of THC and other cannabinoids. 

Eighth

The standard weight cannabis flower is often sold in, short for 1/8th ounce.

Extract 

Extracts are any product that extracts the bioactive components of cannabis flower using solvents to create concentrated oil.

Flower

“Flower” is the most commonly sold and consumed form of cannabis. It’s the dried flower of the cannabis plant and contains high concentrations of cannabinoids like THC and CBD. 

Full Spectrum Extracts

Also called whole-plant extracts, full-spectrum extracts contain major and minor cannabinoids, terpenes, flavinoids, and other chemical components that create the complete profile of the cannabis plant.

420

420 is a number associated with cannabis that’s often celebrated at 4:20 PM (or whenever you need a lift) or with public events and festivals on April 20th.

Hash

Short for hashish, hash describes the sticky resin separated from cannabis flower and gathered with screens, using physical, rather than chemical, distillation methods.

Hash Oil

Hash oil is a THC-rich, concentrated form of cannabis extract that contains all the active ingredients of the cannabis flower. It can be eaten, vaped, smoked, or applied topically.

Hemp

Any cannabis that has less than 0.3% THC, making its consumption legal in all 50 states. Typically used in the production of CBD products.

Hybrid

A form of genetically blended cannabis that melds the qualities of indica and sativa plants to create a balanced effect.

Indica

One of the two significant cannabis varieties, indica is noted for its relaxing, sedating effects. indica strains are often used in pain management, or as a sleep aid.

Joint

A slang term for a cannabis cigarette, composed of ground flower wrapped in paper, sometimes with a filter tip. Generally uncut with tobacco or other mixing agents other than hemp. 

Kief

Kief is a collection of cannabis resins, also known as trichomes, which fall off the plant when it’s handled or ground—typically sprinkled over flower to heighten its effects. 

Kush

Also used as a general slang term for cannabis, kush typically describes a pure cannabis strain.

Live Resin

A form of cannabis concentrate, live resin is between a wax and a liquid. It combines potency with a full spectrum, whole plant distillation that preserves the aroma and flavor of the flower.

Nug

Also used as a slang term for high quality cannabis, nug describes the manicured buds sourced from the smokable part of cannabis flower.

Oil Rig

Used to smoke cannabis concentrates, an oil rig is a larger pipe with a heated metal appendage called a nail that is heated with a torch to vaporize the concentrate.

OG

An acronym often used in naming cannabis strains, OG may either stand for “original gangster,” a Californian hip hop term used in the 80s and 90s, or “ocean grown.”

Popcorn

A description of smaller flowers from the cannabis plant, also called popcorn buds.

Pot

A slang term for cannabis. Many people think “pot” is an acronym, but the word appears to have originated from cannabis-infused alcohol popular in the 1930s called potación de guaya, or “drink of grief.”

Potency

Potency describes the strength of a particular strain of cannabis, usually concerning THC levels.

Often means the percentage of THC or CBD a given strain contains.

Pre-rolls

A pre-roll is any joint purchased from a dispensary that’s rolled and ready to smoke (no assembly required, just the way we like it). 

Purity

An indicator of quality, purity may describe the THC percentage of a cannabis strain or refer to the absence of any chemicals or additive ingredients. 

Recreational Use

“Recreational use” refers to cannabis consumption intended for pleasure and relaxation rather than to achieve a specific medical goal.

Rig

Also called a dab rig, a rig is a large pipe used to vaporize cannabis concentrates so they can be inhaled. The concentrate is placed on a metal “nail,” which is heated using a torch.

Rosin

Rosin is a concentrate produced by heating and applying pressure to the trichomes of a cannabis plant.

RSO

A homemade process created by cancer patient Rick Simpson, RSO stands for Rick Simpson Oil. RSO is a concentrate that can be taken topically or orally.

710

710 is the number associated with hash oil due to its resemblance to the inverted word OIL. Hash enthusiasts may smoke at 7:10 or celebrate their favorite form of cannabis on July 10th (July is oil month!).

Sativa

Sativa is one of two primary varieties of the cannabis plant, known for its uplifting and enlivening effects. People generally consume sativa when they want a creative or energetic boost.

Shake

A term for the finely ground flower prepared for use in joints or pre-rolls.

Shatter

Shatter describes a high THC form of cannabis concentrate often used in dabbing. It resembles glass and tends to “shatter” when handled (hence its name).

Skunk

“Skunk” alludes to the reality that cannabis sometimes smells like a skunk (although it smells far better if you ask us).

Strain

A strain is any breed of cannabis grown to highlight and produce desirable flavors and effects.

Terpene

Terpenes are a diverse group of organic compounds produced by the cannabis plant. This includes cannabinoids and compounds that lend flavor and boost the entourage effect.

Trichome

The sticky, translucent glands that coat the exterior of the cannabis flower, trichomes, store the essential oils that carry the plant’s cannabinoids and terpenes.

THC

Short for tetrahydrocannabinol, THC is the primary psychoactive compound produced by the cannabis flower, known for its euphoric and relaxing effects.

Tincture

A tincture is a liquid cannabis extract that may be formed from infused glycerine or alcohol. Tinctures are often consumed medicinally, typically mixed with liquid or sublingually (beneath the tongue). 

Topical

A topical is any cannabis-infused product like a cream, lotion, or body oil applied to the skin—typically used to treat minor aches and pains (topicals are a life-saver after snowboarding, skiing, hiking, or cycling). 

Vape/Vaping

A popular mode of cannabis consumption without the flower, vaping involves heating cannabis-infused carrier oil in a dedicated device (although some vape devices also work with cannabis flower). 

Vape Pen

A portable cannabis vaporizer, typically shaped like a pen.

Vaporizer

Any device that uses electricity to create heat that evaporates cannabis without the use of flame. Vaporizers can be used with concentrate-filled cartridges or flower and comes in portable, disposable, and tabletop forms.

Wax

Wax is a form of concentrated cannabis known for its sticky, waxy character. Often used in dabbing, wax is typically high in THC.

Weed

A widely-used slang term for cannabis, “weed,” goes back to the jazz age.