Your Essential Weed Lexicon

…To make shopping easier!

Do you know where the phrase “420” comes from? What causes couchlock? How to define the weed that best suits your needs? Read on for the answers…

Cannabis: Refers to all plants derived from the plant Cannabis sativa, including marijuana that contains intoxicating and non-intoxicating compounds like tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD). 

Hemp: the same species as cannabis, but with little to know Delta-9 THC. Hemp can also be used to make textiles, rope, paper, fuel, building materials as well as health/wellness/beauty products.

Bud: Cannabis flower that is harvested due to its concentration of active cannabinoids. Also known as inflorescence.

Strain: A specific variety of plant developed to produce distinct smells, appearances and effects.

Sativa: The narrow-leaf species of cannabis that can produce clear-headed, uplifting and energizing effects. Depending on dosage, some sativas can induce anxiety instead of relieving it.

Indica: This round-leaf species of cannabis plant originating from the Indian subcontinent. Effects are generally more stoney, body-affecting, relaxing. Too much can result in couchlock (see below).

Hybrid: Strains made by crossbreeding indicas and sativas, creating genetics with a combination of effects from both parents.

Kush: An indica subset that originated in the Hindu Kush region of northwestern India. Kush tends to be deep green with hints of purple, and is often sedating and calming.

Haze: A sativa-dominant cannabis first grown in Santa Cruz, CA, known for its high-energy, buzzy properties.

Diesel: A specific sativa genetic that smells of diesel fuel, hence the name.

420: In the 1970s a group of California teens would gather and smoke after track practice at 4:20 PM. Somehow the number 420 became shorthand for getting high, and to this day, 420 has a major place in cannabis culture. April 20th is celebrated as a holiday in much of North America.

710: July 10th refers to all things related to oil and concentrates. Turn the numbers upside down and they spell OIL.

Cure: The process of removing moisture from freshly-harvested cannabis that makes buds smokable. The most basic method involves hanging plants in a dark room with controlled temperature and humidity for 1-3 weeks.

Terpenes: Aromatic molecules whose pharmacological importance forms the basis of aromatherapy. Cannabis’ fragrance and flavor is determined by the predominant terpenes in a strain.

  • Myrcene: musky, clove
  • Alpha-pinene: pine, rosemary
  • Beta-caryophyllene: black pepper, wood
  • Limonene: citrus
  • Terpinolene: pine, herbal

Cannabinoids: Compounds found in cannabis including:

  • THC: The most beloved cannabinoid–ignites the high.
  • CBD: The second most prevalent compound in cannabis with powerful anti-inflammatory and relaxing effects.
  • THCA: A non-psychoactive cannabinoid found in raw cannabis flower that turns into THC when heated.
  • CBDA: Abundant in the live CBD plants, CBDA converts to CBD (cannabidiol) over time or when heated.
  • CBG: The cannabinoid often referred to as the mother of all cannabinoids.
  • CBN: Cannabinol occurs when weed gets dry and oxidizes. Supposedly useful for sleep and relaxation. See–even old weed has a use!

CBD full spectrum: Product that contains multiple cannabis components including terpenes and cannabinoids. Full spectrum products may also contain up to 0.3% of THC. Avoid full spectrum products if you’re subjected to workplace drug testing as even a tiny amount of THC can yield a positive result.

CBD broad spectrum: Product that contains a range of naturally occurring cannabis compounds, but no THC.

CBD Isolate: Crystalline, solid or powder product that is only CBD without any other compounds or THC.

Trichomes: Glandular structures that sit on the plant’s surface and contain the precious oils we love and respect. When leaves are covered in trichomes they appear “frosty.”

Tincture: Liquid cannabis extract suspended in either alcohol or oils. Dosed with a dropper under the tongue. 

Topical: A cream, lotion or balm infused with cannabis’ active properties.

Edibles: Baked goods, gummies, candy or butter prepared with cannabis extracts. Inexperienced users should begin with low doses of less than 5mg per serving.

Concentrates: Extracted material from the cannabis plant that results in more powerful highs. Concentrates come in various forms, from liquids to solids and include: 

  • Rosin: A process that extracts terpenes and cannabis oils from the flower using an iron, hair curler or tortilla press. This extract can be dabbed or wiped on a paper and rolled up into a joint.
  • Shatter: A solid, brittle, translucent concentrate that is usually made as one large solid sheet and then cracked into small, jagged shards.
  • Live resin: A thick, tarry concentrate harvested from fresh cannabis plants that aren’t cured. Excellent for dabbing.
  • Earwax: An unsavory term describing hash oil which has been whipped and heated for a lighter viscosity. Also known as “wax.”
  • Budder: Concentrates that typically include the waxy trichome coverings, giving them the consistency of butter.
  • Bubble hash: An older method of extraction that uses ice water to freeze trichomes off the plant. The name comes from the bubbling that occurs when the finished product is smoked. This method preserves terpenes and allows for a clear high.

 Dab: A quinoa-size amount of concentrate that is dropped or dabbed onto a heat source to produce vapor, which is then inhaled.

Budtender: The lovely, helpful person working behind the counter at Rebelle who can answer questions and guide you to the best products for your needs. 

Vaporizer: A device used to consume cannabis that heats flower or oil to produce a cannabinoid-laced vapor to inhale.

Vape Pen: An inhalation device shaped like a pen that includes a cartridge of cannabinoid-laced liquid and a heating element. 

Glass: A bong or pipe. Glass is an excellent medium for cannabis consumption as it is easily cleaned (with isopropyl alcohol) and retains its integrity even at extreme temperatures. 

Bong: A glass device that uses water to diffuse and cool large hits of smoke as you inhale. 

Dank: In everyday usage, dank is a negative. For Cannabists, it is a positive word to describe the strong aroma of beautiful sticky bud.

Titrating: Adjusting your dose up or down.

Adult Use: Legal cannabis not designated for medical purposes is often called recreational or adult-use. Laws vary from state to state.

Ditch Weed: Cannabis found growing in the wild or industrial hemp plants found along the side of the road. Ditch weed has little to no THC.

Pre-roll: A pre-assembled, ready-to-smoke joint. Can be infused with flavors, coated in hash oil and/or kief, and secured in a plastic or glass tube.

Spliff: From the expression “split the difference,” it refers to a joint with half tobacco and half cannabis.

Sungrown: Cannabis flowers that were grown outdoors using sunlight rather than indoor lights or LEDs. Sungrown is popular in Mediterranean climates and California’s Emerald Triangle.

Cola: A botanical term relating to a long flower of a cannabis plant. The term is probably derived from the Spanish “cola” which means “tail.”

Couchlock: When your limbs feel so heavy that just getting off the couch feels nearly impossible. Certain indica strains are very “couchy.”

Cottonmouth: The term that perfectly describes the dryness in your mouth after smoking. 

Kief: A beautiful resin powder, which is extracted by freezing and shaking the buds, or grinding the plant in a grinder with a “kief catcher” —  a fine mesh screen that allows kief to fall through into a compartment below.

Trim: After harvesting, drying, and curing buds, the sugar leaves (trim) are cut off to prepare the buds for display and sale. Many cultivators use trim extractions to make butter and oils.

Decarb: Short for decarboxylation. This term refers to the process of applying heat to ground flower to convert the plant’s THCA into its psychoactive version, THC. 

Ganja: The oldest English-language slang term for cannabis. It is derived from the Sanskrit word for cannabis, gañjā, and is the nickname for weed in Jamaica.

Grinder: A handy device, usually made of metal or hard plastic, that is used to shred cannabis flowers and buds.

Carts: Short for “cartridge.” Refers to the disposable, pre-packaged cannabis oil cartridges available at dispensaries.

Fire: Two meanings: 1. A descriptor for strong, high-quality cannabis. 2. A name for certain indica-dominant strains with red hairs.

Endocannabinoid System (ECS): A cell-signaling system in the body that regulates sleep, mood, appetite, memory, reproduction and fertility. The ECS is active in your body even if you don’t use cannabis.

Endocannabinoids: Molecules similar to cannabinoids, but produced by your body. Experts have identified two key endocannabinoids so far.

Baked, Blazed, Blitzed: All are different descriptions of being high, and they express the reason you are here!

About Our Editors:

Elana Frankel, chief growth officer at Medical Cannabis Mentor, is the founding editor in chief of Women and Weed magazine and author of the book Women and Weed (Simon and Schuster, 2020). Her byline has also appeared in The Cannigma and WSJ/OffDuty. Elana teaches yoga (200-hour and Lit Yoga trained) as well as meditation and breathwork. She is  a volunteer for the Oregon Cannabis Commission, health equity sub-committee and has worked in a dispensary, learning from soil to shelf. Elana has produced films with Cabin Creek Productions, was the creative director and SVP at One Kings Lane and has contributed to magazines such as Architectural Digest, Martha Stewart Living, The New York Times Magazine and New York Magazine. 

Joe Dolce is the author of Brave New Weed: Adventures into the Uncharted World of Cannabis, which was published to critical acclaim in 2017 and hosts the Brave New Weed podcast, which boasts an international audience of industry experts, rabble rousers and anyone interested in high-minded conversations about the plant and culture surrounding it. He is also is the founder and CEO of the online education platform, with courses for healthcare practitioners, dispensary personnel and patients.

Your Essential Weed Lexicon