Scratching your head over what “kief” is?Since many of our learners are newbies in the cannabis industry, you might see confusing words or phrases in the community. Browse our glossary to find a variety of cannabis term definitions and become more educated on industry terminology. This glossary will clear up the confusion and get you speaking like a native GC'er in no time! Also, please add new glossary terms if you see anything missing.
Comparison of a measurement standard or instrument of known accuracy with another standard or instrument to detect, correlate, report, or eliminate by adjustment any variation in the accuracy of the item being compared with the standard traceable to a recognized national standard.
Tissue made of undifferentiated cells produced by rooting hormones on plant cuttings.
Refers to the sepals found in the cannabis flower that is usually covered in resinous trichomes, containing high concentrations of Tetrahydrocannabinol (or THC) and other cannabinoids. In the case of fertilization, the calyxes become the housing structures for the forming seeds. Growers can really benefit by maintaining seedless calyxes as it increases the potency of the resulting buds.
Layer of cells which divide and differentiates into xylem and phloem and are responsible for growth.
Scientific family to which Cannabis (marijuana) and Humulus (hops) belong.
Cannabichromene (or CBC)
Second most abundant cannabinoid in cannabis, Cannabichromene (or CBC) is considered one of the 'big six' cannabinoids prominent in medical research. It doesn’t get as much attention, but CBC has the same origins as both Tetrahydrocannabinol (or THC) and Cannabidiol (or CBD) do in that they all stem from Cannabigerolic Acid (or CBGA). Cannabis plants produce CBGA, the precursor to three major cannabinoids: Tetrahydrocannabinolic Acid (or THCA), Cannabidiolic Acid (or CBDA), and Cannabichromenic Acid (or CBCA).
Cannabidiol (or CBD)
The second-most common cannabinoid (chemical unique to cannabis) found in cannabis, Cannabidiol (or CBD) are the non-psychoactive ingredient of cannabis that is used to treat a number of diseases, including epilepsy and autism. It was almost bred out of cannabis because people were more concerned with getting high off Tetrahydrocannabinol (or THC), but recently it’s been making a comeback for the aforementioned medical reasons.
Cannabinoid Hyperemesis Syndrome (or CHS)
Can occur with cannabis use and is characterized by recurrent nausea, vomiting, and crampy abdominal pain. These symptoms have been reported to be improved temporarily by taking a hot shower or bath, or more fully by stopping the use of cannabis. It is important that Cannabinoid Hyperemesis Syndrome be distinguished from other causes of nausea and vomiting, such as cyclic vomiting syndrome
Proportional ratio and levels of major cannabinoids found in cannabis being tested. Cannabis testing is the scientific process of measuring different chemicals and compounds in the product. They can measure beneficial constituents like cannabinoids and terpenes, or not-so-desirable contaminants such as pesticides, mold, and residual solvents. Research is now showing that strains exhibit different compound profiles, unique 'fingerprints' built by a specific composition of cannabinoids and terpenes.
Located throughout the body, are part of the endocannabinoid system, which is involved in a variety of physiological processes including appetite, pain-sensation, mood, and memory. Cannabinoid receptors are of a class of cell membrane receptors in the G protein-coupled receptor superfamily. There are currently two known subtypes of Cannabinoid Receptors, termed CB1 Receptor and CB2 Receptor. The CB1 Receptor is expressed mainly in the brain (Central Nervous System), but also in the lungs, liver, and kidneys. The CB2 Receptor is expressed mainly in the immune system and in hematopoietic cells.
A class of chemical compounds produced by the cannabis plant that act on the body’s cannabinoid receptors. This hydrocarbon unique to cannabis, it produces a variety of compounds known as cannabinoids, many of which have not been detected in any other plant. Most of them are present at very low levels, especially in commercial cannabis products, making it difficult for scientists to accurately detect them. The important point is that there are many. Cannabinoids are a large class of compounds that act on the brain's cannabinoid receptors in cells that repress neurotransmitter release.
Cannabinol (or CBN)
Cannabinol (or CBN) is a non-psychoactive cannabinoid found only in trace amounts in Cannabis and is mostly found in aged Cannabis. Pharmacologically relevant quantities are formed as a metabolite of Tetrahydrocannabinol (or THC). CBN acts as a partial agonist at the CB1 Receptors, but has a higher affinity to CB2 Receptors; however, it has lower affinities relative to THC. Degraded or oxidized cannabis products, such as low-quality baled cannabis and traditionally produced hashish, are high in CBN, but modern production processes minimize the formation of CBN.
A genus of flowering plants within the Cannabaceae family identified by their distinctive glandular trichomes, divided serrated leaves, and tough bast fibers.
Cannabis consumption refers to the variety of ways cannabis is consumed, among which inhalation (smoking and vaporizing) and ingestion are most common. Each method leads to subtly different psychoactive effects due to the Tetrahydrocannabinol (or THC) and other chemicals being activated, and then consumed through different administration routes. It is generally considered that smoking, which includes combustion toxins, comes on quickly but lasts for a short period of time while eating delays the onset of effect but the duration of effect is typically longer. Researchers reported that vaporizer users experience the same biological effect, but without the toxins associated with smoking.
The High Times Cannabis Cup is the world’s foremost cannabis festival. Founded in 1988 by Steven Hager, the Cannabis Cup is the world's leading cannabis event and most trusted cannabis strain competition in the industry. The event allows judges from around the world to sample and vote for their favorite cannabis varieties. These judges-at-large decide the Cannabis Cup (overall winner in the cannabis variety competition), best new product, best booth, best glass, etc. A team of VIP judges decides which seed company has grown the best Indica, Sativa and hybrid strain and which company has produced the best. The High Times Cannabis Cup also includes live music, educational seminars and an expo for cannabis-related products from cannabis-oriented businesses.
Cannabis Essential Oil
Known as 'Hemp Essential Oil,' is an essential oil obtained by steam distillation from the flowers and upper leaves of the hemp plant (Cannabis Sativa) Hemp essential oil is distinct from hemp seed oil, hemp oil, and hash oil: the former is a vegetable oil that is pressed from the seeds of low-cannabinoid varieties of hemp, the latter is a cannabinoid-rich extract of dried female hemp flowers (cannabis) or resin (hashish).
The flowering part of the cannabis plant that can either be male or female. Female flowers usually produce Tetrahydrocannabinol (or THC) and other cannabinoids in higher amounts than the other parts of the plant. The female flowers are fertilized by the male plants to produce cannabis seeds. If left unfertilized, the female flowers continue to produce the resin that contains active cannabinoids until their point of harvest.
Formally known as Cannabis Sativa, is an annual plant in the Cannabaceae family. It is a putative species of the genus Cannabis. Whether it and Cannabis Sativa are truly separate species is a matter of debate. Many uses come from Cannabis Indica, such as extraction, cultivation, cloth from the fibers, medical uses, and a drug plant. Cannabis Indica produces large amounts of Tetrahydrocannabinol (or THC). The large amounts of THC make it most commonly used as a drug, whether it be for recreational or medical purposes.
Concentrated liquid extracts from the cannabis plant.
Laws in some jurisdictions banning the cultivation or sales of cannabis in an attempt to prevent its use - these bans are criticized because they create a black market and law enforcement is disproportionately enforced around the world.
A low-Tetrahydrocannabinol (or THC) species of Cannabis which is native to Central and Eastern Europe and Russia. Many scholars accept Cannabis Ruderalis as its own species due to its unique traits and phenotypes which distinguish it from Cannabis Indica and Cannabis Sativa, however, it is widely debated as to whether or not Ruderalis is a sub-species of Cannabis Sativa.
An annual herbaceous flowering plant indigenous to eastern Asia but now of cosmopolitan distribution due to widespread cultivation. It has been cultivated throughout recorded history, used as a source of industrial fiber, seed oil, food, recreation, religious and spiritual moods, and medicine. Each part of the plant is harvested differently, depending on the purpose of its use. The species was first classified by Carl Linnaeus in 1753.
Are either pure or hybrid varieties of the plant genus Cannabis, which encompasses the species Cannabis Sativa, Cannabis Indica, and Cannabis Ruderalis.
Also known as herbal tea, weed tea, pot tea, ganja tea, or green tea is a cannabis-infused drink made with cannabis-infused in hot or cold water. Properly produced decarboxylated cannabis teas are very effective when ingested.
A topical, inhalable, or ingestible product that contains active cannabis or cannabis concentrate as a regular ingredient incorporated through homogenization or topical application. A food product, tincture or salve that contains concentrated or cannabis-derived cannabinoids that are prepared and are subject to different labeling requirements like the list of ingredients, their respective profiles, directions for use, and a disclaimer.
Capitate Stalked Trichome
Resin-producing plant hair without a stalk, high in Tetrahydrocannabinol (or THC) content.
A carb cap is a dabbing tool used to vaporize concentrates at low temperatures to optimize the flavor and give a smoother experience. The concentrate is placed onto the nail (hot surface) and the device creates a chamber with restricted airflow for the concentrates to vaporize within. It is made of glass, ceramic, quartz or titanium and features a hollowed-rounded head (cap) and a pointed handle that doubles as a dabbing tool to help with concentrate application.
A neutral compound of carbon, hydrogen, and oxygen, mostly formed by green plants - sugar, starch, and cellulose are carbohydrates.
Carbon Dioxide (or CO2)
A colorless, odorless, tasteless gas in the air and necessary for plant life.
Carbon Dioxide (or CO2) Enrichment
Adding carbon dioxide (or CO2) gas to augment grow room or greenhouse atmosphere to speed the cannabis plants' growth.
Carbon Dioxide (or CO2) Extraction
Also known as supercritical carbon dioxide (or CO2) extraction, CO2 extraction is a technique that freezes and compresses CO2 to its supercritical state then passes the cold CO2 liquefied gas through cannabis, pulling all of the essential cannabinoids, terpene oils and waxes out of the plant material into collection receptacles. The method leaves no residue and produces an amber-colored oil which can be vaporized in a number of ways.
Carbon Dioxide (or CO2) for Cultivation
It is the addition of carbon dioxide (or CO2) to cannabis gardens to quicken the plant development and pack weight onto their buds, increasing the crop’s yield. Cannabis growers operating a closed system use CO2 generators to increase concentrations of carbon dioxide to around 800 - 1,500 Parts-Per-Million (PPM). The use of CO2 for cultivation, however, is more effective if the plants are fed with more hydroponic nutrients, light, and water.
This refers to the state of depleted cannabis whose contents have been thoroughly used up leaving behind an ash residue. Cannabis smokers use the term to describe a bowl that has been smoked out until all resin is gone and there is nothing but ash. Cannabis that has reached its cashpoint should be emptied and repacked.
A substance that destroys, kills or eats away by chemical activity.
The base structural unit of plants - a cell contains a nucleus, membrane, and chloroplasts.
A complex carbohydrate that stiffens a plant - outdoor stems contain more stiff cellulose than plants grown indoors.
A scale for measuring temperature where 100 degrees is the boiling point of water and 0 degrees is the freezing point of water.
A method of separating a solid/liquid mixture by rotating it at high speed in a cylindrical container. The solid will remain on the sides (through centrifugal force) while the liquid goes to drain.
Certificate of Analysis (CoA)
Document describing the quality and purity data from quality control testing of a lot or batch.
Procedure by which a third-party give written assurance that a product, process, service, or person conforms to specified requirements.
A chalice, also known as a wisdom chalice or chillum chalice, is a type of cannabis smoking pipe used most often by members of the Jamaican Rastafari movement. It is a sort of water pipe with a hose, or drawtube, for inhaling; the water cools and filters the smoke and the hose provides additional airspace for cooling. A screen embedded in the crater protects against drawing in burning particles to clog the interior.
Charas (Hindi/Urdu) is the name given to a hashish form of cannabis which is handmade in many South Asian countries and Jamaica. It is made from the resin of the cannabis plant (Cannabis Sativa or Cannabis Indica). The plant grows wild throughout Northern India along the stretch of the Himalayas (its putative origin) and is an important cash crop for the local people. The difference between charas and hashish is that hashish is made from a dead cannabis plant and charas is made from a live one.
Charlotte's Web is a high-Cannabidiol (or CBD), low-Tetrahydrocannabinol (or THC) Cannabis strain, it does not induce the psychoactive 'high' typically associated with recreational cannabis strains that are high in THC.
Cheeba is a slang word for cannabis. Cheeba Chews are medical cannabis-infused edibles that are usually gummy and compressed into small bricks.
Metal chelate compounds are common components of fertilizers to provide micronutrients. These micronutrients (manganese, iron, zinc, copper) are required for the health of the plants. Most fertilizers contain phosphate salts that, in the absence of chelating agents, typically convert these metal ions into insoluble solids that are of no nutritional value to the plants. Chelation is a type of bonding of ions and molecules to metal ions, usually, these ligands are organic compounds and are called chelants, chelators, chelating agents, or sequestering agents.
A bowl that will stay burning without the need for a lighter or match. Cherried bowls are much simpler to smoke because you just have to keep hitting it to keep it cherried. It's important to note, however, that because your cannabis will be continuously burning whether or not you're smoking it, you have to be careful that a cherried bowl doesn't smoke itself.
A term for a small device that can be carried around discreetly and holds a very small amount of cannabis.
A plant or organism with tissues from at least two genetically distinct parents.
Green photosynthetic matter of plants - chlorophyll is found in the chloroplasts of a cell and is necessary to photosynthesis.
The condition of a sick plant with yellowing leaving due to inadequate formation of chlorophyll, chlorosis is caused by a nutrient deficiency.
Microscopically small, dark-staining bodies visible in the nucleus of a cell at the time of nuclear cell division and the number in any species is usually constant - a cannabis plant has 10 pairs of chromosomes.
A circular route traveled by electricity from a power source, through an outlet, and back to the ground.
Smoking in an enclosed space or car so that it fills up with smoke.
Soil made of very fine organic and mineral particles, clay soil drains slowly and is not suitable for container gardening.
An automated cleaning process that relies on both chemical removal and physical agitation.
Physical removal of dirt, debris, and other potential contaminants to the extent necessary for further processing or intended use.
Proves that the documented cleaning procedure will consistently remove the previous product, or cleaning agent and reduce the microbial population to a safe and acceptable level.
The average condition of the weather in a grow room or outdoors.
A cannabis plant clipping that is planted and grown to create a genetic copy of another plant. Scientifically, cloning is the act of asexually propagating the cannabis plant to create a genetic copy. Cloning is very popular in the cannabis industry and many plants are simply "clones" that are used from one crop to another.
Close Out Meeting
The last formal meeting is held between the client and the auditor before the auditor leaves the facility.
A closed-loop extraction system that recycles solvent or Carbon Dioxide (or CO2) in a closed system, instead of releasing it into the air. Most commonly referring to butane or propane extraction, closed-loop extraction is a chemical extraction process that recycles hydrocarbon solvent or CO2 in a closed system.
The cola is the large flower cluster at the top of a cannabis plant's main stem (larger side branches can also contain cola nugs). The cola is heavily-coated in kief, which makes it both the strongest and tastiest part of a cannabis plant to smoke. Mexican and North American slang word for cannabis flow top - 'cola' in Spanish actually means tail.
A poisonous alkaloid from the autumn crocus, used in plant breeding to induce polypoid mutations.
For cannabis plants, air temperatures below 50 F (10 C).
An unheated outdoor structure usually clad in glass or clear plastic used to protect and acclimatize cannabis seedlings and plants.
The storage of products requiring a specific storage temperature or required to be stored frozen.
Colony Forming Unit (CFU)
A microbiological term that describes the formation of a single macroscopic colony after the introduction of one or more microorganisms to a microbiological growth medium. One colony forming unit is expressed as one (1) Colony Forming Unit (or CFU).
The band of colors (measured in Nm) emitted by a light source.
A coloring agent that is added to many commercial fertilizers so the horticulturist knows there is fertilizer in the solution.
The process of burning a material - combustion occurs when smoking flower.
Soil condition that results from the tightly packed soil which limits aeration and root penetration.
Planting garlic, marigolds, etc., along with cannabis plants to discourage pests.
A complaint is any expression of dissatisfaction with a marketed product or service.
Compliance is used to describe an organization that is meeting all regulatory requirements.
A substance or item intended for use in the manufacture of a product including ingredients, additives, fillers, other ingredients, and processing aids. Any ingredient intended for use in the manufacture of a cannabis product, including those that may not appear in such products.
The aggregate mixture which results from the manufacture of a product according to the formula and process defined in the product’s manufacturing protocol.
A mixture of decayed organic matter, high in nutrients - compost must be well-rotted before use.
Any type of cannabis product that is refined from aboveground plant components into a more purified and potent form. A concentrate can refer to any form of hash, rosin, kief, or forms of hash oil (shatter, wax, etc.).
Pre-purged concentrate that has high Parts-Per-Million (or PPM) of residual solvent - slurry can be either solid and airy, or liquefied and runny.
A cone is a type of joint that is more conical than a typical joint or cigarette. The cone starts straight and thin but widens as the cone gets longer. A crutch or filter is often included and stops the cannabis from falling out of the bottom of the cone and it also stops resin from clogging the end of the joint.
When the output meets the requirements, and inversely, nonconformity is when the output fails to meet one or more requirements.
Any activity concerned with determining directly or indirectly that relevant requirements are fulfilled.
Conformity Assessment Procedures
Any procedure used, directly or indirectly, to determine that relevant requirements in technical regulations or standards are fulfilled (ex. testing, inspection, certification, accreditation, etc.).
Any boundary region that directly touches cannabis, components, or cannabis-derived product, and any boundary region from which drainage onto cannabis, components, or cannabis-derived product, or onto other regions that touch cannabis, components, or cannabis-derived product, which may occur during the normal course of operations.
A predetermined time that a test microorganism is exposed to the activity of a test material.
Any biological or chemical agent, foreign matter, or other substances not intentionally added to products that may compromise product quality, safety, or suitability. Any material that potentially has adverse impacts on the functioning of, and/or shows an undesirable interaction. Contaminants include insects or insect parts, feathers, fingernails, cosmetics, jewelry, hair, feces, mold, decomposition or visible growth, visible adulterants, lubricants, glass shards from glassware or lighting, metal shavings from equipment, staples, plastic, wood splinters, stones, sand, and foreign plant parts.
The presence of any foreign substance in a product, be it physical (ex. foreign objects), chemical (ex. degradation of products) or microbial (ex. bacteria).
All business activities that are driven towards the constant improvement and betterment of their systems and processes.
An ongoing sampling of environmental conditions throughout the period of operations, ensuring that the update of data constantly occurs.
Controlled Access Area
An area in the physical plant, dispensary, or location, designed to prevent entry by anyone except authorized personnel.
Any area in an aseptic process system for which airborne particulate and microorganism levels are controlled to specific levels that are appropriate to the activities conducted within that environment.
The transfer of heat within a melted concentrate liquid that, in combination with inhaled airflow, circulates current and evenly vaporizes the concentrate - convection occurs when using a carp cap.
The transformer in the ballast is often referred to as a core.
Any repair, rework, or adjustment related to the disposition of an existing non conformity, defect, or other undesirable situation.
An action that needs to take place to improve processes. The action is taken to eliminate the causes of an existing nonconformity, defect, or other undesirable situation to prevent a recurrence.
It is a common effect of cannabis that causes one to have a dry and sticky feeling in the mouth. Consuming cannabis regardless of the method dries out the mucous membranes and may cause one’s salivary glands to produce less spit or saliva. The condition also known as dry mouth or hypo-salivation can be managed by drinking plenty of water.
Seed leaves, first leaves that appear on a cannabis plant.
An instant high-effect that leads to a sedative kind of experience once you have consumed cannabis, higher terpene levels in the strain is responsible for the couch lock sensation.
Usually used in reference to Indica-heavy strains that make you groggy or sleepy - if you smoke some couchy cannabis while you’re on a couch, you’re probably not getting up anytime soon.
A cannabis product that looks identical to an original product both in appearance and packaging but does not contain active ingredients or has been made illegally.
Cannabis high in Cannabidiol (or CBD) having psychoactive qualities that sneak up on the smoker - highs usually last longer.
Crisis Management Plan
Crisis management plans document procedures to prepare for, manage and recover from events that could interrupt business operations including natural disasters, fire, flood, chemical spill, loss of key staff, sabotage, vandalism, terrorism, theft, robbery, workplace violence, seizure of assets or property, product contamination and product recall.
A compliant that strongly indicates the purity, identity, safety, or efficacy of a product may have been compromised and has the potential to cause a life-threatening or serious health situation.
Critical Control Points (CCP)
Designated points in a production process where failure to follow or meet a standard procedure or process step could cause harm to products, customers, and the business; the operation documents each Critical Control Point (CCP) in the Hazard Control Plan along with the critical limits for each CCP.
Critical Day Length
Maximum day length which will bring about flowering in cannabis plants.
Deviation from standards and/or regulations that provide an immediate and significant risk to product quality, patient safety, or data integrity, or the combination and repetition of major deficiencies that indicate a critical system failure.
Items that have been assessed to impact product quality, safety, or efficacy or otherwise present an unacceptable hazard if the equipment or its protective system should fail, and that failure or malfunction could lead to danger to life or significant harm to any person or environment.
The maximum and/or minimum parameters allowed by each critical control point to ensure product quality. Critical limits are based on existing standards, scientific research, regulations, Good Manufacturing Practice (or GMP), production data and results, and equivalent verifiable sources.
The time from initial planting to harvest of a discrete group of plants cultivated in the same area, using the same methods, and using the same agricultural inputs.
The act of breeding different species or strains of cannabis to produce unique, better cannabis varieties. Most of the strains available in the market today are crossbreeds of different strains. The goal is to obtain desirable traits of both parents within one’s gene pool so hybrids not only have to be a Sativa/Indica-cross but can be two different strains of the same type.
Fertilizing a cannabis plant with pollen from an unrelated individual plant of the same species.
Usually made from a small piece of thick paper (such as the inner lining of a cigarette carton or the outer flap of a pack of rolling papers), a crutch is a short cylinder rolled into a joint or spliff at the side that touches your lips. The crutch serves a dual purpose - first, it prevents the end of the joint from getting wet and collapsing in on itself, making smoking it rather unpleasant. Second, it makes rolling the joint easier - the shape of the crutch determines, at least to a certain extent, the shape of the joint.
Crystals or trichomes are the part of the cannabis plant that holds the most cannabinoids and is specifically used to make concentrates like kief or hash. Typically when looking at buds, the more crystals you see, the more potent the product.
Cubic Feet-per-Minute (CFM)
Measures air velocity - ventilation or extraction fans are measured in the Cubic Feet-per-Minute (CFM) of air they can move.
Cubic Foot (or Meter)
Volume measurement in feet (or meter): width x length x height = cubic feet (or meter).
A contraction of 'cultivated variety,' a variety of plant that has been intentionally created or selected - not naturally occurring.
A plant variety that has been produced in cultivation by selective breeding.
Cannabis which is grown for the purposes of fiber, textiles, biofuels, bio/phytoremediation, or any other purposes not intended for human and/or animal consumption.
Cannabis that is grown for multiple end-uses whether that be for a combination of drug, nutritional, and/or commercial purposes.
Cannabis that is grown for the purposes of seed production or any other purposes intended for human and/or animal consumption except for the purposes of collecting, isolating, or extracting the essential oils, resins, saps, glandular trichomes, and flower(s).
Cannabis that is grown for the purposes of collecting, isolating, or extracting the essential oils, resins, saps, glandular trichomes, or flower(s) intended for human and/or animal use.
To grow, harvest, dry, and cure agricultural products.
A person, group of persons, non-profit entity, or business entity that grows drug, nutritional, and/or commercial products.
The process of slowly drying flowers of the cannabis plant to remove sufficient moisture from the plant to prepare it for processing or finishing, ensure shelf stability, and minimize microbiological growth.
Current Good Manufacturing Practices (cGMP)
Current Good Manufacturing Practices (cGMP) ensure that products are consistently produced according to quality standards. The term Good Production Practices (GPP) may also be used.
A thin layer of plant wax (cutin) on the surface of the aboveground parts of cannabis plants.