Industry Terms & Commonly Used Slang
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.
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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 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 brains cannabinoid receptors in cells that repress neurotransmitter release. Tetrahydrocannabinol (or THC) is the most well-known cannabinoid due to its euphoric and psychoactive effects on your body (ex. the 'high'). THC can alter behavior, consciousness, mood, and perception. Most health benefits of cannabis are associated with the Cannabidiol (or CBD) cannabinoid. Cannabis products are often enhanced with CBD to provide more potent effects. Choose a strain with high levels of CBD if you're looking to use cannabis as an alternative form of medication.
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.
Cannabis is a plant genus that produces three species of flowering plants: Cannabis Sativa, Cannabis Indica, and Cannabis Ruderalis. Cannabis Sativa and Cannabis Indica are used to produce both recreational and medical cannabis. Cannabis Ruderalis is rarely farmed due to its natural lower Tetrahydrocannabinol (or THC) content and small stature, but there is some cross-breeding thanks to Ruderalis‘ unique ability to auto-flower rather than mature based on light, so there is potential for this variety to grow in popularity. Cannabis is native to Asia, but grows almost anywhere and has long been cultivated both for the production of hemp and to be used as a drug.
A cannabis concentrate [also called concentrates, extract, shatter, wax, butane hash oil or Butane Honey Oil (or BHO), live resin, budder, and taffy] is a highly potent Tetrahydrocannabinol (or THC) concentrated mass that is most similar in appearance to either honey or butter, which is why it is referred to or known as 'honey oil' or 'budder'. Cannabis concentrates contain extraordinarily high cannabinoid levels that could once range from 40 - 80%, up to four times stronger in cannabinoid content than the high grade or top-shelf cannabis, which normally measures around 20% THC levels.
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.
Refers to a sticky, dark-red potent concentrate commonly consumed by dabbing or vaporizing. It is extracted by the use of solvents e.g. butane, ethanol or naphtha to separate the cannabinoids and essential oils from the plant material. Cannabis oil has high concentrations of Tetrahydrocannabinol (or THC) and Cannabidiol (or CBD) making it ideal for a broad range of medical conditions like cancer, chronic pain, anxiety, depression, convulsions etc. It releases pleasure hormones, relaxes the mind and induces a sense of calm and relaxation. Cannabis oil is usually consumed in vape pens, bongs, and bubblers.
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.
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 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.
The average condition of the weather in a grow room or outdoors.
A clone is a cannabis plant clipping that can be planted and grown, creating a genetic copy of the mother. 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 strains are simply 'clones' that are passed from one grower to another.
Most commonly referring to butane or propane extraction, closed-loop extraction is a chemical extraction process that recycles hydrocarbon solvent or carbon dioxide (or CO2) in a closed system, opposed to releasing the gas into the air. The closed-loop method is far safer than open blasting.
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 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 mixture of decayed organic matter, high in nutrients - compost must be well-rotted before use.
It is a highly potent Tetrahydrocannabinol (or THC) concentrated mass obtained by the use of a solvent to dissolve essential oils and resinous cannabinoids from the plant material. Cannabis concentrates are loved for delivering high THC levels and allowing individuals to take them in ways other than smoking joints including dabbing and use of vaporizers. Concentrates are referenced under different names like Butane Hash Oil (or BHO), wax, oil, shatter, crumble 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.
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.
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.
Cannabis high in Cannabidiol (or CBD) having psychoactive qualities that sneak up on the smoker - highs usually last longer.
Critical Day Length
Maximum day length which will bring about flowering in cannabis plants.
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.
Curing is a very important process during the growth of a cannabis plant, which allows for a much higher quality end product. When you move your plant from the drying process to curing at just the right time, one will have more control over the level of moisture of the bud, allowing for the grower to greatly increase it’s flavor, potency and other desired characteristics. If not cured properly, one will experience a harsher inhale or even bad smelling bud.
A thin layer of plant wax (cutin) on the surface of the aboveground parts of cannabis plants.