Industry Terms

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.

Browse the glossary using this index

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Yet another iteration of cannabis, Pakalolo is the Hawaiian term for cannabis. You'll likely hear it most on tourist beaches and among certain crowds that have adopted the word because of its unique linguistic composition.


Short for 'rolling papers,' one of the essential ingredients used in joint- and spliff-crafting. Papers can be made from various materials, including wood pulp, hemp, flax, and rice straw.


Paraphernalia most commonly refers to a group of apparatus, equipment, or furnishing used for consuming cannabis.


Organism that lives on or in another host organism without benefiting the host - fungus is a parasite.

Parts-per-Million (or PPM)

The standard measurement of nutrition content, residual solvents, as well as other contaminants such as mold and pesticides found within cannabis products.


Hydroponic system that moves the nutrient solution through absorption or capillary action.


A disease-causing micro-organism, especially bacteria, fungi, and viruses.


Partially decomposed vegetation (usually moss) with slow decay due to extreme moisture, cold, and acidic conditions.

Pelican Case

A special carrying case for dab rigs or other valuable fragile objects.


A percolator, also simply known as a 'perc,' is a special glass design that increases water filtration inside of a bong, bubbler, or other water pipes by adding an additional chamber for the smoke to be filtered through. There are many different types of percolator common, but they all serve to improve the water filtration process so your cannabis bong hit is as smooth as possible.


A plant, such as a tree or a shrub, which completes its life cycle over several years.


Amendment of sand or volcanic glass expanded by heat, which aerates the soil or growth medium.


A scale from 0 - 14 that measure a growing medium's acid to alkaline balance - a pH of 7 is neutral, lower numbers indicate increasing acidity, and higher numbers increasing alkalinity - cannabis grows best in a 6.5 to 8 pH range.

pH Tester

Electronic instrument or chemical used to measure the acid and alkaline balance in soil or water.


When it comes to growing cannabis, a plant’s phenotype is important because it determines a strain’s taste, effectiveness, look and more. Simply put, phenotype is a word used to successfully identify a plant’s inherent traits. Every strain has two parent plants, including a male and female. Like in most breeding of organisms, when a male plant fertilizes a female plant, the seeds that are produced will include genetic phenotypes from both plants. Because people like varying traits from different strains, growers can make a specific strain based on those preferred characteristics.

Phosphor Coating

Internal fluorescent bulb coating that diffuses light and affects various color outputs.

Phosphorus (P)

One of the three primary macronutrients that promote root and flower growth in cannabis plants.


The relationship between the length of light and dark in a 24-hour period - affects the growth and maturity of cannabis.


The building of chemical compounds (carbohydrates that plants need for growth) from light energy, water and carbon dioxide (or CO2).


The environmental response movement of a cannabis plant toward or away from a light source.


The arrangement of leaves on a stem and the principles that govern such arrangement, phyllotactic spirals form a distinctive class of patterns in nature.


A phytotron is an enclosed research greenhouse used for studying interactions between cannabis plants and the environment. It was a product of the disciplines of cannabis plant physiology and botany.


A pinner is a thin joint rolled tightly with a small amount of cannabis. If one is low in cannabis content but still wants to roll the last bit of the supply, it results in a pinner. Some use the term to refer to the lowest quality cannabis.


Pistils are part of a female plant’s anatomy. On cannabis, it’s identified as the little hair-like extensions on the flowers that range in color from white to red to darker orange-brown. When plants are going to be fertilized, the pistil acts to collect the male pollen. When plants are left unfertilized, the pistils change and can be indicators of plant ripeness.


Female cannabis plant, having pistils but no functional stamens.


Fine, yellow, dust-like microspores containing male genes.

Pollen Sack

Male flowering that contains pollen.


The transfer of male pollen from the anther to the stigma of the same or a different flower to fertilize ovules which produce seeds.

Polyhybrid Cross

A hybrid plant crossbred for more than one trait.

Polyvinyl Chloride (or PVC) Pipe

Plastic pipe that is easy to work with, readily available, and used to transport liquid and air.


Pot is a slang term for cannabis intended for use as a psychoactive drug or a medication. The word came into existence as a shortening of the Spanish potiguaya or potaguaya (a wine or brandy with steeped cannabis buds). Pot also goes by the names of cannabis, ganja, weed, reefer etc.

Potassium (K)

One of the macronutrients necessary for plant life.


Root system that is bound, stifled or inhibited from normal growth by a too-small container.


Capable of wielding strong physiological or chemical effects - cannabis rich in cannabinoids that provides a desirable effect.

Powdery Mildew

Powdery mildew is a white powdery growth that forms on the surface of the cannabis leaves. The fungus first appears as small bumps on the upper side of the affected leaves, and if left unchecked it can extend to the petioles, stems and finally the buds, completely destroying the resin and crippling the plant entirely. Also known as Oidium or White Mold, the pest affects both indoor and outdoor cannabis. It is necessary for farmers to take preventative measures from the beginning to keep powdery mildew at bay.

Power Surge

Interruption or change in the flow of electricity.


A pre-roll refers to a pre-formed joint or blunt that is made beforehand and sold in medical dispensaries and retailer stores. The ready-made smokeables come in handy for consumers who like joints but are not good with the rolling process.


A term for cannabis flower, before it’s been processed and turned into oil.

Predatory Insect

Beneficial insect or parasite that hunts down and devours harmful insects.

Pressed Hash

Pressed hash refers to the compressed resin of the female cannabis plant that is obtained through the application of heat and pressure on kief or dry sift hash to create small, dense blocks containing high concentrations of Tetrahydrocannabinol (or THC) and other cannabinoids. Pressed hash is consumed in much the same way as cannabis buds by smoking in a joint, pipe, bong or consuming it as an edible to offer similar effects. It can result in different colors ranging from dark yellow to brown or even black depending on the amount of plant and foreign material in the final product.


Belonging to or characteristic of the earliest stage of development of an organism or a part.


One born of, begotten by, or derived from another; an offspring or a descendant - offspring or descendants considered as a group.


Sexual propagation produces seed by breeding male and female cannabis plant or asexual propagation to produce a plant by cloning.


A solvent used in the creation of Propane Hash Oil (or PHO), propane is often considered to produce higher quality concentrates than butane.


Trimming branches or parts of the cannabis plant to strengthen those that remain or brings shape to the plant.

Pull ‘n’ Snap

Refers to hash oil with a very particular consistency. Snap is known to be neither too runny (wax), nor too solid (shatter) at room temperature. Because of its consistency existing somewhere between wax and shatter, it stretches when pulled before breaking off with a signature snapping sound.

Punnett Square

A tool developed by British geneticist, Reginald Punnett, used by biologists to predict the probability of possible genotypes of offspring.


The process of removing residual solvent from a cannabis concentrate.


Purps refers to any strain of cannabis that has a hue of purple. Purple color in cannabis is often equated with high-quality products because of popular and powerful strains such as Granddaddy Purple, Purple Urkle, and Purple Kush.


Natural insecticide made from the blossoms of various chrysanthemums.

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