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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S

Salt

A crystalline compound that results from improper pH or toxic build-up of fertilizer - salt will burn plants, preventing them from absorbing nutrients.


Sativa

Sativa plants are tall with long, narrow leaves and loosely attached branches, Sativa is native to the temperate warm climates of Mexico, Central America, and Southeast Asia. It is usually grown outdoors due to its tall stature, going to heights of up to 18 feet (or 5.5 meters). Since its vegetation period is much longer, these plants typically produce a much higher yield than Indica strains. The plant has lower Tetrahydrocannabinol (or THC) to Cannabidiol (or CBD) levels, explaining its stimulating properties characterized by uplifting, euphoric and cerebral highs.

Schwag

Schwag is a word to describe low-quality cannabis that’s typically brown in color and very dry. Most often, a lot of seeds and stems will need to be removed before smoking the actual cannabis. Even then, schwag is flavorless and will not be covered in trichomes, which is always a sign of low-quality cannabis.

Scion

The shoot (containing buds) that is used for grafting.


Screen

Used to prevent cannabis from falling through the hole at the bottom of a pipe or bong bowl. Especially useful if you’re putting a small amount of cannabis in the bowl, screens can be fashioned from household items such as aluminum foil. 

Screen of Green (or SCROG)

A growing method which involves training cannabis shoots onto a net, trellis, or chicken wire.

Scuff

To scrape and roughen the surface - seeds with a hard outer shell germinate faster when scuffed.


Sea-of-Green (or SOG)

Usually abbreviated as SOG, Sea-of-Green is a method of growing cannabis that forces the plants to mature early to get the best yields possible. The plants get into the flowering phase after only two weeks of vegetative growth, and are harvested much earlier than they would if they grew to full size. The method allows the growers to maximize their space by fitting more plants without sacrificing on the yield. The method involves switching the plants lighting to 12 hours on and12 hours off to initiate flowering. If started at the same time, the plants should create a green canopy that traps most of the light at the top level.

Seal-a-Meal

Airtight sealer for plastic baggies used to seal in the freshness of pungent cannabis.


Secondary Nutrients

Secondary nutrients are nutrients that slightly limit crop growth and are moderately required by plants. These nutrients are calcium (Ca), magnesium (Mg), and sulfur (S). Secondary nutrients are as significant as primary nutrients in plants, but they are needed in smaller quantities. They are necessary for the augmentation levels of roots and cells.

Seed

The mature, fertilized ovule of a pistillate plant, containing a protective shell, embryo, and supply of food - a seed will germinate and grow, given heat and moisture.


Seed Pod

A dry calyx containing a mature or maturing seed.


Seed-to-Sale Concentrates

Single source cannabis concentrates that have been created by a company that grows its own flower from seed.

Selfing

To fertilize with pollen from the same flower or cannabis plant; self-pollinating.


Senescence

The declining growth stage in a cannabis plant or plant part from its prime to death.


Sexual Propagation

Sexual propagation is the process in which male and female sex cells (gametes) from separate parents unite in the female plant to form what will eventually mature into a new, genetically distinct individual. This process occurs when pollen from a male (staminate) parent unites with an ovule within the ovary of a female flower to create an embryo. This embryo, when mature and fully developed, will become a seed.

Shake

Slang term for 'bunk,' lower growth or the least potent portion of harvest - small particles of cannabis broken off the main 'nug' inside a bag due to rough handling - many times, the shake is flaked or powder-like and used for cooking.


Shatter

Shatter is a type of concentrate that is believed to be the purest and most potent type of cannabis product. Shatter, or butane hash oil, is created through an extraction process that eliminates fats and lipids, it’s typically transparent and easily breaks into fragments. Users can add shatter to a bowl of flower or melt it and inhale the resulting smoke, known as dabbing.

Short Circuit

Condition that results when wires cross and form a circuit - a short circuit will trip breaker switches and blow fuses.


Shotgunning

Shotgunning is the act of taking a hit of cannabis from a joint, pipe, or other smoking apparatus, and blowing it directly into someone else’s mouth. The idea is they will then inhale the same smoke you inhaled. This is not to be confused with the beer-drinking term, in which you stab a hole in the bottom of a beer can and chug the beer with gravity’s help.

Sinsemilla

Sinsemilla is a term describing the cannabis plants that are not pollinated hence lacking seeds, if a female cannabis plant is not fertilized it will contain seedless pods with large amounts of resin resulting in a more potent cannabis. A sinsemilla strain is produced by removing the male flowers from existence before they release pollen grains, enabling the plant to focus all the seed producing energy into bud producing energy. 

Skin Up

A derivative of the word 'skins,' or papers, 'skinning up' is a euphemism for rolling a spliff.

Skunk

It refers to a hybrid of Sativa and Indica strains of cannabis that are distinguished by its powerful, pungent smell likened to a spray from a skunk. It is a unique, high-quality strain that delivers excellent yields, making it used in the breeding of more strains like Super Skunk, Early Girl, Northern Lights, and Jack Herer.

Smoking

The inhalation of smoke or vapors released by heating the flowers, leaves, or extracts of cannabis and releasing the main psychoactive chemical, Tetrahydrocannabinol (or THC), which is absorbed into the bloodstream via the lungs.

Snipe

A joint or spliff rolled from the roaches of other joints or spliffs so nipes are usually a last resort method of getting stoned. The disgustingness of a snipe will depend on the quality of the roaches you find, but while there can be a noticeable difference between a bad snipe and a really bad snipe, there is no such thing as a good snipe. Avoiding them is recommended.

Soap

Used as a cleaning agent, wetting agent, or insecticide - all soap used in horticulture should be biodegradable.


Socket

Threaded, wired holder for a light bulb.


Soilless Mix

A growing medium made up of mineral particles such as vermiculite, perlite, sand, pumice, etc. - organic moss is often a component of a soilless mix.


Soluble

Able to be dissolved in liquid, especially water.


Solution

A mixture of two or more solids, liquids, or gases, often with water.


Solvent

A liquid in which something is dissolved to form a solution, in cannabis extraction, a solvent is a liquid used to separate the psychoactive compound Tetrahydrocannabinol (or THC) from the flower.

Solvent Recovery

The process of reusing solvent either by pumping it back into its tank, or evaporating and collecting it.

Solvent-Free

A recent term used to describe a hydrocarbon extraction that has been fully cleansed of all residual solvent, solvent-free has zero (0) Parts-Per-Million (or PPM) residual solvent but was still originally a solvent-based extraction.

Sour Diesel

Also known as Sour D, the origins of this fast-acting, the Sativa-like strain is widely debated - some say the blend is a mix of Mexican Sativa and Chemo, while others claim it was created from Chemdawg 91, Northern Lights, and some sort of Skunk phenotype. What’s not up for debate is the strain’s popularity among users looking for powerful cerebral and corporeal relief.

Spliff

A joint that is part tobacco and part cannabis, it uses tobacco paper distinguished by its thick texture and dark brown color. Smoking a spliff results in a mild high as one is consuming less bud that has been combined with nicotine. The term is also used to refer to a nicely rolled cannabis joint.

Sploof

A sploof is usually a hand-made gadget to try to mask the smell of cannabis smoke. Usually constructed out of plastic water bottles with holes stabbed through the bottom, a sploof is usually stuffed with dryer sheets. The idea is that you blow through the dryer sheets and smoke comes out on the other side smelling more like clean laundry than dank reefer. Unfortunately, they usually don’t work very well.

Sponge Rock

Large pieces of perlite, a light, mineral soil amendment.


Spore

Seed-like offspring of certain bacteria, fungi, algae, and some non-flowering cannabis plants.


Sprout

A shoot of a cannabis plant, as from a recently germinated seed or small, new growth of leaf or stem.


Square Feet (or Meters)

Length x width = square feet (or meters) - a measurement of area.


Stagnant

Motionless air or water - for healthy cannabis growth, water must drain and not become stagnant as well as you need good air circulation.


Stamen

The cannabis male floral organ, bearing the anther, which produces pollen to fertilize female flowers.


Staminate

Male, pollen-producing flower having stamens but no pistils.


Steamroller

A cylindrical pipe usually made from glass that is open on both ends with the bowl extending from the top near one end. The smoker covers one end with her hand while filling the pipe with smoke, then removes her hand to clear the chamber.

Sterilize

To make super clean by removing dirt, germs, and bacteria; disinfect pruning tools to avoid spreading disease.


Stigma

The tip of the cannabis flower's pistil, which receives the pollen.


Stipule

One of a pair of small, leaf-like appendages found at the base of the leaf-stalk of many cannabis plants.


Stomata

The tiny holes can be found on the underside of the cannabis leaf (and just about every other plant). They’re called 'stomata' and they require a microscope or at least a magnifying glass to see. Small mouth-like or nose-like openings on leaf underside, responsible for transpiration and many other life functions - the millions of stomata must be kept very clean to function properly.


Stoned

If you haven't figured it out by now, being stoned is a euphoric sensation you experience following the consumption of cannabis. It is a result of the cannabis plant's many psychoactive components, though mainly Tetrahydrocannabinol (or THC). It is certainly possible to get uncomfortably stoned, but nobody has ever died from it.

Stoner Film

Stoner film is a subgenre of comedy films that revolve around the use of cannabis. Generally, cannabis use is one of the main themes and inspires much of the plot and they are often representative of cannabis culture.

Stoney

Being 'stoney' is a lot like being stoned, in fact, it pretty much just is being stoned, only maybe a little more 'after the fact.'

Strain

A cannabis strain is a particular kind of plant species, either in a pure or hybrid variety like Sativa or Indica found in both the recreational and medical arenas. Each strain is grown to increase certain traits of the plant, with names being chosen by the actual grower to mirror the strain’s color, taste, smell, origin or physical effect on the user. There are hundreds of strains available, with more being produced every day thanks to the many options to crossbreed. It’s important to note that the cannabis industry is trying to maintain some type of consistency between each strain, but unfortunately, many of them are misclassified or marketed improperly causing confusion for the dispensary owner or buyer.

Stress

A physical or chemical factor that causes extra exertion by plants, usually by restricting fluid flow to foliage - a stressed plant will grow poorly.


Substrate

The medium on which cannabis plants grow, like soil, soilless mix, rock, etc.


Sugar

The food product of a cannabis plant.


Sump

A reservoir that receives drainage; a drain or receptacle for hydroponic nutrient solutions used for growing cannabis.


Sungrown

Sungrown is used to describe the method of growing superior cannabis using the sun as the major light source instead of artificial lighting used in indoor and greenhouse cultivation that is associated with very high electrical use. Sungrown cultivation implies that photoperiod control is used to produce a higher quality of cannabis than what is commonly referred to as outdoor cannabis, which is a lower grade of cannabis that was grown without the intention or care of sungrown and is often allowed to flower in the fall with the natural cycle.

Super Bloom

A common name for fertilizer high in phosphorus (P) and potassium (K) that promotes cannabis flower formation and growth.


Super-Critical Botanical Extractor

An expensive piece of extraction machinery that uses carbon dioxide (or CO2) as the primary solvent to produce refined, calibrated, and high-quality results.

Swisher

Swisher refers to the cheap and popular cigar brand Swisher Sweets, which is often the most popular cigar bought when you want to smoke a cannabis blunt. Swishers are cheap and tasty, but not recommended if you actually want to smoke just a cigar.

Synthesis

Synthesis is the method used by cannabis plants to create crucial proteins and hormones, it is performed when plants combine light energy and chemical compounds through a sequence of biochemical reactions.


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