The Top 20 Cannabis Terms You Should Know

The Top 20 Cannabis Terms You Should Know

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Mastering Cannabis Terms: Plant

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Cannabis has been around for centuries, and with the changing legal landscape around it, it’s more important than ever to understand the terminology. Whether you’re a seasoned user or just starting out, knowing the various cannabis terms can help you make informed decisions about what you’re consuming. In this blog post, we cover the top 20 must-know cannabis terms that will help you navigate the world of cannabis like a pro. From understanding different types of cannabis and how they are consumed to essential medical cannabis terms, we’ve got you covered. We’ll also take a deep dive into terms related to cannabis cultivation and what “entourage effect” actually means in the context of cannabis use. So, sit back, relax, and let’s dive into the wonderful world of cannabis vocabulary together! 

Mastering Cannabis Terms: Plant

Understanding Cannabis Terms 

For those new to the world of cannabis, understanding the terminology can be a daunting task. However, fear not, as we are here to help you navigate through the confusing terms like a pro. 

One of the most common terms you’ll encounter is the different types of cannabis strains – sativa, Indica, and hybrid. Sativa strains are known for their energizing and uplifting effects on users, while Indica strains tend to have more relaxing and soothing properties. Hybrid strains combine characteristics of both sativa and Indica, offering a balanced experience. 

Apart from different strain types, there are also various consumption methods available. Smoking is one of the most popular ways to consume cannabis. However, it’s important to note that smoking can lead to health risks such as lung damage and respiratory issues. 

Alternatively, vaporizing or “vaping” is another method that involves heating cannabis without burning it. This produces a vapor that can be inhaled and is considered less harmful than smoking. 

Edibles are also an option for those who prefer not to smoke or vape. These include cannabis-infused food products such as gummies or brownies that can be consumed orally. If you want to learn more on this subject, check out our cannabis and food pairing blog. 

Topicals such as creams and balms infused with cannabis can also be used for localized pain relief or skincare benefits. 

It’s important to understand the different consumption methods and how they affect your body so that you can make an informed decision when choosing how to consume cannabis. Always start with small doses and consult with a healthcare professional if you have any concerns about using cannabis. 

Mastering Cannabis Terms CBD THC infographic

List of 20 Cannabis Terms: 

  1. THC (tetrahydrocannabinol): The psychoactive compound in cannabis that is responsible for the euphoric “high” sensation is tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). THC binds to specific receptors in the brain and produces a range of effects, including altered perceptions, mood changes, and increased appetite. The potency and effects of THC can vary depending on the strain of cannabis, method of consumption, and individual tolerance levels. While THC has recreational uses, it also has potential therapeutic benefits for treating conditions such as chronic pain, nausea, and anxiety.
  2. CBD (cannabidiol): Cannabis contains a non-psychoactive compound called cannabidiol (CBD) that has been found to have numerous medicinal properties. Unlike tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), which is the primary psychoactive component of cannabis, CBD does not produce a “high” and is therefore used for its therapeutic benefits. Some studies have shown that CBD can help alleviate symptoms associated with conditions such as chronic pain, anxiety, depression, and epilepsy. In addition, it has anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties that may offer a range of health benefits. As research into CBD continues to expand, it is becoming increasingly clear that this compound has immense potential for improving human health and well-being.
Mastering Cannabis Terms Strains infographic
  1. Indica: Cannabis is a widely popular plant known for its various strains and effects. One such strain is renowned for its relaxing properties, called Indica. Indica strains are high in CBD (cannabidiol) and low in THC (tetrahydrocannabinol), which produces a calming effect on the body. It is often used to alleviate anxiety, stress, pain, and insomnia.
  2. Sativa: One of the most popular strains of cannabis is known for its energizing effects. This strain is known for its ability to increase focus and productivity, making it a popular choice for those who want to stay alert and motivated throughout the day. It contains high levels of THC, which is responsible for its psychoactive properties. While this strain may not be suitable for everyone, it can provide a much-needed boost for those struggling with fatigue or lack of motivation.
  3. Hybrid: A cross between Indica and sativa strains refers to a hybrid strain of cannabis that contains characteristics of both parent strains. Indica strains are known for their relaxing, sedative effects, while sativa strains are more uplifting and energizing. By combining the two, hybrids can offer a unique balance of both physical and mental effects. The specific traits of a hybrid strain will depend on the Indica and sativa strains used in the breeding process.
Cannabis Terms Cannabis


  1. Flower: The part of the cannabis plant that is harvested for consumption varies depending on the desired effects and intended use. The flowers, also known as buds, are typically the most potent and sought-after part of the plant for recreational and medicinal purposes. They contain high levels of THC (tetrahydrocannabinol), which is responsible for the psychoactive effects associated with marijuana use.

However, other parts of the cannabis plant can also be used for consumption, such as leaves and stems. These parts may have lower levels of THC but still contain other beneficial compounds like CBD (cannabidiol) that have therapeutic properties without causing a “high.” The seeds of the cannabis plant can also be consumed either raw or roasted, although they do not contain any significant amounts of THC or CBD. They are a rich source of protein, essential fatty acids, and other nutrients, making them a popular ingredient in health foods. Overall, understanding which parts of the cannabis plant to harvest for consumption depends on the intended use and desired effects. 

Mastering Cannabis Terms different kinds
  1. Concentrate: Cannabis extracts, also known as concentrates, are highly potent forms of the plant that offer numerous benefits to users. These extracts are typically made using solvents like butane or CO2 to isolate the active compounds in cannabis, resulting in a product that is much more concentrated than traditional flower. Concentrates can be consumed in various ways, such as dabbing, vaporizing, or adding them to edibles. They offer a fast-acting and long-lasting experience for those seeking relief from pain, anxiety, depression, and other conditions. However, it’s crucial to note that these products should be used responsibly and only by those with experience in cannabis consumption.
  2. Edible: Cannabis-infused food and beverages, also known as edibles, have become increasingly popular in recent years. They offer a discreet and convenient way to consume cannabis without the need for smoking or vaping. Edibles come in a variety of forms, from gummies and chocolates to infused drinks like tea and coffee. The effects of edibles can take longer to kick in compared to smoking or vaping, but they also tend to last longer. It is important to consume edibles responsibly and start with a low dosage until you understand how your body reacts to them.
Mastering Cannabis Terms Oil
  1. Tincture: Cannabis is available in many different forms, including liquid. This type of cannabis can be consumed orally and is often used for medical purposes. The liquid form of cannabis is typically made by extracting the plant’s active ingredients and dissolving them in a carrier oil or alcohol. This method makes it easier to measure doses than some other forms of cannabis, such as edibles or smoking. However, users should be cautious when consuming liquid cannabis as it can have strong effects and take longer to take effect than smoking or vaping..
  2. Dabbing: The act of inhaling vaporized cannabis concentrate is commonly known as “vaping.” This method of consumption involves heating the concentrate (such as wax, shatter, or oil) to a temperature that vaporizes it but does not cause combustion. The resulting vapor is then inhaled through a device such as a vape pen or dab rig. Vaping has become a popular way to consume cannabis due to its efficiency and convenience compared to traditional methods like smoking. However, it is important to note that vaping can still have health risks and should be done responsibly.
Mastering Cannabis Terms Joint
  1. Joint: A cannabis cigarette, also known as a joint or a spliff, is a rolled-up cigarette filled with marijuana. It is one of the most popular methods of consuming cannabis, particularly for recreational purposes. Joints can be made with different strains of marijuana, each of which offers unique effects and flavors. When smoking a joint, the user inhales the smoke and absorbs the active compounds in the marijuana through their lungs, leading to a rapid onset of effects. However, it’s important to note that smoking anything can have negative health consequences, so alternative methods of consumption like edibles or vaporizers may be preferable for some users.
  2. Blunt: A cannabis cigar, also known as a cannagar, is a premium product that is gaining popularity among cannabis enthusiasts. These cigars are made by hand-rolling cannabis flower into a cigar shape and then wrapping it in cannabis leaves or other natural materials. They offer a unique smoking experience with a slow burn and intense flavors. Cannagars are often infused with different terpenes and oils to enhance their taste and effects. They are perfect for special occasions or for those who want to indulge in the luxury of a high-quality cannabis product.
  3. Bong: A water pipe, commonly known as a bong, is a device used for smoking cannabis. It works by filtering the smoke through water, which cools and purifies the smoke before it reaches the user’s lungs. Bongs come in various shapes and sizes and are often decorated with artistic designs. They are popular among cannabis enthusiasts for their ability to provide a smooth smoking experience and enhance the potency of the herb.
Mastering Cannabis Terms Bowl
  1. Bowl: A handheld device used for smoking cannabis, commonly known as a “bowl,” is a small, portable tool that allows users to consume the drug in a discreet and convenient manner. Blows come in various shapes and sizes and can be made from different materials like glass, metal, or wood. They work by heating the cannabis to produce smoke which is then inhaled by the user. Some bowls may have filters or screens to prevent ash or debris from being inhaled along with the smoke. While bowls are a popular way of consuming cannabis, it is important to use them responsibly and in accordance with local laws and regulations. 
Mastering Cannabis Terms Vape
  1. Vaporizer: A vaporizer is a device used to inhale cannabis that has been vaporized. Vaporizing cannabis involves heating it to a temperature below the point of combustion, which produces a vapor that can then be inhaled. Vaporizers come in various forms and sizes, from portable handheld devices to tabletop models that can be used at home. The benefits of using a vaporizer include reduced exposure to harmful toxins and increased flavor and aroma compared to smoking cannabis. Additionally, vaporizing cannabis can provide a more precise dosage, making it an ideal option for medical patients who require specific doses of cannabinoids for their conditions.
  2. Terpenes: Cannabis is known for its unique aroma and flavor, which can be attributed to the presence of natural compounds. These compounds are called terpenes, and they are found in many plants, including cannabis. Terpenes are responsible for the different aromas and flavors of cannabis strains and can also have therapeutic benefits. For example, one common terpene found in cannabis is limonene, which is also found in citrus fruits and has been shown to have anti-inflammatory properties. Another terpene, pinene, is found in pine needles and has been shown to improve mental clarity and memory retention. The presence of these natural compounds not only contributes to the distinctive characteristics of cannabis but also adds to its potential health benefits.
Mastering Cannabis Terms Resin
  1. Trichomes: The resin glands found on the cannabis flower are known as trichomes and contain various cannabinoids such as THC, CBD, and CBG. These compounds are responsible for the plant’s psychoactive effects and therapeutic properties. Trichomes play a crucial role in protecting the plant from predators and environmental stressors by producing a sticky resin that deters insects and animals. The size and density of trichomes can vary depending on factors such as genetics, growing conditions, and harvesting methods.
  2. Kief: The powder-like substance mentioned refers to the resin glands found on the cannabis flower, also known as kief. This potent and highly concentrated substance contains high levels of cannabinoids such as THC and CBD, making it an ideal ingredient for edibles, tinctures, and other cannabis-infused products. The process of collecting kief involves using a grinder with a pollen screen or specialized tools like sift boxes or dry sift tumblers to separate the trichomes from the rest of the plant material.
Mastering Cannabis Terms kief
  1. Hash: The concentrated form of cannabis known as hashish is made by collecting the resin glands from the plant. These glands, also known as trichomes, contain high levels of cannabinoids like THC and CBD, which are responsible for the psychoactive and medicinal effects of cannabis. Hashish can be consumed in a variety of ways, such as smoking, vaping, or adding it to food or drinks. Due to its potency, it is often used for medicinal purposes to manage symptoms like chronic pain, nausea, and anxiety. However, it is important to use hashish responsibly and under medical supervision to avoid potential side effects or addiction.
  2. Roach: A roach is the last bit of a joint or blunt that is too small to smoke, typically consisting of the remaining paper and a small amount of cannabis. Many people choose to save their roaches to use later in various ways, such as breaking them down for resin or using them in homemade edibles. However, it’s important to note that smoking roaches can be harsh on the throat and lungs due to the concentration of tar and other toxins.
Mastering Cannabis Terms Cottonmouth

Is Cottonmouth a common side effect? 

Cottonmouth, also known as dry mouth, is a common side effect of smoking and vaping. This occurs because smoking and vaping can reduce the production of saliva in the mouth, leading to a sensation of dryness. In addition to discomfort, cottonmouth can also contribute to bad breath and an increased risk of dental problems. To combat this issue, it is important to drink plenty of water and stay hydrated throughout the day. 

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The Origin of Cannabis Vocabulary

The vocabulary surrounding cannabis has deep historical roots that have evolved over time. The terms used to describe cannabis and its effects have fascinating origins, with influences from different cultures and languages. Exploring the etymology of cannabis-related vocabulary reveals the linguistic heritage behind these terms. Understanding the origin of cannabis vocabulary provides insight into how the language surrounding cannabis has developed. 
Mastering Cannabis Terms Medical Marijuana

How Does the Medical Marijuana Program Work?

The Medical Cannabis Program in Minnesota is a term used to describe the legal framework for using cannabis as a medicine. Many states, like New York and Illinois, have established medical cannabis programs that allow patients with qualifying conditions to obtain and use cannabis for medicinal purposes. Patients certified for medical cannabis by their healthcare provider will be automatically registered with the Medical Cannabis Program in Minnesota, and no separate registry ID card is needed. The program ensures that patients in Minnesota have access to high-quality, lab-tested products and safe methods of consumption, while also providing them with legal protection. Florida is another state that has legalized medical marijuana, giving patients in Florida the opportunity to benefit from its therapeutic properties. In addition to New York and Illinois, New Mexico is also one of the states that allow medical marijuana.

What are Marijuana Patient ID Cards? 

If you are a medical marijuana patient in California, you may need to obtain a medical marijuana ID card. This card allows you to legally purchase and possess cannabis for medicinal purposes. However, the requirements for obtaining an ID card vary from state to state. In most cases, patients must have a qualifying medical condition and obtain a recommendation from a licensed physician. Additionally, some states, like Arizona, require patients to register with their local Department of Health or other government agency in order to receive their ID card. It is important to research the specific laws and regulations in your state, such as California, before attempting to obtain a medical marijuana ID card. 
Mastering Cannabis TermsPlants

What Cannabis Plant is Best for Medical Use? 

Medical marijuana, also known as medical cannabis, refers to the use of the Cannabis sativa plant, specifically the marijuana plant, for its medicinal properties. It is used to alleviate symptoms associated with certain medical conditions such as pain, nausea, and anxiety. A cannabis plant includes more than 400 different chemicals, of which about 70 are cannabinoids. However, there is limited clinical research available due to restrictions on production and government regulations, including those imposed by the federal government, making it difficult to fully understand the safety and efficacy of the use of the marijuana plant. Despite this, medical marijuana has been legalized in many states, including the District of Columbia, for its potential therapeutic benefits. The hemp plant, which is derived from Cannabis sativa and contains less than 0.3% THC, is legal under federal law and is often used to produce CBD for medical purposes. 

Mastering Cannabis Terms RX

Medical Marijuana can be Highly Effective Alternative 

Medical marijuana use has become increasingly popular in recent years, as more and more states have legalized its use for medical purposes. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has not approved the use of cannabis as a treatment for any medical condition. However, medical cannabis is used to treat a variety of conditions such as chronic pain, epilepsy, cancer, and multiple sclerosis (MS). Studies have shown that medical marijuana can be an effective alternative to traditional painkillers and has fewer side effects. It is important to note that the use of medical marijuana should always be discussed with a healthcare provider before beginning treatment. In addition, it has been approved by the FDA for the treatment of nausea and vomiting caused by cancer chemotherapy and for anorexia associated with weight loss in people with AIDS, prescribed in pill form. 

Medical use of cannabis, or medical marijuana, refers to the use of the Cannabis sativa plant or its derivatives, such as synthetic cannabinoids, to alleviate symptoms of medical conditions. Although U.S. federal law prohibits the use of marijuana, many states allow medical use to treat pain, nausea and other symptoms. Several countries also allow medical use of whole-plant cannabis, including Argentina, Australia, Canada, Chile, Colombia, Germany, Greece, Israel, Italy, the Netherlands, Peru, Poland, Portugal, Spain and Uruguay. The medical use of cannabis is a growing area of interest and research in the medical community. 

Mastering Cannabis Terms Clinical trials

Clinical trials and studies 

Clinical trials are research studies that determine the safety and effectiveness of new drugs or treatments before they can be approved for public use. In the case of cannabis, there are several marijuana-based medications that have been approved or are currently undergoing clinical trials to determine their efficacy in treating various medical conditions such as chronic pain, epilepsy, and multiple sclerosis, including Dravet syndrome. These trials aim to provide scientific evidence that supports the use of cannabis as a viable treatment option, while also identifying any potential risks or side effects associated with its use. However, it is crucial to support additional research on marijuana to further enhance our understanding of its safe and effective use as advised by experts like Bonn-Miller.

Smoking, Vaping, Edibles, and Tinctures 

Discover the terminology for different methods of consuming cannabis, including smoking, vaping, edibles, and tinctures. Understand the vocabulary used to describe these methods and their effects. Familiarize yourself with the language used to discuss the benefits and drawbacks of each technique. 

Cannabis Products and their Terminology 

Explore the language and terminology associated with cannabis products. Familiarize yourself with the vocabulary used to discuss buds, concentrates, and extracts. Understand the different forms of cannabis and the terminology used to differentiate between them. Discover the key terms used to describe the characteristics of different cannabis products. 
Mastering Cannabis Terms Concentrates

Buds, Concentrates, and Extracts 

Explore the terminology used to describe buds, concentrates, and extracts, as well as the vocabulary associated with different forms of cannabis products. Familiarize yourself with the language used to describe the qualities, potency, and effects of these products. Additionally, learn about the vocabulary used to differentiate between various types of cannabis preparations. 

Essential Medical Cannabis Terms 

Familiarize yourself with the language associated with medical cannabis and its applications. Understand the vocabulary used to discuss CBD and THC in a medical context. Discover the key terms used to describe the therapeutic properties of cannabis. Get acquainted with the terminology used in the medical community for discussing cannabis-based treatments.

Terms Related to Cannabis Cultivation 

Terms related to cannabis cultivation include feminized, autoflower, and photoperiod. Understanding these terms is crucial for successful cultivation. Feminized seeds produce only female plants, resulting in higher yields. Autoflowering plants automatically transition from the vegetative to flowering stage, making cultivation easier. Photoperiod refers to the light cycle required for cannabis plants to transition from vegetative to flowering stage. 
Mastering Cannabis Terms Cannabis word

Feminized, Autoflower, and Photoperiod 

Feminized seeds ensure the production of only female cannabis plants, maximizing yield. Autoflowering plants switch from vegetative to flowering stage based on age, simplifying cultivation. Photoperiod refers to the duration of light and darkness a cannabis plant receives within 24 hours. Understanding these terms is crucial for selecting the right seeds and optimizing cultivation conditions, greatly impacting growth and yield.

What Does “Entourage Effect” Mean in Cannabis Context? 

The entourage effect in the context of cannabis refers to the synergistic interaction of various compounds, such as cannabinoids and terpenes, which enhances the therapeutic benefits of the plant. Understanding this phenomenon helps consumers make informed choices when selecting cannabis products. 
Mastering Cannabis Terms Oil and Flower


In conclusion, understanding cannabis terms is essential for anyone interested in the world of cannabis. Whether you’re a consumer, cultivator, or simply curious about the industry, familiarizing yourself with these terms will help you navigate the vast array of products and information available. From different types of cannabis to various consumption methods and cultivation techniques, having knowledge of these terms will empower you to make informed decisions and engage in meaningful conversations about cannabis. So, whether you’re a seasoned user or a beginner, take the time to explore and understand these top 20 cannabis terms. It’s a fascinating journey into the world of cannabis and its ever-evolving vocabulary. 

Jennifer Flanders
Jennifer Flanders
25+ years in Sales & Marketing, skilled in layouts, logos, and social content. Jeep enthusiast, nature explorer, committed to community impact.
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