• The Cannabis Glossary

Wellspring Fields
November 13, 2020

Below we have put together a guide of common cannabis terms and definitions to help you become more educated on the growing industry. Please note that this glossary is not all encompassing and does not include every term related to cannabis.

Alcohol Extraction

 Process by which the cannabis plant is stripped of essential oils and trichomes using ethyl or isopropyl alcohol. Once the extra plant material is filtered out and the remaining alcohol is evaporated, sticky hash oil remains. 

Aroma 

“Aroma” is a term used to describe the general smell and/or taste of a certain plant or flower. Because consumers’ individual definition of aromas can differ somewhat, aroma descriptions are meant as a basic guideline. 

Butane Hash Oil Extraction (BHO)

Process by which cannabis flowers are blasted with butane creating an amber resin known as wax or shatter. This oil allows tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) to become soluble. The resulting product has very high THC levels (generally more than flowers or hashish) and is a thick, sticky oil. 

Cannabinoid

Chemicals that influence cell receptors in the brain and body and can change how those cells behave. Marijuana’s most well-known cannabinoid is tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) due to the fact that it is the most abundant, and also because it produces the psychoactive effects. 

Cannabis

Genus of flowered plants indigenous to Central Asia and the Indian subcontinent. Also known as marijuana, weed, ganja, pot, bud, and Mary Jane. 

CBD

CBD is the abbreviation for cannabidiol, one of the at least 85 cannabinoids found in cannabis and the second only to THC when it comes to average volume. Recently, CBD has gained support for its use as a medical treatment as research has shown it effectively treats pain, inflammation, and anxiety without the psychoactive effects. 

Concentrate (or extract)

Refers to any material created by refining cannabis flowers, such as hash, dry sieve, and hash oils. Concentrates or extracts have much higher potency. 

Dab/dabbing

A method where a “dab” (small amount) of cannabis concentrate is placed on a preheated surface, creating concentrated cannabis vapor to be inhaled (Colorado Department of Public Health & Environment.

Dispensary

A store that can legally sell cannabis products, either medical, recreational, or both.

Edible

Cannabis products that are orally consumed. These products can contain THC, CBD, or a combination of both. Common edible products include cookies, brownies, candies, gummies, chocolates, beverages, or homemade goods.

Electronic Smoking Device (vaporizer or e cigarette): 

A vaporizing device with a rechargeable battery that heats material such as cannabis flower (bud) or liquids containing THC or nicotine to produce vapor for inhalation. Used as an alternative to smoking cannabis or tobacco. 

Flower

Known as the hairy or sticky parts of the plant which are harvested for consumption in various products, also known as the reproductive organs of the plant.

Hemp

The plant of the genus Cannabis or any part of the plant, whether growing or not, with a delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol concentration that does not exceed 0.3% on a dry weight basis of any part of the plant of the genus Cannabis.

Hybrid

A cross between two genetically different strains of cannabis. Hybrids can happen randomly or purposefully but are typically done to mix two or more preferred traits of a plant to make another powerful combination.

Indica

The less scientific name for the Cannabis indica species of cannabis. Generally these plants originated in the Middle East and Asia and include both of the famous kush and Afghan lineages. Compared to their sativa counterparts, the plants are shorter, bushier and have more compact flower structure. This species tends to produce more relaxing physical effects and can have a sedative quality.

Kief 

A collected amount of trichomes that have been separated from the rest of the marijuana flower. Since trichomes are the sticky crystals that contain the vast majority of the plant’s cannabinoids, kief is known to be extremely potent.

Manufacturing

To compound, blend, extract, infuse, or otherwise make or prepare a cannabis product.

Marijuana

A slang term for the dried flowers, leaves, stems, and seeds of the cannabis plant. 

Medical use of cannabis

The acquisition, cultivation, possession, processing (including development of related products such as food, tinctures, aerosols, oils, or ointments), transfer, transportation, sale, distribution, dispensing, or administration of cannabis for the benefit of qualifying patients in the treatment of debilitating medical conditions or the symptoms thereof.

Processing

To harvest, dry, cure, trim and separate parts of the marijuana plant by manual or mechanical means. 

Recreational Cannabis

The intentional use of cannabis. Recreational cannabis can be purchased at a dispensary by those who are 21 years or older with a valid government issued ID.

Retailer

An entity licensed to purchase and deliver cannabis and cannabis products from cannabis establishments and to deliver, sell, or otherwise transfer cannabis and cannabis products to cannabis establishments and consumers. 

Seed-to-sale

Everything that happens to an individual cannabis plant from seed and cultivation, through growth, harvest, and preparation of cannabis-infused products, if any, to final sale of finished products. 

Strain

Variety of cannabis plants that have a particular characteristic(s) that might be used to express a specific desired effect. For example: Cannabis sativa is high in THC and is reported to enhance creativity, be a stimulant, and fight depression, headaches, and nausea. Cannabis indica is a mix of THC/CBD and is reported to be relaxing and pain reducing. Cannabis ruderalis is high in CBD.

THC

An abbreviation for tetrahydrocannabinol. It is the most well-known and most abundantly available cannabinoid in marijuana plants. THC is also the component in marijuana that is responsible for the psychoactive effects, or the “high.” Also known as delta-9-tetracannabinol, it was first isolated in 1964 and is thought to serve as a natural defense for the plant against pests. Research has shown THC to be an effective medical treatment for a range of conditions. There is no lethal dose of the compound in its natural form.

Tincture

 A liquid form of cannabis that is made from glycerin or alcohol. Tinctures are usually distributed in an eyedropper under the tongue to provide fast absorption to the body, leading to quicker effects than edibles and inhalation.

Topical

Cannabis products such as lotions, balms, and oils that are used for pain relief.

Trichome

Crystalized glands on the cannabis plant that produce resin. They are the parts of the plant that contain most cannabinoids.

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