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Cannabis Glossary / Key Terminology

Welcome to Hashstoria’s Cannabis Glossary, your go-to resource for understanding the diverse world of cannabis! Whether you’re a curious beginner or a seasoned enthusiast, our expertly curated glossary is designed to demystify the terminology surrounding this fascinating plant. From cultivation techniques to consumption methods, cannabinoids to terpenes, we’ve got you covered. Dive in and expand your cannabis knowledge with clear, concise definitions that will empower you on your journey. Get ready to explore, learn, and appreciate the incredible potential of cannabis with Hashstoria as your guide!

Aeroponics: A cultivation method that involves growing cannabis plants in an air or mist environment without the use of soil or other growing media. This technique can lead to faster growth and higher yields.

Bioavailability: The proportion of a substance, such as a cannabinoid, that enters the bloodstream and produces an active effect when consumed. Different consumption methods can affect the bioavailability of cannabinoids.

Bud: The flower of the female cannabis plant, which contains high concentrations of cannabinoids and terpenes. Buds are typically dried and cured before consumption.

Cannabigerol (CBG): A non-psychoactive cannabinoid that is believed to have potential therapeutic benefits, such as reducing inflammation and relieving pain. CBG is often referred to as the “mother cannabinoid” because it is the precursor to other cannabinoids like THC and CBD.

Cannabinoid receptors: Special receptors found throughout the body that interact with cannabinoids, such as THC and CBD, to produce various effects. The two main types of cannabinoid receptors are CB1 and CB2.

Cannabinoids: Naturally occurring compounds found in the cannabis plant that interact with the body’s endocannabinoid system. The most well-known cannabinoids are THC and CBD, but there are over 100 different cannabinoids identified in cannabis.

Cannabinol (CBN): A mildly psychoactive cannabinoid that is created when THC ages and breaks down. CBN is believed to have sedative properties and may be useful in promoting sleep.

Cannabis: A genus of flowering plants that includes both marijuana and hemp. Cannabis plants contain various compounds, including cannabinoids and terpenes, which can have therapeutic and psychoactive effects.

Cannabis Ruderalis: A low-THC species of cannabis that is known for its auto-flowering properties and short stature. Ruderalis is often used in breeding to create auto-flowering hybrid strains.

Caregiver: A person who is legally authorized to purchase, possess, and administer medical cannabis on behalf of a patient with a qualifying condition. Caregivers are often responsible for managing the patient’s cannabis use and monitoring their response to treatment.

Certificate of Analysis (COA): A document provided by a licensed third-party laboratory that details the chemical composition of a cannabis product, including the levels of cannabinoids, terpenes, and any potential contaminants. COAs help ensure product quality and safety.

Chemovar: A term used to describe a specific chemical variety of cannabis, characterized by its unique profile of cannabinoids and terpenes. Chemovars are often bred to target specific therapeutic effects or sensory properties.

Clone: A genetically identical copy of a cannabis plant, created by taking a cutting from a mother plant and encouraging it to root. Cloning allows growers to maintain consistent genetics and traits across multiple generations.

CO2 oil: A type of cannabis concentrate made using supercritical carbon dioxide extraction, which yields a pure and potent oil. CO2 oil is often used in vape cartridges, edibles, and topicals.

Combustion: The process of burning cannabis, typically through smoking, which can release harmful byproducts. Many consumers prefer vaporization as a healthier alternative to combustion.

Concentrates: Cannabis products that have been processed to extract and concentrate the plant’s desirable compounds, such as cannabinoids and terpenes. Concentrates come in various forms, including oils, waxes, and shatters, and offer high potency and rapid onset of effects.

Cottonmouth: A common side effect of cannabis use, characterized by a dry mouth and throat. Cottonmouth occurs when cannabinoids interact with receptors in the salivary glands, reducing saliva production.

Cultivar: A cultivated variety of cannabis, bred for specific traits such as flavor, aroma, potency, or therapeutic effects. Cultivars are often created by crossing different strains to achieve desired characteristics.

Curing: The process of slowly drying and storing harvested cannabis buds to improve their flavor, aroma, and potency. Proper curing can also help prevent mold growth and extend the shelf life of the buds.

Dabbing: A method of consuming cannabis concentrates by heating them on a hot surface and inhaling the resulting vapor. Dabbing typically produces strong and rapid effects but may not be suitable for novice consumers.

Decarboxylation: The process of heating cannabis to convert the inactive THCA and CBDA into the active THC and CBD. Decarboxylation is necessary to experience the psychoactive and therapeutic effects of cannabis when consuming edibles or tinctures.

Dioecious: A term describing cannabis plants that have separate male and female individuals. Female plants produce the cannabinoid-rich flowers that are typically consumed, while male plants produce pollen and are used for breeding. Dioecious cannabis is important for understanding plant reproduction and cultivation.

Dispensary: A licensed facility that sells cannabis products for medical or recreational use. Dispensaries offer a wide range of products and often provide education and guidance to help consumers select the most suitable options for their needs.

Distillate: A highly refined cannabis concentrate that contains only pure cannabinoids, typically THC or CBD, with all other compounds removed. Distillates are odorless and flavorless and can be used in various products, such as edibles, tinctures, and vape cartridges.

Edibles: Cannabis-infused food products that offer a convenient and discreet way to consume cannabinoids. Edibles can take longer to produce effects compared to inhalation methods, but the effects may last longer. It is essential to start with a low dose and wait for the effects to avoid overconsumption.

Endocannabinoid deficiency: A theorized condition in which the body produces insufficient endocannabinoids, leading to a dysfunction of the endocannabinoid system. Some researchers believe that endocannabinoid deficiency may contribute to various health issues, such as migraine, fibromyalgia, and irritable bowel syndrome.

Endocannabinoid system: A complex cell-signaling system in the human body that regulates various physiological processes, such as mood, appetite, sleep, and immune response. The endocannabinoid system interacts with cannabinoids, both those produced naturally by the body (endocannabinoids) and those found in cannabis (phytocannabinoids).

Entourage effect: The synergistic interaction between the various compounds in cannabis, including cannabinoids, terpenes, and flavonoids. The entourage effect suggests that the therapeutic potential of cannabis is enhanced when all compounds are present, rather than isolated cannabinoids.

Extract: A concentrated form of cannabis that is produced using various extraction methods, such as solvent-based or solventless techniques. Extracts can be consumed on their own or used as ingredients in other cannabis products.

Flavonoids: A class of plant compounds that contribute to the flavor, aroma, and color of cannabis. Flavonoids are believed to have therapeutic properties and may work synergistically with cannabinoids and terpenes to produce the entourage effect.

Flower: The dried and cured buds of the female cannabis plant, which are commonly consumed by smoking or vaporizing. Flower is the most popular form of cannabis and is available in various strains with unique cannabinoid and terpene profiles.

Full-spectrum: A term describing cannabis products that contain the full range of compounds found in the plant, including cannabinoids, terpenes, and flavonoids. Full-spectrum products are believed to produce a more comprehensive therapeutic effect due to the entourage effect.

Half-life: The time it takes for half of a consumed substance, such as a cannabinoid, to be eliminated from the body. The half-life of cannabinoids can vary depending on factors such as the consumption method, individual metabolism, and frequency of use.

Hash/Hashish: A concentrated form of cannabis made by collecting and compressing the trichomes (resin glands) of the plant. Hash is typically consumed by smoking or vaporizing and can have a higher potency than flower.

Hemp: A variety of the cannabis plant that contains low levels of THC (less than 0.3%) and is primarily used for industrial purposes, such as producing fiber, paper, and biodegradable plastics. Hemp-derived CBD products are legal in many countries and states.

Hybrid: A type of cannabis strain that is created by crossing two or more different strains, typically indica and sativa. Hybrids can have varying ratios of indica and sativa genetics, resulting in a wide range of effects and therapeutic benefits.

Hydroponics: A method of growing cannabis plants in a water-based, nutrient-rich solution instead of soil. Hydroponic systems can allow for precise control over the growing environment and can result in faster growth and higher yields compared to traditional soil-based cultivation.

Indica: One of the two main types of cannabis plants, known for its short, bushy stature and broad leaves. Indica strains are often associated with relaxing and sedative effects, making them popular for pain relief, stress reduction, and sleep aid.

Isolate: A pure form of a single cannabinoid, typically CBD or THC, that has been isolated from all other compounds in the cannabis plant. Isolates are often used in products that require precise dosing or for consumers who want to avoid the psychoactive effects of THC.

Kief: The fine, powdery substance that accumulates at the bottom of a grinder or cannabis container, consisting of trichomes that have fallen off the buds. Kief is high in cannabinoids and terpenes and can be consumed on its own or used to make hash or other concentrates.

Landrace: A pure, indigenous strain of cannabis that has adapted to the environment of its native region over many generations. Landrace strains are often used as the foundation for breeding new hybrid strains and are prized for their unique cannabinoid and terpene profiles.

Limonene: A common terpene found in cannabis and other plants, known for its citrusy aroma and potential mood-elevating and stress-reducing effects. Limonene may also have antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties.

Linalool: A terpene found in cannabis and other plants, such as lavender, known for its floral aroma and potential relaxing and sedative effects. Linalool may also have anti-inflammatory and analgesic properties.

Live resin: A type of cannabis concentrate made using freshly harvested, flash-frozen plant material instead of dried and cured buds. Live resin is known for its high terpene content and flavor profile, which closely resembles that of the living plant.

Marijuana: A term used to refer to the dried flowers, leaves, stems, and seeds of the cannabis plant, particularly those varieties with high levels of THC. Marijuana is used for both medicinal and recreational purposes, depending on the laws of the jurisdiction.

Microdosing: The practice of consuming very small amounts of cannabis, typically with low doses of THC, to achieve therapeutic benefits without experiencing significant psychoactive effects. Microdosing can be helpful for those who are sensitive to THC or who want to maintain a clear-headed and functional state while using cannabis.

Mucosal delivery: A method of consuming cannabis products, such as tinctures or sprays, by absorbing them through the mucous membranes in the mouth or nose. Mucosal delivery can provide faster onset of effects compared to edibles, as the cannabinoids can enter the bloodstream directly without being processed by the digestive system.

Myrcene: One of the most common terpenes found in cannabis, known for its musky, earthy aroma and potential sedative and muscle-relaxant effects. Myrcene is also found in other plants, such as hops and lemongrass.

Nabilone: A synthetic cannabinoid medication that mimics the effects of THC and is used to treat chemotherapy-induced nausea and vomiting. Nabilone is a prescription drug and is not available in cannabis dispensaries.

Nerolidol: A terpene found in cannabis and other plants, known for its floral and woody aroma and potential sedative and anti-anxiety effects. Nerolidol may also have anti-fungal and antimicrobial properties.

Neuroprotective: A term describing compounds or substances that help protect neurons (brain and nerve cells) from damage, degeneration, or impairment. Some cannabinoids, such as CBD and THC, have shown potential neuroprotective properties in preclinical studies.

Oil: A concentrated form of cannabis that is typically made using a solvent extraction process, resulting in a viscous liquid that contains elevated levels of cannabinoids and terpenes. Cannabis oils can be consumed orally, vaporized, or applied topically.

Organic: A term used to describe cannabis that is grown without the use of synthetic fertilizers, pesticides, or other artificial inputs. Organic cannabis cultivation relies on natural methods to maintain soil health and pest control, resulting in a cleaner and more environmentally friendly product.

Phytocannabinoids: Cannabinoids that are produced naturally by the cannabis plant, as opposed to endocannabinoids, which are produced by the human body. The most well-known phytocannabinoids are THC and CBD, but there are many others, such as CBG, CBN, and THCV.

Pinene: A terpene found in cannabis and other plants, known for its pine-like aroma and potential anti-inflammatory, bronchodilator, and memory-enhancing effects. Pinene is also found in coniferous trees and herbs like rosemary and sage.

Pistil: The female reproductive organ of the cannabis plant, consisting of the ovule, style, and stigma. Pistils are the hair-like structures that emerge from the buds and are often used as a visual indicator of plant maturity and quality. Pistils play an essential role in the reproductive process of the plant.

Psychoactive: A term describing substances that can alter mental processes, such as perception, mood, and cognition. THC is the primary psychoactive compound in cannabis, while other cannabinoids, like CBD, are non-psychoactive.

Psychotropic: A term often used interchangeably with psychoactive, referring to substances that affect mental processes and behavior. In the context of cannabis, psychotropic usually refers to the mind-altering effects of THC.

Rec (Recreational): A term used to describe cannabis products or dispensaries that cater to adult-use consumers, as opposed to medical patients. Recreational cannabis is legal in some jurisdictions for adults over a certain age, typically 21 years old. Recreational cannabis laws vary by location.

Rosin: A solventless cannabis concentrate made by applying heat and pressure to flower, kief, or hash, causing the resin glands to rupture and exude a potent, sticky substance. Rosin is prized for its purity and flavor, as it does not involve the use of solvents.

Ruderalis: A subspecies of cannabis that is native to Central and Eastern Europe and Russia, known for its auto-flowering properties and low THC content. Ruderalis is often used in breeding to create hybrid strains that can flower automatically, regardless of light cycle.

Sativa: One of the two main types of cannabis plants, known for its tall, slender stature and narrow leaves. Sativa strains are often associated with uplifting, energizing, and cerebral effects, making them popular for daytime use and creative activities.

Schedule I drug: A category of drugs defined by the United States Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) as having a high potential for abuse and no accepted medical use. Cannabis is currently classified as a Schedule I drug under federal law, despite its legalization for medical and recreational use in many states.

Sea of green (SOG): A cultivation method that involves growing many small cannabis plants close together, maximizing the use of available space and light. The sea of green technique can result in faster harvest cycles and higher yields but requires careful management of plant nutrition and pest control.

Seedling: A young cannabis plant that has recently germinated from a seed and is in the early stages of growth. Seedlings are delicate and require careful attention to lighting, temperature, and moisture levels to ensure healthy development.

Solvent: A substance used to extract cannabinoids and terpenes from the cannabis plant, such as ethanol, butane, or propane. Solvent-based extraction methods can produce highly potent concentrates but may also leave residual solvents in the final product if not properly purged.

Strain: A specific variety of cannabis with distinct genetic, chemical, and sensory properties. Cannabis strains are typically categorized as indica, sativa, or hybrid, and are often named based on their lineage, flavor, or effects.

Sublingual: A method of consuming cannabis products, such as tinctures or sprays, by holding them under the tongue for absorption through the sublingual mucous membranes. Sublingual administration can provide faster onset of effects compared to edibles, as the cannabinoids can enter the bloodstream directly.

Terpenes: A class of aromatic compounds found in cannabis and other plants that contribute to the distinct flavors and aromas of different strains. Terpenes are believed to work synergistically with cannabinoids to produce the entourage effect and may have therapeutic properties of their own.

Terpinolene: A terpene found in cannabis and other plants, known for its complex aroma that can include notes of pine, citrus, and floral scents. Terpinolene is believed to have potential sedative and antioxidant effects and may also contribute to the entourage effect.

Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC): The primary psychoactive compound in cannabis, responsible for the plant’s mind-altering effects. THC binds to cannabinoid receptors in the brain and body, producing a range of effects, including euphoria, relaxation, altered perception, and increased appetite.

Tetrahydrocannabinolic acid (THCA): The non-psychoactive precursor to THC found in raw cannabis plant material. THCA converts to THC when exposed to heat through a process called decarboxylation, which occurs during smoking, vaporizing, or cooking.

Tincture: A liquid cannabis extract made by steeping cannabis flowers or concentrate in a high-proof alcohol or glycerin solution. Tinctures are typically consumed sublingually or added to food and beverages for easy dosing and fast onset of effects.

Topicals: Cannabis-infused products, such as creams, balms, and lotions, that are applied directly to the skin for localized relief of pain, inflammation, and other symptoms. Topicals typically do not produce psychoactive effects, as the cannabinoids do not reach the bloodstream in significant amounts.

Transdermal: A type of cannabis product, such as a patch or gel, that is designed to deliver cannabinoids through the skin and into the bloodstream for systemic effects. Transdermal products can provide long-lasting relief and are often used for conditions such as chronic pain and anxiety.

Trichomes: The tiny, hair-like structures found on the surface of cannabis flowers and leaves that produce and store cannabinoids, terpenes, and flavonoids. Trichomes are often used as a visual indicator of plant potency and quality, with more trichomes generally indicating higher levels of desirable compounds.

Vape pen: A portable, battery-powered device used for vaporizing cannabis oils or concentrates. Vape pens typically consist of a heating element, a chamber for the oil or concentrate, and a mouthpiece for inhaling the vapor. Vaping is often considered a healthier alternative to smoking, as it does not produce the harmful byproducts of combustion.

Vaporizing: A method of consuming cannabis that involves heating the flower or concentrate to a temperature that releases the active compounds as a vapor, without producing smoke. Vaporizing is often considered a healthier alternative to smoking, as it reduces exposure to harmful substances like tar and carbon monoxide.

Vegetative stage: The growth stage of a cannabis plant that occurs before flowering, during which the plant focuses on growing leaves, stems, and roots. The vegetative stage is typically characterized by rapid growth and can last anywhere from a few weeks to several months, depending on the strain and growing conditions.

Wax: A type of cannabis concentrate that has a soft, waxy texture and is made using solvent-based extraction methods. Wax is known for its high potency and can be consumed using a dab rig or vaporizer.