In the marijuana universe there is a colossal amount of information to be absorbed. So in order to assist the readers to better understand (and later use) all this practical knowledge, I embarked on a deep perennial quest to assemble this comprehensive lexicon of marijuana terms.
To avoid any unnecessary confusion, instead of placing these terms in a classical alphabetical order, we are just going to go over them as they come to my mind. If you’re looking for a particular term, feel free to just hit the CTRL+F and search the text.
Using this technique, the rookies can cover all the wisdom with more ease, and the better educated readers can just swipe through the simple stuff and focus their attention on the more-perplexing definitions.
Let’s jump straight in.
Cannabis is a plant genus that has three separate species of flowering plants, Cannabis Sativa, Cannabis Indica, and Cannabis Ruderalis.
Sativa and Indica are frequently used for production of both medical and recreational marijuana, and Cannabis Ruderalis rarely is, because of its minor THC levels, in direct comparison to the first two species.
Cannabis can successfully grow virtually everywhere on Earth and has been cultivated since ancient times, both for the use of hemp, and for its psychoactive and medicinal purposes.
Marijuana is an all-around term both for female cannabis plants, and their dried flowers (buds). The female plants can be differentiated from male ones because only females can yield flowers that are rich with cannabinoids, which is the active ingredient in cannabis.
Weed is the most used colloquial term for marijuana.
If weed is the first, then pot is definitely the second most popular slang term for marijuana.
Hemp is a string-like produce of male cannabis plants which was, and still is used for the creation of paper, fabric, rope, beauty products and plenty more. Since they are exclusively male, hemp plants have cannot be used for medicinal or recreational purposes, because they don’t have any flowers that contain cannabinoids.
Indica, or its full name, Cannabis Indica, is one of the two main species of cannabis. It originates from Asia and the Middle East, and comparing to the Cannabis Sativa species, they are smaller in size, with tighter bud structure. This type of cannabis creates a powerful body effect, with a slight sedative note.
Cannabis Sativa is the second main species of cannabis, and the main difference between Sativa and Indica is that Sativas grow quite taller than Indicas, and take considerably more time to flower.
Upon consummation, Sativas bring about a more mind-altering effect, rather than the full body sedation that usually accompanies Indica species.
Cannabis Ruderalis is a species of cannabis that has low quantities of THC, but is bred for its natural large amounts of the CBD cannabinoid. Ruderalis also has a special “autoflowering” ability, which makes it quite different from Sativas and Indicas, that require light cycles.
Cannabinoids are active chemical compounds that are found in cannabis. They create differing effects once they reach the humans cannabinoid receptors, ranging from pain relief to many other medically positive attributes. The cannabinoid most abundant in cannabis is THC (tetrahydrocannabinol), which is responsible for the plant’s psychoactive effect, but there are also over 85 other cannabinoids that produce various results.
As we previously mentioned, THC is the main and the most active cannabinoid in cannabis. The full name of this compound is Tetrahydrocannabinol, and it’s believed to be a natural protector of the marijuana plant against various pests. It’s also the most responsible part of the plant that causes the unique weed “high” when consumed. Extensive research has shown that it does wonders for a massive amount of medical conditions.
Cannabidiol, also abbreviated CBD, is also another important cannabinoid found in marijuana. It is very beneficial for treating anxiety, inflammations and pain. Unlike THC, CBD compound doesn’t produce the custom “stoned” sensation upon consummation, so the strains that are rich in cannabidiol can create wonderful relaxation, without the accompanying high.
Even though they appear physically different from flowers on other plants, cannabis flowers are also the female reproductive parts of the plant. They are the main source of cannabinoids in marijuana and they also produce cannabis seeds if they’re fertilized by male plants. Marijuana flowers look like crystal-covered chunky parts of the plant, usually laced with bright colors.
Bud is the main slang-term for marijuana flowers. After harvesting, they are dried and can later be consummated in many different ways, usually by smoking.
Spliff is a 1960’s vintage slang term for a joint, made exclusively with rolling papers and a mixture of cannabis and tobacco.
A rap-related slang term for getting severely high.
420 (also 4:20, or 4/20)
Pronounced four-twenty, 420 is a concealed term in marijuana culture that generally refers to cannabis consumption, and it can also mean the unofficial day of cannabis, the 20th of April.
Ganja is an ancient Sanskrit word for hemp, popularized worldwide by the Rastafarians in the 1970’s.
Another basic term for weed.
Toke is when a person inhales a single hit either from a bong, or from a joint / blunt.
To be baked means that you’re very high in the cannabis subculture.
Also another term for achieving a very strong marijuana buzz.
Pistils are an important part of the marijuana flower, as they are designed to soak up male pollen. But for the plants that are left unfertilized (as most female marijuana plants are), they also symbol ripeness and time for harvest. Anatomically, they appear as hair-like growths, ranging in color from white to red to dark brown.
As the production glands found in cannabis flowers, they yield resin where the majority of the active cannabinoids can be found on a marijuana plant. Trichomes resemble mushroom-like bulges, and are quite tiny in size.
Hash (full name hashish) is a cannabis extract, mostly stronger in potency than regular flowers, because it’s made solely out of trichomes which contain colossal amounts of THC. Hash is made by collecting, filtering and later pressing these miniature trichomes.
Another way to name a collection of collected trichomes is kief, and it’s the main ingredient in hash production. Kief is intensely potent extract, because trichomes have the biggest percentage of the marijuana’s cannabinoids in them.
Strains are distinct types of the marijuana plant, and are designed to create precise effects on a consumer. They are mostly named after the region they come from, the strains physical characteristics, or the type of high it produces. Some examples are Girl Scout Cookies, Purple Kush, etc.
Hybrids are plants that are genetically crossed to combine traits of two (or more) different strains of marijuana. The majority of strains available today are Indica-Sativa hybrids.
Crossbreeding (or Cross)
Crossbreeding is the process of creating a hybrid plant from two different strains of marijuana.
Every specific strain of cannabis has its own unique aroma and it can involve both the smell and the taste of the plant. Words used to describe a cannabis aroma are usually diesel, skunky, earthy and citrusy for instance.
Kush strains originated from the Hindu Kush mountains in Pakistan and Afghanistan, and because of their specific earthy/piney aroma they became very popular worldwide.
OG originally refers to the Southern California’s Ocean Grown (O.G.) Kush strain, which was shortened to OG Kush because of its catchy sound. Nowadays there are numerous OG strains, and the majority of them are still grown in sunny California.
Heirlooms are strains that were taken from their original natural habitat, and are grown and popularized in another part of the world.
Phenotype is generally a growing term, and it’s used to depict the overall characteristics of the strain such as color, height, branching etc.
Concentrates are usually created by dissolving the marijuana plant into a liquid solvent and they usually have much higher levels of THC than regular buds (even up to 95% THC). Depending on the type of structure of the concentrate, they can range from thick gluey oils (BHO), to many different types of waxes and shatters.
Butane hash oil (or BHO), is a strong concentrate manufactured by dissolving marijuana flowers with a solvent (butane). This process produces a strong THC-packed oil, which can be called honey oil, dabs or dabbing, earwax or shatter. There are many different techniques for making BHO and all these slang terms refer to these differing techniques.
Shatter (or ice) is one of the variations of butane hash oil concentrate.
Dab / Dabbing
Another slang for BHO, dabbing is inhaling combusted butane oil.
Edibles are cannabis-enriched foods. They mostly come in the form of brownies, cookies and other candy-like products, but also coffees, teas and other various commodities. Active components from the edibles take longer to achieve any soothing or psychoactive effects because they have to be absorbed via the digestive system.
Tinctures are liquid cannabis extracts made with glycerol or alcohol, and are usually dosed with a dripper. These tinctures can come in many flavours, and are mostly used by placing the liquid under the tongue. They can also be added in drinks, but this way it takes longer for effects to take hold.
Topicals are cannabis products for the skin. The soothing components of marijuana are absorbed peripherally, allowing relief for soreness, dryness and muscle aches.
The term landrace is given to types of cannabis that have acclimated to a specific geo-location. Many modern-day strains are cross breeds of these ancient types of cannabis, and they are usually named after the location where they originally come from, like Thai, Afghani, etc.
Backcrosses are cannabis plants that have been bred with a parent plant (or another genetically-similar plant), to ensure that the offspring will have strong characteristics of the parent plants. This process is usually undertaken to strengthen the genes of rarer strain-types.
The term feminized plants refers to seeds that were carefully bred to bear only female plants, because females can produce flowers that are rich in cannabinoids, unlike male cannabis plants. Feminized seeds are used in growing to alleviate production, because checking the sex of the plant to prevent future fertilization isn’t necessary if all the plants are female.
Flowering time is basically the duration of time for a female plant to birth fully-grown flowers, and it’s mostly affected by the quantity of the plants exposure to the sun. The exception to this rule is Cannabis Ruderalis, which grows and flowers completely automatically, without needing to follow a pre-set light schedule.
Access point refers to an official location where various cannabis products can be legally bought, either for medicinal or recreational purposes. Other terms for this type of institution include a pick-up location, or a dispensary.
Dispensary is a another term for a legal medicinal / recreational access point.
Budtender is the salesman behind the counter of the dispensary (or the so-called access-point). They usually possess advanced knowledge regarding cannabis, and can aid you in finding the product best suited for your needs.
Co-op (or a cooperative), is a community of cannabis consumers from a certain region that have united to share/receive cannabis.
Pre-rolls are previously rolled cannabis cigarettes (also colloquially called joints), and are available for purchase in many dispensaries.
A growing term, hydroponics is a technique where the plants are grown in water (instead of soil), and they receive their nutrients from various solutions. Using hydroponics, growers can achieve better precision in nutrient-intake, which automatically means better grown cannabis plants.
Clone (or Cloning)
A clone is made by clipping an already grown cannabis plant, and then rooting that clipped section. This way a new plant is created from the clipped mother-plant.
A joint is a cannabis cigarette made with classical rolling papers, similar to those found on regular cigarettes. A joint can be made with just cannabis in it, or with a cannabis-tobacco mix.
Blunt is a cannabis cigar — it’s wrapped in a tobacco wrap. It lasts much longer than a regular joint, because the tobacco leaf wrap burns much more slowly than regular rolling paper.
Vaporizer is an electrical device that heats either flowers or cannabis oils and in effect creates vapor that is rich in cannabinoids. This way of consuming cannabis is much healthier than smoking, and the buzz is almost instant.
A bong is a pipe that’s usually made from glass. The smoke passes through water which cools it down, making it easier to inhale.
Bubbler is another term for a glass-made bong, and it’s called a bubbler because of the sound the water in it emits when a consumer inhales the smoke.
Blazed is a slang for getting high, and is an often used term in popular culture.
Reefer is an old school term for cannabis and while it’s almost out of use, you can still hear some hippie stoners using it today.
A stoner is a person who enjoys the mind altering effects of marijuana.
Is a sub-genre of rock music that originated in the 1990’s, known for its repetitive riffs and soothing vocal melodies that create a hypnotic effect on the listener, especially whilst pleasantly high.
Is a relatively new music genre that combines the rhythms of modern-day trap music with gentle synth-based atmospheric sounds, providing a peaceful yet energetic soundtrack for the millennial stoner.
A pothead is a another slang expression for a person who enjoys marijuana.
Cheeba is another retro slang term for cannabis, rarely used in modern times.
One of the first slang terms for weed, and it’s almost extinct nowadays.