The ultimate guide to medical marijuana terminology

Published Feb 23, 2019 03:23 p.m. ET

For those who have been exposed to cannabis culture some of the different marijuana jargon thrown around may mean a little something to you, but for those who are being prescribed medical marijuana and using the plant for the first time, many of the different terms used can get overwhelming and confusing fast. Even the most experienced users likely don’t know every single definition behind some of the marijuana vocabulary that they hear. To help, we have compiled a list of some of the most useful medical marijuana terminology you might come across in your search for a product that works for you.

Cannabis Product Terms

BHO- Butane hash oil aka BHO is a concentrated form of cannabis that is made by extracting the cannabinoids using a solvent like alcohol or CO2.
Budder- Budder is a term used to describe the consistency of cannabis
oil. Budder will be thicker and more translucent.

Butane Hash Oil- AKA BHO is an oil that has been made by extracting THC, CBD, and other cannabinoids from a plant using butane.

Cannabis- A term used for dry herb, flowers, or bud.
Concentrates- Concentrates is a term that is used to describe any cannabis derivative that contains concentrated amounts of cannabinoids.

Crystals- One of the purest forms of marijuana on earth consisting of up to 99% THC or CBD. Crystals are dry and resemble sugar and are often used in edibles and drinks as they come preactivated due to the extraction process that heats THCA into THC.

Edibles- Edibles are food items or drinks that have been infused with cannabis.

Eighth- An eighth is a term used to purchase dry marijuana product. One eighth is the equivalent of 3.5 grams.

Ganja- A slang term used to refer to marijuana.
Half Ounce- Another sales term that refers to 14 grams or one half of an ounce.

Hash- Hash is a thick often moldable cannabis concentrate that is commonly used by dabbers due to it’s difficult to smoke using other methods.

Ice Wax- Ice wax is a pure cannabis concentrate that is made using ice as the solvent to extract the cannabinoids. Often ice wax is yellow and powdery.

Kief- Kief is essentially the THC crystals that have been harvested from a plant. Sometimes this is done using a screened grinder, and others the entire plant is processed to extract it. Kief will be more potent than regular dry herb and is a powdery substance.

Live Resin- Live resin is similar to regularresin, only it will contain the terpenes that are responsible for the flavor and smell.

Medical- This is a term that is often used for strains that are well known for their medicinal benefits and is often used to describe strains of cannabis that have higher than average levels of CBD.

Medicated- Is a term that is used to refer to cannabis-infused products.

MIP- Means marijuana-infused products.

Oil- Oil is one cannabis concentrate that can be made using a variety of different methods of extraction. It is stronger than fresh herb as the contents are simply condensed making it easier to ingest more in a short period of time.

Ounce- One ounce means 24 grams of dried herb.

Pot- A slang term used to refer to marijuana.

Recreational- A term used to describe a marijuana users intent. If the purpose is not to medicate than it is considered recreational.

Resin- Another cannabis concentrate that is one of the most potent. It is made using extreme heat to extract the various cannabinoids into a liquid form.

Shatter- A marijuana concentrate that resembles glass. Shatter is usually transparent and will break just like glass if it is dropped hence the name.

Solvent- A chemical component that is used to extract THC from marijuana. Common solvents include butane, CO2, and alcohol.

Tincture- Tinctures are alcohol based cannabis products. They are meant to be consumed orally and cannot be smoked. Tinctures are usually used via an oral dropper bottle or in edibles or drinks.

Topical- Topical refers to any product that is used on the skin rather than ingesting internally.

Water Hash- A type of hash that is made using water as a solvent.

Wax- A thick, sticky substance that is in between oil and hash.

Weed- Another slang term for marijuana buds, usually ones that are dried and ready for consumption.

Marijuana Smoking Device Terms

Bong- A bong can come in a wide variety of shapes or size, but for the most part bongs require both water and a carbto function. The smoke is pulled through water held in a chamber which will cool it before it reaches the user’s mouth.

Bowl- The piece of a smoking device that holds the dry herb as it is burnt.

Bud- Slang term for cannabis.

Carb- A carb is a hold that is locatedon a smoking device. It is meant to be covered by the user and released to completely empty the contents of the chamber.

Dabs- Dabs are usually some form of cannabis concentrate that may or may not be separated into individual hits.

Dabbing- Dabbing is done by using a torch to heat a nail which is then pressed against a cannabis product to effectively vaporize it.

Dabber- A tool used to place a dab onto a dome when using a dab rig.

Decarboxylate- This is a process that is done for you when you smoke cannabis. Decarboxylating requires heating the THCA to a high temperature to activate it. Until it is activated, it will not release the euphoric and psychoactive components of marijuana.

Directional Airflow- Directional airflow is created when a user lights cannabis product and then inhales through a smoking or vaping device.
Dome - A dome will contain the heat and help to control the airflow that moves through a dab rig.

Domeless Nail- A domeless nail is an open headed piece that is used to place the product when a dabbing rig is being used.
Downstem- The stem that carries the smoke or vapor into the chamber of the device.


Dab Mat- A mat used underneath of a dabbing rig.

E-Rig- An electronic device that is used to smoke either cannabis or concentrates. It is also a tool commonly used for dabbing as it provides a heating element that can be used instead of a nail.

Glass- Glass is a material that many smoking devices are made from so it may refer to the material, but others will use the term glass to refer to any glass smoking apparatus.

Grinders- A tool used to break up dry herb before it is smoked.

Nail- A nail is used alongside a dab rig as the heating element that vaporizes the cannabis product.

Rig- Rig can either mean a dab rig or the setup a person uses to smoke marijuana.

Torch- A torch is a regular culinary type torch that is used to heat a nail when a person is using a dab rig.

Vape Pen- A vape pen is a handheld device that is capable of vaporizing liquids.

Vaporizer- A vaporizer can come in almost any size and is another cannabis smoking apparatus that can reach such high temperatures that it vaporized the product.


Cannabidiol- Cannabidiol is only one phytocannabinoid that is present in cannabis plants and makes up an average of 40% of a plants total extract.

Cannabinoids- A cannabinoid is one chemical compound called class A that reacts with the receptors in the brain of the user. CBD and THC are the primary cannabinoids present in marijuana plants.


Phytocannabinoids- Molecules that plants have synthesized. There are a total of 113 phytocannabinoids produced by marijuana plants.

Tetrahydrocannabinol- Tetrahydrocannabinol is the long name for THC which is the psychoactive chemical element found in cannabis.

Terpene- Terpenes and terpene profiles are different from strain to strain and are the element responsible for for the taste and smell that is produced when a plant is smoked. They are used both medicinally and recreationally to enhance the effects on an experience.

THCA- Is the chemical component THC before it has been activated through decarboxylation.

THC- THC aka tetrahydrocannabinol is the main active ingredient in dry herb and is what is responsible for the euphoric high that marijuana is known for.

Growing Marijuana Terms

Cure - To cure weed is to dry it to the point of safe storage and consumption.

Feminized - Feminized seeds will guarantee you a female marijuana plant.

Flowering Time - Flowering time is how long the plant will continue to produce flowers or buds.

Flowers - Flowers are the cola or buds that are harvested from a cannabis plant.

Germination - Germination is the process of starting a seed.

Hemp - Hemp is related to marijuana only it does not provide the same THC content as cannabis plants do, so it is often used in medicinal products for its anti-inflammatory properties.

Hydroponics - Growing marijuana indoors using a water base rather than a soil base is called hydroponics.

Indica - One type of marijuana plant that tends to grow shorter and fatter.

Pistil - Found protruding from the flowers produced by female marijuana plants. They look like small white colored hairs that act as ovaries in cannabis plants. They are what will take in the pollen and what produces seeds once a female plant has been fertilized.

Sativa - One kind of cannabis plant that will likely grow taller and thinner than it’s Indica counterpart.

Strain - Strains are the lineage of a cannabis plant. Strains are used to separate each plant line for its specific characteristics.

Trichome - Trichomes are invisible to the naked eye but can be seen under a microscope. They are an important tool in determining when to harvest a marijuana plant.

Vegetative Stage - The middle stage of a marijuana plants growing cycle where it does the most growth upwards.

Other Terms

Access Point- A safe place to purchase medical cannabis.

Budtender- A salesperson who works for a dispensary.

Dispensary- A retail outlet that sells marijuana products,

Licensed Facility- A licensed facility means it has the government's approval to be in operation.

Phenotype- A set of qualities that is inflicted upon an individual once the interaction of the chemical compound and user make contact.



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