Cannabis Terms: A Glossary of Language and Lingo

Cannabis Terms: A Glossary of Language and Lingo

I’ll never forget during my freshman year orientation at college, we had a presentation by the head of campus security. He warned us that if we were smoking pot, he would know. He said he’d heard every excuse under the sun. He’s favorite was that instead of smoking weed someone told him he was roasting broccoli. He claimed to have gone home and tried to make broccoli smell like cannabis, and said there was no possible way. He made sure to let us know that broccoli was no excuse for marijuana.

But just like broccoli, many other terms are used in relation to cannabis. And there are more we could add to the list everyday. The DEA actually just issued the official 2018 Slang Terms and Code Words: A Reference for Law Enforcement Personnel. It’s 125 pages of everything and anything that has to do with every aspect of cannabis.

You don’t have to keep up with all the freshest lingo. There are, however, some terms you will want to know. So this is the start of a glossary of cannabis and mental health terms that I’ll be adding to as I go and learn more that maybe useful. It maybe best to keep it bookmarked and check back for updates…


Access Point- Synonymous with dispensary, an access point is a state authorized location where medical marijuana patients can buy medical marijuana. Learn more about this process here.

Addiction- A psychological need and reliance on either a substance or behavior.

Alcohol Extraction- This is the purification process to filter the essential oils and trichomes of cannabis. 

Anorexia nervosa / Anorexia- An eating disorder in which people intentionally starve themselves causing extreme weight loss.

Anxiety – An intense feeling of fear or discomfort, often accompanied by physical symptoms, such and a pounding heart, sweating, nausea, rapid breathing, dizziness, or numbness.

Agitation- The process of harvesting trichomes from the cannabis flower.

Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD)- A behavior disorder characterized by inattention, impulsivity, and, hyperactivity.

Autism- A complex life-long developmental disability prevents children and adolescents from interacting normally with others and affects other aspects social and psychological development.


Bipolar disorder- A spectrum of mood swing disorders that can specify the rhythms or cycles an individual experiences of mania and depression.

Blunt- A cigar hollowed out and replaced with cannabis.

Bong- A glass, ceramic or plastic contraption consisting of a bowl and stem that filters smoke though water for colder inhale.

Bongwater- The water used in a bong to cool and filter the smoke. 

Bubbler- A small glass contraption similar to a pipe with a water chamber like a bong used to cool and filter smoke.

Bud- A synonym for the nuggets of the mature cannabis plant.

Budder- A soft and pliable hash oil concentrate containing high levels of THC (70%+), and used with an oil rig.

Budtender- Similar to a bartender or pharmacist, a budtender is a dispensary employee who provides customer service to consumers.

Butane Hash Oil (BHO)- Mixing butane with cannabis flower creates a  potent, soluble, viscous amber colored form known as “wax” or “shatter.”

Blasting- The process of passing a solvent through cannabis material to create hash oil.

Borosilicate Glass- A type of glass that is resistant to thermal stock  and preferred for creating water pipes and dab rigs.

Butane- A commonly used solvent used in concentrate extraction.


Cannabidiol (CBD)- A chemical compound of the cannabis plant that yields medicinal qualities and no psychoactive effects. Here’s What You Need to Know and 6 Tips on Buying CBD Products. 

Cannabinoids- The chemical compounds found in the cannabis plant that act on the brain’s cannabinoid receptors in cells that repress neurotransmitter release.

Cannabis- A flowering plant that has medicinal and recreational uses. Here’s where you can learn Where the Name Came From and What You Need to Know About the History of Cannabis.

Carb Cap- A dabbing tool, the rounded end cap with handle creates a restricted airflow chamber for concentrates to vaporize.

Closed-Loop Extraction / System- A chemical extraction process that recycles hydrocarbon solvent or CO2 in a closed system, opposed to releasing the gas into the air.

CO2 Extraction- The process of pressurizing liquid or gas and passing it through cannabis to yield waxes, oils, and isolated cannabinoids.

Concentrates- A type of cannabis product that is refined from flower into a potent and purified form.

Carbon Dioxide (CO2)- The most natural solvent used to extract concentrates.


Dabs- A terms referring to a small quantity of concentrate that is consumed with a rig to produce vapor.

Dabbing- The latest method used to consume potent cannabis concentrates with a rig to create vapor to inhale.

Dabber- A long, pointy glass or metal tools used when heating concentrates with an oil rig pipe.

Dank- A adjective used to describe a very potent, high quality cannabis.

Decarboxylate- The process of heating weed at a low temperature to activate cannabinoids to get higher potency edibles and tinctures.

Dementia- A general term which is used to describe the deterioration of mental functionality such as memory, language and judgement.

Depression- A disorder characterized by extreme feelings of sadness, lack of self-worth, and dejection.

Diffuser- A custom made tube that’s added to a water pipe to lower temperature, increase airflow, and yield flavorful inhale.

Dispensary- A store that legally sells cannabis products for medical and/or recreational use.

Dome- A glass part of the oil rig that fits over the nail to capture the vapor created when heated.

Downstem- A long piece of glass that connects a bowl with the body of a pipe or bong to allow for suction.

Dugout- A hand-held wooden box that discretely holds one-hitter and limited amount of cannabis in two different sections.

Dewaxing- The process of removing waxes and lipid fats from concentrates to create a purer, more stable product.


Edibles- Medicated foods that have been infused with cannabis extracts requiring longer timing to be absorbed through the digestive system.


Feminized- Plants from seeds that have been selectively bred to produce only female plants that produce flowers (which is where most of cannabis’ cannabinoids are found.)

Flowering Time- Refers to the time it takes for a plant to produce mature flowers. 

Flowers- The part of the plant that are the hairy, sticky, crystal-covered bits that are harvested and dried to be used as medication. 



Hash/Hash Oil- Short for hashish, which is derived from cannabis plants and can be used for increased potency consumption or medication.

Hemp- A fibrous product that can be produced from the male cannabis plant and can be used for cannabinoid isolates and to manufacture of rope, paper, beauty products, and a vast array of other products.

Hybrid- A plant that is genetically a cross between one or more separate strains of cannabis. Learn more here.

Hydroponics- Refers to a system of gardening that does not use soil for more control over nutrient intake and stability.


Indica- A type of cannabis plant with shorter, bushier and flower that produces more relaxing physical effects and can have a sedative quality. Learn more here.



Kief- A collected amount of very potent trichomes that have been separated from the rest of the marijuana flower.

Kush- A line of cannabis plants that have a unique earthy, piney, citrus and sweet aroma.


Landrace- Refers to a local variety of cannabis that has adapted to the environment of its geographic location.


Marijuana- The general term for female cannabis plants or their dried flowers. However you should Call It Cannabis Not Marijuana.

Mental Health- This term refers to how a person maintains a successful mental activity, productive daily activities and fulfilling relationships by the way they look at themselves, evaluate challenges and problems, explore choices and make decisions.

Mental Illness- Refers to a wide range of clinically identifiable mental health conditions that affect one’s thoughts, body, feelings, and behaviour. They exhibit ongoing symptoms and cause frequent stress, affecting your day-to-day ability to function. Mental illnesses can be severe, seriously interfering with a person’s life, and even causing a person to become disabled.



OG- A term used to describe original strains.

Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD)- An anxiety disorder in which a person has an unreasonable thought, fear, or worry that he or she tries to manage through a ritualized activity to reduce the anxiety.


Phenotype- A term that refers to the general physical characteristics of the plant that can be used to identify and judge the healthiness of a plant.

Pistils- A part of a female plant’s anatomy that acts to collect the male pollen, and can be an indicator of ripeness.

Postpartum Anxiety- Moderate to severe anxiety experienced by women after giving birth.

Postpartum Depression- Moderate to severe depression experienced by women after giving birth.

Postpartum Rage- Increased feelings of anger experienced by women after giving birth.

Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)- A debilitating condition following a terrifying event causing the person who survived the event to have persistent, frightening thoughts and memories, or flashbacks, of the ordeal.

Pre-roll- Refers to a pre-made cannabis cigarette available for purchase.

Psychosis- A loss of contact with reality.



Ruderalis- A cannabis variety that is CBD-rich and low-THC that flowers with age.

Recovery- A process by which people who have a mental illness are able to work, learn and participate fully in their communities. For some, recovery is the ability to live a fulfilling and productive life despite a disability. For others, recovery implies the reduction or complete remission of symptoms.


Sativa- A type of cannabis plant that grow taller, are lighter in color, and take longer to flower. Sativas tend to produce more cerebral effects. Learn more here.

Schizophrenia- A brain disorder that makes it difficult to tell the difference between real and unreal experiences, to think logically, to have normal emotional responses to others, and to behave normally in social situations. It is thus associated with hallucinations and delusions.

Shatter / Ice-  Mixing butane with cannabis flower creates a  potent, soluble, viscous amber colored form known as “BHO,” “wax” or “shatter.”

Sleep disorders- A cluster of sleep problems, ranging from difficulty falling asleep to sleeping too long. Also includes sleepwalking, night terrors, and sleep apnea.

Stigma- A mark of shame or discredit, and thought to be widespread as a result of ignorance, prejudice or fear.

Strain- A strain is a specific variety of a plant species that is developed to produce distinct desired effect.

Substance abuse disorder- Alcohol and drug misuse and abuse in excess of legal limits or prescription directions. Intoxication and withdrawal are common problems in the abusing population.

Suicide- The intentional taking of one’s own life.


Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC)- A chemical compound of the cannabis plant that yields psychoactive effects and medicinal qualities. Learn more about THC here.

Tincture- A liquid cannabis extract usually made with alcohol or glycerol that is often dosed with a dropper.

Topical- A type of cannabis product that have been extracted and added to a product a lotion and applied to the skin.

Trauma- Consequence of an event or a series of events too stressful to bare, and threaten the integrity of one’s consciousness.

Trichome- The resin production glands of the cannabis plant where cannabinoids are produced.



Vaporizer- A device used to heat flowers or marijuana-infused oils to a temperature that produces a cannabinoid-laced vapor to inhale.


Wax- A form of BHO concentrate.

Weed- A slang term for cannabis that gained popularity early 1990s. Otherwise defined as a wild plant that grows where it is not wanted the irony of calling cannabis by this term is not lost. However, it seems like an appropriate name to give the plant, given that it grows all over the world.





Did I miss one? Is there a term you still need defined? Please comment below if you’ve found the term you’re curious about hasn’t yet been included!


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