A Glossary of Cannabis Terms

February is Marijuana Awareness Month. If you've ever been curious about the ins and outs of all things cannabis, this handy guide will tell you everything you need to know.

a glossary of cannabis terms by the epic remedy colorado springs best dispensary

Cannabis Terms

  • Cannabis Indica (flower): Cannabis Indica is the scientific name for cannabis plants that contain THC.

  • Cannabis Sativa (hemp): Cannabis Sativa is the scientific name for non-psychoactive cannabis, also known as hemp.

  • Cannabis flower: Cannabis flowers are the buds harvested from female cannabis indica plants. They cause a psychoactive effect and have been used medicinally for thousands of years.

  • Indica: Indica is a term that refers to cannabis indica flowers that offer more sedative and physically relaxing effects.

  • Sativa: Sativa is a term that refers to cannabis indica flowers that offer more energizing and cerebral effects.

  • Hybrid: Hybrid is a term that refers to cannabis indica flowers that offer a balanced mix of physical and cerebral effects.

  • Delivery Methods: There are many different ways to consume cannabis. Delivery methods refer to the ways we introduce THC into our system, and includes inhalation, oral, ingestion, topical, and suppository deliveries. Learn more.

  • Cannabinoids: Cannabinoids are the natural chemical compounds found in cannabis that are responsible for a variety of physical and mental effects. There are over 100 different cannabinoids, but the most therapeutic cannabinoids are THC, CBD, and CBN.

  • Endocannabinoid System: The Endocannabinoid system is a body system made up of hundreds of different receptors. They are responsible for modulating the body by receiving and processing chemicals we produce in our own bodies. However, the cannabinoids found in cannabis mimic many of these chemicals and also interact with the ECS. This system is responsible for why and how we feel many of the pain-relieving, mood-lifting, and body regulating effects from smoking cannabis.

  • Cannabinoid Receptors: Cannabinoid receptors make up the endocannabinoid system. They process natural body chemicals as well as cannabinoids found in cannabis to promote effects within our bodies.

  • THC: THC, also known as tetrahydrocannabinol, is the most recognized cannabinoid found in cannabis. It causes the high we experience from using cannabis and is responsible for boosting our moods, reducing pain, and encouraging appetite among many other things.

  • CBD: CBD, also known as cannabidiol, is another one of the most recognized cannabinoids found in cannabis. It's responsible for its many medicinal benefits, such as nausea, cancer, arthritis, seizures, pain and many other ailments and conditions. However, unlike THC, CBD doesn't cause a psychoactive effect or high. It helps the body promote homeostasis or equilibrium.

  • Terpenes: Terpenes are the naturally occurring chemical compounds found in all plants and some insects. They are responsible for the way a plant smells and tastes and each one comes with its own list of therapeutic uses. Many studies have shown that terpenes interact with cannabinoids and the endocannabinoid system to help promote stronger effects in a phenomenon known as the Entourage Effect.

  • Entourage Effect: The Entourage Effect is a documented phenomenon that shows how the effects of cannabinoids are improved with the presence of terpenes and vice versa.

  • Strain: Strain refers to the specific genetic variety of cannabis plants. There are hundreds of different indica, sativa, and hybrid strains out there.

  • Landrace: Landrace refers to cannabis strains that were found naturally hundreds of years ago. Most landrace strains don't exist anymore, but you can still find Hawaiian, Afghani, and Colombian landrace strains today.

  • Cross: A cross is the combination of multiple cannabis plants bred to produce a new strain. It's short for crossbreeding.

  • Backcross: Unlike a traditional cross, backcrossing breeds a plant with one of its parents to help transfer a desired trait of a parent to an offspring.

  • Phenotype: Phenotype is a word used to identify a plant's traits. In cannabis plants, pollinated plants produce hundreds of seeds. Even though the genetic makeup is the same, the phenotype describes the offspring's variations in appearance, scent, flavor, and effects. Girl Scout Cookies is a classic strain, though one of the phenotypes of the same cross is called Thin Mints since it offers a creamier flavor and more upbeat effects.

  • Cotton Mouth: Cotton mouth is a term to describe the dry effects in the mouth after smoking cannabis. It's a common side effect of smoking marijuana.

Cultivation Terms

  • Cultivator: A cultivator is a person who grows and tends to cannabis plants.

  • Aeroponics: Aeroponics is a growing method that involves misting and air without soil.

  • Hydroponics: Hydroponics is a growing method that involves growing plants without soil by using nutrient solutions and water.

  • Living Soil: Living soil is cannabis grown in an organic, living soil environment. It's commonly called no-till as it involves a complex ecosystem within the soil.

  • Indoor: Indoor refers to cannabis plants that are grown indoors under lights.

  • Outdoor: Outdoor refers to cannabis plants that are grown outdoors under the sun.

  • Seed: Seeds are produced when female cannabis plants become pollinated. They vary slightly genetically from seed to seed, displaying different phenotypes from their siblings. This is the first stage of the lifecycle of a cannabis plant.

  • Feminized Seed: Feminized seeds are seeds that are guaranteed to be female. They are bred to produce only female plants once they are planted.

  • Seedling: Seedlings are cannabis seeds that have sprouted and are ready to be transferred to their new growing medium (soil, coco, rockwool, clay, etc). This is the second stage in the lifecycle of a cannabis plant.

  • Vegetative Cycle: The vegetative cycle is the 3rd stage of the lifecycle of a cannabis plant. In this stage, the plant grows and produces foliage for a season, receiving about 14 or more hours of sunlight per day in the summer, remaining in the veg cycle until the days become shorter in the fall and the plant begins to flower.

  • Flowering Cycle: The flowering cycle is the final stage in the lifecycle of a cannabis plant. When the season changes in the fall and the days drop to around 12 hours of light per day, the plants begin to produce flowers so they can pollinate and re-seed their plot when they die in the winter so the cycle can begin again. In the cannabis industry, flowering plants don't get pollinated and are instead harvested when the flowers reach maturity after 9-12 weeks. Preventing the plants from pollinating prevents them from forming seeds, so plants must be cloned to preserve their genetics. Pollinated plants produce seeds and a severe lack of THC.

  • Clone: Cloning is the process in which a section of a mother plant is taken and forced to grow its own roots, creating an entirely new plant with the exact same genetics. This is accomplished with cloning gel, though they can also root with water like most plants.

  • Curing: After cannabis flowers are harvested, they are hung out to dry before being trimmed. This allows the grower to increase the flavor, potency, and aroma of the buds by controlling a slow-release of moisture and drying the buds until they're smokable. Improperly cured buds will be harsh, flavorless, and won't smell good.

  • Calyx: Calyxs are the most resinous part of cannabis plants. They are essentially the base of the flower holding everything together and providing stability. They also protect the pistils and reproductive organs and are responsible for producing the trichomes.

  • Trichome: Trichomes are the crystalline to amber-colored mushroom-like structures that produce THC. They are resin glands that provide cannabinoids and produced by the calyx.

  • Pistil: Pistils are the curly, colored hair-like structures found on female cannabis flowers. They are used to collect pollen from male plants when being fertilized. However, they don't impact how a strain will taste or affect you.

  • Cola: Cola is the term for the big flower structures that house many individual cannabis flowers. They are conic in structure and tend to be quite dense, fragrant, and sticky. They can swell to enormous sizes.

  • Water Leaves: Water leaves, also known as fan leaves, are the broad, green foliar leaves that cannabis plants use to photosynthesize and store nutrients during their life cycle. During the flowering cycle, they will change colors as the plant pulls nutrients from them to encourage stronger flower growth.

  • Sugar Leaves: Sugar leaves refer to the leaves found near cannabis buds. They get the name since they're covered in trichomes from the flower production. These are often used to make concentrates.

  • Trim: Trim is the leftover plant materials pulled from cannabis plants. It's left behind after the flowers are harvested. However, the leaves tend to still be coated in trichomes after flowering, so trim is frequently used by extractors to make tinctures, hash, and edibles. Speaking physically though, Trimming is the act of removing excess leaves from the plant and from its flowers


Concentrates Terms

  • Decarboxylation: Heat used to activate the THC in cannabis buds. This is a term usually used when making edibles, as decarboxylating cannabis flowers activates the THC for concentrating and infusing the THC into edibles.

  • Blasting: A term used when referring to the process of extracting THC using butane hash oil in a closed loop system.

  • Extraction: The term used to refer to the process of separating THC and other cannabinoids from plant materials when making concentrates. Plainly put, it refers to separating cannabinoids and trichomes from plants.

  • Solvent-based concentrates: These are concentrates made by blasting plant materials with a solvent, like butane, propane, or ethanol to extract the cannabinoids from the materials.

  • Solventless concentrates: These are concentrates made by using heat, pressure, or water to concentrate cannabinoids.

  • BHO Extraction: An extraction method that uses butane to extract cannabinoids from plant materials

  • Alcohol extraction: An extraction method that used ethanol to extract cannabonoids from plant materials.

  • Closed-Loop Extraction: An extraction method that recycled solvents or CO2 in a closed system instead of pouring the concentrate onto a tray and allowing it to release the gasses into the air.

  • Dab/Dabbing: A term used for the act of vaporizing cannabis concentrates using a dab rig, a torch, and a hot nail.

  • Distillate: Distillate is made using a solvent-based CO2 extraction method which strips all plant materials and terpenes away, leaving behind pure cannabinoids like THC or CBD only. Distilled concentrates are almost perfectly clear in color and usually make it into edibles, tinctures, and topicals.

  • Kief: Kief is the term given to the trichome heads mechanically separated from cannabis flowers using a grinder or with the dry sift method.

  • Shatter: Shatter is made in a solvent-based extraction by pressurizing butane in a closed-loop system to strip THC from cannabis materials like trim or flower, though usually trim. The butane evaporates out of the final product when the shatter is poured on a tray.

  • Wax: Wax is made using a solvent-based extraction method using butane, similar to shatter in a closed-loop system. It's also usually made with trim instead of flower as the starting material, and it's made when pre-formed shatter is agitated, whipped, or aerated before being fully purged of butane. The final product is a soft, opaque concentrate that comes in a variety of different textures and colors.

  • Nug Run: Nug Run refers to concentrates like shatter and wax made using a solvent-based extraction method that uses dried cannabis flowers instead of trim.

  • Live Resin: Live resin is made using a solvent-based hydrocarbon extract that also utilizes heat and pressure to evaporate the final solvents out. It leaves behind a terpene sauce and allows a few small THCa diamonds to form. The final products can be called live resin, live crystals, live diamonds, live sugar, live batter, and more, depending on the final product's consistency. It's called live resin because it's made with fresh frozen cannabis materials to preserve terpenes, leaving behind a higher quality product.

  • Flash Frozen: Refers to cannabis and trim that is harvested and immediately frozen to preserve the living terpenes. Flash frozen cannabis is used to make live products like live resin and live rosin and makes for more flavorful concentrates.

  • Cured Resin: Cured resin is the same thing as live resin, with the exception being that the starting product was cured or dried cannabis flowers. It's made the same way using these materials.

  • Diamonds: Diamonds form in a closed-loop, solvent-based extraction method. nder heat and pressure, diamonds form in a crystalline structure. They can be formed as THCa isolates or in a terpene-rich sauce. They are made from THCa, which is completely non-psychoactive until they're dabbed and the heat transforms the THCa into THC via decarboxylation. Diamonds are one of the most potent forms of concentrates made in a solvent-based extraction, checking in at 90-99% THCa.

  • Sauce: Sauce is formed the same way as diamonds, in a closed-loop hydrocarbon extraction method. It gets its name for its sauce-like appearance, which is thin and runny with a little stickiness, like honey or marmalade. Unlike the other concentrates on this list, Sauce is made for terpenes and not cannabinoids.

  • Hash Oil / Rick Simpson Oil: Cannabis oils are thin and runny, and they contain terpenes and cannabinoids separated from plant materials using a hydrocarbon, CO2, or distillate extraction method. Oils can come in a variety of flavors, but the consistency is always very viscous. You can add thickening agents to make cannabis oils thick enough to vape, though.

  • Rosin: Rosin is made with a solventless extraction method that involves pressing cannabis material with heat and pressure to remove plant materials and retain cannabinoids and terpenes.

  • Full Melt: Full melt refers to concentrates that melt at the slightest application of heat.

  • Ice Hash / Bubble Hash: Bubble hash, also known as full melt, ice wax, and ice hash, is made using a solventless water or ice-based extraction method. The cannabis materials are agitated in ice and then mechanically separated from the trichomes using fine mesh bags. It can be extracted from both trim and buds and is best when the final product is light.

  • Caviar: Caviar, sometimes referred to as Moonrocks (due to patenting), are made by taking ordinary cannabis flowers, dipping them in solvent-based CO2-extracted hash oil, and then rolling them in solventless kief. The final product can reach up to 50% THC and makes for an elevated, more potent, longer-lasting experience.

  • Low Temp Dab: A low-temp dab allows for the most flavorful dabs as well as a good dose of activated cannabinoids. Low temp dabs are taken between 350-450°F.

  • Medium Temp Dabs: Medium-temp dabs are taken between 450°F-600°F and offer the best mix of flavors and effects.

  • High Temp Dab: High Temp dabs allow for the strongest effects though the terpenes are usually boiled away, making for a harsher hit and less flavor. High temp dabs are taken from 600°F-750°F.

  • Vaporization: When you take dabs you’re vaporizing a concentrate, and vaporization can occur at any temperature above 250°F

  • Reclaim: Reclaim refers to the leftover residual oils left behind after a dab. For best results, you'll want to clean the reclaim from your banger after every use with isopropyl alcohol and cotton swabs.


Accessories Terms

  • Vaporizer: A vaporizer uses heat to decarboxylate cannabis flower or melt cannabis concentrates. They come in many different shapes and sizes, with the pen-design being the most popular.

  • Bong: A bong is a smoking apparatus made from glass, silicon, plastic, ceramic, or other materials. It's used to smoke cannabis flowers and uses its water-filled chambers to make smoke less harsh.

  • Dab Rig: A dab rig is a type of bong used to vaporize cannabis concentrates.

  • Pipe: A pipe is an all-in-one bowl and stem that comes with a built-in carb for better hits. It's usually small and portable.

  • Bowl: A bowl is the part of a bong or pipe where the cannabis is loaded for inhalation.

  • Blunt: A blunt is made by rolling a store-bought cigar with cannabis flower after removing the tobacco and resealing it. There are many different non-tobacco blunt wraps, though. Some are made with hemp or tea leaves and still offer the added flavors and larger size of a blunt. A blunt may also refer to the 1.5 grams of cannabis used to roll a blunt.

  • Bubbler: A bubbler is a hybrid between a bong and a pipe. It's a handheld device that also contains a chamber for water filtration to make for a smoother smoke. Their small size makes them easy to transport.

  • Carb Cap: Carb caps are used with dab rigs to help improve airflow and circulate concentrated in a warm banger or nail. They improve the size and flavors of your hits as well as heat distribution.

  • Inserts: Inserts, usually made with quartz, are inserted into a pre-heated nail or banger along with the concentrate and in some cases terp pearls. It makes for an indirect heat, allowing for lower-temp dabs that last longer and taste better. They also help reduce reclaim residue left behind in your banger after a dab.

  • Dab tool: Dab tools are small spoon-like devices used for scooping concentrates from their containers and applying them easily to a heated dab nail or banger. They come in many different shapes and sizes for a variety of different concentrate consistencies.

  • Terp Pearl: Terp pearls are added to your nail or banger to help improve heat distribution and air circulation while dabbing. When used with a carb cap, they swirl the concentrate around, making it easier to get bigger, longer-lasting dabs and improve flavors.

  • Scientific Glass: Scientific glass is the glass used to make most bongs, bowls, and dab rigs. It can withstand higher temperatures and is made sturdier, making it more difficult to break.

  • Dab Mat: A dab mat is used to prevent getting reclaim mess from dabs on surfaces. It also helps with keeping your rig from sliding or tipping over on smooth surfaces.

  • Nail: A nail is a device used for vaporizing cannabis concentrates. It can be made with ceramic, titanium, quartz, or other materials and is heated with a torch or e-Nail. Once heated, you'll drop a dab into the nail for vaporization and cap it to inhale the cannabinoids. Nails may also be called bangers.

  • E-Nail: e-Nails are electronic devices that heat a coil around a quartz banger or dab nail to allow for the perfect temperature dab without the guesswork involved with using a torch.

  • Grinder: A device used to grind whole cannabis flowers into smaller particles that can be rolled into joints or added to bowls for a smoother smoking experience. Grinders with three chambers also catch kief, which can be used to top bowls or joints for extra potency.

  • Rolling Tray: A tray used when rolling joints to catch cannabis shake that falls from the rolling paper.

  • Rolling Machine: A device used to roll cannabis into joints.

  • Rolling Papers: Papers made with hemp with a safe adhesive strip used to roll cannabis into a joint for easy inhaling.

  • One hitter: Also known as a one-y or a dugout, a one hitter is an accessory that stores ground cannabis and a small cigarette-shaped pipe. You'll insert the pipe into the cannabis storage and scoop out the cannabis, giving you enough cannabis for one hit of flower.

  • Percolator: An extra water chamber found in many bongs and bubblers. It allows for more filtration of the smoke through water, resulting in smoother hits. They can also be found as external attachments for your bong or dab rig that slides in.

  • Torch: A butane or propane device that is used to apply a concentrated stream of heat to a nail or quartz banger for dabbing concentrates.


Dispensary Terms

  • Edible: Edibles are foods and drinks that are infused with THC. They are easy to dose and offer potent effects, but they take up to two hours to kick in.

  • Topical: Topicals are lotions, balms, creams, salves, and other skin products that make it possible to absorb cannabinoids through the skin. They don't cause any cerebral effects but are great for managing localized pain and sore muscles.

  • Tincture: Tinctures are made with either vegetable oil or alcohol and cannabis. They are typically flavored and taken under the tongue for faster delivery and absorption than traditional edibles, though they feel quite similar.

  • Capsule: Refers to food-safe hash oils that are added to capsules to help with consistent dosing of edible oils.

  • Pills: Pressed pills are made with hash oils and make it easier to take a consistent dose of cannabinoids in a convenient traditional pill.

  • Transdermal: Transdermal refers to topical products that can surpass the skin and into the blood, causing a mild psychoactive effect and more potent pain relief than traditional topicals.

  • Flower: Flower refers to the dried, cured buds harvested from cannabis plants. They are rich in cannabinoids and terpenes and cause the user to feel high when smoked.

  • Concentrate: Concentrate refers to any cannabis products that is refined from cannabis flowers, trim, or plant materials into a more potent form. Some concentrates include shatter, wax, oil, kief, rosin, live resin, diamonds, etc.

  • Oil: Shorthand term for hash oil, which is a cannabis concentrate that can be smoked, vaporized, or made into edibles.

  • Pre-roll: Inhalable cannabis that comes pre-rolled in a rolling paper. Also known as a joint.

  • Medical Marijuana: Medical marijuana refers to cannabis and cannabis products that can only be purchased by medical marijuana cardholders or their state-approved caregivers in states that have legalized medical marijuana.

  • Recreational Marijuana: Recreational marijuana refers to cannabis and cannabis products that can be purchased legally by adults aged 21 or older in states that have legalized cannabis for recreational, personal, adult-use.

  • Budtender: Budtenders are licensed dispensary employees who assist patients and recreational users with the purchase of their cannabis products.

  • Dispensary: Dispensaries are licensed facilities where you can purchase medical or recreational marijuana. They are also called access points, medical facilities, stores, retail stores, or patient care centers.

  • Dose: A dose varies from person to person, but refers to the amount of cannabis or THC you take to manage your symptoms. It also refers to the amount of THC found in a single serving of an edible.

  • Topping: Topping refers to adding concentrates to the top of a bowl or pipe full of cannabis to improve its potency and effects.

  • Eighth: 3.5 grams of cannabis make up an eighth of an ounce.

  • Quarter Ounce: 7 grams of cannabis make up a quarter ounce.

  • Half Ounce: 14 grams of cannabis make up a half-ounce.

  • Ounce: 28 grams of cannabis makes up one ounce.

a glossary of cannabis terms by the epic remedy colorado springs best dispensary

Clean, Transparent Cannabis in Colorado Springs

One of the most important aspects of our job is our patient outreach. While most dispensaries will happily sell cannabis to anyone with a medical card with no questions asked, we aim to provide the best cannabis medicine and dispensary experience through thorough, easy-to-digest education. Cannabis medicine has the power to touch the mass majority of people, though negative stigmas, slang terms, and a general lack of awareness in the industry often turns the people who could benefit most from cannabis off from using it.


With that said, it was a no-brainer to create a resource for medical patients just getting started with cannabis during Marijuana Awareness Month. If you ever have any questions about any of the terms you see with your medicine at our dispensary, be sure to ask your budtender, or get in touch with us directly. Further, if you know of any additional terms we might have missed that you feel belong in the glossary, be sure to let us know. Our dedication to educating and uplifting the cannabis community here in Colorado Springs makes The Epic Remedy the best dispensary in Colorado Springs.

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