Cannabis Glossary

A collection of marijuana terminology to help guide you through your buying experience.

Whether it’s slang or scientific, the terminology around cannabis products and usage is far more complicated these days than simply saying “smoke weed.” We’ve prepared a glossary to help you out.



Aroma, or “nose” refers to the smell of cannabis, caused by chemical compounds called terpenes. The aroma of a cannabis strain depends on the exact mix of terpenes (there are more than 200). That’s why some cannabis is described as “piney” or “earthy,” while some even smell like citrus fruits or berries. When sampling cannabis, the aroma is usually one way cannaseurs rate or grade a strain. The aroma can provide some clues on the flower’s freshness and quality.



A bat is a type of one-hitter that is just a simple, cylindrical tube with an opening at each end.


A blunt is a cannabis cigarette that is made from a heavier wrapper than a joint (and usually larger as well). Traditionally it is made from a cigar wrapper, or even from an actual hollowed-out cigar. The name traces back to a popular brand of cigars called Phillies Blunts.

Boof / Boof Pack

“Boof weed” generally refers to lower-grade, less desirable cannabis.


A bong is a type of cannabis smoking apparatus that uses water to filter and cool the smoke before inhalation. Most commonly made of glass, materials like ceramic and silicon are becoming more common in bong construction.


A bowl usually refers to a basic hand-pipe that has a small hole at one end (that you put your lips on) and another, larger, upright bowl-shaped divot at the other end, where cannabis is placed.

BHO (Butane Hash Oil)

BHO is an extract created using butane as a solvent, resulting in a potent oil that contains high levels of THC. A variety of extracts are made from butane hash oil, including wax and shatter.


A bubbler is a small, handheld glass pipe that contains a small water chamber to filter and cool smoke. It’s like a cross between a bong and a pipe.

Bubble Hash

Bubble hash is a cannabis concentrate that is made by extracting the cannabinoids from raw plant matter using ice water. It’s typically a brown or blonde color and is one of the oldest forms of concentrates available.


Bud is a synonym for the flower of the cannabis plant. See flower.


Budder is a variety of cannabis extract typically created by blasting the raw plant material with butane, or C02. It’s known for a smooth, thick consistency, and looks similar to cake batter or (of course) butter.


A budtender is a person who serves customers at a dispensary. A good budtender, like those at Lightshade, act as a cannabis sommelier. They have a wide range of product knowledge and help guide you through your shopping experience.



Cannabinoids are the closely-related group of active chemical compounds found within cannabis. There are more than 111 cannabinoids that have been discovered so far. The most notable are THC (which provide the “high” experienced by cannabis users), and CBD, which is sought-after for its perceived medical benefits.


Cannabutter is butter that’s been infused with cannabis. It’s typically used for making edibles. Other fats often used for cannabis baking and cooking include olive oil or vegetable oil.


In the world of cannabis, a cartridge usually refers to the small container placed in a vape pen that’s filled with a cannabis oil. Cartridges can be disposable or re-fillable.


Caviar refers to cannabis buds that have been coated in cannabis oil. Often, the buds are then dusted with kief. They result is an extremely potent product that looks similar to its namesake. The term caviar is used interchangeably with moon rocks.

Chronic [slang]

A word used to refer to high-grade cannabis.


Cannabidiol, or CBD, is one of the 111 cannabinoids found in cannabis. It does not provide the high that is associated with consuming cannabis. Research is currently being conducted on the use of CBD to treat a variety of illnesses and conditions. Cannabis products typically list both the THC and CBD content on their packaging.


An oil-preparation of CBD (cannabidiol) that typically contains little to no THC (the chemical compound that produces the high associated with cannabis.) CBD oil can refer to a product meant to be ingested or used in a vaporizer.


A cannabis concentrate is exactly what it sounds like; a concentrated form of cannabis. Although the terms concentrate and extract are commonly used interchangeably, there are technically not the same thing. A concentrate is created using a mechanical or solvent-less process, while an extract is made using a solvent like CO2, butane, or propane. Common examples of concentrates include hash, rosin, or kief, and contain much higher levels of THC and/or CBD than what would be found in un-processed flower.

Cola / Kola

The cola is the top portion or flower cluster at the top of a cannabis plant. It is usually the largest flower cluster on the plant, although some plants will have multiple colas.


A cone is a type of joint that is more conical in shape than a traditional joint. One end will be larger than the other. Cones are usually pre-rolled joints.


Crumble is a term that refers to a cannabis extract or concentrate that has a crumbly texture. It is often dabbed but can also be sprinkled on top of a bowl or smeared inside a blunt.


In a joint, the crutch is the small piece of cardboard or extra folded paper placed at the tip that will make contact with your mouth. It helps hold the shape of the joint and keeps the end from getting soggy. Also commonly referred to as the nib or filter.


Cultivar is another term for strain, although the distinction is that cultivar usually refers to a much more specific batch.


A cultivator is a person or company that cultivates (or grows) cannabis.


In cannabis harvesting, curing is an extended drying process that comes after the initial 5-7 day drying phase. In the curing process, moisture is slowly and systematically removed in order to enhance a flower’s smell, flavor, and potency. High-end cannabis in the form of dried flower usually goes through a curing process.


Dabbing / Dab

Dabbing is a method of cannabis consumption. It involves heating a small amount of cannabis extract (a dab) over a super-hot surface, and then inhaling the resulting vapors. A dab rig is used for this method.

Dab Rig

A dab rig is an apparatus used to ingest cannabis extracts. It often looks like a glass bong, but without the water. Dab rigs have a nail, which is the super-heated surface that the dab (or extract) is contacted against to produce the vapor. The nail can be made from a variety of materials, or even temperature controlled electronically.


A term that refers to high-quality cannabis.


Decarboxylation is the process that changes THC-A (a cannabinoid in raw cannabis that has no psychoactive effects) into THC (the chemical compound that produces a high.) Decarboxylation occurs when cannabis is exposed to heat. For example, when you are smoking it or baking it in an oven. The THC-A must reach a temperature of at least 220 degrees Fahrenheit for this process to occur.


A distillate is a super-concentrated cannabis product of a specific cannabinoid. It goes through a further refinement process past that of most extracts that removes any remaining chlorophyll or solvents. A distillate is mostly clear, mostly tasteless, and its concentration ranges anywhere from 80-90% of the desired cannabinoid.

Dry Herb Vaporizer

While some vaporizers are made exclusively to vaporize oils, dry herb vaporizers are made to actually vaporize dried flower. This is an alternative consumption method to smoking dried flower.


A dugout is a type of box that holds both your dry flower as well as a one-hitter pipe. They are popular for their convenience and portability.


Doobie is another term for a joint, or marijuana cigarette.



An edible is a food that has been infused with cannabis. Edibles have a significantly longer onset time compared to other methods of cannabis ingestion like smoking or vaping. The effects also last longer. Historically, edibles were usually baked goods such as brownies or cookies. Now, the edibles category includes everything from candy to beef jerky. Please see our education page on edibles.


An eighth is a shortened term for an eighth of an ounce, or 3.5 grams of cannabis. It’s an extremely common amount to purchase.

Entourage Effect

The entourage effect is a term that was introduced in 1998 to describe the effects and/or benefits to cannabinoids used in combination rather than in isolation. For example, the effects of CBD may be more pronounced when used in conjunction with THC. This is part of the reason the ratio of THC to CBD is stated on some product packaging.



Flowers are the reproductive organs of the female cannabis plant and contain (by far) the highest concentration of cannabinoids compared to other parts of the plant. Dried cannabis flower can be smoked, or used to create extracts, concentrates, and edibles. The flower of the cannabis plant is also commonly referred to as the bud.

Full Spectrum

Full-spectrum refers to a type of extraction process that retains as much of the cannabis strain’s terpenes and cannabinoids as possible. Cannabis users that prefer full-spectrum products claim to notice more complex flavors, and more nuanced effects than isolates, or other highly-processed products.



In the world of cannabis, glass is a catch-all term used to describe a wide variety of cannabis paraphernalia.


A Gandalf is a pipe that features an extra long stem, generally appearing like the pipe that the character Gandalf smoked in the Lord of the Rings movie series.


Ganja is a slang term for cannabis. The word originates from Hindi and Nepali dialects.


A grinder is a small tool (usually hand-held) used to break cannabis flower into smaller pieces. The ground flower is then used for joints, packed into a pipe, or even infused with butter for making edibles.



Hash (short for hashish), is perhaps the world’s oldest cannabis concentrate. Creating hash involves separation of the trichomes from the flower via filtering or sieving. The collected trichomes are then rolled or pressed into a gooey-like paste. Hash is typically smoked or dabbed.


Hemp is the non-psychoactive variety of cannabis that contains very little or no THC. The legal definition of hemp in the U.S. is cannabis that contains no more than 0.3 percent THC. Unlike the cannabis you find in dispensaries, which is derived from the female plant, hemp is typically grown from the male plants.


A commonly used term for cannabis.


The high generally refers to the psychoactive effects experienced by users of cannabis.


A hit is a single dose of cannabis. When using a pipe, for example, a hit would refer to a single inhalation from the pipe.


Hydroponics is a cultivation technique that uses no soil, just water and nutrients. This technique became more popular in the mid 1980s and was part of the rise in popularity of high-grade cannabis flower, and the demise of “brick weed.”


A hybrid plant or strain is a cross between two or more different strains. Usually this refers to a strain that is a combination of sativa and indica strain sources.



Indica is one of the three species of cannabis. They are typically characterized by broad, short leaves, and large yields during harvest. The origin of cannabis indica is Asia and the Middle East. Kush and Afghan varieties are both indicas.


An isolate is the most refined and concentrated version of a desired cannabinoid. A THC isolate, for example, would be essentially 100% pure THC, with no other compounds or plant materials remaining.



A joint is a cannabis cigarette. Users that prefer this consumption method typically roll joints themselves, but pre-rolled joints are becoming more and more popular.



Kief refers to the trichomes of cannabis that may accumulate in the bottom of containers, or be sifted from loose, dry flower with a mesh screen or sieve. It looks like a powdery dust and contains a much higher concentration of cannabinoids that the actual flowers that it came from. Kief can be considered a form of cannabis concentrate and is often sprinkled on joints or bowls.


Kind is a slang term to refer to high-grade cannabis. For example, kind buds.


Kush strains trace their roots to the Hindu Kush mountains in Pakistan and Afghanistan. They have a unique aroma, generally described as earthy or piney, that have made them very popular.



A landrace strain is a native strain of cannabis that has had little to no human intervention with its genetic structure. Landrace strains are the sources of the many hybrid strains that are commonly available in dispensaries.

Live Resin

Live resin is a cannabis extract product that is made by flash freezing cannabis flower immediately after it has been harvested. It’s kept at freezing temperatures throughout the extraction process. A relatively new category of extract, live resin has become popular because fans say it preserves more of the plant’s natural aroma, flavor, and potency.



Marijuana is the term given to cannabis by US government prohibitionists in the early 20th century. The term was derived from the Mexican “marihuana.” It is still a common term, but because of the racial-charged and politically motivated background, favor has fallen back to the actual name of the plant: cannabis.

Mary Jane

A slang term for cannabis.


The term mids or midz refers to mid or low-grade cannabis.

Moon Rocks

Moon rocks are cannabis flowers that have been coated with hash oil and dusted with kief. Moon rocks are extremely potent and can be consumed the same way you’d consume flower. The term moon rock is typically used interchangeably with caviar.


Mota is a Spanish-language slang term for cannabis.


Munchies are a strong, sudden desire for food.



A nail a component in a dab rig. It is the super-heated surface that the dab is contacted against to create a vapor (which is then inhaled.) Nails can be made from a variety of materials including quartz, titanium and ceramic. The nail on a dab rig can be heated with a blow torch or electronically.


A nug is a slang term for a cannabis flower.


Nug-run is a term used to describe the source material for cannabis concentrates or extracts that have been made solely from cannabis flower, as opposed to extracts that also include trimmed leaves as source material. For example, “nug-run shatter.”



OG is a label used to describe a variety of cannabis strains that originated in Southern California. It stands for “ocean grown.” There is a common misunderstand that OG stands for Original Gangster, but this is not the original reference in the cannabis world.


A one-hitter is a type of cannabis pipe that is intended to be used for a single hit before being reloaded and used again. They are generally very simple, small, and discreet.



Pot is the most common slang term for cannabis.


A pre-roll is simply a joint that is sold already constructed. Lightshade, for example, offers 3, 5, 7, and 10 packs of pre-roll joints. They are growing in popularity for their convenience, especially in recreationally legal markets like Denver.



A reference to extremely high-grade, premium cannabis. The term is based on an arbitrary cannabis grading system where AAAA grade is the highest score available.



Resin, not to be confused with rosin, is the black tar-like substance that builds up in smoking devices after repeated use.


A slang term for cannabis.


A roach is the remains of a joint or blunt after most of it has been smoked.

Roach clip

A device to hold the end of a joint while it is burning, typically to prevent burning your fingers.

Rolling Paper

A thin specialty paper that is used for making cannabis cigarettes.


Rosin is a form of cannabis concentrate that uses heat and pressure as an extraction method. It is a relatively basic, mechanical process, and uses no solvents. Small servings are often made at home with a hair straightener lined with parchment paper.



The shortened reference for cannabis sativa, and one of the three species of cannabis. Sativas originated from the. Equatorial regions of the world, including strains from Africa, Thailand, and South America. Sativa strains are not quite as common as indicas because they require more time to grow and generally yield less flower.


The term shake refers to the collection of small pieces of the cannabis flower that break off from handling, oftentimes used in pre-rolls and edibles.


A specialized type of Butane Hash Oil (a cannabis extract) that is characterized by a brittle, rigid and usually transparent form. It can be broken into smaller pieces and “shatters” similar to thing glass. Fans of shatter would typically ingest it using a dab rig or vape pen.


A Spanish that means without seed, typically used as a slang term for high quality cannabis.


In the context of cannabis, solvents are the chemicals used in the extraction process when creating extract products. Commonly used solvents are butane, C02, propane, and ethanol.


A slang term for cannabis cigarette. (See joint or doobie).


Slang term for being under the influence of cannabis.


A slang term for a heavy cannabis user. Usually derogatory, except when used within the cannabis culture.


In the context of cannabis, a strain is a particular type of cannabis plant. Each strain has unique characteristics and feature a particular mix of cannabinoids and terpenes, delivering different aromas, tastes, and experiences.



The organic compounds found in cannabis that are responsible for cannabis’s aromas and taste are called terpenes. These compounds are found throughout the natural world and are popularly used in essential oil products.


Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) is one of more than 100 cannabinoids found in cannabis. It is the compound that provides the psychoactive effects commonly associated with cannabis consumption.


A tincture is a liquid preparation of cannabis extract that is usually produced using glycerol or alcohol. Tinctures are meant to be ingested orally. Although sublingual (under the tongue) use of tinctures provides a faster onset, tinctures can also be mixed into drinks.


Slang term referring to a puff of cannabis smoke or vapor.


A slang term meaning a person that smokes cannabis.


Slang word for cannabis.


A topical is a cannabis-containing product that is meant to be applied to (and absorbed by) the skin. This will often be in the form of a lotion, cream, or oil. Topical cannabis products are intended for external use only.


Trim is the term used for leaves left over after a cannabis flower has been trimmed of the surrounding leaves. While the trim contains a much lower concentration of cannabinoids compared to the flower, it can be useful for cooking or creating extract products.


Trichomes are the small, stalk-like resin glands found on cannabis flowers that produce and contain the the bulk of the flower’s cannabinoids and terpenes. They are nearly microscopic and give cannabis flowers and leaves their “sticky” or “frosty” quality.



Act of consuming the active ingredients in cannabis by vaporizing dried flowers or cannabis extracts.

Vape Pen

A vape pen is a smaller, portable vaporizer that has a shape resembling a pen. They are either disposable or rechargeable, and come in a wide variety of sizes and styles. Vape pens are typically used to vaporize cannabis extracts or concentrates. They are popular because of their ease of use and discreet nature.


A vaporizer is a device that’s used for smokeless vaporizing and ingestion of cannabis flower or extracts. No combustion occurs when using a vaporizer, so it is a preferred ingestion method for cannabis users that do not want to smoke. Vaporizers have been rapidly gaining in popularity, and are available in many different shapes and sizes, and feature a very wide range of features and technology.



Cannabis wax is an extract product made from Butane Hash Oil that is similar to shatter. It can be ingested with a dab rig or used in a vaporizer.

Water pipe

A water pipe is any device that filters cannabis smoke through water. Bongs, chalices, bubblers and hookahs would all be examples of a water pipe.


The second most common slang term for cannabis, (behind pot).

Familiarizing yourself with these terms isn’t a prerequisite to shopping at Lightshade. Don’t worry. There won’t be a quiz.