Cannabis Terminology Guide: Understanding the Lingo of the Cannabis World

The world of cannabis is vast and complex, and as with any other subject, it comes with its own language and terminology. If you’re new to cannabis, it can be overwhelming to try to understand all of the terms and phrases that are used within the industry. This guide is designed to help you navigate the world of cannabis terminology and make sense of the lingo.

Terminology related to Cannabis

Cannabis: The general term for the plant that includes both marijuana and hemp. Cannabis is the scientific name for the plant and is used interchangeably with the terms marijuana and hemp.

Marijuana: The term used to describe cannabis plants that contain high levels of THC, the psychoactive compound that produces the “high” associated with marijuana.

Hemp: The term used to describe cannabis plants that contain less than 0.3% THC, making them legal under federal law in the United States. Hemp is used for a variety of industrial purposes, including paper, textiles, and building materials.

Cannabinoids: The chemical compounds found in the cannabis plant that interact with the human body’s endocannabinoid system. The two most well-known cannabinoids are THC and CBD.

THC: Tetrahydrocannabinol is the primary psychoactive compound found in marijuana that produces the “high” associated with the plant.

CBD: Cannabidiol is a non-psychoactive compound found in cannabis that has been shown to have a variety of therapeutic benefits.

Terpenes: The aromatic compounds found in cannabis that give the plant its distinctive smell and flavor. Terpenes are also believed to have therapeutic benefits.

Cannabis consumption-related Terminology

Smoking: The most common method of consuming cannabis, involves inhaling smoke from burning cannabis flowers.

Vaporizing: A method of consuming cannabis that involves heating the plant material to a temperature that vaporizes the cannabinoids and terpenes without combusting the plant material.

Edibles: Cannabis-infused food and drinks, typically made by infusing butter or oil with cannabis and then using that to make baked goods, candies, or other edibles.

Tinctures: A liquid form of cannabis extract that is typically taken under the tongue or added to food or drinks.

Topicals: Cannabis-infused creams, lotions, and balms that are applied directly to the skin.

Dabbing: A method of consuming cannabis concentrates that involves heating the concentrate on a hot surface and inhaling the vapor.

Terminology related to Cannabis Strains

Strain: A specific variety of cannabis that is bred to have particular characteristics, such as a certain smell, taste, or effect.

Indica: A type of cannabis strain that is known for its relaxing, sedative effects. Indica strains are typically associated with feelings of calm and tranquility.

Sativa: A type of cannabis strain that is known for its uplifting, energetic effects. Sativa strains are typically associated with feelings of creativity and euphoria.

Hybrid: A type of cannabis strain that is a cross between indica and sativa strains, and has a mix of both relaxing and uplifting effects.


Understanding cannabis terminology is essential for anyone interested in the industry. This guide should help you navigate the most common terms and phrases used in the cannabis world, whether you’re a seasoned consumer or just starting out. Remember, always consume cannabis responsibly, and consult with a healthcare professional before beginning any new cannabis regimen.

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