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The World of Cannabis Jargon

The legal cannabis industry is rapidly expanding right before our very eyes. But classic cannabis jargon, on the other hand, hasn’t really changed much over the years, sans the addition of a few more scientific terms.

Cannabis in rolling paper

Nonetheless, learning the language of cannabis is as important as ever, especially if you want to experience the nuances of an industry that is, by and large, still growing faster than an indoor marijuana plant.

You can easily learn a few common cannabis terms that will get you through a trip to the dispensary.

So without further ado, let’s go through some of the most common cannabis jargon out there today, so that you too can become a cannabis connoisseur.


We’ll start with a cannabis meaning that’s definitely been in the spotlight recently. CBD stands for Cannabidiol, the non-psychoactive component of cannabis. Basically, it gives you many of the desirable effects of the cannabis plant without getting you “high.”


THC is the other main component of cannabis. In layman’s terms, it’s the psychoactive part in cannabis that gets you high.


A blunt is a cigar that is hollowed out and re-rolled with cannabis. It’s probably one example of cannabis jargon that nearly everyone has heard at least once.


A spliff is a marijuana cigarette. This differs from a joint because it’s a combination of both tobacco and weed. Typically, there’s a higher ratio of weed to tobacco than vice versa.


An edible is basically any type of food, baked good, candy, or beverage that contains extracted THC. The effects of edibles can be vastly different — and more powerful — than smoking cannabis flower.


BHO is short for butane hash oil. It’s a strong form of cannabis concentrates that can usually be found in the form of wax or regular hash oil.


ABV is an acronym for cannabis that’s “already been vaped.” While the THC has been mostly extracted, you can still make a number of things with ABV that will still get you high, including cannaoil and edibles.


An extract is a cannabis concentrate that is formed with the use of a solvent. Some commonly used solvents include ethanol, propane, and butane.


420 is a cannabis meaning that stems from the date, April 20th — the unofficial “stoner holiday.” You can use the term interchangeably when referring to all-things cannabis (i.e. 420-friendly).


A bong is just a water pipe. It’s a filtration device that you fill with water (or ice) at the bottom to get smoother, cleaner hits from your cannabis.


The scientific term for a group of closely related compounds that act on the cannabinoid receptors in the brain. The two most prominent examples of cannabinoids are THC and CBD.


This is just another name for actual cannabis buds, not oils or concentrates. Basically, it’s a dispensary term for cannabis.


This is basically your father’s — or grandfather’s, in some cases — weed. It’s low-end, homegrown, and typically contains seeds and/or stems.


The name gives this one away. Basically, it’s just mid-grade cannabis. It typically contains no seeds, but definitely not nearly as potent as piff.


Piff is slang for great cannabis. Potent strains like Blue Dream, OG Kush, and Godfather OG all definitely qualify as piff.


One of the two major strain types. An indica or indica-dominant strain typically gives the user a relaxing, body high that is sometimes referred to as a “couch-lock” high…for obvious reasons.


The other major strain type. Sativa strains tend to give the user a more euphoric, energetic, and cerebral head high.


Kief, sometimes referred to as cannabis crystals, is the resin that is formed on the leaves and buds of cannabis and contains the cannabinoids and terpenes that make each strain so unique. It typically accumulates naturally in containers or it can be sifted through a mesh screen or sieve.


Cherry means that the embers of your cannabis bowl or joint remain lit and can, in turn, light another piece with a simple drag.

Cotton Mouth

Cotton mouth is one of the more popular cannabis terms amongst casual smokers. It simply refers to the dryness of the mouth that occurs after smoking marijuana.



Decarbing—short for decarboxylation— is the first step to making edibles. It refers to the process of heating up cannabis in order to extract the desired component (THC or CBD).

Greening Out

Greening out is cannabis jargon typically used to describe when a person consumes too much cannabis and they begin to feel sick, nauseous, and sometimes anxious. It’s kind of like overdosing on weed, except it’s not fatal (or dangerous at all, really). A more proper term would be “overconsume.”


The remnants of a joint. You can still smoke it, but it’s just a bit harder to hold. If it’s too small, you can use a roach clip to hold it if you really want salvage what is left of the joint.


One of the more nuanced cannabis terms, terpenes are, in short, aromatic oils that help shape the different strains through distinctive scents and flavors (citrus, pine, mint, etc). They are secreted in the same glands that produce THC and CBD.



A tincture is a concentrated liquid herbal extract. Cannabis tinctures are typically medication that is made by dissolving cannabis in alcohol.

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