While people in states where marijuana is legal may know what someone means when asking for a particular marijuana strain at a dispensary, someone living in a state that hasn’t legalized medical or recreational marijuana use may not know that a marijuana strain is a particular classification of a cannabis plant. In fact, they may not know that there are more than just one type of cannabis at all.
However, as more and more states adopt laws legalizing medical and adult use of marijuana, more people are becoming familiar with cannabis culture and the many terms commonly associated with the plant, like marijuana strains including indica and sativa.
If marijuana laws were to change at the federal level — which is something that could soon be up for debate if a Virginia lawmaker’s bill advocating for the end of marijuana prohibition gets enough support to make it to the Senate for a vote — then cannabis vernacular would no longer be used regularly only by people in the industry and those living in legal states, but by folks all across the U.S.
In the meantime, though, check out a handy little list of weed words to know below:
Buds: Dried cannabis flowers.
Flower: The female plant’s racemes, or the seed-producing part a marijuana plant that is made up of reproductive organs surrounded by petals (just like every other flowering plant).
Hemp: A species of cannabis plant. Hemp fibers that come from the plant’s stem are generally used to make commonly used household products including soap, rope, clothing, food products and more.
Cannabinoid: The psychoactive and nonpsychoactive chemical compounds within a cannabis plant that react to the human body’s natural cannabinoid receptors, which are found in the human nervous system and skin. Through inhaling or ingesting cannabis, cannabinoids, also called CBD, are released and interact directly with cannabinoid receptors.
THC: Also known as tetrahydrocannabinol, THC is the main psychoactive ingredient found in cannabis plants.
Terpenes: Flavor components found in cannabis, terpenes are responsible for the plant’s smell and taste, in the same manner in which they are responsible for the aroma and flavor in just about every living plant.
Indica: Classification of a type of marijuana plant know for its relaxing, euphoric and sedative-like THC effect. Usually, indica cannabis plants are short and mature quicker.
Sativa: A type of cannabis plant that is known for it’s uplifting and energizing effect. Sativas grow much taller than indica plants and usually take much longer to mature.
Hybrid: A mix of indica and sativa plant.
Edibles: Similar to the Miriam-Webster definition of items of food, edibles related to cannabis are any items that can be consumed or ingested.
Concentrate: Marijuana products made by refining cannabis flowers. Concentrates, like dabs for instance, are usually very potent and can come refined into various types of hash including water or pressed hash as well as oils.
Topical: Lotions, balms and creams infused with THC and other cannabinoid compounds that can be applied to the skin.
Tincture: A liquid extraction of marijuana. Similar to edibles, tinctures are ingested.
420: Worldwide code for cannabis. Although celebrated as a holiday on April 20, 420 is commonly used to determine who is pro-marijuana and who isn't, hence the other 420 term, 420-friendly.