As hemp and cannabis is becoming a recognized industry in its own right, a plethora of terminology is budding into the mainstream alongside it. However, the accompanying abbreviations, scientific terms and industry terminology can be as hazy as the effect the plant is infamous for.
Terms that have specific, important differences can be misunderstood by consumers and misused by companies. So, we threw together this top-level selection of terms, references and abbreviations as a guide to help you get your head around the wonder crop.
A method of growing cannabis in an air or mist environment without the use of soil or an aggregate medium. A vertical setup also allows misting devices to be placed at the top, allowing gravity to distribute the moisture. (Hennings,2017a) (modernfarmer.com)
Agricultural Act of 2014
The 2014 Farm Bill, also known as the 2014 Farm Bill was signed by President Obama and cracked open the door on industrial hemp cultivation under limited circumstances. The law allows universities and state departments of agriculture to grow or cultivate industrial hemp if the cultivation sites are certified and registered with the state and meet the following two qualifications:
“(1) the industrial hemp is grown or cultivated for purposes of research conducted under an agricultural pilot program or other agricultural or academic research; and
(2) the growing or cultivating of industrial hemp is allowed under the laws of the state in which such institution of higher education or state department of agriculture is located, and such research occurs.”
Is a commonly used extraction method for cannabis to create cannabis oil and concentrates. Once the plant is stripped of essential oils and trichomes using ethyl or isopropyl alcohol, the extra plant material is filtered out, and the remaining alcohol is evaporated. The sticky hash oil will be the only thing that remains. (potguide.com, 2019)
A beaker is a cylindrical container used to store, mix, and heat liquids in laboratories but in the cannabis, world is a bong. The joint on a beaker-style piece is set at a 45° angle. They also hold a good amount of water and are a sturdy, making them a reliable and straightforward design for new and veteran smokers alike. (420science.com,2019)
Short for Butane Hash Oil a process by which cannabis flowers are blasted with butane creating an amber resin known as wax or shatter. This oil allows tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) to become soluble. (potguide.com,2019)
The actual flower of the cannabis plant; Harvested, cured, and use for both recreational and medicinal purposes. Can be smoked, infused with foods, or extracted for cannabis concentrates. (420science.com, 2019)
The second most commonly used cannabinoid found in the cannabis plant. CBD is an antagonist to THC and is not psychoactive as it blocks the formation of 11-OH-THC and mitigates the psychoactive effects of THC. CBD has become popular for its therapeutic effects in autism, epilepsy, and nerve problems (Prichard & Brown, 2018).
The second most prevalent cannabinoid found in the cannabis plant. It does not bind to cannabinoid 1 and 2 (CB1 and CB2) receptors. CBC is not psychoactive. (Prichard & Brown, 2018).
Chemicals that influence cell receptors in the brain and body and can change how those cells behave (Prichard & Brown, 2018).
Cannabinoid 1 (CB1) and cannabinoid 2 (CB2) receptors.
CB1 receptors mediate physical and psychoactive effects while CB2 receptors regulate inflammation and immune response throughout the immune and peripheral nervous systems including the gut, spleen, liver, heart, kidneys, bones, blood vessels, lymph cells, endocrine glands, and reproductive organs (Healer, 2018).
The amount of all cannabinoids in the plant (Commonwealth of Massachusetts, 2018).
Comes from the Cannabis sativa plant and contains only a minimal amount of THC
Genus of the flowering plants indigenous to Central Asia and the Indian subcontinent (PotGuide.com, 2018).
A method of chemical extraction that reuses the solvent rather than dispersing it into the air. This method is considered safer than “open-blasting” and is currently required for all legal concentrate production in Colorado (Prichard & Brown, 2018).
Concentrate (or extract)
Refers to any material created by refining cannabis flowers, such as hash, dry sieve, and hash oils. Concentrates or extracts have much higher potency (Prichard & Brown, 2018).
C02 is a supercritical fluid, which means that it transforms into a liquid when pressurized. It is a naturally occurring chemical substance that leaves no residue, making C02 oils pure concentrates. CO2 makes for a good option for individuals seeking cannabis concentrates for medical purposes. (420sciences.com, 2019)
Plant stain that results from the process of crossbreeding and genetic stabilization to express desired traits.
An entity licensed to cultivate, process, and package cannabis, to deliver cannabis to cannabis establishments, and to transfer cannabis to other cannabis establishments, but not to consumers (Commonwealth of Massachusetts, 2018).
The process of slowly drying flowers from the plant. Allows for a more gradual process to maximize flavor and smoke quality (Prichard & Brown, 2018).
A method where a "dab" (small amount) of cannabis concentrate is placed on a preheated surface, creating concentrated cannabis vapor to be inhaled (Colorado Department of Public Health & Environment [CDPHE], 2016).
A tool used for handling and assisting cannabis consuming concentrates. Usually metal, glass or quartz. (420science.com, 2019)
A slang term for potent cannabis flowers. Sometimes also referred to as weed, marijuana, flowers, bud, etc. Can also refer to the smell of cannabis. (420science.com, 2019)
The process by which, when exposed to heat, tetrahydrocannabinolic acid (THCA) is converted to THC and cannabichromene acid (CBCA) is converted to CBC (Leaf Science, 2017).
Diffusion, when referring to water pipes, is when smoke or vapor is spread through throughout water. This helps to remove solid deposits such as ash, cinders, tar etc. and what remains is both cooler and easier to inhale. (420science.com, 2019)
A store that can legally sell cannabis products; either medical, recreational, or both (Prichard & Brown, 2018).
The individualized number of cannabinoids within products. Dosing depends on titration, which is the process of increasing medication amounts until the desired effect is achieved (Health Canada, 2018).
A synthetic THC pharmaceutical approved in the U.S. for the reduction of nausea and vomiting in cancer chemotherapy and increased appetite in HIV. (Food and Drug Administration [FDA], 2017).
Cannabis products that are consumed orally. These products can contain THC, CBD, or a combination of both. Common edible products include cookies, brownies, candies, gummies, chocolates, beverages, or homemade goods (CDPHE, 2016).
A group of receptors that make up a very complex regulatory system throughout the human brain, body, and central, and peripheral nervous systems. ECS creates and maintains our body's internal stability (homeostasis) by adjusting the flow of neurotransmitters and regulating bodily functions, including appetite, sleep, emotion, and movement (Healer, 2018).
The different processes by which cannabinoids within the plant can be extracted for use. These processes include alcohol extraction, butane hash oil extraction, etc. (Barrus et al., 2016).
Known as the hairy or sticky parts of the plant which are harvested for consumption in various products, also known as the reproductive organs of the plant (CDPHE, 2016).
The plant of the genus Cannabis or any part of the plant, whether growing or not, with a delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) concentration that does not exceed 0.3% on a dry weight basis of any part of the plant of the genus Cannabis (Commonwealth of Massachusetts, 2018).
Refers to how evenly distributed the cannabis extract is through a product. For example, if 10% of the infused portion of the cannabis product contains less than 20% of the total THC contained in the product, it is homogenous. Homogeneity allows users assurance that they are consuming a dosed product.
A cross between two genetically different strains of cannabis. Hybrids can happen randomly or purposefully but are typically done to mix two or more preferred traits of a plant to make another powerful combination (PotGuide.com, 2018).
A popular way to grow cannabis that utilizes a soilless system. (PotGuide.com, 2018).
Industrial Hemp Farming Act
In 2015 the Industrial Hemp Farming Act was introduced by a group of U.S Senators. The Act expanded the permission to produce and cultivate hemp to farmers outside of universities and research purposes that the 2014 Farm Bill allowed. This bill was important in that it gave the power to individual states to create their own hemp regulatory structure as long as they were reasonable within federal guidelines and made the following 2 distinctions
(1) The term ‘marihuana’ does not include industrial hemp.
(2) The term ‘industrial hemp’ means the plant Cannabis sativa L. and any part of such plant, whether growing or not, with a delta-9 tetrahydrocannabinol concentration of not more than 0.3 percent on a dry weight basis.’’.
Inside versus outside growing
Indoor growing has not been around as long as outdoor growing but has gained in popularity. Indoor growing allows complete control of the environment. Indoor growing can lead to smaller yields due to lack of sunlight, but the resulting yield might contain higher levels of THC. Outdoor farming requires specific environmental climates and conditions. Current markets note that indoor cannabis is deemed of higher quality compared to cannabis grown outside. Each method carries its own environmental concerns (Hennings, 2017a).
General requirements specified by the International Organization for Standardization/International Electrotechnical Commission (ISO/IEC) for the competence of testing and calibration laboratories.
Kief, often mistakenly referred to as pollen, is the loose collection of cannabis glad heads (trichomes) that have been separated from the cannabis flowers and are usually sifted or sieved using a mesh screen. (420science.com, 2019)
Life cycle information
Cannabis plants go through two distinct cycles in their lifetime: vegetative stage (when the plant is actively growing) and flowering stage (when the plant is focusing most of its energy on producing flowers). When the plant’s light exposure falls at or below 12 hours daily, it triggers the flowering cycle (Hennings, 2017b).
A type of concentrate, the live resin process uses fresh frozen plants that are harvested only hours prior to extraction. Since you are using a live plant, you retain the intense terpene profile of the plant as opposed to dried flowers. (420science.com, 2019)
To compound, blend, extract, infuse, or otherwise make or prepare a cannabis product (Commonwealth of Massachusetts, 2018).
A slang term for the dried flowers, leaves, stems, and seeds of the cannabis plant that are ready for smoking consumption.
Medical use of cannabis
The acquisition, cultivation, possession, processing (including the development of related products such as food, tinctures, aerosols, oils, or ointments), transfer, transportation, sale, distribution, dispensing, or administration of cannabis for the benefit of qualifying patients in the treatment of debilitating medical conditions or the symptoms thereof (Commonwealth of Massachusetts, 2018).
Pistils are the hair-like structures that often range from orange to red. The pistil can also act to collect male pollen when breeding male and female cannabis plants. (420science.com,2019)
Refers to raw organic material taken from a plant and dried before use. (420science.com, 2019_
Chemical or organic substances that might be used on cannabis plants to protect against insects and/or fungus. Due to the Schedule I status of cannabis, as well as the lack of research and understanding, there are no federal regulations on the application of pesticides on cannabis. Some pesticides commonly used on cannabis can be highly toxic.
To harvest, dry, cure, trim and separate parts of the marijuana plant by manual or mechanical means (Commonwealth of Massachusetts, 2018).
The intentional use of cannabis to feel the effects of ingesting THC.
A volatile organic compound used in the manufacture of a cannabis product that is not completely removed by practical manufacturing techniques (Commonwealth of Massachusetts, 2018).
Route of administration
The process in which a chemical enters the human body travels into organs and tissues and is then metabolized into the body before elimination. The route of administration of cannabis has different effects. Inhalation of cannabis takes just minutes to produce effects, while the initial effects of cannabis-infused food products are not felt for 30–90 minutes. Gender, age, and weight can impact the rate of absorption and digestion of cannabis products (Barrus et al., 2016).
Everything that happens to an individual cannabis plant from seed and cultivation, through growth, harvest, and preparation of cannabis-infused products, if any, to the final sale of finished products (Commonwealth of Massachusetts, 2018).
Variety of cannabis plants that have a particular characteristic(s) that might be used to express a specific desired effect. For example, Cannabis sativa is high in THC and is reported to enhance creativity, be a stimulant, and fight depression, headaches, and nausea. Cannabis indica is a mix of THC/CBD and is reported to be relaxing and pain-reducing. Cannabis ruderalis is high in CBD (Prichard & Brown, 2018).
Synthetic cannabis (e.g., K2/Spice)
Various manmade chemicals that some people might use as an alternative to cannabis (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2018).
Fragrant oils secreted from the resin glands of flowers that provide aromatic diversity. They are not just found in the cannabis plant, but other plants as well. Terpenes bind to different receptors in the brain to give different effects (Hennings, 2017b).
Tetrahydrocannabinol (or delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol) (THC)
The most common cannabinoid found within the cannabis plant. THC accounts for most of the psychoactive effects as the 11-OH-THC metabolite, formed after first pass metabolism, is 4 times more psychoactive than THC (Prichard & Brown, 2018).
Tetrahydrocannabinolic acid (THCA)
Most abundant cannabinoid found in the plant that is decarboxylated and formed into THC by smoking, vaporizing, or heating (Prichard & Brown, 2018).
A liquid form of cannabis that is made from glycerin or alcohol. Tinctures are usually distributed in an eyedropper under the tongue to provide fast absorption to the body, leading to quicker effects than edibles and inhalation (PotGuide.com, 2018).
Cannabis products such as lotions, balms, and oils that are used for pain relief (Prichard & Brown, 2018).
Crystalized glands on the cannabis plant that produce resin. They are the parts of the plant that contain most cannabinoids (PotGuide.com, 2018).
When the plant has been harvested, a grower will trim the plant of its leaves, placing focus on the remaining buds (CDPHE, 2016).
A method of cannabis use in cannabis vapor, rather than smoke, is inhaled. Cannabis flower or concentrate is heated in a vaporizing device (vaporizer) to a temperature below the point of combustion to produce vapor (CDPHE, 2016).
A different way to consume cannabis. A vaporizer heats flowers or oils that activate cannabinoids and turn them into a vapor that can be inhaled (PotGuide.com, 2018
Refers to the consistency of certain types of concentrates. Wax is peanut butter-like and malleable. (420sicence.com, 2019)
A green plant that gets you high. This is also a slang term for cannabis/marijuana. (420sicence.com, 2019)