15 Cannabis Terms You Must Know Before Visiting a Dispensary
Cannabis shopping is exciting and knowing a few 'right words' would never hurt.
We compiled a list of 15 terms you simply must know before you head to a dispensary.
Cannabis / Marijuana
It sounds weird us including it on the list but consider this - if you search “other words for weed urban dictionary” the first page you will see is dedicated to the word “cannabis” which is actually not a slang word. It is the most common name for marijuana, especially within the industry and among regulars, where the words like pot and weed are not really used and even frowned upon due to negative connotations attached to it over decades of stigmatizing the plant.
If you do not enjoy sticking out like a sore thumb, avoid terms like hemp (which is factually wrong), ganja, and the like. Cannabis, marijuana, or simply flower when referring to the buds are the more accepted terms.
Derived from bartender, budtender refers to a sales person in a dispensary. A good budtender usually knows their products and will be able to guide you in the world of cannabis and find the product that suits your needs.
Ever wondered how to become a budtender? Find out in our article.
Concentrate / Extract
A substance derived from a cannabis plant that has a high percentage of the psychoactive cannabinoid THC, usually around 75% and all the way to 99%. For comparison, the THC content in average cannabis flower in Colorado is considered very high - around 22% going to 30% tops. A concentrate is consumed by heating it using a special tool and inhaling the smoke. The most common concentrates are wax, shatter, live resin, rosin, and vape oil.
Read more on concentrates here.
Dabbing / Dab
The term refers to consuming a cannabis concentrate or extract (see above). A dab (n.) is a small portion of a concentrate, e.g. I enjoy smoking dabs. A dab rig is a tool used to smoke concentrates
Avoid the myths. It is not a police term or Bob Marley’s date of birth. 420 refers to consumption of cannabis, e.g. it’s 420 time, let’s light up, and the main holiday of the year celebrating marijuana and its consumption that is observed on April 20 (4/20) and involves numerous festivals, concerts and so on, especially in the states where cannabis is legal. Read more about 420 here.
710 comes from turning the word “OIL” upside down and refers to consumption of concentrates (dabs), as well as the July 10 (7/10) holiday, which is nowhere near as big as 420 but you get a lot of great deals on extracts around this time.
Read more on 710.
Tincture is an alcohol based extraction of cannabis used sublingually, usually by using a dropper. It is a healthier alternative to smoking but unlike edibles the effects are felt quicker and there are basically no dietary restrictions.
For more on tinctures click here.
These are chemical compounds found in cannabis. Researchers have identified almost 150 cannabinoids, the most prominent being THC or CBD (see below). Cannabinoids interact with our bodies through the endocannabinoid system and cannabinoid receptors, providing various effects.
For more on cannabinoids click here.
THC and CBD
THC and CBD are the most common cannabinoids found in cannabis. THC or Tetrahydrocannabinol is a compound responsible for the high, i.e. a psychoactive ingredient. CBD or Cannabidiol is non-psychoactive. Both cannabinoids offer a number of health benefits, whether separately or combined. The latter offers a kind of entourage effect by providing all the health benefits of both with CBD neutralizing the psychoactive properties of THC.
Indica / Sativa
Although these terms historically referred to the cannabis strain’s origin, the common perception of the terms is as follows - indica is relaxing and more suitable for evening use while sativa is more of a daytime energy booster.
A lot of marijuana strains are a mixture of the two, called a hybrid, which can be 50/50, or lean towards indica or sativa, and have corresponding effects.
Terpenes are chemical compounds mostly found in essential oil of various plants and cannabis has plenty of them. Terpenes are responsible for the smell of the plant, which is a very distinct feature of cannabis. That distinct pungent, spicy, pine, citrusy, or fruity smell - that would be terpenes. And like cannabinoids each terpene has its own health benefits.
Vape Cart / Vape Pen
Most of you probably know this, but there is no shame in educating yourself and newbies that have just discovered cannabis might not, and there is no shame in that. A vape pen is basically a battery to which you attach a vape cartridge with cannabis oil or a concentrate in it which is then heated and inhaled. It is a more convenient and discreet way of cannabis consumption.
Topicals are cannabis infused products applied to the skin, including creams, lotions, patches, lip balms, bath bombs, etc. It is worth that with topicals THC, CBD and other cannabinoids do not get into the blood stream thus you will not feel the psychoactive effects.
For more on topicals, click here.
These are similar to topicals - applied to the skin - but in this case the cannabinoids do get into the blood stream and you will get high if there is THC in them. The most common transdermal product is patches. Their pros are being discreet and having a prolonged effect.
Seems like a simple term but there is a lot of confusion surrounding it. It does not denote a special kind of cannabis, which some people think has a higher potency. It simply denotes the purpose of use - for medical purposes. The other purpose is recreational.
Dispensaries in Colorado can be Med only, Rec only, or both. To shop on the Med side you need to have a medical marijuana card issued by a MMJ doctor and be 18 or 21 years of age depending on the location. To shop on the Rec side you just need to be 21+ and have a valid ID. The benefits of shopping on the Med side are savings due to lower taxes plus some states only allow medical marijuana to be sold.
A Good Start
These 15 terms should give you a good start but there is always a lot of new and exciting stuff to learn.
And make sure to check out our full Cannabis Glossary.
And if you want to find out more on cannabis shopping, namely how much can you buy, where you can consume, dosage and other frequently asked questions, click here.
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