Terms for the times: Here's your Cannabis 101 vocab lesson!

cannabis flower


Terms for the times: Here's your Cannabis 101 vocab lesson!

Adult Use

Term used for legal cannabis consumption of people ages 21+ who are not registered under a medical cannabis program. “Recreational” is a common synonym, but not a preferred term!


The person “behind the counter” at a dispensary. We also call them Dispensary Associates. All Curaleaf associates are highly trained to help you discover the right cannabis product for you.


Butter that’s been infused with cannabis. A popular delivery method for people looking to avoid inhalation. Cannabutter can be used in cooking and baking to make delicious, medicated eats and treats. Cooking with cannabis is another delivery method for people who want to avoid inhalation or add something new to their repertoire (we can show you how and share some of our favorite recipes).


A flowering genus of plants in the Cannabaceae Family. Most often used to describe cannabis strains that contain THC.


A primary compound found in the cannabis plant. They bind with receptors in our endocannabinoid system to produce the medicinal effects associated with cannabis.


Short for Cannabidiol. CBD is one of the better-known cannabinoids found in the cannabis plant. It’s a non-psychoactive cannabinoid, unlike its popular THC counterpart.


A primary compound found in the cannabis plant. They bind with receptors in our endocannabinoid system to produce the medicinal effects associated with cannabis.

A primary compound found in the cannabis plant. They bind with receptors in our endocannabinoid system to produce the medicinal effects associated with cannabis.

Examples of common concentrates are:

  • Shatter
  • Wax
  • Crumble
  • Crystalline
  • Distillate
  • Sap
  • Kief
  • Hash
  • Rosin
  • Live Resin

Dab / Dabbing

A dab is a dose of concentrated cannabis oil. It’s also used as a verb when referring to the consumption of the oil, I.e., “I’m ready to dab,” or, “I enjoy dabbing.” To dab, you need to heat a cannabis concentrate to its melting point. The resulting vapor is inhaled, most often through hardware called a “dab rig.”


Term used to describe a legal, state-regulated cannabis store.


A distillate is a concentrate; an extraction of only the most valuable compounds found in the plant. Distillates go through an extra round of refinement to produce the purest of pure cannabis oil in its activated form. This means distillates are extremely versatile; they can be consumed orally, sublingually, or inhaled.


The process that uses heat to convert THC-A into THC. This process “activates” the cannabinoids by making them recognizable to your body. Without decarboxylation, the effects of THC cannot be experienced.


Term used to describe a food (or chewable, food-based product) that’s been infused with cannabis.

Endocannabinoid System (ECS)

The system in your body that’s responsible for maintaining homeostasis, or optimal balance. This system contains numerous cannabinoid receptors, some of which can bond with the same cannabinoids found in cannabis. All mammals have endocannabiniod systems.

Entourage Effect

The key idea behind the Entourage Effect is that the whole is greater than the sum of its parts. Products that harness the full spectrum of what cannabis offers—preserving all of its naturally occurring terpenes and cannabinoids—allow the consumer to get the most benefit, aka, the Entourage Effect.

Exit Bag

Term used to describe the outermost sealable bag of your dispensary order.


The portion of the cannabis plant that’s harvested for consumption. Also referred to as a bud, nugget, or nug.


A subspecies of cannabis that’s rarely referred to as cannabis. Hemp has been a source for industrial material for centuries. More recently, it’s been in the spotlight as a source of the non-psychoactive cannabinoid, CBD, which you’ll find in a huge variety of body care products.


Refers to a cannabis strain that presents qualities found in both the Sativa and Indica cannabis subspecies.


One of the main subspecies of cannabis. People who choose Indica-dominant strains are often seeking a calming relaxed effect.


As in, cannabis oil. “Oil” can be used as a universal word for concentrate, or can refer to a product, i.e., CO2 Oil.


Pre-rolls are made by rolling ground flower tightly within a small rolling paper, as a convenient and ready-to-smoke format for flower (also known as a "joint").


In cannabis, “ratio” generally refers to the ratio of THC to CBD in a product. These ratios are important, as the intensity of THC's "heady" effects are diminished when there’s an ample amount of CBD included. Different people have different preferences, so options are important. Common ratios of these two cannabinoids are 1:1, 1:20, and 20:1.


The thick, sticky, substance found inside the plant’s trichomes. This substance contains the beneficial compounds found within cannabis, including cannabinoids and terpenes.


These strains are often sought out by people who use cannabis when socializing, or those who want a stimulating mental euphoria.


A strain is a particular variety of cannabis bred to present identified characteristics that relate to its lineage. Genetics and growing conditions also play a role.


Terpenes are what give cannabis flowers their flavor and aromatic diversity. Your cannabis experience is affected by which terpenes are present. There are dozens of terpenes found in cannabis and the potential combinations are limitless. Terpenes are also found in a wide variety of plants. For example, Limonene gives the rinds of fruits such as lemons and oranges their citrusy smell. Pinene provides the fresh, bright scent of many plants, including pine needles, rosemary, and basil. Linalool is most abundant in the lavender plant and gives the flower its rich scent. Myrcene is a terpene commonly found in plants such as hops, lemongrass, and thyme.


A tincture is a cannabis-infused liquid, made by soaking decarboxylated (activated) cannabis in a solvent. Traditionally, the solvent was always alcohol. Today, you’ll see all kinds of bases, like MCT (medium-chain triglyceride) oil, which is usually derived from coconuts. MCT is currently a popular solvent choice, both for its health reasons, and because cannabinoids are readily soluble within it. The plant matter is eventually removed from the solvent, yet the cannabinoids remain.


The psychoactive cannabinoid found in cannabis, responsible for its euphoric effects.


A resin-filled gland found on a cannabis flower. Each flower contains thousands of trichomes, which are a part of the plant’s self-defense plan. And it’s no wonder, for it’s in those trichomes that you’ll find the cannabinoids, terpenes and flavonoids responsible for the medicinal qualities of cannabis.


As a verb, “to vape” means to inhale cannabis vapor through specially designed hardware, such as a vape pen or tabletop vaporizer. As a noun, “vape” refers to the hardware itself.


This refers to a water filtration device (typically made of glass) used for inhaling cannabis smoke. This is sometimes referred to as a “bong.”