So you’ve decided that it’s time to start growing cannabis indoors. Maybe you’re off to a dinner party and need to brush up on your weed terminology. Perhaps you’re unsure of the difference between sativa and indica, or have trichomes mixed up with cannabinoids. Whatever the reason, we want to help! There's so much to learn about cannabis plants! We’ve compiled a list of the top 50 cannabis terms and meanings, in alphabetical order, that you should know.
Cannabis Plant Terms
Aeroponics - The process of growing plants in an air or mist environment, without the use of soil or aggregate medium.
Alcohol extraction: the process of using alcohol (either isoprolyl or ethanol) to extract the cannabinoids and terpenes from the cannabis flower.
AutoFlower - A female plant that automatically switches from vegetative growth to the flowering stage with age, as opposed to the ratio of light to dark hours required with photoperiod dependent/short-day strains. Many autoflowers will be ready to harvest in less than 10 weeks from seed.
Aquaponics - The combination of aquaculture (raising aquatic animals such as snails, fish, or prawns in tanks) and hydroponics (cultivating plants in water) in a symbiotic environment. The waste produced by aquatic animals supplies nutrients for the hydroponic plants. In turn, these plants purify the water for the animals.
BHO: Stands for Butane Hash Oil. This is a process used to make cannabis concentrate by combining butane and cannabis to extract the cannabinoids and terpenes.
Bong: A cannabis paraphernalia item often made of glass, plastic, or silicon used for smoking cannabis flower. The smoke is always filtered through water, and often through a percolator as well.
Bud: a synonym for a mature cannabis flower. Nug is also used interchangeably
Budtender: someone who works at a dispensary and can offer information on different types of cannabis to ensure you get the effects you are seeking.
CBD (Cannabidiol) - A common chemical compound found in cannabis. CBD is considered to have a wide scope of medical applications. It has low psychoactive effects and is used as an effective treatment for medical conditions such as PTSD and physical pain.
Cannabinoid - A cannabinoid is a chemical compound found in Cannabis plants. These chemicals act on the brain’s cannabinoid receptors in cells that alter neurotransmitter release. The most well known cannabinoid is THC, the primary psychoactive compound in cannabis. CBD is another major compound of the cannabis plant. There are at least 113 different cannabinoids found in cannabis.
CFL (Compact Fluorescent Light) - An energy-saving light that produces little heat. Only good for a plant’s seedling stage as it is not very strong. For further reading on CFLs.
Clones - After a cutting has been rooted, it is called a clone. Clones don’t have a tap root like a plant grown from a seed does.
Cola - This is the plant’s “bud site” where female flowers form. The main cola (also known as the apical bud) blooms at the very top of the plant and can be made up of multiple, smaller buds. Smaller colas will form along the budding sites below. The cola is also known as the “terminal bud”
Combustion: the process of burning a material. This occurs when you ignite cannabis flower to smoke.
Concentrates: any form of cannabis product that has been refined to be more potent than its original form. Some examples are: HFTSE (high terpene full spectrum extracts), shatter, and resin.
Cotton mouth: A harmless yet annoying side effect of smoking cannabis. After smoking cannabis, your mouth gets very dry. This can be solved by chewing gum, or sipping on a glass of water.
CO2. Stands for carbon dioxide. Many believe this natural compound will promote plant growth, resulting in higher yields. Are you interested in testing this? We sell a CO2 enhancer!
Cuttings - The beginning of a clone. A branch is cut from a mother plant and rooted (put into a growing medium) to become its own plant. Once rooted, it is called a clone.
Dabbing: a relatively new way to consume cannabis. Dabbing involves smoking a concentrate, usually wax, shatter or hash oil. It is much more potent than smoking regular flower.
Dank: A term used to describe high quality cannabis, often with a strong odour.
Dispensary: a store that legally sells cannabis, and often cannabis paraphernalia.
Downstem: the long piece of glass connecting the bowl piece to the actual bong. It is usually removable and replaceable.
Extraction artist: a licensed individual who conducts cannabis extraction. Most extraction artists are familiar with techniques such as butane extraction, alcohol extraction and water extraction.
Fan Leaf - Also known as water leaf. This is the big & beautiful leaf that you see used as a logo for cannabis everywhere. It absorbs sunlight and stores water for the plant. It contains little to no THC and is discarded during the harvest.
Feminized - A seed that has been bred to be a female plant. (Females produce the flowers (buds) and males pollinate them with seeds. Removing the males from your garden will produce sensimilla.
DWC (Deep Water Culture) - A type of hydroponics system where plant roots continuously sit in a highly oxygenated water and nutrient solution.
Ebb & Flow - A type of hydroponics system. In this process, plant roots sit in a coarse growing medium for support, while a water and nutrient solution flows past the roots on a set time schedule. This allows for the aeration of the roots, while automating the job of watering the plants by hand.
Flowering - The stage where buds start to appear at the nodes of the plant. Requires 12 straight hours of darkness to trigger this stage.
Grinder: Often made of metal, this is a cannabis paraphernalia product used to break cannabis flowers into smaller pieces, so they can be used in a bong or joint.
Grow Box - An enclosed chamber for raising plants in small spaces. Contains built-in lights, watering system, and ventilation system to create an ideal indoor growing environment. Examples of grow boxes include Grobo Premium and iDro.
Grow Tent - A large, enclosed chamber created using fabric. It creates an ideal indoor growing environment. Similar to a grow box, but normally larger and built with less permanent materials and can be easily setup and dismantled. Learn more about options for growing chambers.
Heirloom: A cannabis strain that has not been bred with another strain. Often they are native to a certain region, and has been around for decades.
Hemp - A raw material that is extracted from the stalks of the cannabis plant. The plant fibers are extremely strong, durable, and versatile, and are used to make a variety of strong, sustainable materials including rope, fabrics, paper, oil, biodegradable plastics, and concrete.
HPS (High Pressure Sodium) - The gold standard in cannabis lighting and is favoured to use for the flowering stage. Has a great color spectrum and ability to penetrate a canopy of plants. However, the light uses a lot of electricity and produces a lot of heat that must be vented from the grow area. For further information on HPS.
HTFSE: Stands for High Terpene Full Spectrum Extracts. This is a type of cannabis extract that was designed to preserve the terpenes and cannabinoids during the extraction process. This makes for a more flavourful concentrate.
Hybrid - A cannabis plant that has both Sativa and Indica plant genes.
Hydroponics - The method of growing plants without soil. Instead, plants grow in a mixture of liquid nutrients and water. The Grobo Automated Grow Box is a great example of a system that uses hydroponics.
Indica - One of 3 cannabis species. It is known for it’s relaxing, mellow high. The plant itself is usually short and bushy.
Kief: a fine powder that is a results from the trichome heads falling through the micron screen. Most grinders have a keif compartment. It is much more potent than regular cannabis flower, as this contains a high concentration of trichomes and little plant material.
Kush: A specific indica strain that originates from the Hindu Kush mountains. Any strain that includes the term “kush” most likely contains the genetics of a strain that originated from this region.
LED (Light Emitting Diode) - A highly efficient lighting solution. The light produced consumes less energy and produces less heat, making it ideal for indoor growing. For further reading on LEDs.
Micron screen: A screen designed to allow the trichome heads to fall through, creating kief.
MH (Metal Halide) - Another very hot and high energy using light. Can produce blue light and is used during the vegetative growth stage. For further reading on MHs.
Node - The area on a plant where the leaves and branches intersect and connect to the main stem.
Nutrients (nutes) - Plants need nutrients to survive and grow. Some are needed in high quantities, others in very small amounts, however all are necessary for a successful plant. To learn more about nutrients, check out primary and secondary nutrients.
Pistils - The long white hairs on your flowers that eventually turn orange/red. Used to gather pollen from male cannabis plants.
Photoperiod - The period of time when plants receive light. In indoor growing, a 12 hour photoperiod is used to trigger flowering in
pH (Potential of Hydrogen) - A measure of the acidity or alkalinity of your water or soil. Having the optimal pH in your growth medium is important as pH greatly affects your plant’s ability to take in nutrients.
Primary Nutrients: These are the essential nutrients that cannabis plants need in larger quantities. This includes Nitrogen, Phosphorus and Potassium (N,P,K).
PPM (Parts Per Million) - A measurement of a mass in a liquid, similar to TDS. This is a way of determining the concentration of salt in water or soil. This is used for very small concentrations of particles in solutions, as one ppm equals to 1 milligram of salt per liter of water (mg/l).
Ruderalis - A species of cannabis that is not consumed, but crossbred with Indica or Sativa plants for it’s autoflowering genes.
Sativa - A cannabis species that is known for producing an uplifting, energetic high. The plant is tall and lanky.
Seedling - A young plant that has been grown from seed
Seeds - Used to begin the growth of cannabis plants, cannabis seeds are usually produced in a 50/50 mix of male to female from a pollinated female plant. A female plant won’t produce seeds if pollination from a male plant is prevented. Seedless buds are more desirable as they grow larger with higher cannabinoid content. Containing omega 3 to omega 6, iron, protein, vitamin E, and essential amino acids, these seeds are the most nutritionally complete food source in the world.
Secondary Nutrients: These are essential nutrients to cannabis plants, but are termed secondary as they are needed in a lower quantity. This includes Calcium, Magnesium, and Sulfur.
Stems and Stalks - The long, thin branches of the plant. They support the flowers, hold nutrients, and transport water through the plant. Containing little to no THC, they are discarded during the harvest. Long fibers found in the inner bark of the stalk, is called hemp.
Sensimilla - A female flower that has not seen any male pollen, and thus has no seeds.
Strain - A naming convention used to identify certain varieties of cannabis plant, often combining the lineage of the parent in the name. All strains have different smells, tastes, effects and terpenoid profiles. Strains fall into 3 categories: Indica, sativa, and ruderalis.
Sugar Leaf - This small leaf grows within the buds and gets coated with trichomes. It should be snipped from the bud when harvesting, otherwise it will make the flavour of the bud harsh. Sugar leaves can be used to make edibles (cookies, brownies) or concentrates (hash, wax).
Sprouting/Germination - The beginning stage of a plant’s life where it begins to grow (or sprout) out of the seed and establish its roots.
Taproot - The taproot is the strong main root which emerges from a germinated plant seed. Plants grown from cuttings don’t have a traditional tap root, yet they can still produce large plants which are genetically identical to the mother plant.
Terpenoids - Components of the cannabis plant’s essential oils. They are the aroma and flavour of any given cannabis strain. They are also sometimes called terpes for short.
Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) - The principal psychoactive compound (or cannabinoid) of cannabis. It can be solid with an amber or gold color when cold, and viscous and sticky when warmed.
TDS (Total Dissolved Solids) - Another way to measure how many solids are in your water solution. Similar to PPM. Dissolved solids can be organic sources such as leaves, plankton, sand, or salts. It could also be materials such as nitrogen, calcium, sulfates, or other minerals.
Trichomes - Otherwise known as crystals. Small resin glands present on the flowers and main leaves of late-stage cannabis plants. Both cannabinoids and terpenes are manufactured in trichomes.
Vegetative Stage (Vegging or Veg) - The growth stage of the plant life. After its roots are established, 18 - 24 hours of light per day enable the plant to grow bigger and taller.
Did we miss anything?
Is there an important cannabis term that you think we missed? Let us know in the comments below so we can all learn more!
If you're interested in learning more about growing cannabis indoors or using a hydroponic growing system, check out Grobo.io