Do You Speak CBD? A Guide to Cannabis Terms

As cannabis culture inches more and more into the mainstream of society, it becomes increasingly more necessary for the average person to understand the lingo that accompanies with it. After all, no one likes to be left out of the loop. 


Looking to better understand cannabis terms? Then read on. We're going to provide you with a guide of modern marijuana terminology. 


Cannabis Terms You Should Know

There is an essentially endless list of cannabis terms. In this guide, we're only going to cover the most important of these terms. Let's begin! 



Often referred to as pot, and sometimes referred to as reefer, cannabis is a drug derived from the Cannabis Indica and Cannabis Sativa plants of India. A depressant, it affects users by slowing down their brains and central nervous systems. When used in large doses, it can also have hallucinogenic effects. 


Containing a mind-altering substance known as THC, cannabis is a psychoactive drug and can be broken down into three categories: marijuana, hashish, and hash oil.

Marijuana is the most common and most mild form of cannabis. Hashish, on the other hand, produces stronger effects than marijuana, while hash oil produces stronger effects than both. 



Cannabinoids are the compounds which exist in cannabis. While there are over 100 cannabinoids in existence, the vast majority of them exist only in small levels. The cannabinoids that most cannabis users pursue are THC and CBD, as these two cannabinoids deliver the most desirable effects.


To reap the benefits of cannabinoids, one must activate them in some way. In most cases, this is done with the use of heat. For instance, one must light and smoke cannabis to activate the cannabinoids which exist within it. 



More technically known as Delta-9-Tetrahydrocannabinol, THC is the active ingredient in marijuana. A psychoactive compound, it causes the "high" feeling that one gets after smoking or ingesting the drug. 



Also known as Cannabidiol, CBD is one of many cannabinoids found in cannabis. Along with THC, it is one of the most effective cannabinoids in existence, capable of providing pain relief, stress relief, and a variety of other health benefits.


Unlike THC, CBD is not psychoactive. As such, it does not produce a "high". Most typically absorbed as an oil, it has grown increasingly more popular in natural health circles. 



Psychoactive is the term used to describe substances which can alter a person's perception or mindset. As was previously noted, THC is a psychoactive substance. This means that, if you absorb THC, you will experience alterations in the ways that you think and feel. 



A bud is a flower from the marijuana plant. Sometimes referred to simply as "flower", bud contains the highest natural concentration of cannabinoids when compared to other parts of the plant. 



A dispensary is a retailer that sells cannabis and cannabis accessories. These retailers exist both in-person and online. A good example of an online retailer would be


While some dispensaries sell only medical marijuana, others of them sell recreational products. The type of dispensaries that you'll come across is dependent on the legality of marijuana in your state. 



If you get your marijuana from a dispensary, you're bound to come across someone known as a budtender. A budtender is like a bartender, except instead of serving alcoholic beverages, he or she serves marijuana. 


Most budtenders are highly educated in marijuana, capable of expounding on different strains as well as different marijuana-related products. 



A strain of Cannabis sativa, hemp is grown primarily for industrial use. It is used in the manufacture of textiles, insulation, paint, animal food, plastic, and a variety of other products. 


While hemp contains the psychoactive compound THC, it contains even more of the non-psychoactive compound CBD. As such, it provides essentially no "high". For this reason, it is very rarely consumed for recreational or medical purposes. 



Also known as shatter or wax, dabs are essentially marijuana extracts. Containing a waxy consistency, they are made out of a concentrate of THC. Where dabs differ from marijuana is in their potency, and in the way that they're smoked. 


Because they contain THC extract, dabs are exceedingly powerful. A single hit of a dab can deliver a substantial high. 


To smoke dabs, one must heat a dab rig with a scorching hot flame. In most cases, this is done with the use of a butane torch. 



If you're looking to smoke marijuana on the go, your best option might be to use a bowl. In this case, a bowl is not something you eat Cheerios out of, but a form of marijuana pipe which is compact and easy to pack. 


Why are they called bowls? Because they contain small, bowl-like pits into which marijuana flower must be stuffed. Once marijuana has been stuffed into said bowls, it can be lit and smoked in a quick and convenient manner. 



Sometimes called a joint, a doobie, a spliff, or a jay, a blunt is essentially a marijuana-filled cigar. It consists of a paper or tobacco-based wrapping implement as well as the marijuana flower that creates its potency. 


Often times, the words "blunt", "joint", and "spliff" will be used to designate the nature of the cigarette's wrapper. For instance, a blunt typically indicates a tobacco-based wrapper. On the other hand, a joint designates a paper-based wrapper, while a spliff indicates a hybrid of paper and tobacco. 



Another marijuana smoking implement is the bong, a water-driven pipe which allows for smooth and cool drags. Most typically made out of glass, bongs come in all shapes and sizes. 


While bongs do a great job of removing some of the tar contained with marijuana, they also tend to remove THC as well. As such, one must take more hits from a bong than what would need to be taken from bowl or joint. 



When used in the context of cannabis, heirloom refers to a strain of marijuana that was taken from its native land and planted in a different geographic location.



Dank is a word used to describe a form of marijuana which is aromatic, sticky, and of exceedingly high quality. If you hear someone refer to marijuana as "dank", you'll know right away that they're speaking of upper-echelon product. 



In the world of marijuana, edibles are consumable foods containing cannabis. Made with both THC and CBD, they are great options for those who want to avoid smoking. 

Examples of edibles include brownies, gummy bears, mints, and gum. However, the list of edibles is essentially endless. If you're looking for a particular food with marijuana in it, you're likely to find it. 



An isolate is essentially a cannabinoid extract. For instance, CBD is an isolate. Because it doesn't contain other cannabinoids, its effects are amplified.


Endocannabinoid System 

Sometimes shortened to ECS, the Endocannabinoid System is the system of the human body which is capable of absorbing and processing cannabinoids. Consisting of a series of chemical receptors, the Endocannabinoid System is necessary for human beings to enjoy the effects of cannabis. 



Bioavailability is the term used to describe a drug's ability to reach the bloodstream and have a chemical effect. Drugs which are more potent are said to have greater bioavailability. Of the cannabinoids in cannabis, THC and CBD possess the greatest bioavailability. 


Entourage Effect 

While THC is the most potent cannabinoid in marijuana, its effects wouldn't be as substantial without the other cannabinoids that exist next to it. This phenomenon is known as the entourage effect, and it's hugely important to the efficacy of cannabis. 

When it comes to cannabis, this term is basically used to describe the ways in which cannabinoids help each other thrive. Without the Entourage Effect, cannabis wouldn't produce the same type of high. 



Terpenes are organic compounds which exist in plants, including cannabis. Together, they create an odor which is designed to repel herbivores in nature. 


What do terpenes do for the cannabis user? Generally, they enhance the experience, affecting the way in which the user processes the plant. 


Cannabis terpenes offer a number of benefits, including anxiety and depression relief, seizure relief, and pain relief.  


Brush Up on Your Lingo 

The above-reviewed terminology comprises only a small portion of the many cannabis terms in existence. However, if you can learn and understand these terms, you should be able to hold a conversation with a cannabis connoisseur. 


Looking to brush up on your lingo in other areas? If so, Net Lingo has you covered. We have lingo guides on just about everything you can imagine, including but not limited to marketing, business, and technology. 


Browse our lingo guides now!