Common Cannabis Terms Everyone Should Know

The world of medical cannabis is more accepting of and accessible to newcomers than ever before. But there’s one lingering hurdle for newer cannabis users to overcome: terminology. Countless terms and phrases exist to describe various concentrates, production processes, and patient uses. And it can be dizzying to keep track of all of them, let alone understand how they relate to one another.

Don’t worry. We’re here to help define some of the most common terms in today’s cannabis dictionary so you’ll sound seasoned at your next dinner party!

Common Cannabis Terms

This won’t be an exhaustive list of all terms related to cannabis. Nor will it delve into the scientific jargon behind the language of cannabis. Instead, it’s a straightforward dictionary of common cannabis terms to help you better understand and participate in cannabis conversations.

BHO (Butane Hash Oil)

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BHO (short for Butane Hash Oil) is one of the most popular forms of cannabis concentrates today and made by extracting THC and terpenes using butane, pressure, and heat. Typically, BHO measures an active ingredient content between 50 and 90 percent.

Most BHO appears as a translucent, golden-hued, semi-solid substance. And this concentrate’s specific consistency can take one of many forms. They include:

  • Wax: a thick, viscous, sticky substance that’s easy to dab.
  • Shatter: hard and brittle, shatter will break into small pieces when you apply force, hence its name.
  • Badder: a thick semi-solid that falls between wax and shatter’s hardness levels.
  • Live Resin: a particularly high-grade type of BHO featuring unique effects and peerless flavor. Extractors freeze cannabis plants during harvest for live resin, preserving the plant’s delicate components.


One of the members of a particular family of organic compounds. Cannabis plants develop cannabinoids naturally as they age. Common cannabinoids include:

  • THC: the most abundant cannabinoid worldwide, this compound is responsible for marijuana’s psychoactive high.
  • CBD: a non-psychoactive cannabinoid common in hemp strains. Also appears in minor concentrations in commercial cannabis.


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The act of vaporizing a cannabis concentrate. Requires a specialized vaporizer bong called a “dab rig.” Dab rigs feature a heat-absorbing “bowl” made of quartz, titanium, or the like called a “banger” to vaporize concentrates. You can dab BHO and some solventless extracts including rosin.

Endocannabinoid System

The bodily system responsible for cannabis’ effects. When you consume a cannabinoid, it “hacks” your endocannabinoid system to generate and achieve some result. This may include feeling a psychoactive “high,” reducing inflammation, and more. The endocannabinoid system (ECS) consists of three main parts: endocannabinoids, receptors, and enzymes.


A slang term for the flowers of the cannabis plant. Flowers contain the most THC of any part of a cannabis plant, so they’re the most effective part to smoke or use to create extracts.

Solventless Extract

In contrast to BHO, solventless extracts don’t utilize any chemicals to strip cannabinoids and terpenes away from plant matter. Instead, they come from a variety of other processes. Common solventless extracts include:

  • Bubble Hash: also known as “full melt,” bubble hash first appeared in the 1980s. It consists of trichome crystals filtered through plastic bags with tiny holes.
  • Kief: kief is perhaps the easiest extract to make. Simply gather crystal kief in your grinder’s kief catcher. You can smoke kief as a powder or press it into blocks using wax paper or tin foil.
  • Rosin: extractors can refine bubble hash further by applying heat and pressure. The resulting extract, rosin, is pure, high-quality, and tastes great.


A type of flavor compound responsible for giving cannabis its flavor and aroma. Terpenes may also have their own psychoactive properties.

Demonstrate Your Knowledge of Cannabis Terms at Your Next Dispensary Visit

Okay, so learning all these terms might help you hold a conversation. But that’s not all. They’ll also be invaluable on your next trip to the dispensary. Explore products and place your next weed order like a pro with these cannabis terms!