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A Complete Cannabis Glossary: The Top Cannabis Terms You Need to Know

If you’re a newcomer to the cannabis world, it can certainly be confusing. A lot of terms are used which aren’t necessarily understood by the general public.

Thankfully, marijuana isn’t quite as complicated as it might initially seem. Here are a few cannabis terms that you should know the meaning of.


The term “strain” essentially refers to the type of cannabis. Just like things such as beer and wine, there are a lot of different weed varieties. Different strains will have different effects, so cannabis users may favor certain ones over others.

In addition to their effects, different strains also have various tastes. Some might have notes of citrus, whereas others might have a more earthy taste.

There are 2 major types of cannabis: indica and sativa. While some strains are either pure indica or sativa, most are some kind of combination of the two.


Cannabis indica has its origins in the region of Afghanistan, India, Pakistan, and Turkey. The climate in these areas meant that cannabis indica had to adapt to harsh and dry environments.

Indica plants grow quite stocky and short. Marijuana growers like to work with indica-dominant plants because they tend to grow quicker and the yields are quite large.

In terms of taste, indica plants often have an earthy taste to them. The high you get from indica-dominant strains has quite a sedating effect. For this reason, it’s often used as a sleep aid.

If you want a more active high, you should consider a sativa-dominant strain.


Cannabis sativa is the other main variety of weed. This type is suited to parts of the world such as Africa, Central America, Southeast Asia, and western portions of Asia.

These plants are taller and thinner than their indica counterparts. Quite often, sativa strains will have a citrus-like taste to them.

People favor sativa strains when they want a more active high. Sativa gives a more mind-based high, making it great for creativity and even productivity.


Marijuana growers love to create new and unique strains by cross-breeding strains together. This creates a hybrid strain that has the characteristics of 2 different strains at once.

All this cross-breeding means that most strains are some kind of hybrid. Because of this, you might refer to strains as being sativa/indica dominant, meaning most of the plant’s genetics come from that strain.


When it comes to methods of consuming weed, the terms used can vary heavily based on the region. The term “joint” is often used across all English-speaking cannabis cultures, but the meaning isn’t always the same.

In the UK, for instance, calling something a joint implies it’s marijuana buds (or hash) mixed with tobacco and rolled into a cigarette. On the other hand, many Americans would say “joint” to refer to a pure cannabis cigarette.


Bongs are essentially large pipes that use water to filter the cannabis smoke. The benefit of this is that the smoke is cooled quite significantly before it reaches your lungs. Not only does this enable you to smoke more comfortably, but it also allows you to take much bigger hits.

Bongs are a great way to smoke at home, as they burn the weed more efficiently. Also, you can easily use one without needing a large amount of marijuana.


In recent years, vaporizers have started to get a lot more popular. Technology has now improved to the point that a vaporizer can easily fit in your pocket.

Instead of burning the weed, a good vaporizer will heat it to the point that it starts to vaporize. Since you’re not inhaling any burning matter, vaporizers are a healthier method of ingesting cannabis.


An edible is any form of consuming cannabis that involves eating it. Classic edibles include things like cookies and brownies. If you live in an area where cannabis is legal, there are a lot more varieties available, such as weed gummies.

If you’re a newcomer to marijuana, edibles should be approached with caution. This is because they can take up to an hour to start taking effect. A classic mistake is thinking they’re not having much effect and then redosing.

When the initial dose properly starts to kick in, you’ll realize you’ve made a mistake. Unfortunately, by that point, it’ll be too late.


As weed use has become more accepted and legalized in certain parts of the world, there has been more of a demand for innovative new products.

A cannabis distillate is essentially a super-high concentration of cannabis oil. Because of its unique nature, consuming it can be quite different from consuming other kinds of weed. Read this guide to learn more.

Now You Know Some Cannabis Terms

Now you know a few cannabis terms. With so many countries and states starting to legalize it, there’s never been a better time to get into weed, especially if you’re lucky enough to live somewhere where it’s legal.

If you’re getting into marijuana for the first time, it’s important to consume it responsibly. While it might not be as dangerous as alcohol, that doesn’t mean you can’t use it improperly.

If you take a high dose of weed, or if you’re inexperienced, it can certainly make you feel paranoid. Quite often, this is caused by being under the influence of marijuana in the wrong setting.

If you’re smoking for the first time, try to do it somewhere you feel comfortable. Only try venturing outside when you’re comfortable with the effects.

Need more reading material? Then check out our recreation and sports articles.

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