So you’ve decided that it’s time to start growing your own cannabis.
Or 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 25 cannabis terms and meanings, in alphabetical order, that you should know. If you're looking to grow cannabis, or just want to further your knowledge, also check out these plant growing terms, and the most useful cannabis growing techniques.
Cannabis Plant Terms
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.
Cannabidiol (CBD) - A common chemical compounds 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.
The chemical make-up of CBD. Source: www.lift.co
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.
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”
Cuttings - The beginning of a clone. A branch is cut from a mother plant and rooted (put into a growing medium) to become it’s own plant. Once rooted, it is called a clone.
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.
Flower - Marijuana, pot, weed, bud, green, dank, the list goes on. All of these names refer to the actual flower of the cannabis plant. Flowers are the most valued and consumed part of the plant as they contain the highest amounts of cannabinoids.
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.
Hybrid - A cannabis plant that has both Sativa and Indica plant genes.
Indica - One of 3 cannabis species. It is known for it’s relaxing, mellow high. The plant itself is usually short and bushy.
Node - The area on a plant where the leaves and branches intersect and connect to the main stem.
The node of the plant is where the branches intersect
Pistils - The long white hairs on your flowers that eventually turn orange/red. Used to gather pollen from male cannabis plants.
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.
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.
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).
Fan leaf (left) vs. sugar leaf (right). Source: www.marijuana.com
Terpenoids - Components of the cannabis plant’s essential oils. They are the aroma and flavour of any given cannabis strain.
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.
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.
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.
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!
“Green: A Field Guide to Marijuana” by Dan Michaels
“Marijuana Grower’s Handbook” by Ed Rosenthal