Definition: Indigenous to Central Asia and the Indian Subcontinent, cannabis is a genus of flowering plants that includes Cannabis ruderalis, Cannabis sativa, and Cannabis indica. While Cannabis ruderalis lacks popularity due to low THC and small size, Cannabis indica and sativa have countless medicinal and recreational uses.
Definition: Also known as CBD, cannabidiol is one of over 60 molecules called cannabinoids found in the marijuana plant. In recent years, CBD has become very popular for its many medical benefits and can help treat nausea, cancer, arthritis, seizures, pain and many other ailments and conditions. Unlike THC, CBD has no psychoactive properties and is therefore very useful for those who want the medical benefits of marijuana but not the “high”. Cannabidiol can be extracted from the marijuana plant and can be processed into a variety of different medications including topicals, oils, and tinctures. There are also a variety of high CBD marijuana strains that contain small levels of THC, which will greatly reduce the psychoactive effects when consumed. If interested in high CBD strains a few are Charlotte’s Web, R4, Harlequin, Sour Tsunami, and Pennywise. Ask your local bud tender for more information on CBD and its benefits.
Usage: “I just bought a CBD infused lotion to help with my arthritis. I can’t believe how well it works.”
Definition: The chemical compounds found in the Cannabis plant that offers a variety of health benefits. Cannabinoids are a large class of compounds that act on the brains cannabinoid receptors in cells that repress neurotransmitter release. Tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC, is the most well-known cannabinoid due to its euphoric and psychoactive effects on your body (i.e.; the “high”). THC can alter behavior, consciousness, mood and perception. Most health benefits of marijuana are associated with the cannabidiol cannabinoid, known as CBD. Marijuana products are often enhanced with CBD to provide more potent effects. Choose a strain with high levels of CBD if you’re looking to use marijuana as an alternative form of medication. CBD is also used to treat Dravet syndrome, sold under the drug brand name of Epidiolex.
Definition: Diesel marijuana refers to a specific type of cannabis, which typically has a sativa effect and an odor that smells like diesel fuel. Diesels strains are popular for their potency, unique smell, great taste and very dense buds (which are heavily covered in noticeable trichomes).
Usage: “I went through a phase where I only smoked diesels. Not sure why I ever stopped.”
Definition: Ganja is typically referred to as the flower of the marijuana plant when smoking. The word originated from the Hindi, Urdu and Sanskrit languages and its first known use was in 1689.
Usage: “Let’s go smoke some ganja.”
Definition: Haze is a very popular strain of sativa, often stimulating creative behavior and energizing head highs. It’s thought to originate in various tropical regions of the world, specifically in Mexico, Colombia and parts of South East Asia. Haze plants are some of the tallest growing varieties of cannabis, often reaching 20 feet tall. Because of its size, it often takes longer to harvest, which makes it one of the more difficult plants to grow. Haze is commonly crossbred with indica strains to create award-winning strains like Northern Lights. Other popular strain of haze include Super Lemon Haze and XXX.
Usage: “Love smoking haze before I have to write articles – makes me so much more creative.”
Definition: A hybrid is a cross between two genetically different strains of cannabis. Hybrids can happen randomly or purposefully, but are typically done to mix two or more preferred traits of a plant to make another powerful combination. Most strains found in dispensaries are hybrids and ultimately create a diverse menu for the cannabis consumer.
Usage: “That Chemdawg hybrid is a killer combo of OG Kush and Sour Diesel.”
Definition: Indica is one of the three classifications of cannabis, alongside sativa and ruderalis. Compared to a sativa plant, Indica plants are smaller, broader and produce more bud. The majority of indicas will offer the user a very relaxing body high, which can help some people with chronic pain, anxiety, insomnia and more. Having originated in Asia and the Middle East, this popular species include some of the more famous kush strains like Bubba Kush and OG Kush.
Usage: “I love that Northern Lights indica strain. It’ll put me on the couch for days.”
Definition: Hemp comes from Cannabis sativa, the same plant as marijuana, but only contains a small amount of the psychoactive ingredient THC. It’s a product that can be commercially produced to make numerous products like paper, rope, food, building materials, fuel and more. Although it’s known to be one of the earliest domesticated plants in the world, it’s currently being cultivated in over 30 countries across the world and is estimated to be a multi-billion dollar industry within the next decade thanks to its potential to be a renewable substitute for fossil fuels. Unfortunately, there is still a federal ban on hemp production across the United States, although some states have been given permission to grow commercially or for research and development reasons.
Usage: “You didn’t hear? Hemp legalization is going to be bigger than marijuana. Just wait and see!”
Definition: Kief is a result of separating trichomes from the marijuana plant. Often referred to as dry sieve hash thanks to the use of screens to facilitate the extraction, kief holds the most amounts of cannabinoids, making it potent and a very pure form of concentrate. Technically, water hash or oils are purer simply because it’s close to impossible to fully detach all of the trichomes form the actual plant through a waterless extraction method.
Usage: “I can’t believe the kief that came your plant! Definitely thought it was going to be bland, then BAM!”
Definition: Kush is a specific indica strain of marijuana, thought to have originated from the Hindu Kush mountain range in Afghanistan and Pakistan where it has been cultivated for hundreds of years. There is also an American version, called OG Kush, which is also said to have a similar lineage. A kush plant is usually smaller in stature, but always carries a unique aroma with typical relaxing or sedating effects. Some describe it as earthly, while some strains offer a distinct sweet or citrus scent. This very popular strain is available in varieties including Hindu Kush, Master Kush, OG Kush, Bubba Kush, Purple Kush and so many more.
Usage: “My brother only smokes kush before bed to help him sleep.”
Definition: When it comes to growing cannabis, a plant’s phenotype is important because it determines a strain’s taste, effectiveness, look and more. Simply put, phenotype is a word used to successfully identify a plant’s inherent traits. Every strain has two parent plants, including a male and female. Like in most breeding of organisms, when a male plant fertilizes a female plant, the seeds that are produced will include genetic phenotypes from both plants. Because people like varying traits from different strains, growers can make a specific strain based on those preferred characteristics.
Usage: “That hybrid Pineapple and indica Master Kush creates quite the Pineapple Kush phenotype!”
Definition: Ruderalis is one of the three main variations of cannabis, including indica and sativa. Although this plant is less common than the other two and grows to approximately 2 feet high, it is known to autoflower with age, versus with a light cycle. Ruderalis is very high in cannabidiol or CBD.
Usage: “Your plants grow so fast.” “Yeah, that’s because they’re a ruderalis strain from Amsterdam!”
Definition: Sativa is a shorter, less scientific name for the specific species of cannabis plant. This variety began along the equator in areas and can be traced back to parts of the Middle East, Asia and South America. The plant typically matures at a slower rate than other species, but tends to grow a lot taller as well (over 5 feet) with loose branches and narrow leaves – often delivering more product as a direct result. Sativas are well known for their energetic and uplifting cerebral effects, often to treat depression and encourage creativity and amiability. Having said this, consuming a sativa can sometimes increase anxiety in users, causing racing thoughts and paranoia.
Usage: “I prefer to smoke a sativa when I go for a hike. It keeps me awake and energetic, instead of feeling a heavier body high after smoking an indica.”
Definition: For those who don’t grow cannabis, sensimilla may sound like a specific strain, when in actuality, it’s a female plant that has been prevented from being fertilized and therefore grows without seeds. Most people want to grow sensimilla plants because it produces flower with a higher THC content, versus putting all of its energy into producing seeds. Having said this, sensimilla plants are rare because they’re unable to reproduce until it’s fertilized.
Usage: “My last batch was full of hermies, so I’m trying to grow only sensimilla this time!”
Definition: Skunk refers to a strain of cannabis that is very powerful, and smells pungent, similar to that of a spray from a skunk. The strain is a sativa-dominant hybrid thought to have been discovered in the US, and is currently found in about half of all cannabis gene pools thanks to it’s popularity in the Netherlands.
Usage: “Is there a skunk nearby? Something smells so strong? Oh wait, it’s just your weed.”
Definition: Tetrahydrocannabinol (or THC) is the most recognized cannabinoid in the marijuana plant. First isolated in 1964, THC is accountable for its well-known psychoactive effects, which effectively causes someone to feel high. Unlike CBD (another popular cannabinoid), THC delivers a lighter, cleaner high that can increase creativity and more. This famous cannabinoid has also been used medicinally to treat various issues, including lack of appetite.
Usage: “My favorite strain has 18.5% THC, which gives me a clean, energized high that’s awesome.”
Definition: A tincture is a liquid form of marijuana, typically made from glycerin (sweeter) or alcohol (harsher). The majority of tinctures are flavored and distributed via an eyedropper under the tongue for faster absorption into the body. Some people relate tincture highs to that of an edible, but without consuming actual food. After taking a tincture directly, a user will typically feel its results in a shorter time period than that of consuming an edible.
Usage:“I have a low appetite, but love a good body high, hence why I love tinctures.”
Definition: Terpenes are any group of hydrocarbons found in the essential oils of a plant. Terpenes are chemical compounds found in cannabis that produce the distinct flavor and smell of the flower. In cannabis, terpenes are produced by secretory cells found within glandular trichomes. These specific compounds are accountable for the hundreds of variances between strains including flavor and smell. Because terpenes are so sensitive to low temperatures, it’s imperative to keep cannabis in cooler settings. Most recently, terpenes have entered into the medical marijuana arena to aid particular ailments or issues.