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When it comes to weed culture, there are a ton of weird words to know. From slang terms to scientific jargon, there always seems to be some new phrase or word popping up daily. That’s why we decided to list some of the top cannabis terms to help you make sense of it all.

Whether you are brand new to cannabis or want to deepen your knowledge of cannabis lingo, these 15 must-know words will take your weed wisdom to a whole new level.


To the unknowing eye, this may just look like a simple number, but in cannabis, it’s revered as a universal code word for all things weed. While its origins are murky, most stoners agree that this trend actually started with a group of high school students in the 1970s.

In a time before cell phones, they agreed that 4:20 was the perfect time to meet up each day and smoke before heading home—a tradition that many stoners still hold to this day. While it started out as a time, it slowly turned into a code word for weed itself so these rebellious students could talk about the herb without their parents becoming any wiser. And so 420 was born.

Today, it is still widely used throughout the cannabis community and has even become a stoner holiday. When April 20th aka 420 rolls around each year, you know things are about to get real lit.

Backcross Breeding

If you’re a cannabis grower, this a certainly a term you need to know. Backcross breeding essentially describes a growing technique that allows a targeted characteristic to pass from the parent to the offspring. Backcrossing is unique in that there is only one parent plant along with the offspring to make the genetics stronger.

For example, let’s say you have a Blue Dream mother plant (if you don’t know what that is, find the term below). When you create a clone of this plant, you cross-pollinate it with your original Blue Dream plant and thus, isolating those precious genetics.


Cannabinoids are the unique chemical compounds that make up the cannabis plant, like THC, CBD, and CBG. While over 100 have been discovered, these are some of the most commonly known.

Cannabis Flower

When you think of flowers, you often think of a blooming bouquet or a fresh summer garden, but in this case, it means something a little different. The sticky nugs that we end up enjoying are actually the flower of the cannabis plant. Many people will often describe their buds as “flower” because, well, that’s technically what it is—and it just sounds cool.

Cannabis Concentrate

Cannabis concentrates can appear in a wide variety of shapes and forms (shatter, wax, sauce budder, live resin, butane hash oil), but they are all essentially targeted cannabinoid extractions. Similar to orange juice concentrate in the freezer aisle, cannabis concentrates are the product of distilling down the most desirable parts of the plant, like THC or CBD.

Whether through alcohol extraction or chemical extraction, they often contain all the cannabinoids and terpenes of cannabis flowers and none of the excess plant material. What you’re left with is an incredibly potent product in a very tiny package.

Cotton Mouth

Has your mouth ever been so dry that it felt like it was filled with cotton balls? After a long smoke sesh, it is not uncommon that you experience an incredibly dry mouth, sometimes called cottonmouth. To prevent this from happening, make sure to hydrate every time you enjoy some cannabis.


Dank is a slang term used to describe high-quality herb. For example, the weed at JARS is dank AF. You can also use it as a different way to say “cool”.

Endocannabinoid System

The Endocannabinoid System (ECS) is an intricate internal system inside each of our bodies that impacts things like our nervous system, brain function, mood, appetite, and more. It is significant to cannabis because it is this system that allows us to reap the many medicinal benefits of marijuana.

Different cannabinoids are able to potentially interact with the ECS to produce targeted results like pain relief, increases in appetite, mood boost, and stress relief.

Entourage Effect

The theory that all cannabinoids, terpenes, and flavonoids found in the cannabis plant work more effectively together as a whole, than if they were working separately. For instance, when you extract CBD or THC from the cannabis plant on its own, you may still get some wellness benefits but it pales in comparison to when all of the natural cannabinoids and terpenes are present.

Landrace Strains

In the broadest terms, a landrace is a pure cannabis strain cultivated in its natural environment that has never been crossed with another plant. They are often recognized as the forefathers (or mothers) to the cannabis we know and love today.

Mother Plant

A mother plant, sometimes referred to as a parent plant, is a healthy, adult, female cannabis plant that gets snipped to produce plant babies. You simply cut off a stem to create a new plant, or a clone as they are often called, that will then grow into an adult plant that has the same genetics as the mother plant.

It’s important to keep in mind that all smokeable cannabis plants are female plants. You can separate them from the males by taking a close look at the nodes (the area where the leaf attaches to the main stem). The boys will develop little pollen sacs and the girls will have v-shaped white strings or pistils.

Puff Puff Pass

With origins all the way back to Rastafarianism, any smoking professional knows that this is proper etiquette in a smoke circle. To prevent bogarting the blunt, you are supposed to take two puffs before passing it on to the next person—or as the wise Snoop Dogg once said, “You’re supposed to take two puffs then give the sh*t up, c’mon!”


Cannabis ruderalis is a wild-growing species of cannabis that is popular amongst anyone looking for higher levels of CBD. Once thought to be an ancestor of THC-rich cannabis plants, it is now accepted that it is its own species, similar to hemp.


Sometimes referred to as cultivars, strains describe different varieties of weed with their own set of effects. Often categorized by indica (marked by the sleepy, relaxing effects), sativa (known for their uplifting, creative high), and hybrids (a little mix of both).


Terpenes are a family of organic compounds that naturally occurs in an array of plants, like rosemary, lavender, and cannabis, that create scent and flavor. It’s these tiny compounds that are responsible for the signature scents found in cannabis. They can range anywhere from skunky and funky to sweet and citrusy. In cannabis specifically, terpenes are important because they interact with other cannabinoids to change and enhance certain effects of the plant.


While this is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to cannabis terms, we hope that this list of our top 15 cannabis terms you need to know has helped you learn more about this plant we love so much. To learn more, come into JARS anytime or leave your comments below.

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