10 need-to-know weed terms for the canna-curious

There’s more to cannabis today than rolling a joint, and knowing some of the lingo is a good first step on your cannabis journey.

Whether you’re considering trying cannabis for the first time or you’re revisiting the possibility after years away, getting started on your journey will be easier if you’re at least a little familiar with some of the lingo.

Here are 10 top weed terms to get you started:

  1. Strain: The cannabis we smoke is categorized in a few different ways. First, the species of weed can be indica, sativa, or hybrid – a mix of sativa and indica. Then, within those species, you have different strains of cannabis. This is where all the funny names come from that make you wonder how they ever became a thing. Different strains of cannabis are akin to different types of grapes used to make wine; there are definitely differences, but to an inexperienced consumer, they’re relatively similar.
  2. Buds: The buds of the cannabis plant are its flowers and are the portion that gets smoked.

    A common beginner’s mistake is to think it’s the pot leaf – the classic image everyone thinks of with weed – that’s the portion of the plant that gets smoked. Typically a leaf will contain just 1 to 2 per cent THC, while the flowers often hover around the 20 per cent mark.

    Cannabis buds.

  • Pre-roll: A pre-roll is a joint, a weed cigarette, that comes pre-rolled, hence the name! Pre-rolls are a hugely popular product at dispensaries, which will more than likely have a large selection to choose from. Pre-rolls are perfect for new users who haven’t yet perfected the sacred – and challenging – art of rolling joints themselves.

    Pre-rolls at a dispensary.

  • Blunt: A blunt is similar to a joint, but instead of using regular rolling papers, you use the tobacco leaf from a cigar. The tobacco leaf papers are sometimes bought in rolls, but are often just gained by emptying out cigars. But blunts and joints are not to be confused with spliffs! A spliff is rolled with regular rolling papers like a joint, but is filled with a mix of weed and regular cigarette tobacco. So many terms for things so similar!

    Cannabis blunt.

  • Dabs: What are dabs? Do you dab? Is it a noun or a verb? Both! Dabbing is the act of consuming concentrated cannabis, or dabs, out of a specific kind of bong known as a “dab rig.” Dab is a general term as concentrates are categorized by the extraction method used to make them and by the resulting texture of the product. Dabs may be categorized as shatter, wax, oil, rosin, distillate, sauce, crumble, sap, live resin and surprisingly even more.
  • Toke: To toke or not to toke? Similar to a dab, taking a toke typically refers to the act of smoking weed from a bong or a pipe. Ultimately synonymous with the word smoke, someone who is smoking weed is toking, and someone who often smokes weed can be called a toker.
  • Kief: This is the tiny, sticky, almost sand-like substance that coats the buds. These little crystals contain the vast majority of the plant’s cannabinoids, meaning kief is extremely potent. When weed is ground up in a typical four-piece grinder, the bottom piece of the grinder is the “kief catcher.” This compartment has a screen overtop that filters the kief that falls off of the buds sitting above, making sure it doesn’t go to waste.
  • Edible: While most foods are edible, most foods are not an edible, which specifically refers to any form of edible cannabis. Edibles used to be more restricted to sweets like cookies and brownies. However, in these days of legalization, the term has expanded dramatically to encompass everything from tea and hot chocolate, savoury meals and elaborate desserts, while also remaining true to its roots with the ever-popular gummy.

    For those who prefer not to smoke, cannabis edibles offer a welcome alternative.

  • Munchies: What are the munchies? It’s the classic name for that weed-fueled hunger! The munchies can make you crave your favourite food, whether sweet or savoury – it could be your favourite meal from the upscale restaurant nearby, or you could find yourself standing in the kitchen eating peanut butter and pickle sandwiches and just loving it. Either way, if you don’t have any weed experience and you’re looking to try it out, have some snacks prepared.
  • Budtender: Like a bartender, but for your buds! These wonderful dispensary staffers will be more than happy to help with any of your cannabis questions. Ask for recommendations as these experts are sure to have tried their fair share of the dispensary’s selection and will be able to tailor your experience to your goals. With so many products and all these ways to try cannabis, your local budtender is there to help you navigate your weed journey.

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