Learn about Cannabis


  • Cancer
  • Glaucoma
  • HIV positive status
  • AIDS
  • Hepatitis C
  • Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis
  • Crohn's disease (including, but not limited to, ulcerative colitis)
  • Agitation of Alzheimer's disease
  • Cachexia/wasting syndrome
  • Muscular dystrophy
  • Severe fibromyalgia
  • Spinal cord disease, including but not limited to arachnoiditis
  • Tarlov cysts
  • Hydromyelia
  • Syringomyelia
  • Rheumatoid arthritis
  • Fibrous dysplasia
  • Spinal cord injury
  • Traumatic brain injury and post-concussion syndrome
  • Multiple Sclerosis
  • Arnold-Chiari malformation and Syringomyelia
  • Spinocerebellar Ataxia (SCA)
  • Parkinson's disease
  • Tourette's syndrome
  • Myoclonus
  • Dystonia
  • Reflext Sympathetic Dystrophy
  • RSD (Complex Regional Pain Syndrome Type I)
  • Causalgia
  • CRPS (Complex Regional Pain Syndrome Type II)
  • Neurofibromatosis
  • Chronic Inflammatory Demyelinating Polyneuropathy
  • Sjogren's syndrome
  • Lupus
  • Interstitial Cystitis
  • Myasthenia Gravis
  • Hydrocephalus
  • Nail-patella syndrome
  • Residual limb pain
  • Seizures (including those characteristic of epilepsy)
  • Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
  • Autism
  • Chronic pain
  • Irritable bowel syndrome
  • Migraines
  • Osteoarthritis
  • Anorexia nervosa
  • Ehler-Danlos Syndrome
  • Neuro-Behcet's Autoimmune Disease
  • Polycystic kidney disease
  • Neuropathy
  • Superior canal dehiscence syndrome
  • Terminal illness with a diagnosis of six months or less, if the illness is not already a qualifying debilitating medical condition

Acapulco Gold:

An heirloom variety of cannabis originally grown in the mountains of wester Mexico.

Adult use:

Any use of cannabis by adults, whether for medicine, pleasure, religious purposes, or otherwise. Incorporated in some legislation such as the California Adult Use of Marijuana Act.

Agent provocateur:

A person who, out of their own sense of duty or employed by the police, commits or provokes others to commit illegal or inappropriate activity, or falsely implicates them in a criminal act.

Alcohol prohibition:

Laws in some jurisdictions banning the production or sales of beverage alcohol in an attempt to prevent its use. These bans have been criticized because they create a black market, leading to corruption and violence. Nationwide, constitutional prohibition in the United States, established by the 18th Amendment in 1920, ended in 1933, repealed by the 21st Amendment.

Alice B. Toklas:

1. Alice B. Toklas (1877–1967) was the author of an autobiographical book, The Alice B. Toklas Cookbook, first published in 1954, which includes a recipe for "Hashish Fudge."

2. A slang name for a cannabis edible.

Amotivational syndrome:

A supposed medical syndrome of lack of motivation in cannabis consumers, which has been challenged.

Anti-cannabis organizations:

Groups fighting against cannabis legalization, or apologizing for harm caused by drug prohibition, including: D.A.R.E., Partnership at Drugfree.org, and SAM.

Anti-cannabis propaganda:

Material prepared by governments, organizations, or the media, that is not objective or uses loaded language to demonize cannabis or cannabis consumers. Early anti-cannabis propaganda includes the 1936 drug exploitation film Reefer Madness. The 1980s media public service announcement This Is Your Brain on Drugs is an example of.

Anti-marijuana propaganda:

International day for cannabis pride.

Assassin of Youth:

1937 American anti-marijuana propaganda film that depicts cannabis use leading to tragedies, and obscene, all-night parties. The film's title is from a 1937 article by U.S. "drug czar" Harry J. Anslinger.


The process of breaking off and harvesting trichomes from the cannabis flower through physical contact. Agitation can be made more effective by freezing the product prior to agitation.


A package of marijuana.
Battle of Maple Tree Square
Police riot against a peaceful Yippie smoke-in demonstration in Vancouver,
British Columbia, in 1971.


A member of the 1950s cannabis-friendly subculture, also associated with the literary movement known as the Beat Generation.


A traditional edible preparation of cannabis, a drink.

Black Market:

Underground economy of illegal cannabis trade created by prohibition. The world illicit cannabis economy is estimated to be $141 billion annually, but the estimate might be low due to the clandestine nature of the trade.

Blue Dream:

A sativa-dominant, hybrid variety of cannabis also called Blueberry Haze because it is a cross between Blueberry and Haze varieties, with Afghani, Mexican, and Thai ancestry.


Action of smoking cannabis to reach euphoric/hazy feeling.


Result of smoking cannabis with high THC level.


A cigar filled with cannabis often mixed with tobacco.


A water filter for smoking cannabis.

Boston Freedom Rally:

Annual cannabis rights demonstration held in Boston since 1989.


1. The part of a pipe or bong that holds the cannabis.
2. A slang name for a cannabis smoking pipe.

Brownie Mary:

In California, before medical marijuana was legalized by voters in 1996, Mary Jane "Brownie Mary" Rathbun (1922–1999) who was arrested three times for baking cannabis brownies using her Social Security to buy ingredients and cannabis that was donated, giving them away free to AIDS and cancer patients, was able to successfully defend herself in court, arguing that medical necessity outweighed the reprehensibleness of her actions.


The part of a cannabis plant that is consumed for its psychoactive properties.


Industry trade name for a concentrated paste extracted from cannabis.


A point of sale employee of a cannabis retail dispensary.


Slang name for a pleasant euphoric effect of cannabis.

Cannabis sativa:

A non-psychotropic chemical compound found in cannabis, abbreviated


cannabinoid receptors
Parts of the endocannabinoid system located in cells throughout the body that are activated by cannabinoids, influencing appetite, pain-sensation, mood, and memory. Two types of cannabinoid receptors have been discovered, including
cannabinoid receptor type 1 and
cannabinoid receptor type 2.


A class of chemical compounds, with various effects, isolated from cannabis. At least 113 different natural cannabinoids have been identified, including
tetrahydrocannabinol (THC)
A mildly psychoactive substance found in cannabis, abbreviated CBN.


Latin, or scientific name for the entire plant hemp, legally named marijuana or marihuana in some jurisdictions. There are many other names for cannabis, including commonly used terms grass, weed, and ganja.[2] Three recognized species include:
Cannabis indica
Cannabis ruderalis
Cannabis sativa
cannabis and spirituality
Entheogenic and religious use of cannabis, including Rastafari and branches of
Modern Paganism.

Cannabis concentrate:

Concentrated active portions of cannabis.

Cannabis consumption:

Ways cannabis is consumed to experience psychoactive or therapeutic properties, including:
Cannabis foods
oral tinctures

Cannabis culture:

A social atmosphere and fellowship associated with consumption of cannabis or hemp products, including:
Cannabis consumption:
cannabis smoking
flower child
recreational drug use
responsible drug use

Cannabis Culture:

Monthly Canadian online cannabis rights magazine originally called The Marijuana & Hemp Newsletter founded by Marc Emery, published in print from 1994 to 2009.

Cannabis Cup:

Annual cannabis festival originally held in Amsterdam, now held in several cities, including awards for the year's best new cannabis strains in a variety of categories, and the Counterculture Hall of Fame and High Times Freedom Fighter of the Year awards for activism or leadership in the field of marijuana law reform.

Cannabis (drug):

Cannabis used as a drug for medical or personal reasons, legally named marijuana or marihuana in some jurisdictions.

Cannabis edibles and extracts:

Psychoactive products made from cannabis, including:
cannabis tea
honey oil
live resin
hash oil
tincture of cannabis

Cannabis flower essential oil:

A therapeutic product with little or no psychoactive properties extracted from
cannabis leaves and flowers. [See cannabis industrial and home products.]
weed brownies and cannabis infused gummies.

Cannabis indica:

Latin, or scientific name for the plant species Cannabis indica, distinguished by its broad leaves and relatively short, densely branched stalk. A non-psychoactive cannabis product, hemp hurds cannabis industrial and home products.

Non-psychoactive industrial hemp products, including:

cannabis flower essential oil
hemp hurds
hemp jewelry
hemp juice
hemp milk
hemp protein
hemp seed oil

Cannabis political parties:

Organizations working to end prohibition by involvement in elections. These groups often sprout in areas that do not allow popular initiatives. Active cannabis parties include:
Ale Yarok (Israel)
Aotearoa Legalise Cannabis (New Zealand)
Dagga Party (South Africa)
Grassroots-Legalize Cannabis (Minnesota)
Help End Marijuana Prohibition (Australia)
Legalize Marijuana Party (New Jersey)
Legal Marijuana Now (United States)
U.S. Marijuana Party (Vermont)

Cannabis prohibition:

Laws in some jurisdictions banning the cultivation or sales of cannabis in an attempt to prevent its use. These bans are criticized because they create a black market and because enforcement is disproportionate in communities of color.

Cannabis refugee:

A term, primarily used in the United States and Canada, referring to people who have moved from one location to another due to cannabis prohibition laws, motivated by a desire to have legal access to cannabis to treat medical conditions for themselves or their family, or to legally consume cannabis for any other reason.

Cannabis rights:

Rights of people who consume cannabis, including the right to be free from employment discrimination and housing discrimination, and in some jurisdictions, the right to religious freedom and the right to own guns.

Cannabis rights leaders:

Activists in the cannabis legalization movement, including business leaders and celebrities who advocate for ending cannabis prohibition.

Cannabis rights organizations:

Groups fighting for legalization, or advocating to reduce prohibition's harm to society, including: Drug Policy Alliance, Law Enforcement Action Partnership, Marijuana Policy Project, NORML, and Students for Sensible Drug Policy.

Cannabis ruderalis:

Latin, or scientific name for the plant species Cannabis ruderalis, which is sparsely branched with narrow leaves, typically shorter, and autoflowering.

Cannabis sativa:

Latin, or scientific name for the plant species Cannabis sativa, known for tall, sparsely branched stalks with long, narrow leaves.

Cannabis slang:

Cannabis has more than 1,200 slang names, including weed, a commonly used cannabis slang name. Additionally, there are many slang terms for consumption of cannabis, and describing the state of being under the influence of cannabis. Young adults in Texas smoking cannabis in 1973.

Cannabis smoking:

A method of consuming cannabis by inhalation of vapors released by burning cannabis or cannabis extracts.

Cannabis strains:

Pure or hybrid varieties of Cannabis sativa, Cannabis indica, and Cannabis ruderalis, including:
Acapulco Gold
Charlotte's Web
Sour Diesel
White Widow

Cannabis tea:

An infusion of cannabis.


The history of the plant name cannabis.


A heavy-duty fabric traditionally made of hemp.

CBD oil:

Cannabidiol, a relatively non-psychoactive medical cannabis extract, similar to the Charlotte's Web strain developed for Dravet syndrome.


A sacred Rastafari water pipe.


French name for cannabis.


A traditional form of Indian hashish.

Charlotte's Web:

A high-CBD, low-THC, relatively non-psychoactive medical cannabis extract, developed in Colorado, named after Dravet syndrome patient Charlotte Figi. The name Charlotte's Web is banned in Oregon for its association with a children's book of that title.

Cheech & Chong:

Comedy team of Cheech Marin and Tommy Chong, creators of the groundbreaking 1978 stoner film Up in Smoke.


Slang word for a burning ember at the tip of a joint or in a pipe bowl.


A traditional clay pipe for smoking cannabis.


A slang name for high quality cannabis.

Church of Cognizance:

An Arizona cannabis church founded in 1991.

Church of the Universe:

An Ontario, Canada cannabis church founded in 1969.
Psychological condition of dysfunctional attempts to control another person's behavior.


Topmost flower bud on a cannabis plant.

Compassionate Investigational New Drug program:

After Robert Randall became the first person to successfully use a medical necessity defense when he was charged with illegal possession of cannabis to treat his glaucoma, he filed a federal lawsuit, Randall v. United States, in 1976, resulting in the federal Compassionate Investigational New Drug program being established, under President Jimmy Carter, in 1978. At the program's peak, fifteen patients received cannabis. Forty-three people were approved for the program, though twenty-eight of the patients whose doctors completed the necessary paperwork never received any cannabis, and under the Bush administration, the program stopped accepting new patients in 1992.


Products including budder, honey oil, live resin, shatter, taffy, wax, commercially extracted from cannabis with supercritical carbon dioxide or hydrocarbon solvents.


A particular marijuana enthusiast.

Controlled Substances Act:

U.S. federal law enacted by President Richard Nixon in 1970 to replace Harry Anslinger's 1937 Marihuana Tax Act that was ruled unconstitutional by the Supreme Court. The Controlled Substances Act created a list of five Schedules, and placed cannabis alongside codeine and heroin in Schedule I, the most restrictive classification.


Slang name for a dry mouth caused by smoking or vaporizing cannabis or cannabis extracts.

Drug paraphernalia:

A glass bong


Slang name for hash oil, a resin extracted from cannabis


A slang term for smoking or vape-ing hash oil, or "dabs," extracted from cannabis.

Dab rig:

Water pipe device for vaporizing hash oil.


Afrikaans word for cannabis, derived from the Khoikhoi dachab.


A slang word for high quality cannabis.


US and UK government anti-freedom indoctrination program aimed at elementary school fourth through sixth-graders, instituted by LAPD chief Daryl Gates in 1983. The Drug Abuse Resistance Education program is costly, and is criticized for pushing out science-based health education. Other criticisms of the program include its ineffectiveness, and its training of children to be police informants.

DEA or Drug Enforcement Administration:

U.S. federal agency formed in 1970 by the establishment of President Richard Nixon's Controlled Substances Act. The organization is criticized for being unaccountable to any authority, and for self-serving acts including blocking the removal of cannabis from Schedule


The lessening of criminal penalties in relation to consumption of cannabis, reflecting changing social and moral views.

Ditch weed, or Ditchweed:

1. Slang term describing feral cannabis.
2. A slang name for poor-quality marijuana.


A slang word for cannabis cigarette.


Synthetically manufactured tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), sold under the brand names Marinol and Syndros, produced by Insys Therapeutics and Solvay Pharmaceuticals, marketed legally in the United States under Schedule III of the Controlled Substances Act, though natural THC is banned under Schedule I.

Drug czar or Drug Czar:

A person put in charge of drug policy for some region, usually at a national level (US or UK).

Drug paraphernalia:

Equipment or accessories used for growing, processing, consuming, or concealing cannabis or cannabis extracts, including:
herb grinder
oil rig
roach clip
rolling paper
stash box

Drug prohibition:

Laws in some jurisdictions banning the cultivation or sales of plants including cannabis, opium poppy, and psilocybin mushrooms in an attempt to prevent their use. These bans are criticized because they create a black market and because enforcement is disproportionate in communities of color.

Drug war or Drug War:

Term referring to wars fought over control of drug commerce, including the 19th Century Opium Wars, and contemporary police and military operations including the Mexican War on Drugs, the Philippine Drug War, and the U.S. War on Drugs.


A food or drink containing cannabis.

Effects of cannabis:

Consumption of cannabis has various psychological and physiological effects that can include euphoria and anxiety. Other effects of cannabis include munchies.

Emperor Wears No Clothes:

1985 book by cannabis rights pioneer Jack Herer, The Emperor Wears No Clothes: Hemp & The Marijuana Conspiracy, that argues cannabis is a renewable source of fuel, food, fiber, construction material, and medicine, and that it can be grown virtually anywhere, citing data and historical records.

Endocannabinoid system:

A group of receptors for cannabinoids in the brain and nervous system.


Contemporary slang name for a cannabis consumer, from the living trees in The Lord of the Rings.


Any psychoactive plant or compound that induces a spiritual experience and is aimed at personal spiritual development, including cannabis, peyote, and psilocybin mushrooms.


A person who consumes cannabis.


Deceptive and unethical law enforcement activity by an officer planning an offense and inducing a person to commit a crime through fraud or persuasion, commonly practiced in the United States and banned in Sweden.

Ethiopian Zion Coptic Church:

A Florida Rastafari church founded by Thomas Reilly in 1975.

Etymology of cannabis:

The history of the plant name cannabis.

Exploitation film:

Drug exploitation films include the well known Reefer Madness.


1. Product made from cannabis resin.
2. Process of making edible products or concentrates from cannabis.

Feral hemp:

Wild-growing cannabis generally descended from hemp plants previously cultivated for fiber. Referred to as ditch weed, with little or no psychoactive properties, this cannabis is exceptionally hardy, found widely across Indiana, Iowa, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, and Oklahoma.

First Church of Cannabis:

An Indiana cannabis church founded in 2015.


The part of a cannabis plant that is consumed for its therapeutic qualities.

Flower child:

A hippie.

Freedom fighter:

A cannabis rights activist.

Freedom Rally:

1. Cannabis pride demonstration held annually in Boston since 1989.
2. 1971 rally and music festival in Michigan protesting the arrest for marijuana possession, and imprisonment of poet John Sinclair.


Cannabis seeds that have been selectively bred to produce only females. This is desirable because it is the mature female plants that produce the most resinous trichomes that contain cannabinoids, the source of all medical efficacy in cannabis. Male plants are identified at the beginning of the flower stage of cultivation and typically destroyed. While many sources will cite feminized seeds as producing the same quality plants as non-feminized varieties, some master breeders claim that feminization produces plants that aren’t as reliable or stable as their non-feminized siblings.

Flowering time:

The period of time required for a cannabis plant to go from the end of the vegetative stage (the first stage of growth) to harvest. Sativa varieties typically require a few weeks more to mature than indica strains (why indica types are the most popular—especially on the black market). Flowering time may be a consideration for cultivation facilities and patients growing their own medicine.


The “bud” section of the cannabis plant that matures at the end of the “flower” stage of cultivation, when the number and size of resinous trichomes are greatest. Flowers are the reproductive organs of the female plant and contain nearly all of the trichomes in cannabis. It is typically the flowers that are used to create extracts and concentrates (although these can be derived from trim leaves). When fertilized by male plants, it is the flowers that produce seeds.


Short for hashish, this is a form of cannabis concentrate that is significantly more potent than regular marijuana flowers and has been employed by humans for thousands of years. Hash production involves the separation of the resinous trichomes from the flowers of the plant, typically through the use of filtering or sieving. After trichomes are collected, they are pressed or rolled into a brown, gooey paste or sticky, crumbly powder.


A cannabis strain taken from its native land and bred and cultivated in another area of the world. Many heirloom varieties are also landrace strains, meaning they have not been crossbred.


The non-euphoric variety of cannabis that contains little or no THC. By legal definition in the United States and Canada, hemp may contain no more than 0.3 percent THC. Unlike cannabis, which is derived from the female plant, hemp is typically grown from male plants. This fibrous plant can be used for more than 5,000 applications, including shelter, food, medicine, fuel, and even the manufacture of plastics. In southern climates of the United States, up to three crops per year can be grown. Hemp cultivation remains illegal in the United States, although hemp products are readily available (all hemp used in the U.S. must be imported).


A cannabis plant that is a cross of two or more different strains. Most of the cannabis available on both the black market and also in legal states is derived from hybrid strains. Hybrids are created to combine the best traits of two or more strains in an effort to create a more effective medicine or a more potent, pleasant, or long-lasting high.


A cultivation system commonly employed in cannabis gardens that involves the use of plant roots suspended in a liquid solution of water and nutrients. No soil is used in hydroponics. Advantages include greater control of nutrient volumes and the ability to make small adjustments to the health of the plant. Hydroponic gardens typically yield about double the flower volume of dirt-grown cannabis, although some claim that organic cannabis grown in dirt—especially outdoors—is the highest quality. Gardeners are obviously attracted to hydroponic growing because of the exceptionally high yield it delivers.


The common reference for cannabis indica, one of the three species of cannabis. Indica strains are the most commonly available on both the black market and also in legal dispensaries and compassion clubs. Indica plants originate in Asia and the Middle East. Afghan and Kush varieties are both indicas. Indica plants are characterized by short, broad leaves and relatively large yields during harvest. This species delivers a relaxing body high and is effective in treating pain and providing relaxation and relief from stress or anxiety. Indica strains are often known for their sedative effects (“couchlock”), especially when a large quantity is consumed.


Resinous trichomes that have been extracted, or collected, from a female cannabis plant. Unlike hash, kief is not pressed, but rather loose (a powder). In this respect, hash and kief are nearly identical. Kief is one of the most easily created extracts of cannabis and can be created by gently rubbing cannabis flowers over a screen that features a collection plate below to capture the trichomes. Like hash, kief is much more potent than raw cannabis flowers.


Cannabis plants from the Hindu Kush mountains in Afghanistan and Pakistan. Kush varieties are indicas and most effective for fighting pain, appetite stimulation, and use as a sedative. Many kush strains feature an earthy or citrus aroma.


A native strain of cannabis that has experienced no breeding or human intervention with its genetic structure. Landrace strains have evolved over millions of years and are the source of today’s wealth of hybrid strains most commonly available on both the black market and in legal dispensaries and compassion clubs. These strains sometimes are named for the region in which they are derived, such as Afghani and Thai. Pure indica and sativa strains are typically landraces and relatively rare. Durban Poison is an example of a landrace sativa.


The term given to cannabis in the early 20th century by prohibitionist forces within the United States government and big business that were intent on outlawing the plant. The term was derived from the Mexican “marihuana” (either accidentally or purposely misspelled) and was used to deceive the public, which was already very familiar with the term “cannabis.” Cannabis was available in the form of a tincture and typically administered for everything from headaches and bruised knees to painful menstruation and childbirth (aspirin wasn’t commonly available until after 1920). While “marijuana” and “pot” are the most common references for the herb in the United States and Canada, “cannabis” is the default reference for the plant in the United Kingdom, Europe, and many other parts of the world.


A label used to describe a family of cannabis strains originating in Southern California. “OG” stands for “ocean grown.” Most OG strains available today are variations of the original OG Kush, which helped make the West Coast a mecca for medical and recreational cannabis.


The physical characteristics of a particular strain of cannabis—such as height, leaf structure, and color—that quickly differentiate it from other strains. The phenotype of indica strains is short and fat, with thick leaves, whereas sativa strains are tall, skinny, and feature thin leaves.


Part of the female anatomy of the cannabis plant. These hair-like growths in the center of the flower, or bud, range in color from white to orange. Functionally, the pistil collects the pollen dispersed by male plants. When pistils catch no pollen and produce no seeds, cannabis plants invest their energy into producing resinous trichomes (this is why only female plants are consumed by patients and recreational users). The state and color of pistils can help gardeners understand the readiness of plants for harvest.


 Slang for “marijuana” or “cannabis.” Possibly the most common reference for the recreational variety of the plant in the United States. In the U.K. and Europe, “cannabis” is the most common label.


A cannabis cigarette, or “joint,” that is sold by many dispensaries and compassion clubs (typically for patients and customers who do not know how to roll joints or prefer not to). In prohibitionist states, pre-rolled joints are convenient because they can be consumed in public and without the use of paraphernalia (pipes, bongs, and other smoking devices), meaning consumers are breaking only one law.


Rosin is concentrated cannabis oil extracted without the use of solvents. Heat and pressure are applied until the oil is extracted from the cannabis plant.


The common reference for Cannabis ruderalis, one of the three species of cannabis. It is characterized by low THC and poor yields. Ruderalis strains are increasing in popularity due to the need for low-THC, CBD-rich strains for conditions like epilepsy and cancer. Ruderalis is unique in that, during cultivation, it is an “autoflowering” species of cannabis that does not require a change in light cycles to enter the flowering stage. Ruderalis landrace strains originated in Russia and are very hardy and capable of surviving in harsh climates.


The common reference for Cannabis sativa, one of the three species of cannabis. This variety originated in the equatorial regions of the world (the Middle East and Asia) and includes strains from Africa, Thailand, and South America. This variety is characterized by an energetic, euphoric "head high" that is more cerebral than body-oriented. Sativa strains are well suited for helping patients deal with depression and fatigue and actually suppress appetite (the opposite of "the munchies" that are experienced by indica users). Sativa strains are rarer because they require longer to grow and, in indoor gardens, yield considerably less than indicas—making them less profitable. Most dispensaries and compassion clubs feature at least a couple of sativa-dom or pure sativa strains. An example of a high-quality sativa-dom is Jack Herer; Durban Poison is a very popular landrace sativa.


A specialized form of BHO (Butane Hash Oil) that is characterized by a rigid, stiff form and is similar to wax (another form of BHO). Some manufacturers and gardeners prefer sativa strains for the creation of shatter.


A specific variety of a cannabis plant that falls within a particular species, such as sativa or indica. Strains deliver a particular cannabinoid profile, meaning each offers a unique mix of cannabinoids such as THC, CBD, and CBG. For this reason, different strains deliver markedly varying efficacy. Strain names, most of which have been coined by counterculture underground breeders, typically reflect the youthful, outlaw renegade nature of the mostly illegal world of cannabis. Popular strains include Durban Poison, Jack Herer, OG Kush, Headband, and Sour Diesel.


Tetrahydrocannabinol is the most common and cited cannabinoid available in marijuana. Also referred to as Delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol, this cannabinoid was first isolated in 1964 in Israel. THC is one of the only cannabinoids to provide euphoria, or a “high,” and thus strains high in this compound have been purposefully bred to produce strains that are more potent and deliver greater medical efficacy. Strains high in THC include Trainwreck, Durban Poison, OG Kush, and Bio-Diesel.


A liquid form of cannabis extract typically produced using alcohol or glycerol that is most commonly administered via use of an eyedropper under the tongue. Because they are liquid, tinctures can be flavored or embellished with other herbs. Tinctures offer the benefit of rapid onset. While they can be mixed into drinks, this significantly increases the absorption rate and onset time because the cannabinoids must now travel through the digestive tract. Sublingual (under the tongue) applications offer much more rapid absorption and, thus, relief for patients (important for those suffering from severe, chronic pain).


A cannabis extract involving the infusion of cannabinoids in a lotion or cream intended to be applied to the skin. In addition to smoke, vapor, edibles, and tinctures (sublingual applications), topical products are another consumption method that can be especially helpful for those who cannot smoke. Topical cannabis products may also be very helpful for skin conditions, such as eczema, psoriasis, and even skin cancer. While relatively new, topical cannabis products are gaining popularity in states that have legalized at least medical cannabis and developed a manufacturing and dispensary infrastructure that provides such products. Patients in prohibitionist states will be hard pressed to find a topical.


The stalk-like resin glands found on cannabis flowers that produce and contain all cannabinoids and terpenes (the molecules that give cannabis its distinctive aroma). Nearly microscopic, these “silver hairs” give cannabis flowers and some fan leaves their sticky quality. THC, CBD, CBN, and every cannabinoid or terpene of medical value are produced in the trichomes. Plants featuring more trichomes (described as “sugary” or having many “crystals”) are more potent and deliver greater medical efficacy.


A device employed to consume marijuana via inhalation. Vaporizers pass a stream of hot air—either actively (via a mechanized fan) or passively (via the inhale of a user)—across a sample of cannabis, which vaporizes the trichomes, but leaves the plant matter basically intact. For this reason, no combustion occurs in the process of vaporization and it is considered much healthier than smoking. Both flowers and cannabis oils can be vaporized. Available in both pocketable pen types and also more robust (and efficient) desktop models, patients who suffer respiratory ailments often prefer to vape or consume edibles. It is estimated that vaporization is twice as efficient at delivering THC and other cannabinoids to patients, meaning vaporizers, in theory, pay for themselves.


A cannabis concentrate derived from BHO (Butane Hash Oil) that is very similar to shatter. Wax offers patients and recreational consumers a way to consume very high-potency cannabis, something of value to those who are very sick and require rapid onset with the greatest potency possible.


Slang for “cannabis” or “marijuana.” Low-quality examples are labeled “dirtweed” or “brickweed.”