Cannabis Terminology 101: Shatter, Hash, Resin, and More

Cannabis Terminology 101: Shatter, Hash, Resin, and More

Cannabis Terminology Guide


Whether you’re new to the cannabis industry or a seasoned veteran, it’s easy to become overwhelmed with all the terms, acronyms, and slang. This cannabis terminology glossary is intended to be a comprehensive guide to learning what these terms mean and why they’re important.


The origins of 420 can be traced back to a group of high school students in San Rafael, California during the early 1970s. They would regularly meet at 4:20 pm to consume cannabis and started to use “420” as a secret code. Since then, the term has become a popular phrase used to refer to both the time of day and April 20th. Dispensaries and cannabis consumers celebrate around the country on and around 4/20. 


Similar to 420, 710 refers to both the time and date July 10th. When flipped upside down and backward, “710” spells “OIL,” which is a word used to describe cannabis concentrates. Like 4/20, dispensaries and consumers celebrate on and around this day. 


Accessories are equipment, devices, or products designed to aid in growing, storing, or consuming cannabis. For example, this can be lighters, rolling papers, bongs, or trays. 


Aroma refers to the scent and/or general taste of a certain plant or flower. Similar to fine wine, cannabis aromas can be described as “earthy,” “citrusy,” “skunky,” etc. These descriptions are intended to give the user a general idea prior to purchasing. 


A blunt is a hollowed-out cigar rerolled with cannabis. Blunt wraps come in a variety of shapes, sizes, and flavors, and they hold large quantities of flowers. Because of this, blunts have become a popular choice for group smoke sessions. Keep in mind that blunt wraps contain tobacco, so if you’re anti-nicotine, you may want to stick to joints. 


Typically made of glass or ceramic, a bong is a filtration device used to smoke cannabis or tobacco. A bong filters the smoke through water so that it is cooled prior to inhalation. At its most basic, a bong consists of a bowl and a stem. Today, with the growing complexity and craftsmanship of consumers, bongs have evolved to incorporate ice holders, ash catchers, etc. These additions are used to further purify and cleanse the smoke.


Bud refers to the actual flower of the mature marijuana plant. Buds contain active cannabinoids including THC and CBD.


A budtender is an employee of the dispensary that has become an expert on cannabis products. Their job is to help answer any questions regarding effects, benefits, ingestion methods, and recommendations. Curious about what the full job entails? Read our blog, What Does a Budtender Do? 

Butane Hash Oil (BHO)

Butane Hash Oil (BHO) is made by blasting cannabis flowers with butane. This causes the THC to become soluble. Once the butane is evaporated, the end product is an extremely potent, amber-colored resin. Depending on the extraction process, the end result can vary in texture and consistency. BHO is a broad umbrella term for specific types of concentrates such as budder, wax, crumble, and shatter. 


Cannabis is a genus of flowering plants found in Central Asia, South Asia, and many other regions of the world. The three flowering species include Cannabis ruderalis, Cannabis sativa, and Cannabis indica. 


Cannabinoids are the chemical compounds active in cannabis. These are at least 85 known cannabinoids all offering a variety of different experiences. The two most abundant found in cannabis are THC and CBD. 

CBD (Cannabidiol) 

Cannabidiol, better known as CBD, is the second most common cannabinoid found in the marijuana plant. Unlike THC, CBD has no psychoactive properties. This has made it popular for those wanting the medicinal benefits of cannabis without the high. CBD is widely used to help treat anxiety, nausea, pain, cancer, and many other medical issues. CBD can be extracted and used in a variety of methods including topicals, oils, and tinctures. 


A concentrate is any type of cannabis product that is refined from flower into a more potent form. For instance, wax, shatter, and oil, are all types of concentrates. Concentrates have become popular among consumers due to their high THC contents. 


A cross is the result of two different strains being crossbred together. For example, the strain Super Lemon Haze is a cross between Super Silver Haze and Lemon Skunk.


Cultivation refers to the way a marijuana plant was grown. This can be done indoors or outdoors, with natural or artificial light, in soil or using soilless practices, etc. 


Dab is a slang term for a dose of Butane Hash Oil (BHO). It is consumed by “dabbing” with a rig and heat source to produce vapor, which is then inhaled.


Dank is a slang term used to describe a high-quality or highly potent cannabis product.


A dispensary is a store that is legally licensed to sell cannabis products. There are two types of dispensaries, medical and recreational. In the state of Nevada, recreational dispensaries can serve adults 21 years of age or older. Medical dispensaries can serve adults 18 years or older, as long as there is proof of a medical marijuana card. 


Edibles are cannabis-infused foods and beverages. By digesting the cannabis versus inhaling smoke, the high is often more intense and elongated. Some popular edibles include brownies, gummies, and soda.  Because it can take about 2 hours to kick in, it’s recommended to start with a low dosage before consuming more. 


Extraction refers to the different processes by which cannabinoids are isolated from the plant for use. This can include alcohol extraction, butane hash oil extraction, etc. 


Like most plants, the flower is known as the “pretty” part. With Cannabis species, the flowers are the sticky, crystal-covered parts that are harvested and dried for consumption. It is also known as the reproductive organs of the plant. 


The start of the cannabis plant growth cycle is called germination. Specifically, this is referring to the time when a seed cracks and sprouts a seedling.


Glass is an informal, umbrella term used to describe the most popular way to consume cannabis via a bong, pipe, or bubble. A “piece” can range in price from $5 to $1000 plus, depending on the level of craftsmanship. 


A gram is a metric of unit equal to 1/1000 of a kilogram. Cannabis is sold in units ranging from one gram to one ounce. The most common weights are: gram, eighth (3.5 grams), quarter (approximately 7 grams), half (14 grams), and an ounce (approximately 28 grams.) 


A grinder is a device used to help break down buds. Its purpose is for making rolling joints, blunts, or packing a bowl easier. Most grinders are separated into two or three sections, a top area with sharp teeth and holes, which sifts the ground cannabis into a lower section and the bottom, where the ground cannabis can be accessed/stored. Some grinders have a third section that catches the kief, which many use to pack on top of their bowls.

Hash/Hash Oil

Hash is one of the oldest forms of cannabis concentrate and is believed to have originated around 900 AD. It’s made through compressed trichomes and contains high levels of cannabinoids. 


Hemp is derived from the male cannabis sativa plant and can be used to manufacture paper, beauty products, and a variety of other items. Unlike a female cannabis plant, the males don’t produce the same level of THC. Instead, the fibrous product has been repurposed to create other useful materials and is used commonly for CBD products.


A hybrid is a cross between two strains of cannabis. Hybrids are often bred to mix the desired traits of two or more strains, resulting in a unique, powerful combination. Many strains found in dispensaries are hybrid. 


Hydroponics is a soilless form of gardening. Instead, plants are grown in water and receive nutrients from solutions added to the water rather than the soil. The advantage of hydroponics is that growers have more control over nutrient intake and stability. Because of this, it’s said that hydroponically grown plants have cleaner and most distinct flavors.

Ice wax

Ice wax is an extremely fine bubble hash collected using water and ice to extract the plant’s THC. Unlike other waxes, ice wax does not use the aid of a solvent like butane. 


Indica is one of three species from the cannabis plant, alongside Sativa and Ruderalis. Compared to their Sativa counterparts, Indica plants are shorter, bushier, and produce more bud. The Indica plant is also known for creating more of a “body high” that facilitates relaxation compared to Sativa. Some of the most popular Indica strains include the Kush and Afgan lineages.  


A joint is a rolled cigarette filled with cannabis using non-tobacco papers. Unlike blunts, joints do not use wraps containing nicotine. 


Kief is a collection of trichomes that have been separated from the cannabis flower. Since trichomes are the crystals on the flower that hold the most amounts of cannabinoids, kief is extremely potent. 


Kush is a specific strain of Indica originating from the Hindu Kush mountains in Afganistan and Pakistan. These plants have a unique aroma and powerful sedative effects making them a popular choice among many. 

Live Resin

Live resin refers to an extraction method where freshly harvested plants are frozen prior to and throughout the extraction process. This process keeps the full terpene profile intact making the user better able to experience the aroma and flavor. Terpenes are also responsible for different effects within the body, such as appetite stimulation, muscle relaxation, etc. 


Marijuana is a broad term used to describe a female cannabis plant and the flower it produces. There are many slang terms used as well such as bud, pot, mary jane, ganja, etc. 


An ounce is a metric of unit used in cannabis sales. An ounce is approximately 28 grams – 28.35 to be exact. The laws in Nevada state that one person can purchase up to one ounce in a single transaction.


Pot is an informal, slang term used to describe cannabis. The word was popularized in American in the late 1930s. “Pot” comes from the Spanish word “potiguaya” or “potaguaya,” which means a wine in which marijuana buds have been steeped.


Phenotype refers to a plant’s inherent characteristics. This can include the plant’s effectiveness, taste, smell, look, and more. 


A pre-roll is a joint or blunt that was prepared prior to its intended time of consumption. Pre-rolls can be purchased at dispensaries and are a good choice for those not wanting to roll themselves. 


PPM is an acronym for “parts per million.” This is the standard measurement for residual solvents or pesticides found within cannabis products. 

Pull n’ Slap

Pull n’ slap refers to the consistency of a shatter. As the name suggests, it is malleable and flexible, but will break when hit against something. 


Purging is the process of removing residual solvent from a concentrate. 


Rigs are devices used to consume concentrates, waxes, or shatters. “Dabbing” involves heating the nail on the rig to a specific temperature with a handheld torch and then inhaling the vapor.


A roach is the end of a joint or blunt that is too small to be smoked. 


Rosin is a solventless concentrate made by combining heat and pressure to squeeze the resinous sap out of the flower.


Ruderalis is one of the three species from the Cannabis plant. Unlike its Indica and Sativa counterparts, Ruderalis has much lower THC levels. 


Sativa is one of the three species from the Cannabis plant. It is well known for its energetic and uplifting psychoactive effects. Compared to Indica, it is known to give off a “head high” rather than a “body high.”  


Shatter is a form of concentrate known for its purity and potency. As the name suggests, it has a brittle, glass-like appearance and can easily break into pieces. Shatter is used for dabbing. 


A solvent is a liquid used to dissolve something to form a solution. In cannabis extractions, a solvent is used to separate the THC or CBD from the flower. 


A spliff is a joint rolled with a mixture of tobacco and cannabis. 


A cannabis strain is a particular species of plant, either in a pure or hybrid form. Strains help people identify the taste, aroma, origin, or physical effects on a user. There are hundreds of strain options available and new ones are frequently produced.

THC (Tetrahydrocannabinol) 

THC is the most abundant cannabinoid found in marijuana. It is responsible for the “high” caused by smoking or ingesting cannabis. 


Topicals are products including lotions, salves, or creams that contain cannabis. These are intended to be applied topically – meaning outside of the user’s body rather than orally. Topicals can assist with body pain or skin issues, and can even be used as an antiseptic ointment. 


A tincture is vile of liquid concentrate void of cannabinoids. Tinctures can be a great alternative for those not interested in smoking or edibles. These are distributed under the tongue to provide fast absorption to the body.


Trichomes are the hairy, sticky glands that cover the flower and leaves of the cannabis plant. This is where terpenes and cannabinoids (THC and CBD) are created and secreted. 


Terpenes are the compounds found in the cannabis plant. Created by the trichomes, terpenes are what give cannabis strains their aroma, taste, and effects on the body. To learn more, read our blog, What Are Terpenes? 


Vaporizers are another method of consuming cannabis. Unlike a joint or bong, vaporizers heat the flower or oil to a very specific temperature that turns it into vapor rather than smoke.