If you’re new to the world of cannabis, you might quickly find yourself overwhelmed by terms you’ve never heard before. Dank? Budtender? Pre-rolls? Packing a bowl? It’s enough to make your head spin. While you don’t have to know every single term out there (because there are a lot of them), understanding some of the most commonly used cannabis terms can help you navigate a dispensary delivery experience.


Adult-use is another term for recreational cannabis. It’s legal cannabis that’s not for medical purposes. Any adult over the age of 21 can purchase it without a recommendation from a doctor.


A dispensary is a store from which you purchase legal cannabis. There are adult-use and medical dispensaries. Anyone over the age of 21 can go into and buy products from an adult-use store with a valid ID. To buy from a medical dispensary, you typically have to be 18 or older and have a recommendation from your doctor.

Prop 64

Prop 64 refers to Proposition 64, a California law that allows adults 21 and older to possess and grow specified amounts of cannabis for recreational use.


Budtenders are the people who work behind the counters of dispensaries. They’re more than people who supply you with your purchases. The best budtenders are highly knowledgeable of the products they sell. They can answer your questions and provide you with quality recommendations.


Bud is another term for a cannabis flower. It typically refers to the dried and cured flowers you’ll see in jars on dispensary shelves. Most dispensaries sell a vast array of strains.

Indica, Sativa, and Hybrid

Many dispensaries divide their products into one of three categories, Indica, Sativa, and Hybrid. They generally use these terms to describe what type of experience you can expect. For the most part, Indicas are sedating and relaxing, while Sativas are energizing. Indica strains provide a body high, while Sativas offer a head high. Hybrids may provide a mix of effects.

What these terms actually refer to is the physical characteristics of a specific strain. Many factors determine a strain’s effects. Even so, knowing whether a product is an Indica, Sativa, or Hybrid can provide a good starting point.


THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) is a crystalline- type compound found in the cannabis plant that is often linked to the psychoactive effects, or the “high feeling” users get when consuming cannabis.


CBN (cannabinol) is a compound that is often found in older, highly oxidized THC. It is produced when THC ages. It has been cited as producing sedating effects on users and is thought to help with cases of insomnia.


CBD (Cannabidiol) is a naturally occurring compound within the flowers of a cannabis plant. It is known for its therapeutic uses and, unlike THC, does not cause the consumer to feel high. Some users choose to use products containing CBD isolates (products that only contain CBD) for this very reason.


Terpenes are the aromatic oils that contribute to the cannabis’s strong scent.


These are the tiny crystal-like structures you’ll see covering cannabis flowers. These are what house the terpenes and cannabinoids, the compounds in cannabis that produce the effects you feel when you use it.


Joints are the classic method of cannabis consumption. You smoke them similarly to cigarettes.. You can purchase pre-rolled joints, called pre-rolls, but many cannabis enthusiasts enjoy the art of rolling their own.


A bong is a type of smoking device. Many are glass, but you’ll also find ones that are metal, ceramic, acrylic, or silicone. They come in various shapes and sizes, but you use them in pretty much the same fashion. You fill the base with water, pack your bowl, light it, and inhale through the mouthpiece.

pipe hits

Packing a Bowl

A bowl is the part of a bong or pipe that you fill with ground cannabis. “Packing a bowl,” refers to the act of placing the ground flower into the bowl before you smoke.


Concentrates are concentrated cannabis products. They’re exceptionally potent, so you only need a very small amount to achieve results. There are many different types on the market, including shatter, crumble, and crumble. These names often refer to the texture or consistency of a specific product.


Edibles are cannabis-infused foods and beverages. You’ll come across many different types in a dispensary. The thing to keep in mind with these products is that they take longer to kick in, so you’ll need to have some patience before you eat or drink a second dose.

These are just a handful of terms that cannabis connoisseurs use. As you spend more time in your local dispensaries and around other cannabis users, you’ll pick up more. You’ll expand your vocabulary, and every term will feel perfectly natural.