Are you feeling overwhelmed by all of the new terms and abbreviations used as you start your cannabis journey? This guide is designed to help cannabis beginners like you make sense of the most commonly used cannabis terms and abbreviations so you can start using cannabis to feel better quickly.

Cannabis Terms and Abbreviations


  • A beginner-friendly terms and abbreviations guide
  • An option to download and print the guide
  • Resources for additional help and support

Why You Will Love This Guide

Hello and welcome! If you’re reading this post, I’m guessing you may be new to the world of cannabis.

If so, you’re in the right place, and I’m glad you’re here!

I know that jumping into all things cannabis can feel overwhelming at first.

The acronyms, the names, the long words – it’s a lot.

But it all starts with education, which is where this guide comes in.

My goal is to help you better understand the plant and use it strategically to improve your wellness.

How to Use This Guide

Here I’ve gathered the most common terms, abbreviations, and acronyms in an easy-to-search list so you can quickly find what you’re looking for!

If you want something specific, I recommend using the shortcut “Ctrl + F” on your keyboard to type in the specific term.

Otherwise, please feel free to read through this guide and educate yourself at your own pace.

And if you need more in-depth education, check out my Cannabis Compass Online Course, which will help put all the pieces together at once.

Abbreviations and Acronyms

AVB – already vaped bud. Describing cannabis flower that has undergone dry herb vaporization. Learn more about AVB here.

CBD – cannabidiol, a non-intoxicating cannabinoid. Learn more about CBD here.

CBDA – cannabidiolic acid, a non-intoxicating cannabinoid acid. It is present naturally within the plant. The process of decarboxylation converts CBDA into CBD. Learn more about CBDA here.

CBG – cannabigerol, a non-intoxicating cannabinoid. Oftentimes called the ‘mother cannabinoid’. Learn more about CBG here.

CBGA – cannabigerolic acid, a non-intoxicating cannabinoid acid. It is present naturally within the plant. The process of decarboxylation converts CBGA into CBG.

CBN – cannabinol, a slightly intoxicating cannabinoid acid. Oftentimes called the ‘sleep cannabinoid’ due to its sedative properties. It is not naturally present in the plant and instead comes from the degradation of THC. Learn more about CBN here.

CO – cannabis oil, a general term used to categorize various different types of cannabis oils. Learn more about the different kinds of cannabis oils available here.

ECS – endocannabinoid system, a system present in every human body that interacts with cannabinoids from plants. Learn more about the ECS here.

FECO – full-extract cannabis oil, a powerful cannabis plant extract obtained by evaporating the alcohol from an alcohol-based tincture. Learn more about FECO here.

IP – an Instant Pot, a device that can be used for decarboxylation or infusion, or both. Learn more about using the Instant Pot here.

MBM – a Magic Butter Machine. Learn more about the MBM here.

MCT – medium-chain triglyceride, a type of oil often used in cannabis preparations. Learn more about MCT oil here.

QWET – quick wash extraction technique, a method of making a cannabis tincture. Oftentimes called the ‘Golden Dragon’ or a freezer tincture. Learn more about the QWET method here.

RSO – an acronym for Rick Simpson Oil. Similar to FECO, but prepared with unsafe solvents like isopropyl alcohol and naptha. Learn more about RSO here.

THCA – tetrahydrocannabinolic acid, a non-intoxicating cannabinoid acid. It is present naturally within the plant. The process of decarboxylation converts THCA into THC. Learn more about THCA here.

THC (Δ8) – also called delta-8 tetrahydrocannabinol, is a mostly synthetic derivative of cannabis that provides a less intoxicating experience than delta-9. Learn more about delta-8 THC here.

THC (Δ9) – also called delta-9 tetrahydrocannabinol, the most common intoxicating cannabinoid found in cannabis. Learn more about delta-9 THC here.

THCV – tetrahydrocannabivarin, a non-intoxicating cannabinoid.

Commonly Used Cannabis Terms

Application method – the way cannabis is used in or outside of the body. Learn more about application methods here.

Ardent – a certain brand of cannabis infusion machines that both decarbs and infuses. Learn more about Ardent products here.

Broad-spectrum – cannabis containing a wide range of cannabinoids, but with the THC removed. Learn more about broad-spectrum products here.

Cannabis powder – a term with two different meanings. This can refer to ground, decarbed cannabis that is used in its natural form. This can also refer to cannabis oil powder made with maltodextrin.

Capsule – a small, empty pill pocket that can be filled with various forms of cannabis. Learn more about cannabis capsules here.

Chlorophyll a pigment that gives a plant its green hue. It helps a plant make its own food and produce oxygen through photosynthesis. Learn more about chlorophyll here.

Concentrates – several different types of cannabis products that contain cannabinoids in very concentrated forms. Learn more about concentrates here.

Decarboxylation – also called decarb or decarbing, a process required to convert cannabinoid acids to their active cannabinoid form. Learn more about decarboxylation here.

Dosage – how much cannabis, in milligrams, in contained in a serving. This can be determined for edibles using an edibles dosage calculator.

Dry herb vape – an inhalation device that is thought to be safer than smoking. Learn more about dry herb vaporizers here.

Endocannabinoid system – a system present in the human body that helps to maintain homeostasis. Learn more about the endocannabinoid system here.

Fan leaf – the large, green leaves present on the cannabis plant for the purpose of facilitating photosynthesis. Learn more about fan leaves here.

Firecrackers – a simple cannabis recipe that involves sprinkling decarbed flower onto peanut butter on a cracker. Get my firecracker recipe here.

Flower bud – one of the most important parts of the cannabis plant, the flower bud contains the majority of the plant’s trichomes, cannabinoids, and terpenes. Learn more about flower buds here.

Full-spectrum – cannabis contains a wide range of cannabinoids, including THC. Learn more about full-spectrum products here.

Golden dragon – an alcohol-based cannabis preparation also known as a freezer tincture or QWET tincture. This method involves using frozen ingredients and quicker wash times. Learn more about the Golden Dragon tincture here.

Grain alcohol – high-proof alcohol that is ideal for making cannabis tinctures. Learn more about high-proof grain alcohol here.

Green dragon – an alcohol-based cannabis preparation known for its long soak times. Learn more about the Green Dragon tincture here.

Hemp seeds – a nutritious food obtained from the seeds of a cannabis plant. Hemp seeds do not contain any cannabinoids. Learn more about the benefits of hemp seeds here.

Hemp seed oil – a nutritive oil used for cooking. It does not contain cannabinoids and is not the same as CBD oil. Learn more about hemp seed oil here.

Infusion machine – a small, compact machine that can help infuse your cannabis into butter or oil. There are many different types of these machines. Learn more about infusion machines here.

Kief – the trichome-rich, powdery substance left in the bottom of a cannabis grinder. Sometimes called pollen or dry sift. Learn more about kief here.

Lecithin – is a common ingredient used to make cannabis edibles. It helps bind opposing ingredients together and may help improve bioavailability. Learn more about lecithin here.

LEVO – a certain type of cannabis infusion machine that both decarboxylates and infuses for you. Learn more about LEVO here.

Munchies – a term used to describe strong food cravings typically associated with post-cannabis consumption. Learn more about the munchies here.

Root – cannabis roots grow from the stalk of the plant into the ground. They deliver nutrients and water to the plant. They also have their own potential health benefits. Learn more about the roots here.

Salve – a type of topical preparation often made with cannabis with the purpose of pain relief. Get my cannabis salve recipe here.

Sublingual – a type of cannabis application method that involves holding the product under the tongue or inside the cheek. Learn more about sublingual absorption here.

Terpene – volatile organic compounds, essential oils, that give the plant its distinct aroma. Terpenes contain their own unique health benefits. Learn more about terpenes here.

Tincture – a cannabis preparation made using high-proof grain alcohol. There is more than one type of tincture; see Green dragon and Golden dragon. Learn more about the differences here.

Topical – a type of cannabis application method that involves applying cannabis directly onto the skin. Learn more about topicals here.

Trichome – the resinous glands found on the cannabis plant that contain the important cannabinoids and terpenes. Learn more about trichomes here.

Trim – the leaves that are cut off of the plant. These can be fan leaves or sugar leaves. Learn more about trim here.

Vaping – an inhalation method that can involve a dry herb vaporizer or a cannabis oil vaporizer. Learn more about vaping cannabis oil here.

Graphic image with text stating The Cannabis Compass Online Course

Everything you wish someone taught you…

The Cannabis Compass Online Course will show you how to use, apply, and dose cannabis safely and effectively so that you can begin to manage your anxiety, pain, and inflammation the natural way from the comfort of your own home. Learn more below.

About Emily

Hi, I’m Emily Kyle and I teach people just like you how to use cannabis to find joy, enhance productivity, improve relationships, and naturally support your overall health and wellness.

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *