This fall, Canada will be entering a brave new world. On October 17, recreational cannabis use will be officially legal throughout the country. If you’ve never used cannabis before, not even for medicinal reasons, but would like to join the party after legalization, here are some important terms and phrases you should be familiar with so you understand the lingo of your fellow cannabis users.

Additive
While growing cannabis, it’s common to use additives that may improve the quality of the marijuana or change its properties. Molasses, for instance, is sometimes added to cannabis plants to help them blossom. Some growers also believe molasses can lead to stickier buds. If you don’t already know, sticky is a desirable quality in regard to cannabis use. Compost tea is another common additive that can help protect cannabis plants from disease during the growing process, helping ensure they bud.

Blunt
Whether or not you’ve smoked marijuana in the past, blunt is probably a term you’ve heard before. A blunt is a cigar that has been emptied of its tobacco re-rolled with marijuana. They are usually popular at parties because they are easy to pass around and can last between 30 and 60 minutes. Also, be aware that they will also contain some nicotine leftover from the cigar.

Bong
This is another common method of smoking cannabis. It’s usually made of ceramic or glass and uses water to filter smoke marijuana smoke so that it’s cool when you inhale it. Some bongs can be quite complex with extra parts that help to purify the cannabis. However, a simple bong will typically consist of a bowl and a stem. Most regular cannabis users will own at least one bong or perhaps have a collection of them. They even make smart bongs.

Joint
A joint is simply a cigarette that’s rolled with marijuana that can be lit and smoked like an ordinary cigarette. It also goes by names like cone, doobie, fatties, spliff, and countless others. It’s probably the most common way to use cannabis because users can easily roll their own using thin, clean-burning paper.

Edible
This refers to any food that’s been infused with marijuana, creating an alternative consumption method to smoking. Pastries like cookies and brownies are two of the most common edibles. However, liquids like coffee and soda are popular as well. Eating a cannabis-infused edible usually creates a longer and more intense “high” than smoking. For this reason, newbies should be encouraged to eat slowly, waiting until they start to feel the effects of the cannabis before consuming more edibles.

Budtender
Naturally, this moniker is given to the people running shops and dispensaries that will be selling cannabis once it becomes legal. The name “Budtender” is a reference to the flower of a cannabis plant being called a bud. Any good “Budtender” should be able to answer any questions you have about using cannabis and offer suggestions on what products you may enjoy.

Cannabinoids
Cannabinoids refer to the chemical compounds in a cannabis plant, most notably Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD). THC is the cannabinoid that creates the euphoric “high” for recreational users. Meanwhile, marijuana strains that have high levels of CBD are the ones associated with cannabis that’s used for medicinal reasons.

Dank
While this may not sound like a term of endearment, dank actually refers to any type of high-quality cannabis that happens to have a strong and pleasing scent to it. In other words, it’s a complement to the marijuana.

Flowering Time
This is a reference to the stages in which a cannabis plant will grow and ultimately bud. Flowering time occurs when a plant has 12 or fewer hours a day exposed to light. When cannabis plants are grown in nature, this typically happens in the fall. However, many growers cultivate an artificial ecosystem in which they grow cannabis plants. This gives them better control over the growth of the plants. During flowering time, artificial growers will alternate between 12 hours of light and 12 hours of darkness, which typically results in the plants producing flowers at a higher rate.

Hemp
Hemp is closely associated with marijuana because they come from the same plant. However, because it only contains small amounts of THC, it can be used to create items like rope, paper, and jewelry, as well as fuel, food, and a number of other products. There are over two dozen countries that produce commercial hemp, with France and China being the leaders by a wide margin.

Indica/Sativa/Hybrid
These are the most common types of cannabis plants that new users will want to become familiar with as soon as possible. Each one creates a different type of marijuana strain that has distinct properties. Indica is the strain that typically makes users sluggish and tired as they experience their “high.” From a medicinal perspective, indica strains may sometimes be used to treat insomnia or chronic pain.

Sativa plants, on the other hand, tend to give users a more “uplifting high.” These strains provide users with more focus and energy. Medicinally, sativa can be used to treat depression. There is also a hybrid of indica and sativa plants that attempt to combine the benefits of each strain. However, the exact effects will depend on how much of each strain the grower put into the hybrid plant.

Munchies
You don’t need to be a cannabis expert to know about the munchies. Nevertheless, we’ll go over the long-held belief that smoking marijuana leads to extreme amounts of hunger that’s often followed by binge eating. Studies that have looked into this phenomenon have found that THC can trick the brain into thinking it’s hungry even if you recently ate. THC can also make the smell of food more intense, enticing you to eat even more.

Shatter
Also known as butane hash oil, many consider shatter to be the purest form of cannabis. Users interested in shatter will sometimes melt it and then inhale its smoke. This is commonly known as dabbing.

Tincture
This is the liquid form of cannabis that’s usually made with either glycerin or alcohol. They usually come in a variety of flavors and are deposited on the tongue with an eye dropper. This method of consuming marijuana helps the body to absorb it quickly so the effects of the cannabis will be felt quickly, even faster than if the user consumed an edible.

Slang Terms
There are literally hundreds, if not thousands, or slang terms for cannabis. It would be impossible to cover all of them. But here’s a list of some of our favorites (see if you can guess the reason behind the slang term):

  • Airplane
  • Good giggles
  • Green Goddess
  • Christmas tree
  • Rainy Day Woman
  • Alligator cigarette
  • Muggle
  • Ganja

While not an exhaustive, this list should offer you a good starting point on commonly used words in the cannabis community. The more you use, the more you’ll pick up on new words. Remember, if you’re not sure what something means, don’t be afraid to ask someone who does. How else will you learn?