CANNABIS GLOSSARY

TYPES OF CANNABIS FLOWERS

SATIVA
Sativa plants can grow upwards of 25 feet tall but most stay under 12 feet. Light green leaves that are long and thin, the stereotypical marijuana icon. The high from sativa strains are often described as uplifting and energetic. These are great for daytime use and a favorite for medicinal users because of the pain relief properties.

INDICA
Indica plants are short, usually under six feet, and have fat deep green leaves. Indicas originate from Afghanistan, Pakistan, India and the surrounding areas. The high from a quality indica strain leaves you relaxed and social. The stronger varieties will numb your body and put you to sleep. Great for relaxation, stress relief, and couchlock.

HYBRID
Hybrid cannabis strains provide the best of both worlds. Expert breeders select the top sativa and indica strains and combine them into super strains that maintain the best aspects from both parents. Hybrids can be sativa or indica dominant and have the effects to match.

CONCENTRATES

HASH
One of the oldest players in the cannabis game is hash, a concentrate made by compression of the plant’s resin. The powdery kief that coats your cannabis flowers can be collected and pressed together to form hash, or solvents like ice water or ethanol may be used to more effectively strip the plant of their cannabinoid-loaded crystals. Though not as potent as BHO and other cannabis concentrates, hash remains a staple of cannabis culture around the world.

BHO (Butane Hash Oil)
Is an extremely potent concentrate popularly consumed for dabbing and other vaporization methods. Cannabinoids are drawn out of the plant through butane extraction, which leaves behind a wax that will either maintain its sticky consistency or harden up, resulting in a crumbly “honeycomb” or a glasslike “shatter.” Because its THC content stretches up to 80%, BHO is a popular remedy for chronic pain and other intractable symptoms. Always be sure that your oil is lab tested for purity, as improperly purged BHO may contain traces of butane.

CO2
Hot on the market is CO2 oil, a concentrate made possible by expensive botanical extractors that use pressure and carbon dioxide to separate plant material. This method, called supercritical fluid extraction, is one of the most effective ways of reducing cannabis to its essential compounds. The amber oil it produces can be vaporized in a variety of ways, one of the most popular being portable vaporizer pens. Among the industry’s best sellers are disposable cartridges containing CO2 oil and a medical grade solvent called polypropylene glycol which gives the oil its liquid consistency.

CANNABINOIDS/TERPENES

∆9-Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC)

Formula: C21H30O2
Molecular Mass: 314.2246 g/mol
Boiling Point: 157 °C (315 °F)

Δ9-tetrahydrocannabinol (commonly referred to as “Δ9-THC,” “D9-THC,” “d9-THC” or simply “THC”) is a neutral cannabinoid, well known for being strongly psychoactive. Of all the scientific discoveries that have been made about THC, probably the single most important was how THC enabled scientists to discover the existence of the Endocannabinoid system in vertebrate animals (including humans): a critical part of physiology that, up until then, was unknown.  THC has been shown to be effective in the treatment of a variety of ailments and disorders including pain, tumors, nausea and ADHD.

∆1-Tetrahydrocannabinolic Acid (THC-A)

Formula: C22H30O4
Molecular Mass: 358.4733 g/mol
Boiling Point: 105 °C (220 °F)

Tetrahydrocannabinolic acid, like other acid cannabinoids, is not psychoactive. THC-A is strongly anti-inflammatory, encourages appetite, is anti-tumor, combats insomnia, and is antispasmodic.  THC-A is the most abundant terpenoid (and Cannabinoid) in the vast majority of Cannabis grown in the U.S., reaching levels over 30% of dry weight for flowers from female, unpollinated plants (sensemilla).  Many “high THC” strains, when grown and harvested optimally, produce about 15% THC-A by dry weight, though this can vary widely.

Cannabinol (CBN)

Formula: C21H26O2
Molecular Mass: 310.1933 g/mol
Boiling Point: 185 °C (365 °F)

Cannabinol is an oxidation product of THC. It normally forms when THC is exposed to oxygen and heat. A high level of CBN often reflects cannabis that is old or has been exposed to significant heat. CBN is known to be very slightly psychoactive and more strongly sedative than other known Cannabinoids.  As such, samples with significant CBN (approaching 1% by weight) can be useful to treat insomnia.  CBN is also somewhat effective as an anti-emetic and anticonvulsant.

Cannabigerol (CBG)

Formula: C21H32O2
Molecular Mass: 314.2246 g/mol
Boiling Point: Not Available

Cannabigerol is non psychoactive, and has been shown to stimulate the growth of new brain cells, including in the elderly; it should be noted that genuinely neurogenic compounds are extremely rare. CBG also stimulates bone growth, is antibacterial and anti-tumor, and combats insomnia.

Cannabidiol (CBD)

Formula: C21H30O2
Molecular Mass: 314.2246 g/mol
Boiling Point: 180 °C (356 °F)

Cannabidiol is “non-psychoactive” (in that it does not produce the euphoria, time dilation, or anxiety normally produced by THC) and has been shown to be extremely valuable in the treatment of seizure disorders such as MS and Epilepsy. Its lack of psychoactivity makes it ideal in treating children, the elderly and patients that prefer to remain clear headed and focused. CBD is often as effective as THC in the management of pain and tumors. CBD also lowers blood sugar, and has been used in the treatment of Diabetes. CBD has a calming effect, and is useful in the treatment of stress related disorders and sleep loss.

Linalool

Formula: C10H18O
Molecular Mass: 154.1358 g/mol
Boiling Point: 198 °C (388 °F)
Vapor Pressure: 0.17 mmHg ( 25 °C)

Linalool is simple terpene alcohol, probably best known for the pleasant floral odor it gives to lavender plants. It is also known as β-linalool, licareol and linalyl alcohol. Linalool has been isolated in several hundred different plants including lavenders, citrus, laurels, birch, coriander and rosewood. Linalool has been used for several thousands of years as a sleep aid. Linalool is a critical precursor in the formation of Vitamin E. It has been used in the treatment of both psychosis and anxiety, and as an anti-epileptic agent. It also grants relief from pain and has been used as an analgesic. Its vapors have been shown to be an effective insecticide against fruit flies, fleas and cockroaches.

ß-Caryophyllene

Formula: C15H24
Molecular Mass: 204.1878 g/mol
Boiling Point: 160 °C (320 °F)
Vapor Pressure: 0.01 mmHg ( 25 °C)

Beta-caryophyllene is a sesquiterpene found in many plants including Thai basils, cloves and black pepper, and has a rich spicy odor. Research has shown that β–Caryophyllene has affinity for the CB2 endocannabinoid receptor. β–Caryophyllene is known to be anti-septic, anti-bacterial, antifungal, anti-tumor and anti-inflammatory.

ß-Myrcene

Formula: C10H16
Molecular Mass: 136.1252 g/mol
Boiling Point: 168 °C (334 °F)
Vapor Pressure: 7.00 mmHg ( 20 °C)

β-Myrcene is a monoterpene, and for a wide variety of reasons, one of the most important terpenes. It is a precursor in the formation of other terpenes, as well. β-Myrcene is found fresh mango fruit, hops, bay leaves, eucalyptus, lemongrass and many other plants. β-Myrcene is known to be anti-tumor, anti-inflammatory, and used in the treatment of spasms. It is also used to treat insomnia, and pain. It also has some very special properties, including lowering the resistance across the blood to brain barrier, allowing itself and many other chemicals to cross the barrier easier and more quickly. In the case of cannabinoids, like THC, it allows it to take effect more quickly. More uniquely still, β-Myrcene has been shown to increase the maximum saturation level of the CB1 receptor, allowing for a greater maximum psychoactive effect. For most people, the consumption of a fresh mango, 45 minutes before inhaling cannabis, will result in a faster onset of psycho activity and greater intensity. β-Myrcene can be used in this same manner to improve uptake with a wide variety of chemical compounds.

Less well known is that fact that high β-Myrcene levels in cannabis (usually above 0.5%) result in the well known ‘couch lock’ effect of classic Indica strains of cannabis; Sativa strains normally contain less than 0.5% β-Myrcene.

D-Limonene

Formula: C10H16
Molecular Mass: 136.1252 g/mol
Boiling Point: 176 °C (349 °F)
Vapor Pressure: 1.50 mmHg ( 25 °C)

D-limonene is a cyclic terpene of major importance with a strong citrus odor and bitter taste. D-limonene was primarily used in medicine, food and perfume until a couple of decades ago, when it became better known as the main active ingredient in citrus cleaner. It has very low toxicity, and humans are rarely ever allergic to it. Medicinally, Limonene is best known for treating gastric reflux and as an anti-fungal agent. It’s ability to permeate proteins makes it ideal for treating toenail fungus. Limonene is also useful in treating depression and anxiety. Limonene also assists in the absorption of other terpenoids and chemicals through the skin, mucous membranes and digestive tract. It’s also been shown to be effective anti-tumor while at the same time being an immunostimulant. Limonene is one of two major compounds formed from α-Pinene.

Humulene

Formula: C15H24
Molecular Mass: 204.1878 g/mol
Boiling Point: 198 °C (388 °F)
Vapor Pressure: 0.01 mmHg ( 25 °C)

Humulene is a sesquiterpene also known as α-humulene and α–caryophyllene; an isomer of β–caryophyllene. Humulene is found in hops, cannabis sativa strains, and Vietnamese coriander, among others. Humulene gives beer its ‘hoppy’ aroma. It is anti-tumor, anti-bacterial, anti-inflammatory, and anorectic (suppresses appetite). It has commonly been blended with β–caryophyllene and used as a major remedy for inflammation, and is well known to Chinese medicine.

α-Pinene

Formula: C10H16
Molecular Mass: 136.1252 g/mol
Boiling Point: 155 °C (311 °F)
Vapor Pressure: Not Available

α-Pinene is one of the principle monoterpenes, and is important physiologically in both plants and animals, and to our environment. α-Pinene tends to react with other chemicals, forming a variety of other terpenes (like D-Limonene) and other compounds. α-Pinene has been used for centuries as a bronchodilator in the treatment of asthma; ever notice how your lungs seem to open up when hiking through a pine forest in the warm summer? α-Pinene is also anti-inflammatory. It’s found in conifer trees, orange peels among others, and known for it’s sharp sweet odor. α-Pinene is a major constituent in turpentine.

INFORMATION PROVIDED BY STEEP HILL LABS AND LEAFLY