In an effort to educate our users about the variety of terms heard within the cannabis industry we've created a glossary organized by category with potential accompanying articles by Leafly, or other cannabis industry resources.
Science & Technology
Alcohol extraction - The process of stripping the terpenes and trichomes from the cannabis plant by using either ethyl or isopropyl alcohol that results in a sticky, golden oil remains. Further purification can alter the texture of this oil to create shatter or budder depending on the extraction process used. (See also Growing & Plant Morphology: terpenes, trichomes)
BHO Extraction - A popular method of extraction due to its low cost and effectiveness that involves dissolving cannabis in a solvent (typically butane) which results in a viscous, amber concentrate. (See also closed-loop extraction and dabbing)
Boiling Point - The temperature at which a substance turns to gas, all cannabinoids and terpenes have variation in the temperature for this to be achieved.
Borosilicate Glass - The preferred type of glass for water pipes and dab rigs due to its resistance to thermal shock. Made using silica and boron trioxide which results in higher durability.
Butane - A common and popular solvent used for concentrate extraction due to its low cost and effectiveness. (See also Industry Slang: dabbing)
Closed-loop extraction - A process of extraction using butane or propane which recycles solvent within a closed vessel as opposed to releasing gas into the air. Typically practiced within laboratories by trained techs and chemists with industrial grade equipment. (See also BHO Extraction)
- Leafly: What Are CO2 Cannabis Extracts and How Are They Made?
High Times: Dabs: The Advantages of Closed-Loop Extraction
CO2 extraction - A process of extraction that involves pressurizing liquid or gaseous CO2 to its ‘supercritical’ state to be used as a solvent. This process strips waxes, oils and cannabinoids resulting in a concentrate that tends to be soft and/or runny and often amber in color.
Combustion - The process of burning a material to consume it which occurs when smoking product. (See also Methods of Consumption or Use: flower, spliff)
Convection - The process of heating and melting a material in combination with airflow which allows for a circulated current and vaporization of the concentrate. Commonly advised method of consumption for those with debilitating medical conditions. (See also Methods of Consumption or Use: vaporization)
Concentrate Slurry - Refers to pre-purged cannabis concentrate with a high concentration of residual solvent in a variety of consistencies. Can be further refined through extraction to produce highly potent concentrate forms widely used in vaping and dabbing such as rosin, shatter and wax. (See also Methods of Consumption or Use: rosin, shatter, wax)
Critical Phase - The fourth phase of matter achieved through the combination of extreme pressure and/or temperature. (See also critical point)
Critical Point - A point at which both the liquid and gaseous phases have become indistinguishable. Supercritical substances have different solubility depending on their various phases which allows for extraction potential.
Decarboxylation - The process of heating cannabis at a low temperature to force inactive compounds like THCA and CBDA to convert to active cannabinoids THC and CBD, respectively. Commonly done to increase the potency of products consumed orally like tinctures and edible products. (See also Methods of Consumption or Use: tincture, edible)
Dewaxing - A process conducted when creating shatter that involving removing waxes and lipid fats from concentrates resulting in a more stable overall product. (See also Methods of Consumption or Use: shatter)
Directional Airflow - The process of using a carb cap to restrict airflow to ensure more efficiently vaporized product that is popular with low-temperature dabbing. (See also Tools of the Trade: carb cap and Industry Slang: dabbing)
Directional Flow - The folding technique used for pressing rosin which directs concentrate into a single area to save time.
Endocannabinoid - The naturally occurring lipid-based neurotransmitters produced by the human body as well as a number of other vertebrate animals that bind to cannabinoid receptors in order to regulate biological processes.
Entourage Effect - Term used to describe the synergistic effect that occurs when using a product with the full spectrum of compounds found within cannabis. (See also Growing & Plant Morphology: whole plant)
Ethanol - A commonly used solvent, otherwise known as ethyl alcohol used for extraction to produce a variety of products ranging from topical to edibles. (See also alcohol extraction)
Fresh Frozen - Refers to the process of freezing cannabis immediately after harvesting (sometimes cryogenically, but often times in a regular deep freezer) in order to preserve the terpenes and cannabinoids found within the living plant. Can also refer to the specific process used to freeze and then immediately extract the material within 24-36 hours which produces live resin. (See also Growing & Plant Morphology: terpenes, cannabinoids and Methods of Consumption or Use: live resin)
Cannabis Science Tech: Goal-Oriented Extraction Processes
Hand washed - The process of mixing both cannabis and ice with a paddle or ladle to make bubble hash.
Hand whipping - A technique used during purging that involves whisking by hand with a metal tool in circular motion that generally results in lower residual solvent levels.
Heat Cleaning - Refers to the process of removing reclaim or burnt residual concentrate by torching the nail or banger excessively.
Leafly: How to Clean a Dab Rig Nail
High Cannabinoid Full Spectrum Extract (HCFSE) - A hash oil product that is extracted to achieve the full taste, aroma and strength of the cannabis plant. Generally has potent flavor and aroma. (See also entourage effect and Growing & Plant Morphology: whole plant)
High Terpene Full Spectrum Extract (HTFSE) - A product that is created through hydrocarbon extraction and focuses primarily on preserving the terpenes of the cannabis plant.
Hydrocarbon extraction - The popular extraction method that is used to strip cannabinoids and terpenes from the cannabis plant material. The process often involves the use of solvents such as propane or butane, but can also use alternatives like pentane or hexane.
Isopropyl Alcohol - A commonly used solvent for extracting cannabis as well as the go-to choice for many for cleaning water pipes and rigs due to its quick evaporation rate.
Micron bag - A sewn bag typically made of nylon mesh, used to filter the cannabis plant material from the resin glands. These bags come in a variety of micron grades ranging from 25u to 180u which impacts the size of particle that they can filter and the quality/grade of hash. (See also micron grade and Growing & Plant Morphology: trichomes/resin glands)
Micron grade - Refers to the scale of micron bag that is used to separate and collect trichomes as concentrate is produced. 25u-90u is a tighter-weaved mesh and is generally used for high-grade products like bubble hash and ice wax whereas 90u-180u, a looser mesh weave, is often used when pressing flower rosin.
Micron screen - A fine mesh screen commonly used for separating the resin glands (trichomes) from plant matter during dry-sifting and hash making.
Open Blasting - A highly volatile, risky solvent based process typically done within a glass or metal tube that does not use closed-loop extraction.
Parts-per-million (PPM) - The standard measurement used for residual solvents and other potential contaminants like pesticides, mold, etc. Can also refer to the concentration of minerals in the water you feed your plants when used in terms of cultivation.
Pre-run - A term used in reference to cannabis flower before it’s been processed into oil.
Propane - A common and popular although highly-flammable solvent used for concentrate extraction due to its low cost and production speed. (See also Industry Slang: dabbing)
Purging - The critical process of removing residual solvent from a concentrate resulting in an end product that is safe and pure. Required when producing anything of pharmaceutical quality.
Rotary Evaporator (Rotovap) - A machine commonly used within chemical laboratories that gently separates and recovers solvents from compounds through through the introduction of heat slowly combined with pressure and rotational motion.
Solvent - A chemical substance that dissolves material to form a solution, when used in the cannabis industry for extraction, it refers to a liquid used to separate cannabinoids from the plant matter. (See also butane, propane & ethanol)
Solvent-Free - Used to describe hydrocarbon extraction that has been cleansed entirely of all residual solvents, considered to be safer and superior to products that contain residual solvent. (See also Methods of Consumption or Use: distillate)
Solvent Recovery - A term used to describe the process of recovering and recycling solvents used during the extraction process to save on overall production costs.
Supercritical extraction - A common extraction method often used for the creation of pharmaceutical grade cannabis products that does not leave behind residual solvent during production, unlike the use of butane or other chemical solvents.
Terpene Distillation - The process of extracting terpenes directly from the cannabis plant using mechanical distillation which allows for the plant’s aroma and flavor to be retained within distillate end product
Vacuum Oven - A machine used to both dry cannabis that has been harvested to lessen potential for mildew or mold forming as well as improve the quality of overall product and as a popular purging machine used to strip concentrates of residual solvents through the application of heat and negative pressure.
Washing Machine/Extractor - A machine and method used to mechanically perform agitation when producing dabbable concentrates.
Winterization - The process of dissolving raw extract using solvents, commonly ethanol, and put into a freezer overnight (or longer) in order to force lipids and waxes to the top for easier filtration.
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