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The Leaf’s Ganja Glossary

The Leaf offers up this handy, quick reference guide to toking terminology.

For those new to the ever-evolving world of weed – or anyone in need of a quick reference guide to toking terminology – the Leaf offers up this handy glossary to help you better understand some commonly used Cannabis terms.

Bag Appeal
The look and attractiveness of a finished flower. This element plays a significant role in how a product will sell – even if the product itself doesn’t smoke as good as it looks.

Refers to the type of material a Cannabis plant was grown in. Generally, the more natural it is, the better the end product. But don’t take our word for it … find out for yourself!

Living Soil
Biologically-active grow medium filled with living microbial organisms – it’s alive!

Refers to shredded coconut husks, which is a commonly used grow medium that splits the difference between soilless and living soil.

A soilless inert grow medium made from rock and other minerals that have been melted down and turned into a fibrous wool-like material.

Short for hydroponics – a method of cultivation in which soil is not used. This style of growing sparked a wave of innovation for indoor cultivation hardware and techniques after the discovery that hydroponically-produced buds displayed bag appeal the likes of which had never been seen before.

Hash Strain
A cultivar selected particularly for its ability to yield commercially viable volumes of bubble hash when processed. Thanks to the continually increasing interest in and sales of solventless concentrates, these sought-after cultivars are guiding growers’ decisions on what to produce.

Full Term
A Cannabis plant that has been grown outside to full maturity – also commonly referred to as full sun, sungrown or outdoor. Also a designation for method of cultivation.  

Light Dep
Short for light deprivation. A style of cultivation that utilizes greenhouses with the ability to block out light – tricking Cannabis plants into entering the flowering cycle. Psych!

Cannabis cultivated in a fully enclosed, indoor environment, allowing for an unmatched degree of control by the grower.  

ZaZa or Za
Slang for exotic. Largely used by trappers and traditional market cultivators to describe “high grade” or “top shelf” Cannabis that is very often not “high grade” or “top shelf.”

Single Source
Applies to in-house vertical integration in terms of product production on at least two levels.  Most often, this term is applied to concentrates that were produced by the same group or individual that grew the material that was processed. When applied to flower, it tends to mean that all the flower found under that label was produced in-house.

Cannabis buds from the lower portions of a plant that don’t receive as much light, and therefore don’t grow into large, full-size colas.

Hype Strain
Any cultivar that is new and gaining popularity quickly – a simultaneously complimentary and derogatory term.

Terps for short. Organically occurring compounds largely responsible for a cultivar’s smell and taste.

Leafy cocoon-like petals in which seeds typically form.  

The female organs of a flower.

The part of a pistil that receives the pollen during pollination.

A more scientifically accurate term for “strain.”

Scientifically speaking, it’s a set of observable characteristics resulting from the interaction between an individual’s genotype and the environment.  In layman’s terms, it’s the unique expression of a particular plant.  

Light Emitting Diode. A rapidly growing type of lighting for indoor Cannabis cultivation that offers lower power usage than other indoor lighting options.

Ceramic Metal Halide. A commonly used type of lighting for indoor Cannabis cultivation.

High Intensity Discharge. A commonly used type of lighting for indoor Cannabis cultivation.

High Pressure Sodium. A commonly used type of lighting for indoor Cannabis cultivation.

About Nate Williams

Nate is a Bay Area born and raised Cannabis enthusiast and journalist working in the field since 2015. He worked as the Oregon Leaf Director until relocating to Sacramento at the beginning of 2020 to help launch California Leaf, where he currently serves as the magazine’s Sales Director. He enjoys organic sun-grown derived hash rosin, photography, and road cycling.

This article was originally published in the March 2023 issue of All Magazines.

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