As legalization speeds (or crawls)
forward and we learn more about the plant and how best to enjoy it, a whole
slew of new words and scientific terms have made their way into the mainstream
of cannabis culture and it can be hard to wade through the haze and keep up.
But worry not — your days of working off third-rate definitions from the internet are over. Here’s an overview of some terms, each in their own way associated with terpenes (the compounds that give cannabis its tastes and smells) from the scientific stuff to the slang, excerpted from “Beyond Buds: Next Generation,” a guide to cutting-edge cannabis consumption written by Cannabis Now contributor Ed Rosenthal and Associate Editor-at-Large Greg Zeman.
Study up, and you won’t leave another
concentrate-focused conversation feeling like the only kid in class who didn’t
do the assigned reading.
BHO: An abbreviation
for “butane hash oil”; can refer to any number of concentrates derived from
butane extraction; also can refer to raw, unpurged, liquid solution of butane
and extract bubble hash.
An extraction approach that recycles the extraction solvent and contains the
process inside a closed system, as opposed to open blasting.
Crystalline: Refers to the molecular structure of a solid; the more orderly that structure is the more it will resemble a crystal. This is the natural state of “pure” cannabinoids, which are solids, and which can be purified and refined using recrystallization processes.
Decarboxylation: the removal of a carboxyl, which is a carbonate molecule (COOH). When carboxyl molecules are attached to the THC molecule, it is called THCA, or THC acid. In this form, THC lacks most of its psychoactivity. Decarboxylation removes the COOH acid molecule, leaving behind THC. Mild heat is often used to convert THCA to THC. This happens during drying, vaporization and smoking. Some decarboxylation happens naturally as marijuana cures and ages.
Diamond mining: Also
known as “Jar Tech,” this is a simple process for recrystallizing freshly
extracted BHO; this process works best using live resin.
The refined high-cannabinoid extract produced by distilling concentrates;
increasingly the most popular option for filling vape pen cartridges.
An electrical heating element for a banger or nail attached to a temperature
controller, allowing for consistent, targeted temperature dabs with no need for
a torch; apart from a quick swipe of a Q-tip, there is no downtime between
Live resin: BHO
produced using live or flash frozen live material; the higher terpene content
makes it an ideal choice for producing sauces, sugars and other BHO
consistencies that rely on recrystallization.
A natural separation process that occurs in all mixtures; in cannabis
concentrates, this means the separation of the cannabinoid solid from the
terpenes, which are natural solvents and fundamentally liquid.
Oil: A catch-all term that refers to any cannabis concentrate produced through solvent extraction, not generally used for hash or rosin.
The original BHO extraction process; filling a tube with weed, blasting butane
through the tube and collecting what comes out the other side for purging; not
actually as dangerous as often presented, but more or less a non-starter in the
current regulatory climate.
action of oxygen when it unites with another substance chemically. This happens
quickly in fire, but also takes place at a much slower pace at room
temperature. For marijuana and its products, oxidation is deterioration. The
oxygen in air interacts with marijuana to reduce its THC content.
act of removing a solvent from a solution, as occurs during BHO or CO2
Resin glands: General term for all trichome types on the cannabis plant.
The refined product of applying heat and pressure to raw buds or hash.
A mechanical extraction or refinement process for buds and hash respectively;
heat and pressure are used to coax a potent, flavorful, full-spectrum product
that is dabbable.
A highly regarded type of BHO characterized by its translucence and its
brittleness at room temperature; can range in consistency from “true” brittle
shatter (like golden or amber glass) to a sappy snap n’ pull consistency.
A substance that dissolves another substance, creating a solution — water is
the most basic solvent in the universe; because cannabinoids and terpenes are
oils, solvents used to extract them include alcohol, petroleum-based liquids
and liquid CO2.
CO2 extraction done below the critical temperature and pressure
point of carbon dioxide when it turns to liquid.
In this context, refers to “terp sugar,” which is a sandy, granular variation
of BHO that has a damp appearance and consistency from terpene saturation.
An unusual phase that occurs when a substance is held at or pushed past its
critical point when it changes from gas to liquid or similar. A supercritical
substance has different characteristics (solubility, diffusivity) than the same
substance has as a liquid or a gas; it is considered a “cloud.”
In bio-industry, the act of removing waxes from
an oil, usually through the application of cold temperature.
TELL US, is there any cannabis lingo that’s left you puzzled?