A Glossary of Terms for Cooking with Cannabis
Bud, bhang, bush, flower, ganja, grass, green, herb, weed A term for cannabis, named for the part of the plant that’s smoked or eaten.
Budtender The cannabis know-it- all who actually knows it all, down to the most minute detail of a given strain. Budtenders typically staff dispensaries. See Strain.
Cannabinoid The chemical compounds unique to cannabis that provide relief to myriad conditions, including arthritis and seizures. More than 100 have been identi ed but the best known are THC (psychoactive), CBD and CBN (both nonpsychoactive, though the latter has shown to be less so). Cannabinoids are hydrophobic but fat soluble, which makes butter, oil and other fats ideal vehicles for infusing cannabis in food. See CBD, CBN and THC.
Cannabutter Butter infused with cannabis as a way to incorporate weed in food. This green-tinged butter can be used the same way as butter. Typically best for foods that benefit the most from butter’s flavor and richness, such as baked goods and sauces. Ideal for baking, sauteing, basting and finishing dishes. See Pot brownies and Space cakes.
Canna-oil Any oil infused with cannabis as a way to incorporate weed in food. Best for sauteing, salad dressings and any application that calls for oil, including homemade mayonnaise.
CBD,cannabidiol The dominating cannabinoid in cannabis that has no psychoactive effect but relieves pain, anxiety and a host of other ailments without producing the “high” associated with THC. The Food and Drug Administration earlier this year declared CBD as “beneficial” and solicited public comment for anecdotal input. Certain cannabis strains are higher in CBD than others, such as Charlotte’s Web. See Cannabinoids, strain and THC.
CBN, cannabinol A cousin of CBD that typically does not create a euphoric state but is known for its sedating, pain-relieving, and appetite-stimulating abilities. Indica strains typically have high CBN levels. See Indica.
Dabbing A method of consuming cannabis concentrate by heating the concentrate in a pipe, or dab rig, and inhaling its smoke.
Decarb, decarbing, decarboxylation Slowly heating cannabis to activate THC and other cannabinoids so they can be absorbed into the body. See Cannabinoids.
Endocannabinoid system Receptors throughout the human body that contribute to its ability to maintain homeostasis. If the body’s endocannabinoid system isn’t up to snuff, consuming plant cannabinoids like CBD is known to assuage inflammation and other painful symptoms. See Cannabinoids and CBD.
Entourage effect The theory that cannabinoids, including THC and CBD, along with other compounds in cannabis, such as terpenes, interact synergistically so that the medicinal impact of the whole plant is greater than the sum of its parts. See CBD, Terpenes and THC.
Ganjier Someone with a deep knowledge and love for cannabis and the cannabis industry. The term is derived from the Hindi word, ganja, for marijuana.
Hemp milk This plant-based milk is popular with vegans and edible-lovers alike because of its creaminess, nutty flavor and high fat content that allows cannabinoids to be better absorbed into your body. See Cannabutter and Lecithin.
Hybrid Strains made by crossbreeding sedating indica and cerebral sativa to create superpower strains for a combination of effects. Girl Scout Cookies, an award- winning hybrid strain, is famous for simultaneously relaxing the body and getting creative juices flowing. See Indica, Sativa and Strain.
Indica One of the three main classifications of cannabis strains, along with sativa and hybrids, known for its sedative effect and ability to relieve anxiety and insomnia. A popular indica strain is Skywalker, created to combat the “dark side.” See Hybrid, Sativa and Strain.
Kief, crystal, pollen A potent form of cannabis made from the trichomes of the plant. High in cannabinoids but low in flavor, this dried powder is ideal for cooking. Be aware of the increase in THC if kief is added to cannabutter or canna-oil.
Lecithin A fatty substance found in plants, such as soybeans, and proteins, such as eggs, that acts as an emulsifier. It’s often combined with cannabis-infused butter or oils that allegedly boots the high associated with THC. See Cannabinoids and Cannabutter.
Microdosing Consuming smaller amounts (usually between one and 10 milligrams) of THC or another cannabinoid to achieve a balanced and longer-lasting therapeutic or relaxed effect. See Cannabinoids.
Pot brownies The quintessential edible typically made with cannabutter or other cannabis- infused oil. See Cannabutter and Canna-oil.
Sativa A classification of cannabis strains famed for their uplifting and stimulating powers. Most notable for battling depression and fatigue. Sour Diesel, a much-loved sativa strain, for example, is known for its euphoric, creative and full of energy results. See Hybrid, Indica and Strain.
Space cakes A common term for cannabis-laced cakes or cupcakes often made with cannabutter. Popular in Amsterdam, these cakes are best eaten slowly to gauge individual tolerance. See Cannabutter.
Strain A specific type of cannabis, typically falling within the indica, sativa, or hybrid categories. Nearly 800 strains are recognized worldwide.
Sublingual A method of consuming cannabis by placing droplets of a tincture under the tongue, where blood vessels can quickly absorb the cannabis and provide fast-acting effects. See Tincture.
Terpenes The compounds responsible for the taste and smell in cannabis. From limonene, a citrusy aroma, to linalool, a sweet and oral scent, terpenes are increasingly considered to create layers of flavor in cannabis dishes. See Strain.
Terpenist An expert in terpenes who uses his or her vast knowledge of strains to pair them with food and drink. See Ganjier.
THC, tetrahydrocannabinol, delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol The main psychoactive chemical in cannabis. It’s best known for creating the euphoric “high” sensation synonymous with cannabis, which often overshadows its therapeutic abilities, such as combating pain, insomnia, nausea and post traumatic stress. See Cannabinoids.
Tincture Alcohol-based cannabis extract ingested sublingually or used as an ingredient, such as for weed sugar. Since the cannabis dosage can easily be controlled, tinctures are ideal for rookies who want to prevent an uncomfortable high. See Sublingual and Weed sugar.
Titrating, titration Slowly increasing the concentration of a specific cannabinoid with another type to achieve a desired effect, whether for recreational or medicinal purposes.
Vaping A smokeless method of consuming cannabis in dried or oil form via vaporizing device. The device heats cannabis to form vapors that are inhaled. Vaping is considered a healthier way to consume cannabis. It heats cannabis without charring and avoids smoke-related carcinogens.
Weed sugar Cannabis-infused sugar made by mixing a tincture with sugar and baking it to evaporate the liquid. Used to sweeten beverages such as coffee or tea. See Tincture.