Common Cannabis Terminology: Part Two

Cannabis is an evolving industry with a lot of industry jargon to keep up with. So what are the definitions behind some of the common cannabis terminology?

Cannabis is an ever-evolving industry with a lot of industry jargon to keep up with. So what are the definitions behind some of the common cannabis terminology?

As the cannabis industry and community continues to evolve, so too will the cannabis jargon. We created a list of new terms we hear most often to help you stay in the know, and navigate cannabis literature and discussion.


A cultivation method where plants are suspended in air instead of soil. In this process, the clones or seedlings are placed into a container and then misted with water and nutrients instead of being submerged in nutrient water or being planted in nutrient rich soil. There are premade containers available for purchase or growers can also create their own system. This system typically includes a water reservoir at the base, a space for airflow to let in oxygen, and then misters and fans to spray roots. While full plants can be grown aeroponically, many growers use these systems to start their clones to then transplant after growing new roots.

Certificate of Analysis (COA)

A document from an accredited laboratory that certifies the results of the tests performed. When growers or laboratory technicians refer to their “test results,” this is the document they are likely referring to. These documents are equally important to consumers as they are to growers. It verifies the percentage of cannabinoids listed on the packaging, as well as confirms the product has passed the state’s required safety screens. While we cannot share any client information, you can always ask to see a COA at any registered dispensary.


A cannabis clone is an identical replica of a plant, usually made by cutting branches of a cannabis plant in vegetative state. Creating clones is beneficial to growers for multiple reasons, the most common being to preserve genetics. When growing cannabis from seeds, you may see many different genotypes from the same genetics. The only way to replicate the exact same plant with the same flavor and color is to take cuttings and make clones. Clones are also a great way for cultivators to experiment with techniques or for home growers to save money. 


Refers to the genetic makeup of a plant and can include many characteristics that plant will have, such as how it grows and looks. Unlike clones, which have the exact same genetic makeup, seeds will all have different genotypes. Think of family members who may all look similar, but have different features that relate to one parent more than the other. When starting new seeds, growers can expect a variety of phenotypes at the end. The end result is determined by its genotype in addition to environmental factors such as when and where it is grown. 


A method to consume cannabis (or other compounds) that involves consuming the smallest possible amount to achieve your desired effect throughout the day. Consuming cannabis in this way ideally allows users to maintain stable levels in their system without the psychoactive effects taking over, or becoming “too high.” Figuring out your level of microdose may take some trial and error, but generally you want to start with the smallest dose you can and work your way up until you achieve your desired effect.  

Mother Plant

Because cannabis seeds all have different genotypes, growers needed to find a way to  preserve their favorite genetics. Nowadays most cultivators will keep at least one plant of each strain they are growing in a state of constant vegetation, which means it is never allowed to flower. This plant becomes what is known as the “Mother.” Growers will take cuttings/ clones from that plant to produce more plants that are identical to the mother plant. 


Rick Simpson Oil or RSO is another form of a cannabis extract usually made with ISO or wood-grain alcohol. The name is derived from the man who created it – Rick Simpson, a cannabis user who claimed he cured his skin cancer with this homemade cannabis oil. It is known for its thick and molasses-like consistency and color. It has become a known staple in the community due to its high potency and ease of use. RSO can be ingested but it can also be used topically without any heat involved. 


The sticky, small, hair-like glands that grow on cannabis flowers and leaves are known as trichomes. They are responsible for producing the cannabinoids, terpenes, and other compounds that make up the cannabis we know and love. However, they also have other functions. In nature, they are used as a defense mechanism towards insects, wind, and other unpredictable parts of nature. Growers also sometimes use trichomes to tell when a harvest is ready by examining the color with a magnifier. 

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