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10 key cannabis terms to know for legalization day

Recreational cannabis is officially legal in Canada.

While regulations vary across the country, most Canadians over the age of 19 can now legally purchase and use cannabis.

However, purchasing the drug can be overwhelming when it comes to terminology.

Traditional dried cannabis comes with a variety of terms such as pot, weed and marijuana. To simply name a few.

The wide array of slang can be amusing, when it comes to purchasing the drug, terminology can make all the difference.

Similar to how pure alcohol differs from select spirits and beer is separate from cider, cannabis has many uses and can be consumed in several different ways.

To help familiarize users, we've narrowed down 10 key terms to understand before purchasing:


Marijuana in herb (bud) form.

Hash and Oil
Hash is the powdered form of the trichomes (sticky hairs) found on marijuana plants. Highly potent in THC and/or CBD. Processed in oil form, it can be used in cooking (edibles).

Wax and Shatter
Highly potent marijuana concentrates. Wax is dense and opaque, while shatter is translucent and brittle. Both can be melted into smoke and inhaled, a technique called dabbing.

Part of the cannabis plant used to make a variety of commercial products including rope, paper and building materials. Also considered a renewable fuel source.

<who> Photo Credit: File Photo.


Tetrahydrocannabinol is the main cannabinoid molecule (there are more than 100) contained in marijuana. THC is the psychoactive element that makes you feel high.

Unlike THC, the cannabidiol molecule (CBD) has no psychoactive effect. Processed into oils, tinctures and caplets, CBD is used for medical purposes, such as the treatment of nausea, arthritis and anxiety.

<who> Photo Credit: File Photo.

Plants & strains

A plant type known for its uplifting and energetic properties. Sativa strains are used to treat depression and enhance mood. Can also cause anxiety and paranoia in some users. Strain varieties include Lemon Haze and Maui Wowie.

A plant type known for its relaxing properties. Indica strains deliver a less cerebral body high. Used to treat chronic pain, insomnia and anxiety. Strain varieties include the popular Purple Kush and Master Kush.

A smaller, less common type found in harsher climates, with low THC content.

A cross between two strains of cannabis, blending preferred traits from each one. Many strains found in dispensaries are hybrids (Pineapple Express and a variety of Kush combinations).

<who> Photo Credit: File Photo.

To learn more about how each province plans to regulate cannabis, click here.

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