Cannabis smokers can be identified in a number of different ways, and one of them is their unique cannabis vocabulary.
There is an endless supply of terms used to describe the drug: some of them you are probably familiar with, others could sound new and weird. Along with the classic terms that everyone has heard at least once in their life, such as “marijuana” and “weed,” there are some edgy words that may sound like a secret language although even these words become more and more common even among laypeople.
Slang terms for cannabis can be seen as a kind of illegality and illegitimacy index of this substance. The use of these words reflects social disregard. It conveys a casual attitude to everything about cannabis culture. At the same time, the phenomenon of the cannabis slang is evidence that the drug is rapidly entering our everyday lives and starts to occupy an important place there. As the cannabis industry started bringing billions of dollars into the American economy, the American culture has begun to form new slang terms defining the rising success of marijuana-related businesses.
If you one of those people who confuse with the terms like “Buddha” or “bud” while coming to the nearest dispensary, this crash course in cannabis vocabulary can come in handy.
Bud—one of the most popular terms for the cannabis flower. Buds are those fluffy, sometimes colorful, parts of the cannabis plant that are used for recreational or medicinal purposes—they contain the highest concentrations of active cannabinoids, including psychoactive THC and non-psychoactive CBD. Cannabinoids are considered to have a plenty of potential medical applications.
Chronic—a term popularized by the rapper Snoop Dogg and Dr. Dre. The word entered the language as a term used to describe high-quality cannabis. After Snoop had started using this term in the 1990s, it got picked up by another musician, Dr. Dre, who used it as a name of his album “The Chronic.” According to Snoop, the term “chronic” was born after he misheard the dealer who said that cannabis had been hydroponically grown at a party in 1991. The rapper said the word “hydroponic” in the wrong way calling the cannabis plant “hydrochronic.”
Fire—a generic term for an incredibly great-looking plant, so great that all you can do is light it on fire and enjoy the smoke. The word “fire” refers to the bright red or orange hairs that speckle the buds in certain cannabis strains. “Firing it up” describes the process of smoking marijuana.
Buddha—another urban term for high-quality cannabis plants. The slang word “Buddha” is derived from the term “bud.” Some marijuana lovers think that “Buddha” makes a cannabis smoker feel like a real Buddhist.
Bunk—an antonym to “fire.” Bunk is used to describe low-quality cannabis product. “Bunk weed” means that the plant is less potent, brownish-colored, or has an abundance of seeds and stems. If someone says that they bought “bunk weed,” they mean that marijuana they paid good money for is bad marijuana.
Hookah—a smoking device originating from India. It looks like a big bowl with multiple hoses attached to it. Initially, hookahs were designed for vaporizing and smoking flavored tobacco, or shisha, but many people also use hookahs smoke cannabis. Hookah is usually filled with water or other liquid that reduces the harshness of the smoke and its temperature.
QP—a quarter pound of cannabis (approximately 113 grams). This is something like the amount of cannabis your college friend might have bought from a drug dealer and then shared with you and a couple of other roommates.
Zip—an ounce of cannabis. This term is derived from the fact that it should fill up a Ziploc bag. So, when someone says that he want to get “a zip of the kush,” they mean that they need one ounce of cannabis flowers.
Re-up—a word used to designate the moment when the time comes to buy more cannabis. This phrase is used mostly by dealers who need to replenish their drug stocks, get more weed before selling another batch.
ISO—an acronym of isopropyl hash oil. When isopropyl is used as a solvent to strip trichomes from the plant material, the resulting hash oil is often called “iso.” While making BHO or CO2 oil, it is important to remove all of the residual alcohol from the extract—some patients fear that vaporizing alcohol sugars may cause lung impairments.
Reefer—marijuana. The slang term comes from the early 1990s' movie trend: A character smoked some weed and went so crazy that he was ready for everything. The word “reefer” refers to a joint, a bowl, or the plant itself.