Adult-use, full spectrum and microdose are just a few newly adopted phrases


In 2014, The Cannabist, a subsidiary of The Denver Post, published a robust glossary of need-to-know marijuana terms like flower and dabbing to help ease local consumers into the newly legal recreational market.

Since then, times have dramatically changed. You can buy edibles not just for getting high, but also for fitness and sleep aid. Cannabis “bars” where tokers can legally consume joints and THC-infused beers are on the precipice of opening. You can even score pre-made cannabutter and infused olive oil to stock your kitchen.

As times have changed, so too has the vernacular. Here are 10 more recently adopted terms you should know.

Adult-use: Synonymous with recreational marijuana; also known as retail marijuana. The term is most commonly used by regulatory agencies and public officials to distinguish recreational from medical marijuana. It emphasizes the fact that only adults age 21 and up can legally purchase cannabis.

Cart: Shorthand for cartridge. Cartridges are filled with marijuana oil concentrate and used when vaporizing the substance.

Cannabigerol (CBG): A minor cannabinoid that’s gaining popularity for use in therapeutic contexts, including to reduce inflammation, pain and nausea. The non-psychoactive compound is most commonly found in cannabis strains that are low in THC and high in CBD, including hemp.

Cannabinol (CBN): A minor cannabinoid with mildly psychoactive effects that often resemble sedation. The cannabinoid is gaining popularity as a sleep aid. It’s also been linked to reducing inflammation, helping regulate the immune system, and acting as an anticonvulsant.

Full spectrum: Refers to marijuana products that maintain a variety of cannabinoids such as THC, CBD, CBG, CBN and more, versus products created with a single, isolated cannabinoid. Full-spectrum products are touted as superior because cannabinoids are more effective when working together, a concept known as the entourage effect.

Hospitality: Refers to a type of business (or business license) that provides a space where patrons can consume cannabis. Marijuana hospitality businesses can sell marijuana products or allow patrons to bring their own. The model was legalized by the state of Colorado in 2019, though local jurisdictions need to opt in to allow these establishments. Denver approved a hospitality program in 2021.

Live rosin: A marijuana concentrate extracted from the plant without the use of a solvent, such as butane or propane. After harvest, the plant is frozen (instead of dried and cured) and then put through a press that applies heat and pressure to extract oil. Proponents of this method say the process maintains the plant’s terpene and flavor profile without the use of chemicals. Conversely, live resin is a marijuana concentrate extracted from frozen plants with the use of a solvent.

Microdose: A noun or verb that refers to consuming less than the standard serving size of THC, which is 10 milligrams. Some edibles are sold in microdoses, such as 5 or 2.5 milligrams. Some consumers microdose marijuana throughout the day by eating a little bit at a time. Also used commonly in the context of psilocybin.

Rapid onset: A term for edibles for which the effects will be felt by the consumer more quickly, sometimes as soon as 5 to 15 minutes after ingesting them.

Solvent-free: A marijuana extraction method that does not use chemicals such as butane or propone. Proponents of this method tout it as a more natural approach to extracting oil from the marijuana plant. Live rosin is an example of a solvent-free concentrate because it’s created using a press that applies heat and pressure to extract oil from the cannabis plant. Edibles can also be manufactured using solvent-free oil.

Sources: Crestco LabsLeafly