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Cannabis Growers Glossary

Beginner growers frequently overlook the importance of understanding and employing proper cannabis terminology. In this glossary, you will find most of the slang and phrases used by cannabis cultivators and users.


“Twelve hours of light and darkness” is abbreviated as 12/12. This means that a dark period of at least 12 hours per day is required to pressure the cannabis into flowering.


“Eighteen hours of daylight and six of darkness” is abbreviated as 18/6. This means turning on your grow lights for 18 hours straight, then turning them off for the next 6 hours.


“24 hours of light, no darkness” is abbreviated as 24/0. This term means that your grow lights will be on for the entire day, with no dark time.


4/20, 4:20 or 420 all refer to the same thing, the most important day on the cannabis calendar, April 20th. What’s celebrated on 420? Every year stoners, smokers, growers and other cannabis enthusiasts gather in public or celebrate this momentous day in their own way. The origin of 420 actually refers to the time 4:20pm when a group of students calling themselves ‘Waldos’ from San Rafael, California would meet to smoke cannabis.


Aeroponics is a kind of hydroponic cannabis growing in which the plant’s roots are suspended in air and infused with the nutrient solution now and then.


Air circulation in the cultivating area is key to productive grow. Maintaining proper CO2 levels in your grow room requires air circulation.


Aquaponics is a more complex for of hydroponics that combines raising fish (aquaculture) with typical hydroponic growing. The fish and the tank environment are used to feed and fertilize the plants.


Autoflowering seeds begin to mature and produce flowers/buds on their own, without the need for a modification in the light schedule.


A backcross is a hybrid strain that has been bred with one of its parents or a plant that is genetically very similar. This is all done in service of creating a strain that has some or even all traits similar to its parent strain. For example, breeding a plant with its mother for its mom’s height.


The majority of nutrient companies sell “base nutrients,” which contain all of the minerals your plants require to reach harvest.


BHO stands for Butane Hash Oil. BHO is a highly potent cannabis concentrate created by dissolving the plant itself in Butane or some other, similar solvent. This dissolving results in a viscous, sticky oil.


Botrytis is a short phrase for “Botrytis Cinerea,” also known as bud rot. Bud rot is permanent.


A cannabis flower is referred to as a bud. Buds have a high concentration of cannabinoids, making them a preferred harvesting option.


The calyx of a flower is the foundation of where the flower starts to bud. They are coated in trichomes and come in various shapes on the cannabis plant.


Cannabis is a unique plant genus that we all know and love. It consists of three subspecies – Cannabis Indica, Cannabis Sativa and the lesser-known Cannabis Ruderalis all of which are flowering plants that produce buds. Indica and Sativa are the most common plant types. With Sativa, one expects a tall, thin plant. On the other hand, Indica plants are generally much more squat and bushy, not reaching the heights of Sativa. Finally, hailing from mountainous regions in Asia, Ruderalis are unique as they have the ability to automatically flower and are not dependant upon typical light-cycles like photoperiod plants. For this reason, Ruderalis is used as the basis for autoflowering seeds.


Often referred to as beta-caryophyllene. Caryophyllene is also commonly found in rosemary and black pepper.


Cannabidiol is one of the two most widely used cannabinoids.


Chlorophyll is the naturally occurring chemical compound that most plants produce. Chlorophyll is responsible for the plant’s green color and its ability to convert sunlight into usable energy.


Climate refers to the conditions in which cannabis grows. The ideal climate for an outdoor cannabis plant is something that growers have little control over – cannabis plants generally prosper in sunny, warm climates, Mediterranean-style climates are often favored as they’re not too dry. Growing cannabis indoors allows for a higher level of control over the climate. 

CO2 Oil

CO2 oil is a cannabis concentrate made by using Supercritical CO2, the liquid form of carbon dioxide, to dissolve cannabis and extract the cannabinoids into a concentrated form. Supercritical CO2 should be held at critical points of temperature and pressure before and during the extraction process.


Cotyledon is the first set of leaves produced by a cannabis plant to process sunlight. They are small, smooth and round.


After you have harvested and dried your bud, it’s time to cure it.



Increasing yields through strategic defoliation is a common practice among growers.


After you have harvested your plants, you’ll want to dry them as soon as possible.


They are the large leaves that grow just below the colas on the cannabis plant. The photosynthesis method focuses on the capture of light by the fan leaves.


Two genetically female plants were used to create feminized seeds.


Fimming or to fim cannabis is similar to topping, however, instead of taking off the whole top of the cannabis only part of it is removed to allow for further top flowers to sprout. In a sense the grower misses the top which is why fim is commonly understood to mean ‘fuck I missed’ although this is debated. Legendary grower Kyle Kushman coined the term after he received a tip while working at High Times from a reader who called themselves FIM.


The flowering cannabis phase of a plant’s lifecycle is when the plant produces fewer leaves and branches and focuses on producing flowers.


Flushing is the act of thoroughly soaking your plant’s growing medium with distilled water. The goal is to remove all nutrients from the system of the plant just before harvest.


The procedure of getting the first sprout to emerge from the seed is germination.


Guano is an organic fertilizer made from animal excrement, most commonly bats but also birds sometimes. Growing cannabis with bat guano offers a lot of benefits to growers as an organic superfood of sorts packed into a growing medium.


Harvesting cannabis entails cutting the buds from the plant to be dried.

High-Stress Training (HST)

High stress training is a cannabis plant training technique that looks to increase budding sites, and subsequently yields, by bending and tying down stems. HST is far more aggressive than LST as the stems must be bent almost perpendicular – this means that cannabis plants must be strong enough before attempting HST.


Hybrid are cannabis strains that have been crossbred with other strains.


Cannabis Indica is one of the most common types of cannabis.



Growers use the lollipopping technique to eliminate the smaller growth from the plant’s bottom few nodes.


Low-stress training is a method of increasing plant yield by bending and tying down stems. Lower branches will receive more light and will be able to produce colas as a result.


Macronutrients are the essential nutrients for all plants to thrive. Nitrogen, Phosphorus, and Potassium are the macronutrients found in plants.


The material in which your cannabis plants develop. This can be anything from soil to coco coir, living soil to water (hydroponics), and even air (aeroponics).


Micronutrients are essential for a plant’s vigor and health but not their basic survival. Calcium, Zinc, Sulfur, Manganese, Copper, Magnesium and Boron are some of the micronutrients found in plants.



Nitrogen is essential for plant proteins and general growth and strength of your cannabis plants. An essential macronutrient, you should avoid nitrogen deficiency in cannabis plants as much as you can.


NPK is a term commonly used to describe the combination of Nitrogen (N), Phosphorus (P) and Potassium (K) – all of which are the most essential nutrients, macronutrients, for cannabis plants.


All cannabis plants need to be fed nutrients to grow properly and healthily. Cannabis requires a certain amount of macronutrients and micronutrients to maintain healthy growth patterns such as green leaves, sturdy stems and healthy roots. Nutrients are fed to cannabis through watering, however, in a hydroponic setup cannabis plants simply absorb the nutrients through the reservoir.

Organic Nutrients

Nutrients that are wholly natural are often referred to as organic nutrients. These are often present in most soils, super soils, guano and coco coir.


PAR stands for photosynthetically active radiation and, while that may sound extremely complicated, it’s actually quite straightforward. PAR for cannabis is the range of light wavelengths that plants need to undergo photosynthesis. This essentially means that different color spectrums are required for different processes.


The pH scale determines whether a liquid is acidic or alkaline.


Phosphorus is an extremely important nutrient, an essential nutrient. It is extremely responsible for vertical and horizontal growth. You should avoid phosphorus deficiency in cannabis plants as much as possible.


A cannabis plant requires a period of darkness before entering the flowering phase. Photoperiod plants are light sensitive and therefore require amounts of light to grow and dark to sleep and reserve energy.


The procedure by which cannabis plants convert sunlight into energy is known as photosynthesis.


Pinene is a major cannabis terpene responsible for a lot of the pie.


Pollination takes place when pollen from a male plant fertilizes the ovules of a female plant.


Potassium is one of the most essential cannabis nutrients, a macronutrient responsible for a lot of plant growth. Out of all the cannabis deficiencies you definitely do not want potassium deficiency in cannabis plants.


Trimming, also known as pruning, is the act of extracting pieces from a plant to boost its survivability or yield.

Regular seeds (regs)

Regular seeds are kind of self explanatory – they’re normal cannabis seeds, photoperiod and not feminized. Formerly, Regular seeds were the norm in the cannabis industry, however, Feminized seeds and autos are now more common as they are guaranteed to grow into female plants unlike regs that have a 50% chance of turning male or female.

Re-Veg (reveg)

The process where a cannabis plant returns to the vegetative stage, revegetates, often on purpose to achieve a specific goal but sometimes this can happen naturally, by accident.


Ruderalis is a hemp plant that was crossed with traditional cannabis genetics to produce autoflowering strains.


Cannabis Sativa is a tropical annual cannabis plant that grows near the equator in warm climates. Sativa plants are famous for their tall stature and thin leaves.


The small leaves found in the plant’s colas are known as sugar leaves. They have trichomes on them.

Super Cropping

Super cropping is a high-stress training technique that involves hurting the plant, or causing it to stress, intentionally to promote fuller and bushier growth.

Synthetic Nutrients

Synthetic nutrients, unlike organic nutrients, are wholly man-made nutrients used for growing cannabis. These types of nutrients tend to be cheaper than organic nutrients.


Naturally present chemicals that give cannabis plants their distinct smells and flavors.


Cutting off the top of a cannabis stem is known as topping cannabis plants. This compels a cannabis plant to grow in a relatively flat and more controllable shape.


Trichomes are the transparent, hair-like bulbs covering the cannabis plant’s leaf, stem, and calyxes. Trichomes are resin glands that produce terpenes and cannabinoids such as CBD.


The vegetative stage of cannabis in the lifecycle of a cannabis plant is when it is producing plant volume but no blossoms or buds.

Veganic Nutrients

Though similar to organic nutrients, veganic nutrients contain no animal-derived elements and are wholly comprised of plant-based matter and nutrients to give your plants a healthier environment.


Growing indoors require grow tent ventilation so that they don’t become too warm or humid. Ventilation helps with air circulation to maintain a conducive indoor growing environment and healthy plants.


Vermiculite is a natural mineral frequently combined with another growing medium to strengthen a hydroponic system. It is light and airy.


The amount of cannabis harvested in a single grow is referred to as the yield

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