As cannabis B2Bs and the cannabis universe continue to expand, so do the terms we use to describe its processes and products. We compiled this list of B2B cannabis terms to help you stay on top of the latest terminology.
Consider it a handy resource to brush up on your cannabis-related terms whenever the need arises — like right before you’re going into that phone call with a new cannabis tech firm or angel investor. (And angel investor, we hope you’re reading this too.)
Glossary of B2B Cannabis Terminology
Aeroponics is an advanced growing method in which the cannabis plant is suspended in the air instead of water or a soil medium, and the root system is sprayed with nutrient-rich water. Aeroponic growing can help cannabis clones develop a robust root system before transferring them into a different growing medium.
Autoflowering plants bloom automatically: there’s no need to change their exposure to light in order to trigger their flowering stage. Genetically, they’re a cross between regular cannabis plants (Sativa, Indica, or Hybrid) and the fast-growing, autoflowering Cannabis Ruderalis, with mostly feminized seeds.
Butane Hash Oil (BHO) extraction is a type of solvent-based distillation that produces high-potency concentrates with THC levels of around 80%. Along with its use in cannabis, the method is also frequently used in the perfume industry.
Cannabinoids are a class of compounds found in cannabis plants that produce various effects by interacting with the endocannabinoid system in the body. So far, 113 distinct cannabinoids have been identified, including the most prominent — THC and CBD.
There’s a whole new crop of software solutions helping Cannabis businesses, including cannabis CRMs (customer relationship management); cannabis delivery software (to manage inventory, select delivery routes automate shipping manifests; often a part of Seed-to-Sale solutions); and cannabis point-of-sale software or dispensary software (for retail management).
Cannabidiol (CBD) is the most abundant non-intoxicating cannabinoid found in cannabis. It’s quite popular in the US and is currently involved in clinical research to gauge its effectiveness in managing epilepsy, anxiety, and pain.
Clay pebbles are a neutral-Ph growing medium often used as a soil amendment or a mulch layer. Made of high-fired clay, they’re good for maintaining moisture and air.
The Clarifying Law Around Insurance of Marijuana (CLAIM) was proposed in the Senate in March 2021. It would provide safe harbor to insurance companies looking to do business with legal cannabis producers and various B2B ancillary companies in the U.S. cannabis industry.
Cannabis clones are cuttings taken from a cannabis plant that are nurtured into new plants. Cloning’s advantage is that it continues the genetic material of a specific strain, since clones have the identical genetic makeup as their “mother” plant. Cannabis cloning can also speed up the growing process by about a month.
Also known as coco fiber, coir is the natural fiber between the outer shell and the husk of a coconut. It’s becoming increasingly popular as a hydroponic growing medium, and is also used as a water-absorbent mulch and soil lightener.
Curing is a post-cultivation process used to ensure there’s no moisture left. It’s critical for terpene preservation and enhancing flavor. After the drying process is completed (often between 3 and 7 days), the cannabis flower is cured, often in airtight containers that are opened (burped) once a day and checked for any mildew. The curing phase can take up to two months.
The drying process prevents cannabis flowers from being contaminated with mold and safeguards cannabinoid and terpene compounds. Typically, growers dry cannabis by leaving the flowers in the open air — and the buds lose around 75% of their weight to moisture evaporation.
Ethanol extraction is a solvent-assisted way to create cannabis concentrates, and it’s becoming more popular. In the U.S. it’s easier to get a license for this kind of cannabis extraction than for other methods, as ethanol is a non-volatile solvent.
Feminized seeds are genetically manipulated, with a nearly 100% chance of growing into female cannabis plants. Colloidal silver is used to cause female plants to produce pollen sacks; the chromosomally female pollen is then used on regular female plants to produce all-female offspring.
Full-spectrum extracts (FSE) are cannabis concentrates that contain a full range of compounds. Unlike isolated formulations, FSEs include the most prominent cannabinoids, THC and CBD, as well as minor cannabinoids and terpene compounds.
HID grow lights
High-Intensity Discharge (HID) lights are a class of grow lights with two main types: high-pressure sodium (HPS) lights and metal halide (MH) lights, and considered highly efficient. Since they give out substantial amounts of heat they’re usually paired with a cooling system to keep the growing space at the right temperature.
Hybrid cannabis plants have both Indica and Sativa genetics — though which one is dominant varies from strain to strain. Hybrids exhibit the characteristics of both subspecies, meaning they have both relaxing and energizing effects. Popular hybrids include White Widow, Gorilla Glue, and OG Kush.
Hydroponic cultivation uses water instead of soil, and plants are suspended in nutrient-rich water tanks. Its primary advantages include speed and control: plants develop much faster in water than in soil, and growers can fully control the nutrients plants receive.
Indica cannabis strains are known for their calming effects. Popular Indica strains include Hindu Kush, Girl Scout Cookies, and Northern Lights.
LED grow lights
Light Emitting Diode (LED) grow lights are a popular option for cannabis growing, as they can work for up to 10 years. These lights don't require a complicated setup, are very easy to install, and don’t generate much heat, so growers won’t need to install a cooling system to run with them.
MSOs (multi-state operators) sell cannabis products in multiple states in the US. This is usually done via subsidiaries in each state, since federal law requires cannabis products to be grown, processed and packaged in the same state they’re sold in (interstate trade of cannabis goods is still forbidden).
Natural cannabis seeds have a 50% chance of growing into a male plant, which doesn’t produce flowers (also known as buds) that are rich in cannabinoids and terpenes. Therefore, most commercially-available cannabis seeds are either feminized or autoflowering.
Perlite is one of the most common soil amendments for cannabis growing. This amorphous volcanic glass can aerate the soil, improve drainage, and help retain water.
Ruderalis is a unique subspecies of cannabis native to very harsh environments. Rugged and hardy, Ruderalis plants don’t require a change in light duration to begin flowering, and instead start blooming based on age. They’re commonly crossed with regular cannabis plants to create autoflowering varieties.
Sativa strains induce an energizing effect — often considered the daytime strains to Indica’s nighttime ones. Popular Sativas include Sour Diesel, Jack Herer, and Durban Poison.
As cannabis businesses scale and keep pace with the booming market, many are relying on increasingly sophisticated software. Seed-to-sale software provides an all-in-one solution from potting to growing to selling that can include compliance monitoring, analytics, tracking inventory, and point-of-sale (POS) functionalities.
Sulfur plasma grow lights
Sulfur plasma lights are high-quality lights for cannabis cultivation. While considerably more expensive than other alternatives, they bring a significant increase in yield.
Supercritical CO2 oil extraction
Supercritical CO2 Oil extraction is a solvent-based method that uses compressed carbon dioxide. It’s able to extracts both cannabinoids and terpenes from the plant, resulting in aromatic and potent concentrates. But this kind of extraction does require sophisticated, costly equipment to handle such a volatile form of CO2.
Terpenes are the aromatic compounds responsible for the scent and flavor of cannabis strains. Unlike cannabinoids, terpenes are abundant throughout the plant kingdom. The most common terpenes found in cannabis are myrcene, beta-caryophyllene, limonene, and linalool.
Tinctures are alcohol-based cannabis extracts used for both medicinal and recreational use. Some cannabis tinctures contain a variety of terpenes and cannabinoids, while others have only CBD. Tinctures can be consumed either orally or sublingually — by placing the tincture below the tongue.
THC ((Tetrahydrocannabinol) is the primary psychoactive constituent of the cannabis plant. Besides producing mind-altering effects, tetrahydrocannabinol is among the most vital compounds in cannabis, and has a known, beneficial impact on human health.
Trichomes are tiny glands that produce both cannabinoids and terpenes. While they grow across the cannabis plant, most appear on the flowers of mature female plants. The appearance of trichomes is a common sign that the cannabis plant is ready for harvest.
T5 fluorescent grow lights
T5 grow lights are low priced and low-energy-consumption that can be placed close to the plants as they don't give out too much heat. They are frequently used for the vegetative stage of growth.
Vertical cannabis growing
Vertical cannabis growing allows cultivators to grow far more crop in a smaller space than in a single-tier system. It’s becoming increasingly popular as a way of increasing yield without requiring more floor area.
Vermiculite is a hydrous mineral primarily used to increase the lightness of soil and increase its water retention. It’s often used together with perlite.
Water extraction is a solventless method for producing cannabis extracts that entails placing plant material in freezing water to separate out the trichomes. The method delivers cannabis concentrates ranging from 50% to 70% THC.
Worm castings are another commonly used soil enhancer that adds nutrients and beneficial microorganisms, and increases drainage as well as water retention.
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