Glossary of Terms
There are many new things and words to learn when one learns about cannabis. We have provided a brief glossary of some of the terms you are likely to encounter frequently as you learn about the medical use of cannabis.
Bong – A bong is a water pipe used to smoke cannabis. The cannabis smoke is filtered through a water layer before producing a great deal of cannabinoid-infused smoke which is then inhaled. Bongs are very similiar to shisha pipes. Many medical users prefer to use them because of the filtered smoke.
Bud cannabis – This usually refers to cannabis that is in its more or less raw form. This is available as a prescribed narcotic in Germany. Many patients also prefer to use raw cannabis rather than processed into something else. It is not known how this will develop in the future.
Cannabis – A broad term that usually refers to the plant itself. It can also be used to describe just THC-containing buds, but that is rapidly becoming outmoded. Cannabis sativa is the genus name of the plant.
Cannabinoids – Chances are you have probably heard of cannabis and cannabinoids, but can you name them all? Cannabinoids are chemical compounds found in the cannabis plant. The most researched so far is THC, followed by CBD, but there are many other yet to be studied cannabinoids, and many, it is assumed, also have specific medical uses.
CBD – Cannabidiol is of the many non-psycho-active cannabinoids in the cannabis plant.
Endocanabinoid System (ECS) – This is a system of receptors – called CB1 and CB2, located throughout the brain, body and nervous system. The body produces its own cannabinoids naturally. However when ingested from other sources, cannabinoids then bind to these receptors. In turn the receptors send signals that can help reduce pain, depression, muscle spasticity, nausea and inflammation. The ECS was discovered by Israeli scientist Raphael Mechoulam.
Getting High – This is a term that is widely misused in a medical setting. The term refers to the euphoria that many recreational users feel after ingesting THC. Many medical patients in fact, do not feel “high” or euphoria, but rather just pain or other symptom relief.
Hash – Hash or hashish is a form of compressed, processed cannabis concentrate. It is not commonly prescribed for medical use yet, but that may change as more is understood about how concentrates work in medical environments. For the most part however, this is still viewed in Germany anyway, as a recreational form of the drug.
Indica – This is one of two “flavors” of cannabis. This kind of cannabis tends to create a heavy body “stone” or effect. Many kinds of medical use marijuana are indica strains, or indica dominant hybrids. This is the kind of cannabis that can create “couch lock.”
Microdosing – This is the practice of ingesting small amounts of cannabis on a regular basis to treat a certain condition. It is also used by many medical users to limit the psychoactive side effects commonly caused by certain kinds of medications, including cannabis.
Sativa – This is the other “flavor” of cannabis. Sativa strains and dominant hybrids are used for people who suffer conditions that have mental elements as well. For example, chronic pain and PTSD patients frequently find that sativas lighten their mood as well as relieve pain. Most medical varieties of the plant available are hybrids.
THC – Tetrohydrocannabinol. This is the cannabinoid that is “psychoactive” for recreational users (although medical users frequently report this just gives them pain relief).
Vaping – Cannabis can be vaped, in oil form, much like tobacco. Cannabis vape liquid is not widely available in Germany yet, but it will be. There are many advocates of vaping cannabis over smoking it or inhaling from a bong.
Vaporizor – A vaporizor can look like an e-cigarette. Or it can look a bit more like a bong. However vaporizors are essentially electronic pipes that heat up cannabinoid infused liquid to a vapor form that can be inhaled.