985 Plain St Marshfield, MA

Dispensary Terminology & Buzzwords

Indicas and Sativas and hybrids, oh my!

Legal cannabis comes with its own vocabulary, but don’t feel intimidated by it. Our budtenders are happy to help you with any questions you may have.

And if you want to brush up on your dispensary terminology before your next visit, just scroll through our list below. You’ll be a cannasseur in no time.

List of common dispensary terms & buzzwords
[A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z]


Adult-use dispensaries serve both recreational and medical consumers, whereas medical dispensaries only serve medical patients.


CBD stands for “cannabidiol.” It’s a non-intoxicating chemical compound known as a cannabinoid that’s derived from both marijuana and hemp. It’s known for having anti-inflammatory and calming effects.


Cannabinoids are active chemical compounds in cannabis that stimulate your Endocannabinoid System (ECS) to impart therapeutic effects. THC and CBD are the most well-known and well-researched phytocannabinoids. (“Phyto” meaning they’re derived from the cannabis plant.) Your body produces its own endocannabinoids that stimulate your ECS. 

Certificate of Analysis (COA)

The COA is a third-party lab test that analyzes the compounds found in cannabis and cannabis products. At South Shore Buds, we provide COAs for every batch of cannabis we harvest and every product we produce and sell, so you’re guaranteed a clean, safe product. It’s not recommended to buy cannabis products without a COA.

Customer Purchase Limits

The state imposes cannabis purchasing limits per customer. The daily purchase limit in MA adult-use dispensaries is 1 ounce of flower or its equivalent in other products (500mg of edibles or 5 grams of concentrates).


Decarboxylation, or decarbing, is the process of “activating” your cannabis. You do this through heat, like with a lighter. Raw flower has acidic cannabinoids that can’t all impart effects. When you light your weed, the acid of the raw cannabinoids is burned off, allowing them to impart effects. THCa becomes THC. CBDa becomes CBD. Etc. 

Edibles dose

A standard dose for edibles in Massachusetts is 5mg of THC. Everyone’s tolerance is different, so start with a low dosage and go slow until you know your limits. Your body needs time to digest edibles before you’ll feel their effects. After your first dosage, wait at least one hour before consuming more. If you overdo it, CBD is believed to counteract the unpleasant side effects of too much THC. 

Endocannabinoid System (ECS)

The ECS is a system in every vertebrate on the planet. It’s responsible for maintaining balance within the body. It’s composed of endocannabinoids, receptors, and enzymes. The endocannabinoids activate the receptors when there’s an imbalance (like pain or digestive issues). When balance is restored, the enzymes break down the cannabinoids. Cannabis’s phytocannabinoids act on your ECS in a similar way as the endocannabinoids that your body makes naturally.


Hemp is legally defined as cannabis containing less than 0.3% THC, meaning it doesn’t impart a high. It’s federally legal, thanks to the 2018 Farm Bill.


Hybrid strains are bred as a Sativa and Indica combination to create more balanced effects. Most cannabis strains are hybrids.


Indica strains are commonly known for having relaxing or sedative effects. They’re best suited for evening use or days when you’re looking to take it easy. They may induce sleepiness and can be known to lock you “in da couch.”


Potency indicates the strength or amount of THC in a product. The more THC, the higher the potency, the more effects are felt.


Marijuana is legally defined as cannabis containing more than 0.3% THC, meaning it imparts a high. It’s not federally legal, but it’s legal for recreational and medicinal use in the state of Massachusetts.


Sativa strains are known for having an active and uplifting effect. They’re great for daytime use, but their energetic effects may cause anxiety for some.


Strain refers to the variety of cannabis that your product is derived from. Different male and female plants are bred together to create strains with characteristics of each. For example, the strain Skywalker OG is bred from Mazar, Blueberry, and OG Kush.


Terpenes are aromatic compounds that exist throughout nature. They give plants their smell, and they play a part in color and taste. They’re responsible for the pungent, diesel smell of cannabis. You can find over 200 terpenes in cannabis, and they’re believed to add to its therapeutic effects. 


THC stands for tetrahydrocannabinol. It’s the active chemical compound, or cannabinoid, responsible for the euphoric high associated with marijuana use.


Trichomes are the sticky, crystal-like glands on cannabis flower. This is where the cannabinoids and terpenes are located.


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