The A-Z of Zol

Whoever said stoners are apathetic has clearly never had to master a new language.
Words by Annie Brookstone

The world of weed has changed drastically in just a few short years with the lexicon seeming to grow faster than your favourite hydroponic hybrid. Don’t know what I just said? You’re not the only one. Lately, I spend more time on Urban Dictionary trying to figure out what I’m smoking, how I’m smoking, if I am even smoking, than I do, you know, actually smoking. Want to know what’s potting? Welcome to your crash course in weed words.

Aroma
We’ve all rolled our eyes at that wanky wine connoisseur claiming their favourite red tastes like blackberries, coffee, hints of Chanel No. 5 and just a whiff of pedigreed cat pee. Well, stoners are the same about their favourite green, and it’s these odour descriptors that aroma refers to. Cannabis smells can range from ‘flowery’ and ‘citrus’ to ‘diesel’, ‘skunky’ and everything in-between. Blue cheese, anyone?

Blunt
Cannabis wrapped in tobacco leaf or a hollowed-out cigar.

Bud 
Not just the person you’re sharing your blunt with but the smokable flower of the female cannabis plant. The flowers contain the highest concentrations of active cannabinoids.

Cannabinoids
These are the chemical compounds in the plant that act upon our bodies’ cannabinoid receptors, getting us high, chilling us out, relieving pain... aka the good stuff. There are over 85 known cannabinoids, the most well known being THC and CBD.

CBD
Used to mean the part of Cape Town, somewhere between Bree and Long Streets, where you’d climb into a shifty dealer’s car late at night just to buy some overpriced jut. Now more commonly used to refer to cannabidiol, a non-intoxicating cannabinoid increasingly used to treat pain, inflammation and anxiety. CBD is the plant’s second most abundant cannabinoid after THC.

Clone
A clone is an exact genetic copy of its mother plant, created using a cutting from the original plant. Clones are favoured for predictable growth and good genes – basically, a plant so nice you want to grow it twice.

Dab
A dose of cannabis in concentrate form, usually oils or resin, dabbed onto a heated surface (often using a tool called a dabber) and inhaled (‘dabbing’). The express elevator to getting really, really high.

Dank
Glowing praise for any bud, this word is used to describe sticky, highly-potent cannabis with a strong aroma. 

Decarboxylation
Because being a stoner doesn’t just require learning a new language, these days it feels like you need a science degree too. Decarboxylation involves heating cannabis to activate its cannabinoids for the desired therapeutic effect or buzz. Heat changes their molecular structure, removing an extra carboxyl ring, transforming the non-psychoactive tetrahydrocannabinolic acid (THCA), for example, into THC. Smoking or vaporising cannabis produces enough heat for the process to happen instantly but for something like baking edibles, decarboxylating your bud beforehand may be necessary to enjoy its full potency.

Edibles
Any food infused with cannabis extract. The effects take longer to set in but may be felt for longer.

Feminised
Seeds that have been bred only to produce female plants. Female plants are the only ones that produce flowers, the part of the plant containing the highest levels of cannabinoids, meaning that the male species is literally trash when it comes to this crop.

Hybrid
Not just your Prius but plants bred to inherit the desired characteristics of two parent plants, often an indica and a sativa strain, so giving a best-of-both effect.

Indica 
Cannabis indica, a species of cannabis. Compared to its sativa counter-pot, indica is more relaxing, can be useful for alleviating anxiety, insomnia or pain, and produces more of a ‘body high’.

Joint
Pure weed rolled in a paper.

Jut
A homegrown word for kak cannabis. If you ever bought a bankie, only to realise on closer inspection that the weed you just spent your hard-earned cash on looked more like a goat turd and some lawn clippings than the dank nug you were hoping for, that was jut. Can be used to describe anything of inferior quality.

Kief
Not to be mistaken for kiff but still pretty kiff, kief is a collection of the potent trichomes that have been sifted from the cannabis flower. Kief is used to make hash, can be used to infuse edibles or can be added to joints.

 Marijuana
A slang term for cannabis with a controversial and arguable racist history dating back to the early 20th century and American propaganda against Mexican immigrants who were demonised for, among other things, their recreational use of cannabis (marihuana or mariguana in Latin American Spanish).

Nug
A manicured bud.

Outdoor
No points for guessing where these cannabis plants are grown.

Pot
The word your mom used when she found a roach in your bedroom and wanted to know what the hell was going on.

Roach
The end of a smoked joint.

Sativa
Cannabis sativa, a species of cannabis. Produces a more stimulating and energising effect as well as more of a ‘head high’ than indica. Sativa may be used to treat depression and fatigue and to enhance creativity. 

Spliff
Weed and tobacco rolled in a paper.

Strain
What different types of grapes are to wine, strains are to weed. The strain of a plant will affect the appearance, aroma, taste, intended buzz and more. Heard of Durban Poison, White Widow, Pineapple Express, Purple Haze, OG Kush, Chernobyl or Girl Scout Cookies? Each may be an indica, sativa or hybrid but they’re all strains.

Terpenes
The organic compounds that give cannabis its aroma and flavour.

THC
Or tetrahydrocannabinol if you want to get really technical about it. THC is the most abundant cannabinoid and is responsible for many of the plant’s euphoric and therapeutic effects.

Trichomes
The tiny sticky crystals or hairs that seem to coat the buds and leaves of all the dankest strains. These are, in fact, the plant’s resin production glands – in other words, where the magic happens and the cannabinoids and terpenes are made.

Vaporiser
A device used to inhale cannabinoid-laced vapour. May have the added effect of making your friends pretend not to know you in public spaces. Keep the vape tricks for at home, okay?

Weed
You know I know you know what this is. Why is the alphabet so long?

Zol
A South Africanism for a hand-rolled cannabis cigarette. Also a word my dad uses when he’s trying to sound cool.

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