The ABCs of Cannabis Acronyms

Mike King/Mar 25, 2021

hero-graphic-The ABCs of Cannabis Acronyms
Photo Credit: Amador Loureiro on Unsplash

Whether it’s EOD, PTO or WFH, acronyms are a part of every business and the cannabis industry is certainly no exception. And while THC and CBD are the most widely known cannabis acronyms, there’s a whole world of cannabis-related lingo used every day in grow houses, dispensaries, offices, labs and more.

We created this quick reference guide to help you understand some of the most commonly used acronyms in the cannabis business. So next time a coworker casually mentions MIPs, FSE, or BHO, you’ll be in the know.

Keep in mind that this is by no means an exhaustive list, as the cannabis industry is constantly evolving with new products, processes and practices every day. But for the cannabis industry newcomer – or even a seasoned pro who needs a refresh – this list is a great place to start.

keys in a bowl

Your Cannabis Acronym Quick Reference Guide

BOE – Based on experience

Like all industries, experience determines how much someone is paid. “BOE” is used on many cannabis job listings in place of a fixed rate. Typically, more experience means higher pay.

BHO – Butane hash oil

A potent form of cannabis concentrate that comes in various forms of different consistencies such as shatter, wax and more. BHO is often used for dabbing (and we don’t mean the dance move).

CBD – Cannabinoid, also cannabidiol

Cannabinoids are the diverse chemical compounds in a cannabis plant, such as the commonly known THC (see below). Cannabidiol, known as CBD, is another type of cannabinoid used to treat pain, as it does not have psychoactive effects.

CDC – Center for Disease Control and Prevention

The CDC is the US agency responsible for tracking and investigating public health. They provide many tools and resources for cannabis use.

cGMP – Current good manufacturing practices.

cGMP is a set of instructions for manufacturers on how to use up-to-date technologies and systems to comply with specific regulations from the FDA. (See “GMP” below.)

CO2 – Carbon dioxide

Carbon dioxide is an odorless and colorless gas. In cannabis, CO2 is used for extraction and is turned into CO2 oil, which can be used in a variety of cannabis products.

DEA – Drug Enforcement Agency

The DEA is a government agency that deals with drug abuse and drug smuggling in the US. The DEA is not a fan of cannabis, as it is still considered a Schedule I drug on the Controlled Substances list. We’re hoping that changes one day.

EPC – Extended plant count

An EPC refers to the number of medical cannabis plants a qualifying medical patient is allowed to grow in their home. This is granted with eligible medical records proving a patient’s ailments.

FDA – US Food and Drug Administration

The FDA is responsible for protecting public health regarding food, tobacco, and other products. They regulate and approve drug products for medical use. Currently, one CBD product has been FDA-approved, while cannabis is still pending.

FF – Fresh frozen

When someone says “FF” they are describing cannabis concentrates made from plant material that has been cryogenically frozen immediately after harvest. This term also refers to a type of hashish made using fresh frozen cannabis flower and trim.

FSE – Full-spectrum extract

A type of hash oil that includes a higher percentage of a cannabis plant’s unique cannabinoids and terpenes beyond just THC or CBD.

GMP – Good manufacturing practices The manufacturing guidelines of products to ensure safety and quality as provided by the FDA (see above) under the authority of the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act.

HIA – Hemp Industries Association

The HIA is a non-profit trade association that represents hemp companies, researchers and supporters in the US and Canada. The group petitions for fair and equal treatment of industrial hemp.

MED – Marijuana Enforcement Division

Not to be confused with “Medical”, MED is the State of Colorado’s division in charge of providing the operational rules for the legal cannabis industry.

METRC – Marijuana Enforcement Tracking Reporting Compliance

A regulatory system that cannabis businesses use to monitor cannabis plants from “seed-to-sale” to comply with state regulations. METRC is the official system used by the state of Colorado.

MIPs – Marijuana-infused products

Edibles, drinks, tinctures, and anything created using a cannabis concentrate falls under the “MIP” category. MIP also refers to a licensed facility where these products are made.

MITS – Marijuana Inventory Tracking Solution

MITS is a program used for tracking individual cannabis plants according to government regulation (see METRC above).

MMJ – Medical marijuana/cannabis

From flower to oils, MMJ stands for the cannabis products recommended to patients by doctors to treat a variety of conditions and ailments.

OLCC – Oregon Liquor Control Commission

This is used in reference to the Oregon MED Badge, which allows a business or individual to operate within the legal cannabis industry.

OSHA – Occupational Safety and Health Administration

An administration created to assure safe and healthful working conditions in the workplace by setting and enforcing standards and by providing training, outreach, education and assistance.

POS – Point of sale system

Software used in dispensaries and retail outlets to help manage their inventory, process cash transactions, and other primary functions.

REC – Recreational cannabis

Cannabis or cannabis product intended for non-medical or recreational consumption. This is also referred to as “adult-use".

THC – Tetrahydrocannabinol

Remember when we talked about CBD earlier? THC, the compound which creates a “high”, is the most common cannabinoid and the most common psychoactive part of a cannabis plant.

THCa – Tetrahydrocannabinolic acid

Don’t confuse this with THC! This non-psychoactive compound is found in raw and live cannabis. THCa slowly converts to THC as the cannabis plant dries, and heat expedites this process when flower is smoked or vaped.

If you made it this far, you’re well on your way to becoming a certified cannabis expert. Take the next step by creating a Vangst profile and registering for our Career Kickstarter event. Both are great ways to advance your cannabis knowledge, from picking up new terminology to getting valuable industry insights, connections and more.

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