While there are plenty of veteran potheads out there, not all of us have been rolling up joints since middle school. Even those of us who have been steadily indulging for a while might not actually know anything about weed, whether it’s because we were too scared to Google it on our family computer or because we always had a friend who was a plug (and for that, we thank them). As the culture surrounding marijuana use continues to change—Michigan, Missouri, and Utah just passed amendments that ease up on marijuana restrictions—more and more people are toking up. And while we’re all for it, it’s important to get at least a little educated on it, just like you would with your diet or a new vitamin.
The amount of information and the lingo can be overwhelming: you might know that words like THC, cannabis, CBD, indica, and sativa are weed-adjacent, but they may not actually mean anything to you. And beyond that, you want to know what to look for; marijuana is a plant, after all, and there are certain characteristics to be cautious of or on the hunt for to ensure that you’re getting your money’s worth (weed ain’t cheap, y’all). Thankfully, we’ve provided a guide here that not only breaks down the three main “types” of weed, but also some other basics like stem texture and scent. And yes, we even revealed what THC actually stands for—you’re welcome. This is your guide to weed, with all of the important stuff you should be looking for.