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The Uk420 Growers Dictionary

The UK420 Grower's Dictionary
compiled by squirrel

12/12 The lighting cycle used to force plants to flower : 12 hours on, 12 hours off. It is important that you don't interrupt the dark period, and that it is properly dark.
18/6, 20/4, 24/0 Lighting cycles (light/dark) used during veg. All of them work. Opinions vary as to which is best.
24/7 All day, every day. Not to be confused with lighting cycles.
420 Often used as a codeword for things to do with cannabis. Its origin is lost in the mists of time, but it is rumoured that 4:20 pm was considered to be a good time for the first joint of the day in California in the 60's, after school. Some people celebrate 20 April as a special cannabis day, from the American way of writing dates : 4/20.
acoustic ducting Soundproofed flexible air piping used to make growroom fans quieter.
aeroponics An advanced hydro growing technique, where the roots are suspended in the air rather than growing in a medium, and fed via fine sprays of water/nutrient mix.
airstone A device used in hydro to aerate the water/nutrient mix, by placing it in the reservoir and pumping air through it
Allmix An organic compost made by BioBizz.
av, avatar The small picture which appears under a member's name when posting.
autoflowerer A strain of cannabis that goes into flower automatically, without requiring 12/12 lighting to do so, such as Lowryder or Masterlow. They tend to be fast-growing, but are reportedly poor yielders and with an inferior high to normal strains.
ballast An electrical device which powers HID lights, usually a separate unit, best kept outside the grow space if possible as they generate heat. Most ballasts are designed to work only with one specific wattage of lamp. Usually the lamp is fitted into the reflector, which is plugged into a ballast, which plugs into the contactor and thence the timer.
bananas Male parts grown grown by a hermaphrodite plant in flower, so called because they look just like the fruit (but smaller, obviously). Also called "stealth bananas" or just "stealths", because they can be hard to spot.
beans, beanz Cannabis seeds.
BFB Blood Fish and Bone. A strong fertiliser used mostly out of doors. Although it is sometimes sold as "organic-based" it doesn't count as fully organic due to added chemicals..
BHO Butane Honey Oil, hash oil extracted using butane. See this thread.
Biobizz A leading manufacturer of cannabis-specific organic nutrients and compost.
black A type of hash, named for its colour, traditionally made in India, Pakistan and Nepal. An absolutely wonderful smoke, rarely seen in Britain these days. "Squidgy" black is a softer, much less potent counterfeit version, probably produced in Europe and cut with who knows what by unscrupulous dealers. "Rocky" black is a Moroccan version, but bears little resemblance to the original, and isn't even black.
black & white Plastic sheeting which is black on one side and white on the other, used for lining grow spaces.
bloom A nutrient intended for plants in flower. Often used to mean BioBizz Bloom, a very popular organic nutrient.
blunt A cigar that has had its insides replaced with weed.
bollocks Slang name for the pollen sacs grown by male plants.
bong A water-cooled pipe for smoking weed or hash. Sometimes the water is flavoured, or replaced with alcohol.
booster An extra nutrient solution, used in addition to a plant's usual nutrients, intended to improve aspects of its growth. There are a great many on the market, of variable cost and effectiveness. None of them are absolutely essential, but some are useful. A common beginner's mistake is to use lots of them all together, which usually does more harm than good.
Borg See spidermite
botrytis See budrot
bubble, bubble hash Hash made using bubblebags.
bubblebags A set of filters used for making hash.
bubbler A DWC growing unit.
bud 1) A general slang term for herbal cannabis.
2) The part of the female plant which contains most of the goodies.
3) "In bud" means in flower.
budder An ultra-strong cannabis extract made by a grower in Canada, claimed to be the purest, strongest hit possible.
budrot Every grower's nightmare, a very nasty fungal infection that attacks buds from the inside, turning them to grey slime, and spreads like wildfire. It is very difficult to detect until it has taken hold. It's formal name is botrytis. As with any fungal infection, a growroom that has had infected plants in it must be very thoroughly cleaned before another grow is attempted.
burping Opening airtight storage jars regularly to allow any remaining moisture to escape, when storing or curing dried bud. If this is not done the bud may go mouldy.
butane extraction A technique for extracting hash oil from plant matter.
calyx The growths around the nodes which produce pistils.
Canna 1) A manufacturer of cannabis-specific nutrients.
2) A slang term for cannabis.
capillary matting A soft matting which is used to line the growing trays in NFT, to ensure an even spread of nutrient solution. The plants rapidly grow roots into it.
carbon filter An extremely effective air filter, used in conjunction with an inline fan to completely remove the smell of the growing plants, even when they are fully mature. Typically mounted inside the grow space and attached via ducting to the inline fan, which pulls air through it and out of the grow space. An absolutely essential piece of equipment.
cbd Cannabidiol. A cannabinoid believed to be responsible for the couchlock effect.
CF 1) Carbon Filter.
2) Conductivity Factor, a measurement scale for nutrient solution strength in hydro, equivalent to EC times 10.
CFL Compact Fluorescent. A small household flourescent bulb, often marketed as "energy savers" because they use only a fraction of the power of an incandescent bulb for a similar amount of light. Some growers use the "cool blue" ones for starting seedlings or cuttings and even for vegging, particularly in very confined spaces, but they are not powerful enough to flower a plant effectively.
charas A traditional handmade hash from the Far East, made by rubbing the hands on growing plants.
chop Cut down a plant, either for harvest or disposal (if male, for example).
clay pebbles A growing medium used in hydro, particularly Ebb and Flow. They must be thoroughly washed before use.
clone, cloning A clone is an exact copy of an organism. Although no-one has cloned a human yet, plants are fairly easy to clone, simply by taking a small cutting from a plant, and planting it in a suitable growing medium with some rooting hormone. Once it has rooted it will grow into a copy of the plant it was taken from. The advantage to this for a grower is that he is making a copy of a known plant, so he already knows the sex and what type of plant he is going to get. Many growers grow clones exclusively, taking cuttings from one or two mothers.
coco A neutral growing medium similar to compost but containing no nutrients, used in some forms of hydro.
cola The primary bud, usually the centre of the plant.
compost A growing medium similar in appearance to a fine soil, which contains all the nutrients a growing plant requires - if it's any good. You can make your own if you enjoy working with heavily fermented organic sludges and mud and have a few spare months, but most people buy it by the packet for a couple of quid from the garden centre. Plants in decent compost shouldn't need feeding until the flower stage, provided they have been potted up regularly. More about compost here.
contactor A safety device which prevents the power surge caused by switching on HID lights from blowing or fusing your timer.
cooltube An air-cooled reflector, useful for controlling temperatures with very hot lights.
cotelydon leaf The first pair of leaves produced by a cannabis plant grown from seed, small and oval shaped. They usually drop off once some proper leaves have developed.
couchlock The sedative effect of some varieties of cannabis : leaving you locked to the couch.
crystal catcher A device built into some grinders to trap thc crystals falling from the weed during grinding.
curing When properly dried cannabis is stored long term (months), it gradually cures, producing a smoother taste and a better high. It needs to be stored in airtight jars in a dark place, and the jars need to be burped periodically.
cutting A small branch cut from a plant for cloning purposes. For information on how to take a cutting, see this Knowledgebase article.
def, deficiency A shortage of a particular nutrient, often accompanied by the chemical symbol of that nutrient, as in N def, Mg def etc.
dehumidifier An electrical device which lowers humidity.
dirt Mildly derogatory slang for compost
dripper An automated watering system used mainly in hydro.
drobe From "growdrobe", a wardrobe or cupboard that has been converted into a stealth growing unit.
drying Cannabis is best air-dried, hanging up in a dark room or cupboard with low (but not zero) air exchange, moderate temperature and low humidity, over a period of about two weeks. This allows it to reach its full potential. It is ready when the stalks of the dried bud snap rather than bending. It should then be stored in airtight containers, which need to be "burped" daily. See curing. Although it is possible to dry cannabis more quickly than this, it will not reach its full potential, and if flash-dried will have a diminished high and poor taste.
Dry sift Resin that has been collected through a screen with dried plant matter.
DWC Deep Water Culture. A hydro growing technique in which the roots are kept submerged in a highly aerated water/nutrient mix. DWC growing units are called bubblers because of the streams of bubbles pumped through the mix to aerate it.
e2a Edited to Add. Used when someone has edited an existing post to add more information to it, rather than put it in a new post.
E40 A standard screw-in light fitting used with Envirolites and HIDs
Ebb & Flow A hydro growing technique where the plants are grown in rockwool blocks, which are placed on top of clay pebbles in a deep tray. A water/nutrient mix is pumped from a reservoir into the tray, filling it right up, and allowed to drain away back into the reservoir, completely emptying the tray. This is repeated a number of times daily, depending on the stage of growth. Also known as Flood and Drain.
EC Electrical Conductivity. A scale for measuring the strength of nutrient solutions. An EC meter is an absolutely vital piece of kit for hydro growers.
Energy saver See CFL
Enviro, Envirolite 1) Fluorescent lights designed specifically for growing, as an alternative to the hotter HID lights. There are two types, blue ones for vegging, and red ones intended for flowering, and two power levels, 125 W and 200 W. Envirolites are widely agreed to be much less effective than HPS for flowering, although useful in tight spaces. The blue ones are much more popular and many people use them for vegging. They are quite bulky and won't easily fit into many HID reflectors. They should not be plugged into HID ballasts as they have their own ballast built in.
2) Enviro is also sometimes used as an abbreviation of environment.
Epsom salts A common chemical with a variety of household and garden uses. Used in small amounts to correct magnesium deficiencies (Mg def) in plants, either as a foliar feed or added to the nutrient mix.
extraction Pumping hot air out of your grow space. Good extraction is essential for indoor growing, both because the plants require lots of fresh air, and to pump away the heat generated by the lights. See fan.
F1, F2 etc An indicator of the stability of a crossbred strain of cannabis, F1 being the most stable.
fan One of the most vital pieces of equipment for a grower. Used to pump air into, around and out of a grow space. Growing plants require lots of fresh air. Inline fans such as RVKs are the only ones powerful enough for extraction, pulling the air through the carbon filter, and are often used to boost intakes as well. Bathroom extractor units are not powerful enough for our purposes and not designed to run 24/7, a must with extraction fans, so burn out rapidly under the strain. PC fans are not powerful enough for extraction either, but are useful to boost intakes, especially in tight spaces, will run 24/7 happily for years, and can easily be powered with standard 12 Volt DC power supplies. Oscillating or clip-on fans are often used to stir the air inside the grow space.
fan leaf The large leaves which grow in fans in the classic cannabis style. They act as the plant's solar panels, and the first signs of problems often show on the fan leaves.
Fe def Iron deficiency.
feeding Giving a plant nutrients, almost always by adding them to its water. Plants in hydro need added nutrients almost immediately, plants in compost get all their nutrients from the compost until the flowering stage, assuming they have been potted up regularly during veg.
female Only female plants produce smokeable cannabis.
feminised, femmed Seeds which have been manipulated to be all female, to a claimed rate of 95% or more. Often bought by new growers worried about sexing their plants and not wanting to grow males. Veterans rarely use them as they have a strong tendency to turn hermie, especially if the plant is stressed.
fert Fertiliser.
fimming A topping technique for inducing multiple shoots from the cut site. See this knowledgebase article.
finger hash The sticky goo that gets on your fingers and scissors during harvest. It is extremely potent and can get you stoned just by being on your fingers. Scrape it off and put it in a joint, but don't plan on going anywhere for a while afterwards! Some growers wear latex gloves for harvest, then put them in the freezer, which allows you to peel the finger hash off the gloves easily.
fish Fish Mix, a nutrient made by BioBizz for use with compost, particularly useful for treating nutrient deficiencies and maintaining mums in veg.
flash-dry Drying newly harvested cannabis much too quickly, generally by heating it. The faster you dry it the worse it will taste, and the more the high will be diminished too. Heating it in an oven or microwave will damage it considerably. If you can bear to wait, drying it overnight over a gentle heat source, like the waste heat emitted by many household appliances such as a TV or monitor, will produce a much better result, though still not as good as if you dried it properly. Don't cover the appliance's vents completely by the way, it may go bang.
Flood & drain 1) The recommended method of watering plants in compost : completely saturate the compost by watering gently from above, until water starts to run off at the bottom; leave the pot standing in the run off for a few minutes, and add more water if the run off is sucked back up; don't water again until the compost is almost completely dry, but not yet shrinking away from the edges of the pot, usually after three or four days; repeat.
2) Another name for Ebb & Flow, a hydro growing technique
flower, flowering The final and longest stage of the lifecycle of the cannabis plant, when the all-important buds are grown. Flowering is triggered by changing the light cycle to 12/12, 12 hours light and twelve hours dark. It is important not to interrupt the dark period. Most strains require a minimum of 8 to 10 weeks flowering time to reach their peak, but for some, such as Hazes, it can be 14 or more weeks. Many growers run their lights at night, and have the dark period during the day, to minimise temperature fluctuations and take advantage of cheap nighttime electricity.
flush, flushing Giving a plant plain water, or sometimes a "flushing solution", instead of its usual nutrients. This is often done in the last week or two before harvest. It is supposed to flush unused nutrients out of the plants, to make for a smoother smoke. However, it is unnecessary with organic nutrients, and of questionable effectiveness in compost generally : see oldtimer1's posts in this thread for example, especially the first one. In hydro, flushing is standard practise for the last week or so, and short flushes of a day or two are sometimes used if a plant has been overfertilised.
fogger A device for raising humidity.
foliar feeding Giving plants nutrients by spraying them in a fine mist over the leaves, usually to correct a deficiency.
fungus, fungal The grower's enemy, airborne fungus spores can infest a growroom and attack plants, causing considerable damage or even ruining a crop completely. Once a growspace has been infested it must be very thoroughly cleaned before another grow is attempted, or the fungus will recur. Fungi like high humidity, so this is best avoided.
fungus gnats A small gnat-like insect which can infest growing media. The adults are fairly harmless, but the larvae eat plants. See this knowledgebase article.
genefinder A grower's trick for making a plant show preflowers before it ordinarily would, by changing its lightcycle to 12/12 for three days and then switching it back to a veg cycle.
germ, germinate, germination Getting seeds to sprout and turn into plants. There are many different techniques, including planting directly into a damp growing medium; putting them between damp paper towels and transferring them into a growing medium once sprouted; presoaking seeds in water or a mild nutrient solution; using heated or unheated propagators, and many more. They all seem to work pretty well, including the dead easy "just plant the thing" approach. Seeds take up to a week to germinate, sometimes more. Whichever method you use, you should resist the temptation to peek at the seeds to see if anything is happening yet, as it's easy to damage them at this stage.
grams per watt A rough measure of the cost-effectiveness of a grow - the number of grams of dried bud divided by the number of watts of grow lighting. A result of 1.0 or better is considered pretty good, especially in compost.
grinder A device for grinding up dried cannabis, ready to smoke. Much easier than pulling it apart with your fingers.
gritweed Herbal cannabis that has had sand, powdered glass or other impurities added, to boost the weight for dealing purposes. Some of it is dangerously toxic.
grow 1) Many growers refer to the plants they are growing at the moment as "my grow".
2) A nutrient intended for a plant in veg. Often used to mean BioBizz Grow, a very popular organic nutrient.
growdrobe A wardrobe or cupboard that has been converted into a stealth growing unit. Often shortened to "drobe".
guerilla grow A concealed outdoor grow, often on public land.
harvest The long awaited day when you get to convert your plants to bud. (Don't get too excited, you still have to dry it before you can smoke it!). Make sure you have some good scissors and plenty of time, there will be lots of trimming to do. See the Rough Guide to Harvesting and curing.
hash, hashish Cannabis resin, made by extracting the active ingredients of the plant and pressing the result into a block. For many years hash was the best known form of cannabis in the UK, imported in bulk from Morocco, Lebanon and the Far East. In recent years, until early 2006, a much adulterated but very cheap form of hash called soapbar dominated the UK market, almost completely driving out imported hashes by selling at half the price.
There are a number of techniques for making hash. People making it at home in the UK mostly use bubblebags, a technique using graded filters and ice. Hash can be made from any plant matter bearing trichomes, for example the small trim leaves which grow directly out of the buds and are cut away at harvest.
haze A family of cannabis strains, very stretchy, with poor yields and long flowering times, but reckoned to be a superb smoke. Some people grow nothing else. Not a great choice for a beginner.
hemp A close relative of the cannabis plant, used for making rope, vegetable oil and many other things. Farmers need a license to grow it. Unfortunately industrial hemp has almost no thc in it, so won't get you stoned.
herb A nickname for cannabis.
hermie, hermaphrodite A female plant that starts to grow male parts, which look like tiny bananas. If not detected before they burst, it can pollinate itself and any other plants in the grow, causing the plants to grow seed and reducing yield. If there is no danger of pollinating other plants, eg if it's your only plant, a hermie can still be grown out and will produce a respectable smoke. In late flower the male parts can often simply be picked off the plant before they do any damage.
Precisely what causes hermies is not fully understood, but there is a lot of anecdotal evidence that interrupting the dark period during flower is a major cause. Feminised seeds have a particular tendency to hermie, which is why veterans tend not to use them.
HID High Intensity Discharge. Very powerful lamps widely used in growing. There are two types, HPS, which has a redder spectrum and is used mainly for flowering, and MH, which has a bluer spectrum and is used mainly for vegging, and sometimes in the last two weeks of flower. HID lights require a separate unit called a ballast to ignite and run them. They generate a lot of heat, and so require powerful fans for cooling, particularly in confined spaces.
HPS High Pressure Sodium. An HID lighting system which produces the most suitable light spectrum and intensity for flowering. Widely available in 250 W, 400 W, 600 W and 1000 W versions.
humidifier An electrical device for increasing humidity.
humidity How wet the air is, usually measured as RH, Relative Humidity, which is expressed as a percentage. Cannabis thrives at around 70% RH, but will tolerate a very wide range, from around 30-80%. In indoor grows it should ideally be reduced to around 60% in early flowering, and to 40-50% with about two weeks to go, to avoid potential budrot. Seedlings and unrooted clones like 80%. Humidity problems are often a side effect of poor ventilation or temperatures, and getting those two right will often fix the humidity as well.
hungry Lacking in nutrients.
hydro, hydroponics A set of growing techniques where plants are grown in a neutral growing medium such as rockwool or coco, and all the nutrients are supplied by watering. See NFT, Ebb and Flow, DWC, aeroponics.
hygrometer A device for measuring humidity. Electronic temperature meters often have a built-in hygrometer as well.
indica A subspecies of cannabis from South Asia, which tends to grow stockier and be higher yielding than the other main subspecies, sativa, but with a lazier, more mellow high. Most strains are crosses between these two subspecies.
intake A hole where air enters a grow space to replace air pumped out by the extraction fan. An active intake is boosted by a fan, a passive intake is just a hole. Either way it needs to be lightproofed.
internode The stem between nodes.
ioniser, ionizer An electrical air cleanser. They are not very effective compared to carbon filters.
IPA, Iso Isopropyl alcohol, used in making hash oil.
JAB J Arthur Bowers, a type of compost.
jelly hash Resin and oil mixed together in different ratios to form hash.
jiffy pellet Compressed peat pellets, used for starting seedlings or cuttings.
K Potassium, an important plant nutrient.
knowledgebase A large collection of articles on all aspects of cannabis growing, here.
ladyboy See hermie.
landrace Cannabis plants from the wild, as opposed to heavily crossbred like most strains grown in Europe.
LED Light Emitting Diode. An extremely low power light often used for the lights on electronic appliances. As more powerful LEDs become available a few electronics whiz-kids are experimenting with using them to grow, but this is very much unproven technology.
leggy Excessively tall and spindly, usually applied to seedlings. They become leggy if the light is either not powerful enough, or not close enough.
light burn Burns on the plant, usually caused by having an HID light too close. Even with the lamp at the correct distance, you can sometimes still get light burn by leaving drops of water on the leaves, which acts as a lens.
light cycle When the lights are on and off. 12 hours on, 12 hours off triggers flowering, a longer "day" and shorter "night" keep the plants in veg.
Light Mix An organic compost made by BioBizz, milder than Allmix, intended for seedlings and young clones.
lockout Nutrients can sometimes become locked out, so that a plant can't utilise them even though they are present, usually due to environmental problems such as extreme temperatures or bad soil.
LSF Leaf Spot Fungus, a disease that effects cannabis plants.
LST Low Stress Training. Gently bending and weighing down branches to encourage a plant to grow in a desired shape, usually out rather than up.
lumens A scale used to measure how strong a light source is.
male Male plants don't produce bud and be must removed from a grow as soon as they are positively identified, to prevent them pollinating the females.
medium The substance which the roots grow into : compost, soil, coco, rockwool etc.
Mg Magnesium, an important minor nutrient.
Mg def Magnesium deficiency. A relatively common occurence in compost grows, rare in hydro. Affected leaves start to yellow between the veins, but the veins remain green, producing a stripy effect, starting at the bottom of the plant and spreading upwards. It is treated with a small dose of Epsom salts, available from chemists and garden centres, either added to the feed or sprayed on the leaves.
MH Metal Halide. An HID lighting system which produces mostly a  bluish spectrum light, used for vegging. Some people also use them in conjunction with HPS lights at the end of flowering, claiming that it enhances the psychoactivity of the end product.
mother, mum A mother plant is kept in veg more or less permanently as a source of cuttings for cloning.
mud Mildly derogatory slang for compost.
mylar A highly reflective plastic sheeting, used to line the walls of growrooms and growdrobes in order to maximise the effectiveness of the lighting.
N Nitrogen. An important nutrient for plants. Although it makes up four fifths of Earth's atmosphere, to be accessible to the plants it has to be "fixed" in soil, compost or nutrient solutions.
N def Nitrogen deficiency. The leaves of a plant that is not getting enough nitrogen start turning yellow, starting at the bottom of the plant and moving upwards. This can usually be remedied by adding more "grow" nutrient, or potting up if not yet in final pots when growing in compost.The affected leaves don't turn green again, but new growth should then be normal.
NFT Nutrient Film Technique. A popular hydro growing technique where the plants are grown in cubes of rockwool, which are placed on a gently sloped tray. A water/nutrient mix is pumped from a reservoir to the top of the tray, trickles down the slope through the rockwool cubes and the roots growing out of them, thus providing a constant "film" of nourishment for the plant, and back into the reservoir. The pump or pumps may run either continuously or intermittently.
node A place where branches sprout from the main stem of the plant. Nodes are normally counted from the bottom upwards.
NPK, N-P-K Nitrogen-Phosphorus-Potassium. The three most important nutrients for plant growth. Most fertilisers and nutrients quote the percentage of these three nutrients prominently as a string of numbers, eg 6-2-4.
nutes, nutrients Chemicals which plants need to grow, usually added to their water with each watering. "Grow" nutrients are intended for when the plants are in veg, "Bloom" for when they are in flower. Seedlings are born with enough nutrients on board for the first few days. After this they must be supplied. In hydro the plants get them from the water/nutrient mix; in compost from the compost. Compost growers need to start adding nutrients once the plants are put into flower in their final pots. There are three major nutrients, see NPK, and a number of minor ones.
There are lots of cannabis-specific nutrients available, which should contain all the nutrients needed by the plant, mixed in the correct proportions. Often they come in two parts that must both be mixed into water in equal amounts. Some types, especially organic nutrients, must be used as soon as mixed up and cannot be mixed in advance and stored.
nute burn What look like burn marks at the tips of leaves, caused by giving a plant too much nutrient.
oil A liquid extract of cannabis, very potent. Also called hash oil.
OP Original Post, Original Poster : the first post in a thread, or the person who started it.
organic A growing philosophy that uses only natural and sustainable ingredients : organic compost, organic nutrients etc. No chemical fertilisers or additives are allowed. Organic growers will tell you that their weed tastes better and contains fewer toxins. Organic nutrients are usually unsuitable for use in hydro, and many organic growers consider hydro unorganic by definition anyway, as it isn't "natural".
overfert Over-fertilisation, giving a plant a nutrient solution or compost that is too strong for it.
overwatering Giving a plant too much water, or watering too often. Although plants need a good supply of water, if you keep the growing medium saturated all the time, the roots start to rot and the plant drowns. See Flood & drain.
P Phosphorus, an important plant nutrient.
passive intake An air intake that is just a hole, rather than boosted by a fan.
peat pellet A small starter "pot" made of peat. When roots start growing out of the sides you are ready to pot up, simply by putting the whole thing into the compost.
perlite A neutral growing medium sometimes used in hydro, or added to compost mixes to dilute them or improve water retention, though this is unnecessary with good compost.
pests There are various small insect pests which can sometimes infest growrooms, most notoriously spidermites, aka The Borg, and thrips.
pH A measure of how acid or alkaline something is, usually water or a nutrient solution, on a scale of 1 to 14. pH 7.0 is neutral; numbers below 7 are acidic, above 7 are alkaline. Cannabis prefers slightly acid conditions, so hydro growers keep their water/nutrient mix at a pH of around 6.0, usually by adding phosphoric acid (pH Down) to the water/nutrient mix, as UK tapwater is mildly alkaline. Compost growers don't need to adjust the pH of their water or nutrients, as the compost takes care of it automatically.
pH down Brand name for phosphoric acid, used to lower pH in hydro grows.
pH up A chemical which can be added to nutrient solutions in hydro to make them more alkaline, thus sending the pH up. Rarely needed in the UK as tapwater is already more alkaline than required. pH up should not be used to counteract a pH made too low with pH down, as this can cause unwanted chemical reactions.
pheno, phenotype A plant's body type. A particular strain may have more than one, in the same way that one child may look like its father and another like its mother.
photoperiod The hours of light and dark you give the plant. In veg plants are given a regime of anything from 24 hours light 0 hours dark, to 18 hours light 6 hours dark. Plants will remain in veg until the lighting cycle is switched to 12/12, which triggers flowering.
pistils "Hairs" grown by female plants. The first sign of a female plant is a calyx with a pair of white hairs growing out of it, the pistils. As the plant matures it grows lots of them. A rough guide on when to harvest a plant is when most of the pistils have turned brown, though it is better to go by the trichomes if possible.
pm Personal Message. "PM Mr X" means send a personal message to Mr X (under My UK420)
pollen 1) A fine powder produced by male plants in pollen sacs, which burst once they are mature, spreading pollen all over the place. If pollen comes into contact with female plants they grow seeds, lowering yield. Unless you are growing specifically to make seeds, you don't want it. Contrary to popular myth, pollen is no use for smoking.
2) Polm, a type of hash, is often mispronounced/misspelt as pollen. It isn't made from male plants and doesn't contain pollen.
pollinated, pollination A female plant that has come into contact with pollen has been pollinated, and will produce seeds.
polm A type of hash, often mispronounced and/or misspelt "pollen". It isn't made from male plants and doesn't contain pollen.
Pot on, pot up, potting up Moving a plant that has completely filled its current pot with roots into a larger pot, with a fresh supply of compost. Also known as "repotting". Plants grow best in compost if they are started in a small pot and potted up into larger pots each time their rootball fills the pot, roughly doubling the volume of the pot each time, rather than just planted into a large pot initially.
potbound A plant that has been left too long before potting up. It can be difficult to get a potbound plant out of the pot, as the roots are pressing so tightly against the sides.
powdery mildew A fungus that can infest a growroom and spread through the plants. See this knowledgebase article.
ppm Parts Per Million. A scale for measuring the strength of nutrient solutions, used by hydro growers.
preflowers Tiny growths on the plant around the nodes, the first indication of what sex the plants are. Early preflowers are hard to spot and even harder to identify reliably : you need good magnification or a good camera to see them at all. Unless you are very experienced it is better to wait until the proper flowers start to show, which are much easier to recognise, before chopping anything.
prop, propagator Basically a plastic box with a lid, which usually has closeable vents, used mainly to create a humid environment for rooting cuttings when cloning
pump A vital piece of equipment for hydro growers, used to pump the water/nutrient mix to the plants. It is advisable to have more than one, as if the pump breaks down in a recirculating system such as NFT the plants die very quickly.
QWISO Quick Wash Isopropyl, a technique for making hash oil.
recirculating Describes hydro systems such as NFT and Ebb & Flood  where the nutrient/water mix is stored in a reservoir, and returns to the reservoir after being pumped to the plants.
reflector A device which reflects light which would otherwise radiate away from your grow towards it.
repot, repotting Moving a plant that has completely filled its current pot with roots into a larger pot, with a fresh supply of compost. Also known as "potting up". Plants grow best in compost if they are started in a small pot and repotted into larger ones periodically, rather than just planted straight into a large pot.
res, reservoir A tank which contains the water/nutrient mix used in hydro.
resin The sticky secretion that makes weed and hash potent.
revegging Persuading a plant which has been put into flower to revert to vegetative growth, by changing the lighting cycle from 12/12 back to a veg cycle. It is often possible, but takes several weeks.
RH Relative Humidity, a measure of how wet the air is. See humidity.
rockwool A neutral growing medium used in hydro, vaguely similar to a bathroom sponge in structure, but firmer.
root rot If roots are kept too wet, eventually they rot. As you might imagine, not good for the plants.
rootball The mass of roots that fill the pots when growing in compost. A good rootball is the key to a good plant.
rooting hormone A substance that encourages a cutting to put out roots and become a clone, usually applied directly to the cut part of the cutting.
ruderalis A subspecies of cannabis that is not very psychoactive.
RVK Powerful inline fans, widely used for extraction by growers.
sativa Officially all cannabis is cannabis sativa, but breeders and growers recognise three subspecies : sativa, indica and ruderalis. Sativas tend to be tall and slow flowering with an "up" high, indicas short and quicker to flower, but with more of a lazy, mellow high. Most strains are crosses containing both. Ruderalis is a wild cannabis that is not very psychoactive.
SCROG Screen Of Green. A growing technique where one or more plants have their branches gradually woven into a screen fixed horizontally above them, during the course of growing. This produces a large and even canopy, which is easier to light effectively.
scuff thc crystals collected from weed, for example by a crystal catcher
seedbank A place for storing seeds, and often selling them.
seedling A plant in the first two weeks of it's life.
semi-organic A grow that uses mostly organic ingredients, but not entirely. Many growers on uk420 use a non-organic general purpose compost, but organic nutrients, usually BioBizz Grow and Bloom.
sensimilla, sensimilia Very common misspellings of sinsemilla
sexing Determining the sex of your plants, important because only the females produce bud. The first sign of sex is preflowers, usually at around the fifth node counting from the bottom. These may occur late in veg or early in flowering, but they are extremely small and difficult to identify reliably even with good magnification. Once the plants have been in flower for a week or two, they start showing much more obvious signs : the males grow pollen sacs, which look like small bunches of grapes or clusters of small green peppers, and the females grow pistils, pairs of white hairs growing out of calyxes. Unless growing for seed the males should be removed and disposed of as soon as positively identified, to prevent them from pollinating the females. Pollen sacs are not dangerous from the moment they appear, they have to mature before they can shed pollen, which takes at least a few days.
shitbar see soapbar
sinsemilla From the Spanish "sin semilla", "without seed". The best cannabis comes from female plants that have not been pollinated and therefore do not produce seeds. Often misspelt as sensimilla.
skunk A strain of cannabis plant. Most herbal cannabis of any potency is referred to as skunk by the media and dealers.
soapbar A heavily adulterated but very cheap type of hash which completely dominated the UK market from the nineties until early 2006, when it all suddenly disappeared. Called soapbar as it came in bars resembling soap, it was usually sold at less than half the market price of imported hashes, thus driving them out of the market. It has been estimated that the "best" soapbar was only about nine per cent real hash. Most soapbar was reasonably smokeable if you weren't too fussy, but some had really nasty contaminants in it, and you rarely got a bar that didn't have small bits of plastic embedded in it. Many growers call it shitbar and wouldn't smoke it if you paid them, which tells you their opinion of it.
SOG Sea Of Green. A growing technique where lots of small plants are grown tightly packed together, instead of growing a few larger ones.
soil The stuff your garden plants grow in. Not the same as compost, though compost is sometimes referred to loosely as soil.
spidermite A tiny, fast breeding, plant eating insect pest that infests growrooms and can cause considerable damage to plants. Difficult to eradicate. Often called "The Borg" because of the way they assimilate your grow and churn out more and more spidermites. No relation to household spiders.
springtail A minor insect pest that can sometimes infest a growing medium. They are harmless to the plants, and sometimes eat other pests.
stealths "Stealth bananas", male parts grown by a hermaphrodite plant in flower, so called because they look like the fruit and can be hard to spot.
stipe Green spurs that grow out from the nodes, often confused by beginners with preflowers.
strain Variety of cannabis plant. There are many hundreds of different strains, with different properties and characteristics. It is not usually possible to identify an unknown strain by sight.
stretch Vertical growth of the plant. Plants stretch if the light isn't close enough, and during flower, when they usually double or triple in height.
sugar leaves See trim.
syringe Just like a medical syringe, with 1 ml divisions marked on the side. Essential for measuring out precise amounts of nutrients.
taproot A large root that the plant sends straight down to look for water. In pots it coils up at the bottom of the pot.
TD160 A type of inline fan.
temps Temperatures, usually quoted as a daily maximum/minimum. Cannabis grows best if kept between 20 and 30 Celsius.
thc Tetrahydrocannabinol. The main psychoactive ingredient in Cannabis.
thrips A tiny, fast-breeding, plant-eating insect pest which can infest grow rooms. Fairly easy to eradicate with insecticide.
timer A device for switching lights and sometimes fans on and off at predetermined times. HID lights should be plugged into a timer via a contactor, to prevent the surge from the ballast from fusing the timer.
tinfoil Tinfoil is a poor choice for lining a grow room, as it is better at reflecting heat than light, but it's a common mistake. Matt white paint is much better, mylar is better still.
tinfoil hat A vital tool for the very paranoid, useful for preventing the CIA, international conspiracies and malevolent aliens from reading your mind or taking you over for nefarious purposes.
topping Pinching or cutting off the growing tip to make a plant grow out rather than up, and hopefully grow multiple colas. Some strains respond very well to it, some less so.
trichs, trichomes Tiny crystals of thc which form on the buds and trim, giving the plant that classic frosty look. With sufficient magnification they are the most reliable indicator of when a plant is ready to harvest, when they turn amber or cloudy.
trim Small leaves which grow directly out of the buds, often half subsumed by them. They are usually trimmed from the bud during harvesting (hence the name), and often used to make hash as they usually have lots of crystals.
truncheon An electronic probe for measuring the strength of nutrient solutions in hydro.
vap Evaporate.
vape, vapouriser A horrifyingly expensive device for ingesting cannabis by vapourising it rather than smoking it. Some people love them, some find that they don't work well for them, most seem to think you need to use more weed to get stoned with one.
veg Vegetative growth. The second stage of a cannabis plant's life, when it develops some leaves and branches, but mostly focusses on root growth, which is extremely important for a good plant. Most growers veg their plants for four to six weeks before putting the plant into flower, but it can vary considerably depending on growing method. Plants remain in veg until the lighting is changed from a veg cycle of 18/6, 20/4 or 24/0 (light/dark) to the flowering cycle, 12/12. With careful management it is possible to keep plants in veg literally for years, a technique used in cloning to provide a near infinite supply of clones of a favoured plant.
ventilation Plants die without a constant supply of fresh air, which in indoor grows must be constantly pumped through the grow space. See fan.
vermiculite A neutral growing medium sometimes used in hydro, or added to compost mixes to improve water retention.
W Watts, a measure of electricity use (watts = amps x volts)
watering All plants need water regularly. Compost growers usually need to water every three to five days, if they are using the recommended flood and drain method. Plants in hydro are either given a constant water/nutrient supply, or one that runs every few hours on a timer.
weed Herbal cannabis.
whitey Making yourself ill with a massive cannabis overdose, typically leading to vomiting and feeling disoriented. Surprisingly difficult to achieve without the assistance of alcohol.
WMP+JI "Westlands Multi-Purpose with added John Innes". A popular compost for growing cannabis. Westlands make a number of slightly different versions with similar names and packet designs. However in 2007 they suddenly changed the formula of all their composts and experts rate the new versions as very poor. The packaging is identical and the new version can only be recognised by examining the contents : the newer one has no perlite in it.
yield How much dried weed your plants eventually produce. It is very difficult to predict yield as it is largely a matter of how skilfully the plant is grown.

Last update : 19 July 2007 by squirrel.

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