Different Names For Cannabis

Now that weed is legal in New Jersey you might need to dust off the old dictionary. The terms “weed,” “marijuana,” and “cannabis” all refer to the different names for Cannabis sativa and its many varieties.

We offer 20 additional words that you might come across when discussing cannabis.

But where do these terms come from?

The word “cannabis” is the scientific name for the plant.

The word originates from the Greek word “kannabis,” which means “hemp.” Scientists and medical professionals refer to the plant and its many varieties as cannabis, making it the most PC word and culturally appropriate term for cannabis at this time.

The word “marijuana” is a more informal and casual term that commonly refers to the plant and its many varieties.

The term marijuana originated in Mexico and describes a variety of cannabis that grows for its psychoactive effects, unlike hemp with no psychoactive effects.

However, more notably, the term “marijuana” became popularized in the United States during the early 20th century. The term’s use initiated a campaign to demonize the plant and its users.

This harsh campaign was led by Harry Anslinger. He was the first commissioner of the Federal Bureau of Narcotics, and fueled by racism and fear. This was a precursor for the War On Drugs.

The term “weed” is another term that commonly refers to the cannabis plant or buds. In fact, this word is one of the most popular words for cannabis.

The most commonly used and accepted term to refer to the plant and its many varieties is the word “Cananbis”.

In modern times, scientists, medical professionals, and policymakers favor the word cannabis. Therefore, making cannabis the most accurate and precise way to describe the plant.

“Marijuana” and “weed” are both widely used terms describing cannabis. Over time, they are getting used less and less with newer words replacing their use.

Here are 20 terms to describe, well… whatever you call it:

  1. Ganja: A classic term derived from the Hindi word for cannabis commonly used to refer to the plant and its many varieties. “Bob Marley smoked a lot of ganja. Do you think it was fire or mids?”
  2. Herb: Often used to refer to cannabis in a positive or neutral way and associated with its natural and medicinal properties. “Do you prefer smoking herb or concentrates?”
  3. Dank: Popular among Dead heads and Phish heads alike, this word has emanated into the mainstream to means something kind of interesting, in high demand and kind of underground. “In the 90’s we saw a lot of Dank on the grateful dead lots.” Now we se of dank meme stashes.
  4. Piff: A superior and high-quality cannabis, usually with a Haze-like flavor and/or purple colors.
  5. Gas: Slang for amazing quality weed. “Have you seen Garden State Gas, that boy’s got some fire!”
  6. Loud: Loud is a slang term for extremely powerful, pungent, and high-quality cannabis flower.
  7. Reefer: This is a slang term that originated in the 1920s, and is often used to refer to cannabis in a casual or informal way but at this point in time usually in a joking way when discussing fear of cannabis. When your grandparents come home earlier than you expect and walk in on a fire sesh, they may ask they might ask… “What is that smell? Sure smell like reefer.”
  8. Kush: Cannabis strains that originate from the Hindu Kush region of the Middle East. Kush is known for high potency and strong effect. “The Kush was fire, so tasty. It did make me want to chill a but too much though, so I prefer to use the OG Kush in the evening.”
  9. Chronic: High-quality or potent cannabis associated with its strong aroma and high level effects. “Do you smoke mids or the chronic?”
  10. Fire: High-quality or potent cannabis associated with its strong aroma and effects. “Have you tried the new drop from Berner415? It’s pure fire!”

What do you think of those? Here are 11 Additional Names For Cannabis

  1. Green: A positive or neutral term and is associated with its natural and medicinal properties. “Who has some green to help me take the edge off?” “Does that shop have any good green or is it all schwag?”
  2. Mary Jane: A slang term originating in the 1900s, and is used in a casual or informal way. “We love Mary Jane. She is quite fine.” Several notable songs use Mary Jane in the lyrics.
  3. Pot: Used so commonly it doesn’t feel a slang term. Pot originated in the 1900s, and refers to cannabis in a casual or informal way. “Have you seen all of the pot shops opening in New Jersey? We are over 1,000 shops soon!”
  4. Bud: Refer to the flower of the cannabis plant and associated with its use for smoking or vaping
  5. Nugs: Similar to buds, a nug refers to the buds of the cannabis plant and used to refer to the plant’s psychoactive effects. Sometimes a nug may be a piece from a larger bud. “Are we smoking some nugs this weekend?” “Look at these amazing, crystallized nugs I just harvested.”
  6. Flower: A natural term for the cannabis plant. “Wait until you smell the chronic I got yesterday.”
  7. Weed: One of the most popular terms for cannabis, notably due to the ease the plant can grow anywhere, albeit not always at any redeeming quality.
  8. Cannabis: The natural name for the herb. Records show the earliest usages of the word cannabis as early as 1548.
  9. Marijuana: Although widely still used today, the word marijuana is actually a derogatory word describing cannabis. The word was used to demonize the plant and introduced by Henry Anslinger in the 1930s and 1940s.
  10. Smoke: Some people just call it smoke. “Hey, you got any smoke to get us lit tonight?”
  11. Schwag: Poor quality weed. Often full of stems and/or seeds. The problems with schwag can be endless, so we highly recommend you avoid it at all costs!

What Do You Call It?

As we can see, the many different terms for cannabis can be quite overwhelming and confusing.

Keep in mind, while the list we provided is not exhaustive, it covers some of the most commonly used among the different names for cannabis.

Speaking of, are there any other names or terms that you’ve heard used for cannabis that we didn’t mention in our list?

Let us know in the comments below!

As you can see, regardless of what you call it, it’s important to understand the basics of this plant and how to use it. Have you read our recent article on keeping your cannabis fresh & powerful?

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