7 Things We Call Marijuana and Why

7 Things We Call Marijuana and Why

Posted on April 19 by Kyle
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7. Ganja

Comes from the sanskrit word gañjā which means "hemp". 

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6. Skunk

Have you smelled it? Enough said.

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5. Mary-Jane

The terms Mary-Jane or "M.J." for short are common use for Marijuana. Why? Look at the initials. MariJuana.

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4. Dope

Dope started out, and is still used, to describe how good something is. "That skate trick was dope!" 

Interestingly, the word dope has been described as a term used for the drug by most often non-users. People who smoke marijuana often assert that the word dope refers to heroin. 

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3. Pot

There are a few origins for where the term "pot" came from when referring to marijuana. One of the catchiest is tracing the word back to the spanish phrase, “potacion de guaya,” or “drink of grief,” which is said to have been a wine concoction made from the herb by steeping the leaves. Of course, it could also come from referring to an actual tea pots back when another of the drug's common slang names was, in fact, "tea".

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2. 420

The term 420 has become almost mainstream in its meaning of cannabis consumption. Although there are a couple origin stories, the most popular use of the term allegedly comes from a group of California teenagers that called themselves the "Waldos". They made it a mission of theirs to seek out and find an abandoned crop of marijuana. Their set meeting place was at a campus statue of Louis Pasteur and they would meet at 4:20 PM, thus the code they used to communicate was "4:20, Louis". After a number of failed attempts to find the crop, the code became shortened to simply, "420" and that spread to be used among teenagers as code for smoking cannabis. 

Eventually the term evolved into a counter-culture holiday to be celebrated on April (the fourth month) 20th. People around the world celebrate the use of cannabis, often promoting it's legalization, by lighting up at 4:20 PM.

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1. Weed

As every gardener knows, weeds are resilient, able to grow in a variety of environments. Marijuana is such a weed and has been considered so for a long time. In the early 20th century, cannabis was referred to as "The weed". The first use of the term sans the word the may have been by novelist Raymond Chandler."They were looking for … a suitcase full of weed." (The Little Sister, 1949.)

Fun fact, originally, weed was actually the slang term for tobacco. 

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Interested in the topic? Check out one of the books below for fiction and non-fiction centered on marijuana.