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Other Names for Weed

Have you ever wondered why there are SO many names for cannabis? One of the most interesting aspects of cannabis is its culture, and language is an important part of it.

There are many different names for marijuana, and the list is always changing. There are a few great reasons why this is. In this entry we’ll cover what the other names for weed are, and some of the reasons why there are so many names for marijuana.

List of Other Names for Weed

Other names for weed

Here are some of the most common other names for cannabis, cannabis parts, and preparations or extracts made from cannabis plants:

  • 420 (refers to the time of day—or just the act of consuming or cannabis itself)
  • Alice B. Toklas (she was the partner of Gertrude Stein, but she was known for hash brownies, so that’s what people mean by that)
  • Ashes (just another word for something you’re smoking that isn’t tobacco)
  • Asparagus (something green)
  • Badder/Budder (a less refined cannabis concentrate that is softer like cake badder and still retains many cannabinoids and terpenes)
  • Bag (many people refer to the bag of cannabis itself)
  • Bhang (actually a drink made with cannabis)
  • Blaze (also refers to the act of smoking or “blazing” a joint)
  • Block/Brick (refers to the fact that large quantities of cannabis might be sold in blocks like hay)
  • Blunt (another word for marijuana cigarette rolled by hand)
  • Broccoli (same team as asparagus)
  • Bud (buds are what growers harvest for drying and curing because they contain the most cannabinoids; “bud” refers to the tightly clustered cannabis plant flowers)
  • Cannabis (probably the “correct” or scientific phrase, Cannabis indica, Cannabis sativa, and Cannabis ruderalis are all naturally occurring variants of the cannabis plant, but Cannabis sativa is usually the species we refer to because that covers the hemp plant)
  • Charas (a type of hashish used in Hindu culture made from cannabis resin)
  • Cheeba (usually cannabis in flower form, not related to the Japanese city Chiba or the actor and martial artist Sonny Chiba; derives from the Spanish “Chiva,” which actually referred to heroin originally)
  • Chronic (a classic usage, made permanent by 1990s rap)
  • Cola (the cannabis flower itself)
  • Dagga (dates back hundreds of years, from South Africa)
  • Dank (refers to the stronger cannabis aroma and, usually, a higher quality product)
  • Dime bag (another reference to the amount sold)
  • Doobie (first use in the 1960s, for a marijuana cigarette)
  • Dope (originally dope meant gravy or sauce in the early 1800s in the US, and the word itself derives from the Dutch; first it was applied to thick, syrupy opium, and then cannabis hashish)
  • Eighth (meaning 1/8 of an ounce)
  • Fatty (a large cannabis cigarette)
  • Finger (back in the day, when you bought a “lid” of pot, you’d buy a “four-finger lid,” meaning one that was about four fingers across)
  • Flower (another way to refer to cannabis buds or nuggets)
  • Ganja (most people associate this term with the Rastafarian faith and Jamaica, but its origins are in Sanskrit; either way, many use this phrase for very strong cannabis)
  • Gasper (really, any hand-rolled cigarette can be a gasper)
  • Grass (a reference to the plant itself)
  • Green (pretty vague, but okay)
  • Hash/Hashish (a concentrate pressed from the whole cannabis flower)
  • Hash oil (oil made from cannabis hash concentrate)
  • Hay (another plant type reference, may also indicate poor quality; the word hashish is also taken from the Arabic hashish, which means “dry herb, hay” )
  • Hemp (another name for Cannabis sativa, the type of cannabis plant that naturally grows with less than 0.3% THC in it)
  • Herb (another plant reference, but one that showcases the aroma and flavor of the terpenes and cannabinoids in the plant)
  • J or Jay (short for joint)
  • Joint (another word for a hand-rolled cannabis cigarette)
  • Juanita (“Marijuana” or, in human form, “Mary Jane,” “Mary Juanita,” or just Juanita)
  • Kief/Keef (the yellow or white looking powder or crystals that shake off the cannabis flowers or buds, can be pressed and used)
  • Leaf (another way to refer to the cannabis plant itself)
  • Lid (back in the day, when you bought a “lid” of pot, you’d buy a “four-finger lid,” meaning one that was about four fingers across)
  • Live resin (a type of cannabis concentrate that retains all of the naturally-occurring cannabinoids and terpenes in the plant)
  • Magic brownie (a brownie with cannabis of some kind in it—usually cannabutter—but may refer to any edible form of cannabis)
  • Marijuana (sometimes spelled “marihuana,” of Mexican-Spanish origins, in common use during the 1920s and 1930s as part of racist, anti-immigrant, anti-cannabis propaganda from US law enforcement that was later connected to Rockefeller drug laws and anti-cannabis enforcement; many refuse to use the phrase for these reasons)
  • Mary Jane (a version of “marijuana”)
  • Nugs (like buds, the densely-packed clusters of cannabis flowers might look like nuggets)
  • Pot (first came into use in the late 1930s in the US, this term shortens the Spanish “potiguaya” or “potaguaya,” brandy or wine steeped with cannabis buds)
  • Reefer (dates back to the racist anti-marijuana campaigns of the American 1920s, and may reference either the Spanish “grifo” for addict or the rolled sail found near the reef)
  • Roach (another word for cannabis cigarette)
  • Shatter (a type of refined cannabis concentrate that bends and snaps)
  • Skunk (since cannabis can smell skunky thanks to its terpenes, some call it skunk or skunk weed)
  • Spliff (another word for joint or marijuana cigarette)
  • Tree (another reference to cannabis the plant, and to the fact that the buds resemble small evergreen trees)
  • Wax (a type of refined cannabis concentrate that resembles wax)
  • Weed (Actually refers to marijuana cigarettes, a throwback to US marijuana culture of the 1920s, not just a “grass” or plant reference)

Okay, so…why are there so many phrases?

Different Names for Different Kinds of Cannabis Parts and Products

One of the reasons there are so many phrases on this list is that names for parts of the cannabis plant, for example, get jumbled together with things like products made from the cannabis plant’s flowers. When most people think “cannabis” or marijuana, they’re really just thinking of whatever it is that gets people high.

This leads to things getting jumbled together—especially when things being illegal means getting high should be secret.

Illegality and “Polite Society”

Secrecy/illegality plus tunnel vision on THC has, over time, generated this massive list. Local differences in language and culture add flavor to the list, and give it the urban legend status it has today.

According to at least one slang scholar, there are well over 1,200 slang terms for cannabis. This is in large part because people create terms to avoid detection when things are illegal, unmentionable in polite society, or both.

Whenever people “in charge” catch on to one phrase, the people who need the secrecy or cover the terms provide simply generate new language. So, for example, once your dad knows what “pot” is, you start saying “bud” until he figures that out.

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