Cannabis slang terms have transcended its historical notoriety and emerged as a widely discussed topic. As such, it can be quite confusing, especially for those new to the cannabis world, to start smoking and be met with a myriad of different names.
From the traditional “marijuana” to the more contemporary “weed” and even crazy names like “Whacky tabacky,” the common nomenclature has undergone a remarkable transformation.
To help you along in your cannabis journey, I will be taking you through the most comprehensive list of cannabis slang names you will find anywhere!
Why Does Marijuana Have Slang?
The main reason why there are so many Marijuana slang terms is simply because of the plant’s contentious legal status.
Prior to prohibition, there has been a long-standing history of humans using cannabis for a world of good. The first documented usage was written in 2800 BC by Emperor Shen Nung, otherwise known as the father of natural medicine.
This should go a long way in representing the medicinal and overall cultural significance of cannabis for civilizations new and old.
The main reason behind the sudden ban on marijuana by countries around the world is due to the Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs, an international treaty signed in 1961. This set the stage for weed to become a class 1 narcotic almost worldwide.
Prior to this, countries like Canada and the US banned the plant in 1932 and 1937 respectively, most likely due to racism. These first-world countries then set the precedence for others to follow.
The main fear of marijuana back then was the fear of a “lust for blood” among many other false claims. These “facts” were completely fabricated to bring about a fear of Mexicans following the 1910 Mexican revolution, and the subsequent mass migration.
Simply put, Mexicans smoked “Marihuana” and it was used as a scapegoat to provoke fear of Mexicans in the hearts of America. The name Marijuana even comes from a US campaign to stigmatize it by giving it a “foreign-sounding” name.
List of Marijuana and Cannabis Slang Terms
Here is my Cannabis Slang dictionary, going over each and every slang term for our favorite plant:
The term “420” has become widely recognized as a slang name for cannabis. The origin of this particular slang term is often attributed to a group of high school students in San Rafael, California in the early 1970s.
The group, known as the Waldos, would meet at 4:20 p.m. after school to search for a rumored abandoned cannabis crop. Although they were unsuccessful in their quest, the phrase “420” became a code word among them for cannabis consumption.
Pretty self-explanatory, cannabis has been known as an “airplane” because it gets you “High”.
Some cannabis strains have a habit of making you somewhat forgetful and quite spacey. For that reason, Amnesia has become a slang term for marijuana.
Alfalfa is a greeny plant eaten by both people and livestock around the world, seeing it’s a plant, the link the cannabis is direct. In many cases, stoners in the past would disguise weed using names such as this.
Alice B Toklas:
Usually used to refer to edibles, the term “Alice B. Toklas” comes from the cookbook published in 1954. In this book, Alice B Toklas (partner of Gertrude Stein) included a recipe for Hascich fudge.
Aloe vera has always been known for its burn-soothing properties, and although weed does soothe the flesh, it soothes the mind. For that reason, aloe vera isn’t an uncommon term for marijuana.
Astroturf is the name for artificial grass that is placed on sports fields, its bright green colour led it to be a slang term for marijuana.
The term “Aunt Mary” is a slang name for cannabis that has its roots in the early 20th century. “Mary” is a playful reference to marijuana, with “Aunt” adding a familiar and personified touch.
“Bash” is a truncated form of the term “bashed weed,” which refers to herbal cannabis that has undergone a process of being sprayed with a substance, resulting in increased weight.
Aside from the obvious mention of a bazooka blowing you up and weed blowing up your mind, this comes from a specific strain. Bazooka Joe is a particularly potent cannabis strain.
BC Bud comes from a region in Canada named British Colombia, with its temperate climate it has always been able to grow heat-intensive plants like cannabis. Due to this and the lax regulatory environment BC became a hotspot of global cannabis.
The word blunt originally hails from New York where people would switch out their cigarette filling for weed. Modern-day blunts are usually a mixture of cannabis and tobacco rolled together.
This is a reference to the burning bush from the bible where Moses spoke to god. Just as speaking with god revealed a revelation to Moses, this slang term claims cannabis can do the same.
Boof is a much more recent term, and personally one of my favourites, this comes from the phrase “pass the boof” originally from a meme.
A long stem with a large flower on the top? Seems reminiscent of a plant we all know, the visual distinctions are what gives weed this slang term.
This is one of the most common names for cannabis, Bud stands for the flowering portion of the cannabis plant.
Cabbage refers to the actual buds of the plant, originally used by the Notorious B.I.G., it refers to grinding weed.
Due to the effects catnip has on cats, it has long been compared to marijuana, this really comes down to people making “high” a catch-all term.
Originally from Snoop Dog, mentioned that “chronic” was originally a misinterpretation of the term hydroponic. In the realm of cannabis farming, hydroponic pertains to the method of cultivating marijuana through a set of irrigation systems. But really, nowadays, Chronic just sounds cool.
The term “creeper” originally comes from people describing how the effects of cannabis can gradually intensify over time, “creeping up” on the user. In the vast majority of cases, a strain will only be referred to as a “creeper” if it is highly potent, so something like Gelato #41.
Coming from the Superman comics where his weakness is kryptonite, many stoners will find cannabis is their soft spot.
Dagga is a South African word used to describe cannabis, it dates back to the 1660s and is derived from the Khoekhoe language.
Weed is referred to as ‘dank’ due to its potent and strong aroma, often associated with high-quality and flavorful cannabis. We all know someone who has claimed to buy that “Dank”.
This is the name I grew up hearing, the name is pretty self-explanatory, referring to cannabis as lettuce that has been cursed by the devil.
Although nowadays used to refer to much harsher items, Dope originally got its name from weed’s reputation for inducing relaxation and euphoria.
We have all smoked a doobie, this refers to a cannabis joint. The term ‘doobie’ originated in the 1960s and gained popularity through counterculture and music; you share a doobie with others.
When rolling a joint you have the choice of how much cannabis you want to add, and a fat joint is known as a “fatty”.
This is referencing the fir trees, a classification of evergreen coniferous trees. When you take a good look at a dense bud, you get the reference.
This is one of the most common names for cannabis, “flower” refers to the flowering bud atop a marijuana plant.
Weed is commonly referred to as ‘ganja’ due to its association with the cannabis plant, particularly in the Rastafari culture. It originates in Jamaica and represents the spiritual use of weed.
Many believe marijuana to be a miracle drug, a type of cure-all, and for those people, marijuana is known as God’s Herb.
Often used when you don’t want people to know you’re talking about cannabis, grass originates in the 1960s and 1970s. The main reason behind this was that old garbage weed kinda looked like grass trimmings.
Named after a cannabis strain, Green Goddess is a lively Indica-dominant hybrid strain.
Known as sacred grass in the Hindu text Atharvaveda, marijuana is one of the 5 sacred plants of India.
Griffa, also known as grifa, is a colloquial expression used to signify marijuana. This slang term is closely linked to the word greefa, which specifically refers to a joint.
Weed has been a happy cigarette for its euphoria-inducing effects, making you happy as you smoke.
Weed is not typically referred to as ‘hashish.’ Hashish is a concentrated form of cannabis made from the resin of the plant.
Herb is another one of the most common names for cannabis, due to its botanical classification as a flowering plant. The use of herb also highlights the medicinal and therapeutic properties.
It really seems as though marijuana has a god backing, seeing as across the world the plant has been seen as “godly”. The “holy weed” is a plant that helps you with a myriad of issues, AKA cannabis.
For many years cannabis was relegated to backyard growing operations and illegal setups. But that doesn’t change the fact that many still prefer to grow their own, creating their own “Homegrown”.
Named after Harry Houdini, a world-known escape artist, this slang term refers to marijuana’s ability to perform “magic” on the mind.
Marijuana has always had a strong connection to the world of jazz, seeing as many old jazz players partook in the smoking of the plant. For that reason, it came to be known as “Jazz Cabbage” to many.
A term associated with AAVE English and jazz culture, jive referenced lively and exaggerated speech after smoking.
Everyone and their mother has heard of the word joint, it plainly refers to a marijuana cigarette.
KGB (Killer Green Bud):
Killer green bud is a decently well-known cannabis strain, and has been used as a catch-all term for great marijuana.
Kief is the leftover trichomes from when you grind your marijuana, usually sprinkled in a joint or on a bowl to add potency.
Kush refers to one of the very first landraces ever found, the Kush plant is a potent indica found in Afghanistan, Pakistan, and India; within the Kush Mountains.
Some marijuana strains can cause you to laugh uncontrollably, similar to laughing gas, that’s the connection here.
Hey bro pass me some of that loud! That’s a term many have heard in passing, and it comes from weeds’ strong and pungent aromas. Making it “loud” to all of your senses.
“Marijuana” is widely recognized as a universal term for weed in most countries, just like “Mary Jane,” and nobody really knows what came first.
Just like several other terms, Maui-Wowie is a specific strain that originates from the Hawaiian island of Maui.
I think this is another one of the more self-explanatory terms, but it refers to oregano looking slightly like cannabis when ground up. As kids, we all know someone who got scammed into buying oregano.
‘Pakalolo’ is a Hawaiian term meaning ‘crazy tobacco’ or ‘numbing tobacco.’ It has been adopted as slang for marijuana, particularly within the context of the Hawaiian islands and their cannabis culture.”
Although you would think it would, pot has nothing to do with a culinary item. The term entered the American lexicon during the late 1930s, derived from the Spanish word “potiguaya” or “potaguaya,” originating from “potación de guaya.” This referred to wine or brandy infused with marijuana buds or flowers
Rainy Day Woman:
You always save some money for a “rainy day” It helps cheer you up and it’s a solid backup plan. Weed has been known as “Rainy Day Woman” for that exact reason, even if your woman cancels on you, marijuana has got your back.
A “reefer” refers to the sailor responsible for rolling the sails, and it apparently resembles a joint. This term was then popularized by several jazz artists.
A roach is a used-up filter or end of a joint, it’s the hottest and most harsh portion of a joint, and it oftentimes smoked begrudgingly.
A spliff is a term with vintage charm, often employed by older generations, originally used to describe a rolled product containing both tobacco and cannabis. The term derives from the idea of “splitting” the joint or blunt between these two components.
Stash refers to someone’s hidden goods, usually money or drugs.
Weed is sometimes called ‘sticky icky’ due to its sticky and resinous nature. The term ‘sticky icky’ is used to describe cannabis strains that have a high resin content.
Due to the plant’s similar look when ground up, some stoners have taken to calling marijuana “tea”.
Weed is occasionally referred to as ‘trees’ due to its resemblance to the structure of trees, with the cannabis buds representing the foliage.
Weed is sometimes referred to as ‘Whacky tabacky’ due to the playful and humorous nature of the term. Marijuana is sometimes referred to as ‘Whacky tabacky’ due to the playful and humorous nature of the term
Originally created under a negative connotation, Weed was called such because it was a plant growing where it was unwanted. In modern times, stoners have taken this word back, and use it to happily refer to marijuana.
Originating from new york, Zaza refers to some simply great weed. The term was further pushed by influential figures such as Tekashi 6ix9ine.
Zoot’ is a colloquial expression for a rolled cannabis cigarette, it also refers to the act of getting “Zooted”.
This is one of the funnier names, originating from the children’s book series “Diary of a Wimpy Kid”, the term originally used by the protagonist’s best friend. It has later been used as a humorous name for cannabis.
Frequently Asked Questions About Cannabis Slang Terms
‘J’ or ‘jay’ can serve as abbreviations for a standard joint. Similarly, another commonly used term is ‘doobie,’ which refers to a rolled cannabis cigarette.
In Jamaica, cannabis is commonly referred to as “ganja.” The term “ganja” has deep roots in Jamaican culture and is widely recognized as the local name for marijuana.
“Devil’s lettuce” is a humorous and slang term for cannabis, particularly used in counterculture or comedic contexts. The term playfully emphasizes the illicit or rebellious nature of marijuana
Another word for getting high is “intoxicated.” The term can be used to describe the altered state of consciousness resulting from the use of drugs, including cannabis. Other informal terms include “stoned,” “blazed,” “baked,” “lifted,” or “buzzed.“
A common nickname for a pothead is a “stoner.” This term refers to someone who regularly smokes or consumes cannabis