The Origin and Meaning of Cannabis Nicknames
Cannabis, primarily mentioned as weed or marijuana, has more than a thousand nicknames or slang terms. If your question is that why an abundance of alternative appellations exist, then you are in luck, as I can offer a few valid explanations. First of all, the popularity of Cannabis is universal, given its psychedelic and medicinal properties. People in different parts of the world cultivate, use, and supply marijuana; different languages and interpretations of the plant naturally gave birth to several dubs.
Secondly, you are probably aware of the fact that weed was widely illegal across the globe and still remains on the list of controlled or banned substances in most countries. Growing, possessing, or selling weed in any form without licensing is a criminal offense. You can retain cannabis products for medicinal uses, but there are prescribed limits. You can be arrested for holding more than the permitted quantity, even if it was for personal use only. Marijuana possession could lead to severe legal consequences, such as hefty fines and jail time; hence, you will need a criminal defense lawyer to plead your case.
The widespread illegality of cannabis is yet another reason for the invention of so many nicknames. People who supplied and bought weed wanted to keep it a secret in order to stay out of trouble with the law. The substitute words remained undetected by the public, thereby keeping the trade under wraps. However, law enforcement gradually catches up with the market slang, so people involved in the business had to stay one step ahead. New names replace old ones, and that is how the array keeps growing.
Various terminologies are implied to indicate the different qualities or varieties of weed, as well as the type of consumers they are suitable for. Moreover, some nicknames are associated with the geographical origin of a Cannabis plant, such as Panama Gold, Texas Tea, Maui Wowie, and Black Russian. Here’s a list of familiar terms and a gist of their derivation:
1. Mary Jane:
Marijuana is a Spanish Mexican word, which translates to ‘a weed that intoxicates’. Maria and Juana are typical Spanish names, and Mary Jane is sort of their English version.
2. Green Goddess:
Cannabis is green in color and people love it, so this nickname came out of fondness. Goddess may refer to the intoxicating experience that makes consumers feel good.
Catnip is a term used to describe low quality or fake marijuana.
4. Pocket Rocket:
A small amount of weed that fits in your pocket can get you as high as a rocket. Airplane and parachute are relevant terms as well.
Pot stemmed from the Spanish ‘potacion de guaya’ which is wine made from marijuana buds. The name of the wine translates to ‘drink of grief’.
This term was coined by a bunch of high schoolers from California in the 1970s. It was their code word for smoking weed after school at 4:20 p.m. Every year on the 20th of April, potheads around the U.S celebrate the tradition.
Houdini, because marijuana helps escape a difficult situation.
Not exactly creative, but cannabis is often named after vegetables like asparagus, parsley, and broccoli because they are green.
Ganja is Hindi for the hemp plant.
Dank means ‘damp’ or ‘humid’ by the English dictionary, but as slang it translates to ‘excellent’ as in high quality weed.
Dope as in ‘amazing’, but it also refers to illegal drugs consumed for leisure, especially marijuana and heroin.
This one is self-explanatory, i.e. Cannabis is a weed having an obnoxious scent.
Thirteen is used for marijuana because ‘M’ is the 13th letter of the alphabet; sounds silly, but it is what it is.