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Cannabis Names in English

The Ultimate Guide: Cannabis Names in English Explained

There are several names for this plant known as cannabis worldwide. Its many uses, cultural value, and lengthy history are all reflected in these names. Even if the word “Cannabis” is widely used in English, it’s important to know the multiple characters that this plant goes by in different circumstances and areas. This article will examine the many Cannabis names that are commonly and colloquially connected with cannabis and explore its historical roots, cultural relevance, and changing views.


It is worth noting Cannabis’ scientific name before discussing its other names. This phrase classifies plants in botany and biology. Cannabis Sativa, Cannabis Indica, and Cannabis Ruderalis are the main species in the Cannabaceae family. The worldwide scientific name standardises reference for academics and professionals.

Marijuana: A Controversial Term

“Marijuana” is a common English-speaking word for cannabis. Its use has been controversial and shows how terms may alter attitudes. In Mexican Spanish, “Marijuana” meant cannabis. In the early 20th century, American English acquired the name and connected it with recreational plant usage. The phrase was demonised because of this link and anti-cannabis attitude. The term became a focal point for anti-cannabis campaigns, leading to stigmatisation and legal restrictions. In recent years, there has been a shift in language use, with many preferring the term “Cannabis” for its scientific and neutral connotations, highlighting the ongoing evolution of attitudes and acknowledging its medicinal potential, economic benefits, and the need for sensible regulation.

Hemp: The Industrial Sibling

Cannabis is widely used recreationally or medicinally, but “Hemp” is a specialised kind utilised for industrial and agricultural purposes. Hemp fibres, seeds, and oils are valuable. It has long been used in textiles, paper, food, and more. These are some of the many uses of Hemp.

“Hemp” isn’t as stigmatised as “marijuana.” Hemp has resurged due to its sustainability and the increased demand for eco-friendly goods. Hemp farming and hemp-derived goods have become more popular.

Ganja: A Global Name

Many nations, especially the Caribbean, India, and certain African countries, call Cannabis “Ganja.” “Ganja” may come from the Sanskrit word “Ganja,” meaning “Hemp.” Long used in religious and recreational settings. Rastafarianism reveres Ganja as a sacrament. Ganja is an integral aspect of Rastafarianism in Jamaica. The name “Ganja” is prevalent worldwide because of the plant’s cultural importance.

Pot: A Colloquial Name in the US

The name “Pot” for cannabis is used throughout North America. It may refer to smoking pipes or “Pots” made from the plant. Many people use this word in casual chats or among friends. Although “Pot” is less formal than “Cannabis” or “Marijuana,” it is used more frequently and regularly than other Cannabis names.

Weed: A Familiar Slang

Cannabis is sometimes called “Weed” informally. It possibly came from the plant’s quick growth and adaptability, making it weed-like. Popular among younger generations, it is typically used more casually than other cannabis names.

Mary Jane: A Playful Alias

“Mary Jane” is a fun but archaic cannabis moniker. Though its origins are unknown, it has been used for decades. “Mary Jane” is commonly associated with nostalgia or the 1960s and 1970s counterculture. Cannabis is still known by this name, even though it’s less popular as compared to other Cannabis names.

Dope: A Loaded Term

Over time, “Dope” has come to mean several narcotics, including cannabis. Long ago, it meant a sauce or gravy. In pharmaceuticals, its use increased in the 20th century. “Dope” sounds bad and is generally connected with illicit and hazardous drugs. This phrase is derogatory and stigmatizing, so use these Cannabis names carefully.

Grass: A Natural Connection

Cannabis, especially dried plant material, is called “Grass.” The word may refer to the plant’s green hue and outdoor surroundings. “Grass” is more neutral than other cannabis names.

Reefer: A Vintage Name

“Reefer” was a popular early 20th-century word. This Cannabis name was linked to recreational cannabis usage, especially in jazz culture. While “Reefer” is seldom used, it reveals cannabis’s historical view.

Skunk: A Reference to Odour

A cannabis strain with a strong smell is called “Skunk.” Some cannabis cultivars smell like skunk, thus the moniker. “Skunk” is more precise than other slang phrases and refers to potent-smelling cannabis strains.

Hashish: Concentrated Cannabis

“Hashish” is cannabis condensed by gathering and compressing the sticky trichomes. This cannabis is prevalent in the Middle East and North Africa. Arabic “Hashshashin” alluded to a gang of assassins reputed to utilise the narcotic, thus “Hashish.”

Bhang—A Cultural Drink

Traditional cannabis-infused drinks produced from cannabis leaves and blossoms are called “Bhang” in India. Indian culture and customs have long included Bhaang consumption, especially around Holi.

Bhang Indian Cultural Drink Cannabis Names
Bhaang Ki Goli Or Bhang Ka Gola Are Edible Organic Hemp Balls Made From Mix Of Herbal Cannabis Sativa Leaves, Buds, Leaves And Seeds. Mostly Enjoyed On Holi, Diwali, Holla Mahalla And Maha Shivaratri

Sensimilla: Seedless Cannabis

“Sensimilla” cannabis blooms are seedless. It comes from the Spanish words “sin” (without) and “Semilla” (seed), indicating that these plants are carefully grown to avoid seed development. Recreational users like Sensimilla’s potency.

420: A Code for Cannabis

Cannabis lovers use “420” as a code. It refers to smoking cannabis or the time of day (4:20) when individuals may use it. Several hypotheses and anecdotes explain “420”‘s origin. Some say 1970s California high school students started it; others say it was a police code or cannabis’ chemical components. Regardless of its source, “420” represents cannabis culture.

Chronic: Another Name for Cannabis

“Chronic” refers to high-grade, strong cannabis in colloquial language. It is often used to characterise strains that have strong, enduring effects. The word “Chronic,” which denotes prolonged or persistent, may have served as the term’s inspiration.

Potpourri: An Inaccurate Name

Some items containing synthetic cannabinoids, which are often advertised as “legal highs,” have been mislabeled as “Potpourri” or “herbal incense.” Although these items are not cannabis, they are sold as legal substitutes for cannabis because they are made to resemble the effects of THC. They have legal limitations and may be harmful.

Cannabis Extracts in Oil, Concentrate, and Wax

Concentrated cannabis products that have been separated from the plant material are referred to by these words. Strong cannabis concentrates, oils, and waxes are utilised for recreational and medical reasons. They are available in several forms, such as crumble, shatter, and living resin.


The article explores the various names associated with cannabis across the globe, reflecting its cultural importance and deep historical roots. While “Cannabis” and “Marijuana” are commonly used terms in English, a plethora of names with diverse facets. Here’s the list;

  1. Cannabis
  2. Marijuana
  3. Hemp
  4. Ganja
  5. Pot
  6. Weed
  7. Mary Jane
  8. Dope
  9. Grass
  10. Reefer
  11. Skunk
  12. Hashish
  13. Bhang
  14. Sensimilla
  15. 420
  16. Chronic
  17. Potpourri
  18. Cannabis Extracts (Oil, Concentrate, Wax)

The piece delves into the scientific categorisation of the plant, controversies surrounding terms like “marijuana,” and informal labels like “grass” and “skunk.” It also delves into historical references like “reefer,” cultural ties like “bhang,” and contemporary terms like “420” and “chronic.” The article emphasises the evolving language used to describe cannabis, illustrating its complex relationship with human culture and perceptions.

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