There are a lot of names for weed. Humans around the world have been cultivating cannabis for thousands of years, so that’s to be expected. Some of the names tossed around by cannabis enthusiasts are regional, many are interchangeable, and most of them would leave someone new to weed totally confused. Here’s what we know about the names for weed and their dank etymologies.
Likely inspired by the classic cannabis strain, Chronic, bomb chron is used to refer to top-shelf cannabis. If the weed’s not fragrant, fresh, vibrant, and sticky with trichomes, it’s not bomb chron.
Refers to the most potent part of the cannabis plant – the cannabinoid-rich, smokeable flower.
Short for Cannabis sativa, the herbaceous species all your favorite weed strains belong to. The name originated from a Thracian or Scythian word, adopted into Persian as kanab, and eventually converted into Latin as cannabis.
An acronym for cannabidiol, the non-psychoactive and second most abundant cannabinoid housed in the cannabis plant. Though loaded with therapeutic effects, CBD will not get you high.
A word used for cannabis flower. Derived from chiva, the Spanish word for heroin, and adopted as slang for weed by Brazilian cannabis enthusiasts.
Similar to bomb chron, chronic is mostly used to describe high-quality weed. It is also the name of the hybrid strain called Chronic. It has been used to describe weed laced with cocaine, specifically in the East Coast.
Cannabis that’s grown in the wild. Also known as feral cannabis. Ditch weed is typically low in potency. The term can be used to describe low-quality weed.
Used to refer to a range of illicit drugs including cannabis, often by non-drug users.
Also “indo.” likely shortened version of “indoor.” Endo is used to describe cannabis grown indoors, and generally only references high-quality weed.
Broad term used to refer to the range of cannabinoid-rich oils extracted from the cannabis plant.
Refers to the smokeable flowers produced by the cannabis plant. Exclusively used to reference the dried buds, not cannabis extracts.
Derived from gañjā, the Sanskrit word for cannabis. Predating the 1700’s, ganja is one of the oldest English slang words for weed and was made particularly popular in Jamaica.
A general and slightly outdated term for intoxicating cannabis strains.
A popular word for cannabis inspired by the plant’s rich, green color.
An affectionate term for cannabis meant to capture the euphoric and therapeutic effects produced by the plant’s chemical properties.
The name of the non-psychoactive cannabis plants used for industrial purposes, such as in textiles, fuel, bioengineering, construction materials, and much more. Federal law defines hemp as cannabis containing less than 0.3 percent THC.
Cannabis plant material, specifically when it’s been ground. Ground cannabis is similar in appearance to other culinary herbs.
A term used to reference cannabis strains bred with the genes of two or more strains, each either indica or sativa.
A subspecies or variant of the cannabis plant likely hailing from the Hindu Kush mountain range. Indicas are known for their short, compact, and dense physical appearance. While they are attributed with specific effects, they are primarily distinguished from sativas based on their physical features, traits evolved because of geographic influence.
Made popular by Bob Marley, kaya is a Jamaican slang term used to reference cannabis. It may be inspired by the Caribbean term kayakit, the name of another therapeutic herb.
Though the name of many cannabis strains, kush is often used to reference cannabis flower. The name derives from the Hindu Kush mountain range, the place where cannabis is believed to have originated.
In Spanish, marihuana or mariguana. A controversial term for cannabis because of racist undertones. The word was popularized in the early 20th century during the onset of cannabis prohibition and was extensively used in racist propaganda meant to provoke fears of Mexican immigrants.
A popular nickname for weed that plays off the word marijuana. The term became popular thanks to Rick James’ 1978 hit song called “Mary Jane.”
A targeted term for cannabis meant to highlight the plant’s therapeutic profile, medical is used to reference cannabis consumed for medicinal purposes.
Short for the word “nugget,” a term that aptly describes what cannabis flowers look like.
Likely originated as a shortening of the word potiguaya or potaguaya, Spanish words for a type of wine that cannabis buds were soaked in.
A slang term for cannabis possibly derived from grifa, a Spanish word for cannabis. The word became especially well known because of the anti-cannabis propaganda film, Reefer Madness. The movie’s absurdity has infused the word reefer with comedic undertones.
A variety or subspecies of the cannabis plant that grows especially well in tropical conditions. Sativas are known for their height—some can grow up to 10 feet tall. Though sativas are often described as creating specific psychoactive effects, they are primarily distinguishable from indicas because of their physical appearance.
A term used to describe potent, high-quality cannabis. In Spanish, sin means “without” and semilla means “seeds.” Sinsemilla translates literally into “without seeds,” the ideal state for a female cannabis plant to grow potent buds.
Slang for potent, top-shelf cannabis. The word references the powerful fragrance that terpene-rich cannabis plants produce.
A term used to describe trichome-covered cannabis plants. The cannabinoid-rich resin produced by trichomes makes cannabis sticky to the touch and is a visible, tangible sign of a cannabis plant’s potency. The term was popularized by West Coast rappers E-40, Dr. Dre, and Snoop Dogg.
An acronym for tetrahydrocannabinol, the most abundant and psychoactive cannabinoid in the cannabis plant. The more THC a cannabis strain contains, the more potent (and potentially uncomfortable) the high.
A colloquial word for cannabis. Growing cannabis plants can appear as small trees.
Likely the most popular word for cannabis, weed captures the essential nature of what the plant is: a weed no one can get rid of no matter how much prohibition is enforced.