Weed, Cannabis, or Marijuana: What Should You Call It?


The plant that we all know and loves goes by many names. The scientific name is cannabis. But it goes by many other names including weed, pot, marijuana, ganja and more. Where does these names come from and what should you actually call it?



  1. A plant that is not valued where it is growing and is usually of vigorous growth especially one that tends to overgrow or choke out more desirable plants
  2. A weedy growth of plants
  3. An aquatic plant especially seaweed
  4. Tobacco products
  5. Marijuana



People in the U.S. started using the term weed to refer to the plant in the early 20th century. But the term has been used to describe undesirable plants since the 1400s. In 1913, there as a California bill to criminalize cannabis that referred to the plant as “locoweed.” Locoweed was a term coined in Mexico in the late 19th century for cannabis.



  1. The psychoactive dried resinous flower buds and leaves of the female hemp or cannabis plant (Cannabis sativa or C. indica) that contain high levels of THC and are smoked, vaped, or ingested (as in baked goods) especially for their intoxicating effect
  2. Hemp



The term marijuana was used to describe the plant in Mexico as far back as the 1840s. US news papers started to use the word when reporting on crimes committed by people while high as a way to associate the term with Mexico as bad vibes. Many people arugue the term has racist roots in policy and propaganda.



  1. A tall Asian herb (Cannabis sativa of the family Cannabaceae, the hemp family) that has a tough fiber and is often separated into a tall loosely branched species (C. sativa) and a low-growing densely branched species (C. indica)
  2. Hemp used especially for cultivated varieties having high levels of THC
  3. The psychoactive dried flower buds, leaves, or preparations (such as hashish) or chemicals (such as THC) that are derived from the cannabis plant



Cannabis has been the scientific name of the plant since the 1700s. Most modern day laws refer to the plant as cannabis and many argue it is the politically correct term to use.

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