marijuana joint and leaf

Marijuana Lingo

By MK Thomson

February 20 2024

  1. 420 – 420 is the reigning name of marijuana. We don’t really know where it comes from (though there are theories), this is just an all around great code name of weed that most older folks still haven’t figured out!
  2. Airplane – because it gets you hiiiiiigh! Also maybe because of the raunchy 1980 movie, Airplane!, excellent to watch while high. Either way, I’ve never heard this one. Have you?
  3. Alfalfa – Alfalfa? I’ve never heard of that nickname nor has anyone on the first several pages of Google Search. This came from the DEA’s website. Go figure, the US government and its agencies are behind the times when it comes to marijuana. 
  4. Aunt Mary – When Mary Jane got older, she became Aunt Mary! It’s a play on the OG code name. Funny enough, I have a real aunt named Mary Jane. But she doesn’t smoke weed! Just don’t get confused and say “Aunt Martha”. That’s a com-plete-ly different thing!
  5. Bud – Buds are the actual flower part of the marijuana plant and is sometimes used as a slang name for weed.
  6. Blunts – Blunts are joints rolled from the tobacco leaves of a cigar or cigarillo. This term is usually used by those who smoke blunts, but can be used for traditionally rolled joints too.
  7. Boom – Never heard of this one. Sounds more like sumpin’ else is in the joint, but I could be wrong. 
  8. Chronic – A moniker given to not just any weed, but super potent, high-quality, Snoop Dogg-worthy killer weed.
  9. Cheeba – Brazilian tokers modified the Spanish word for heroin into a term for weed. Kinda like how some people call (or used to call) it “dope”. See a few entries below.
  10. Dabbing – This is a method of intake for concentrates like wax, shatter or sugar. This slang term would only be for that particular type of intake.
  11. Dagga – This Afrikaans word for weed actually comes from the 17th century tribal word “dacha” that was used to describe the cannabis plant..
  12. Dank – another tangent nickname, originally for really strong, odorous weed but is now used more generally. Like today! My apartment smells very dank from the jay I just enjoyed!
  13. Doobie – Awww, the good ole hippie days! This one dates back reportedly to the 1970s and could’ve quite possibly been influenced by Scooby Doo – yes, the cartoon! What does he say? “Scooby dooby doooooo!” Regardless, Scooby’s owner was definitely a stoner. 
  14. Dope – I remember my college stoner boyfriend would say, “Let’s go smoke some dope!” and mean marijuana. I didn’t know the “dope/heroin” connection at the time, but learned it later when I lived in Boston and dope meant the other meaning. Yeah, just stick with weed. Avoid confusion.
  15. Gangsta – We are forever thankful and grateful for the amazing artist and producer that we’ve had the great honor and privilege of experiencing in our lifetimes, Dr. Dre for – among many other things –  bringing the word “gangsta” and “weed” together. We love you, Dre!
  16. Ganja – the OG of marijuana names is a derivative of the original Sanskrit word for the actual flower of the marijuana plant. One of the earliest known instances of the word dates back to 1000 AD! Dang, that’s old!
  17. Grass – Another oldie but goodie name that obviously comes from grass’ general association with weeds. I do feel like I’m my mother when I use this term with friends!
  18. Green – Probably an offshoot of “grass”. Throughout my life and the various stoner friends I’ve had along the way, I’d/we’d always come with code words here and there – either out of necessity or because we were high and just having fun!
  19. Hash – Now this is strange. I’ve never confused these two. Hash is hash, and weed is weed – or whatever you’re calling it. My foray into cannabis partaking was at a time in Germany where there was almost no marijuana and the only thing there was was hashish. I’d keep away from using this term. If you say hash, that’s almost certain what everyone will think you mean. 
  20. Herb – Just an awesome word for marijuana! We can thank the rastafarians for this term which they apparently use to emphasize the natural qualities of their spiritual medicine (and not drug, duh).
  21. Hydro – When people started growing marijuana hydroponically in the 80s, they started to refer to their harvested weed as “hydroponic”, then later “hydro” for short. 
  22. Joint – This would obviously refer to the hand-rolled cannabis cigarettes, but be careful there are many different types of joints: marijuana joints, marijuana/hashish mixed joints, marijuana/tobacco mix (yuck!) joints and probably many others. Just be sure to specify the contents of the joint you are talking about if you use this term.
  23. Kif – Primarily used in Morocco and Algeria, this North African Arabic name comes from the “kief” droppings that are often used in that region for making hash. I wouldn’t think a person hearing this term would guess you were talking about “marijuana”, but rather they would likely think you were talking about “kief” or “hash”. 
  24. Mary Jane – the original code name used for who knows how long?! And those of you blessed with this name, wow! Too cool!
  25. MJ – a shortened version of “Mary Jane”, both marijuana and the female name. How many Mary Jane’s do we know of that also go by “MJ”? 
  26. Mota – This one has definitely become more popular all over the world and originated in Latin America and Spain. The Spanish street name for “marijuana”.
  27. Nugget – From the little nuggets of goodness at the end of each flowering marijuana plant. I’ve also heard of “nug”, as in “You wanna nuuuuuug?” 
  28. Pot – Obviously not from the kitchen “pot”, but you might be surprised where one of the most common marijuana nicknames came from. It’s the shortened version of the Spanish word “potaguaya”, which is a Brangelina-fied version of the elixir “potación de guaya”. Guaya is the shoots of the female hemp-plant and “potación” means, well potation. Anyway you get the origin story of this term. Kinda cool, huh?
  29. Puff – From puffing on a jay!
  30. Reefer – Thank you, “Reefer Madness” (the 1936 movie that set marijuana as a highly addictive “bad drug” to the American public and government – and then the world), for popularizing this word. We love it! We might still be fighting the effects of your stupid movie, but we’re reclaiming the word “reefer”!
  31. Sinsemilla – This is the cultivation technique that has been used in Mexico and other parts of Latin America where the flowering plants have no seeds (“sin + semilla” = “without seeds” in Spanish).
  32. Skunk – When you’ve smelled skunk weed, you know it. This term is probably only for that particularly pungent type of marijuana.
  33. Smoke – “You wanna go get some smoke?” This is one of my personal favorites!
  34. Weed – Likely came from “weed’s” proximity and propensity to grow near grass. And marijuana is technically a weed.

  35. There you have it! Our (nearly) exhaustive list of different words for “marijuana”! Truthfully, there’s only about a dozen that most people use, but find a cool one you like and have fun toking up on some herb!
woman smoking marijuana blunt joint