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420 Day: Why There Are So Many Different Names for Weed

T here are at least 1,200 slang terms related to marijuana — or cannabis or hashish or weed or pot or, as some say, asparagus. And there are hundreds more to describe one’s state of intoxication after imbibing the drug, according to slang scholar Jonathon Green.

Collecting slang has been the work of Green’s life, and the 69-year-old refers to drugs as one of slang’s “best sellers.” That’s because slang and things-you’re-not-supposed-to-mention-in-polite-society go hand in hand. As TIME has reported, that unmentionable quality is what led five California high-schoolers to coin the term 420 in the 1970s, which likely led to April 20 becoming the de facto day of doobies. But that association goes back to the earliest recorded slang from the 16th century, coined by those who didn’t want authorities to know what they were talking about.

But why are there hundreds and hundreds of words for pot? With any slang, as adults or authorities become wise to what one term means, that’s a signal that it’s time for a new one. And the wide variety of people who smoke marijuana across the globe were bound to come up with different words. Green says he doesn’t see the creativity waning even as U.S. states and other countries move to legalize marijuana.

“The terminology doesn’t really emphasize illegality: It is the illegality that created the need for the terminology,” he says. And, Green adds, the creation of such terms is not only “seen as ‘fighting the man,’ it is also simply fun.”

Here is a selection of weed’s many synonyms from Green’s online database, with his research on where the terms come from, grouped by the likely inspiration for their coinages.

Because of its effects

airplane – because it gets one “high.” Also see “parachute” and “pocket rocket”

amnesia – because it can make one forgetful

climb – might be a play on getting “high,” might be a play on “climbing the walls”

doobie – may be related to another slang meaning of doobie: a dull, stupid person

good giggles because it makes people laugh

Houdini – because the user “escapes” reality

reefer — a Spanish derived word. “Grifo” is Mexican slang to describe someone under the influence of marijuana, because “grifo” can refer to tangled, frizzy hair and therefore a similar mental state. That became “greefo,” which then became abbreviated as reefer

spliff — this likely comes from the verb splificate, which may be fanciful and may be a combination of the words stifle and suffocate. Whatever its origins, the word describes confusing or confounding someone

Because people like it

ace – slang for something superior

baby – a term of affection for the drug

green goddess – green for the color, goddess for the experience

Because it is a (green) plant

alfalfa – also slang for beard, money and tobacco

asparagus – also broccoli, parsley, sassafras and turnip greens

bud – the name for the part of the cannabis plant that is smoked

Christmas tree – also fir. “Lumber” can refer to unwanted twigs in the bud

grass – also bush and weed

green – for the color, the same reason it is slang for money. Similar slang terms are green stuff, greenery and green tea

herb — among Rastafarians, who use the substance religiously, this term has been used to emphasize that it is “natural” like other herbs. With a similar flare, the substance has been called “mother” and “mother nature,” as well as the “noble weed” and “righteous bush”

Because of language

Aunt Mary – a pun on marijuana, just like Mary Jane, Mary Warner, Mary Weaver, and Mary and Johnny

da kine – this Hawaiian surf slang can refer to anything for which one forgets the precise name

dona Juanita – “lady Jane” in Spanish, a play on marijuana

ganja – derives from a Hindi word for the hemp plant

marijuana – the Spanish name for the plant. Many in legal U.S. markets have tried to move away from this term, because of its association with the illegal drug trade, and instead use cannabis

muggle – unknown origin but the use of “muggle-head” to mean marijuana-smoker dates to the 1920s

pot — derives from the Spanish word for marijuana leaves, potiguaya

rainy day woman — this may come from the Bob Dylan song with the chorus line “Everybody must get stoned”

thirteen — the first letter of marijuana is the 13th in the alphabet

Because of the way a joint is shaped

alligator cigarette –may also be related to an alligator’s general lack of speed

bag of bones – multiple marijuana cigarettes

blunt – though the wrapper of any cigar can be used today, early users of the term used the brand Phillies Blunt

stogie – this slang term for an over-sized marijuana cigarette comes from a slang word for a cigar. That term, in turn, comes from an abbreviation of a large heavy horse breed, Conestoga, because the men who drove them were associated with smoking those products

Because of quality

cabbage – poor quality bud, perhaps resembling the vegetable

catnip – inferior or fake marijuana

chronic – the word meaning extreme or severe came to describe marijuana with strong effects

dank – this term started out describing unpleasant, swamp-like things and, like “bad” itself, then came to describe good things, like marijuana of the best quality

Nixon — named after the president, refers to poor quality bud being sold as high quality bud

On 420 Day, here's a selection of the most popular names for marijuana, and where those words come from

500+ Alternative Nicknames for Weed

Weed is illegal in most parts of the world, and as a result, people have to use several nicknames for weed to avoid detection by cops or snitches.

Humans have always had a special place in their heart for ‘getting high’ and cannabis allows us to do just that.

For some, it allows them to experience a more serene state of consciousness, others claim it has some spiritual significance and for some people, it is their medicine.

In this article, we are not bothered about why people get high. Rather, we want to share the different words, nicknames, and wonderful names for cannabis.

Cannabis, Marijuana, Pot, Joint, Mary Jane, Blunt are common weed names. But, there are other cool nicknames for weed (1200+ at last count) as well.

List of Nicknames for Weed

We have categorized the different names for weed into two categories: popular nicknames for weed and the other different names for weed.

Popular Nicknames for Weed

The following terms are common words used to describe weed or marijuana. Most of these are funny weed nicknames but they get the job done.

  1. 420: A very common street name, also refers to unofficial ‘Weed Day’; for example, in Vancouver, on April 20 th everyone is smoking weed all day.
  2. Acapulco Gold: Another name for a variety of Mexican weed that is considered prime quality.
  3. Ace: For particularly good quality weed.
  4. Airplane: For the feeling of what happens when you smoke and you think you’re flying.
  5. Alice: Because of Alice in Wonderland and its reference to fantasy worlds and psychoactive experiences.
  6. Alice B. Toklas: Famous for having come up with recipes for pot brownies, see also Toke.
  7. Amnesia: Because of the effects of short-term memory loss associated with smoking.
  8. Ashes: Often burning weed will produce quite a bit of ash.
  9. AstroTurf: A play on words because weed looks like astroturf, but also because of its ability to make you feel like you’re in space.
  10. Atshitshi: Another common street name for a premium product, although the Japanese etymology is dubious.
  11. Awesauge: Recent slang addition used as an adjective to refer to good weed; may reference the slurring effect on speech.
  12. B: Just enough marijuana to fill a matchbox.
  13. B-40: When weed or a joint is laced with alcohol to make it more potent.
  14. Baby / Baby Green: Another diminutive term for weed, can also refer to really young weed harvested early, or to tiny buds.
  15. Baby Bhang: Another word for Kush.
  16. Bad Seed: When the weed induces a bad trip and you’re not having fun.
  17. Bammy: A diminutive form of ‘Boom’ for weed, if you want to sound cute.
  18. Beedies: Named for what is commonly smoked in India, usually have a mixture of other things like tobacco or cloves.
  19. Blanket: When you’ve smoked a lot and feel so comfortable that you could wrap yourself up in a blanket and just sleep.
  20. Blaze: Can refer to weed, but often to the act of smoking, i.e. let’s blaze one!
  21. Blunt: For a stubby hand-rolled joint that is quickly or hastily put together and when it begins to burn becomes blunt on one end.
  22. Bo-Bo / Bobo Bush: A fun way of letting your friends know you have some weed to share; not as common.
  23. Bomber: When smoking feels like its carpet bombing your senses.
  24. Boom: May refer to the effect of when a hit of weed hits you like an explosion.
  25. Broccoli: From the fact that buds look a little like the heads of blooming broccoli.
  26. Bud: The part of the plant that is commonly harvested; best known for B.C. Bud (British Columbia) where very potent weed is grown.
  27. Cabbage: It is used as a slang for mariuana because the buds of marijuana look a little like cabbage; see also Skunk.
  28. Cannon: Because of the shape of bongs, which sort of look like glass cannons.
  29. Cheeba: Probably a perversion of ciba which is sticky black Brazilian weed.
  30. China Eyed: Somewhat racist slang for the effect of droopy or wincing eyes while high.
  31. Chronic: From the idea of smoking weed every day; a stoner is someone who is also a chronic.
  32. Ciggie: Bastardization of cigarette.
  33. Climb: Same meaning, when you are ‘getting high’ and reaching a new level of consciousness.
  34. Cripple: When the weed is so strong that you can’t stand after smoking.
  35. DaKine: A Hawaiian surfer term; also a popular product brand of outdoor gear, i.e. for snowboarders who smoke a lot.
  36. Dagga: African name for weed.
  37. Dank: snowboarder term, synonymous with something that is ‘really cool’ i.e. that’s a dank backflip, dude!
  38. Dime: Slang for 1/16 ounce, often sold in ‘dime bags’.
  39. Ditch / Shake: Often low-quality weed.
  40. Dona Juanita: Spanish variation on Mary Jane.
  41. Doobie: A popular marijuana slang made famous by the band The Doobie Brothers, doobie can also refer to weed-infused snacks.
  42. Dope: May refer to the effects of being sleepy or ‘dopey’ after smoking.
  43. Ear Wax: References concentrated THC which is very potent
  44. Fatty: Very popular in the ’90s, tends to refer to the fact that hand-rolled joints are thicker than average tobacco cigarettes.
  45. Gaia: The name of the primal Goddess of Earth responsible for the growth of plants.
  46. Ganja: The Sanskrit word for marijuana, adopted by many Rastafarians.
  47. Grass: Because marijuana is green and a prolific plant, but may also be a reference back to the Arabic hashish (which means ‘grass’).
  48. Green Goddess: The spiritual aspect of weed which induces a kind of hypnotic high.
  49. Green Gold: Also a callback to the fact that bud looks like nuggets, and is also very valuable.
  50. Grog: The feeling of being groggy after smoking.
  51. Gungun: Possibly a Star Wars reference to an alien species who are goofy and kind of talk like they are high.
  52. Hash: From the Arabic word for marijuana which is hashish.
  53. Hay / Bale: Because of how weed is often distributed illegally, i.e. in giant bales.
  54. Herb: Pretty basic; a reference to the fact that cannabis is a plant, but also had its roots as medicine or herb in ancient cultures.
  55. Homegrown: Weed that is grown by someone for their personal use, often of high quality and organic.
  56. Hydro: Because many weed growers use hydroponics to grow their product.
  57. Jay: Common term for a marijuana cigarette, popularized by the phrase ‘Let’s smoke a jay’.
  58. Jefferson Airplane: Another head nod to a 60’s band who endorsed weed smoking.
  59. Joint: Probably refers to how a hand-rolled marijuana cigarette is roughly the same length as the single joint of a finger used to roll it.
  60. JuJu: This comes from Haitian lore referencing the magical/supernatural qualities of weed.
  61. Kali: Indian grown – referencing the goddess Kali, the Destroyer.
  62. Kermit: Because of the Muppet’s character who is green.
  63. KGB: Very, very strong weed, referencing the ‘killer’ qualities of the Russian secret service.
  64. Kona Gold: Very popular Hawaiian marijuana known for its strength.
  65. Krippies: Particularly moist marijuana which is only smoked via a bowl or bong.
  66. Kryptonite: Because it’s green and makes you feel weak in the knees, just like Superman around Kryptonite.
  67. Kush: A potent strain of Cannabis indica which grows in Afghanistan, Pakistan, etc.
  68. Left-hand cigarettes: Because it was thought that cowboys smoked tobacco with their right hand, so stoners (who were more Liberal and Leftist) smoked with their left.
  69. Long: For a really long joint.
  70. L-Pape: Because of the shape of smoking papers used to make hand-rolled joints.
  71. Lucy: From Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds which was a nod to LSD, but also refers to other drugs like weed.
  72. Magic Dragon: An old 60’s term for weed from the idea you begin to see things and/or fly like a dragon.
  73. Mary Jane: A play on the word marijuana; see also Aunt Mary, Sister Mary, etc.
  74. Maui Wowie: Another popular strain/brand of marijuana endemic to the island of Maui.
  75. Muggle: A really old 1920’s term for weed.
  76. Nick / Nickel: Approximately 0.5 grams of marijuana
  77. Ninja: When weed hits you very hard and all of a sudden. Like a ninja, you never see it coming.
  78. Nixon: Because of President Nixon who was opposed to marijuana.
  79. Northern Lights: Because of the trippy effects of colors when you’re smoking weed looks like the Aurora Borealis.
  80. Nosecone: Large cone doobie with a rosebud.
  81. Nugget / Nuggies: Because of the shape of weed buds, which look like green nuggets
  82. Pac Man: Someone who smokes way too much.
  83. Pinner: A 70’s term for weed, maybe a truncated reference to ‘spinner’, or the feeling of the world spinning when you smoke too much.
  84. Pot: The common term for weed. Possibly derived from the fact that many people would often grow their own weed plants for personal use in pots at home. More likely from potiguaya, Spanish for the marijuana plant`s leaves.
  85. Puff: Smoke that lingers in the air; it also refers to the name of the Magic Dragon.
  86. Purple Haze: From the famous song, it refers to the psychoactive feeling of being in a haze.
  87. Queen Anne’s lace: A classy term for smoking herbal weed.
  88. Rabbit-Hole: Also a reference to Lewis Carrol’s work, but also a verb, i.e. after smoking that joint I began to Rabbit-Hole.
  89. Ragweed: Very poor quality weed, often laced with other things.
  90. Rainy Day Woman: A nod to Bob Dylan’s song which references being stoned.
  91. Rangood: Wild grown weed; often grown on old logging roads.
  92. Rasta: Because the Rastafarian religion embraces weed smoking.
  93. Reefer: Best known from the famous anti-marijuana propaganda movie Reefer Madness which warned of the evil demonic effects of the plants circa 1960s; from Spanish grifa.
  94. Roach: The last end of a joint when it’s been smoked down to something that resembles a tiny cockroach.
  95. Sativa: The genus of weed known to produce euphoric highs.
  96. Short: Conversely, for a join that is very short.
  97. Skunk: The smell of marijuana has often been likened to that of a skunk (or skunk cabbage).
  98. Spliff: Another iconic term from the ’60s for a hand-rolled joint.
  99. Stank: When your weed is particularly stinky and can refer to particularly old weed.
  100. Stem: Another word for a thin DIY joint, often of lesser quality, because it looks like the stem of a plant.
  101. Sticky Icky: When weed is particularly well harvested and grown it is quite sticky to the touch.
  102. Stogie: Old-fashioned term for a cigar, sometimes applied to marijuana cigarettes.
  103. Straw: Also refers to a hand-rolled joint and gets its name from the fact it looks like a narrow piece of straw.
  104. THC: Because of tetrahydrocannabinol which is the active ingredient in marijuana that produces its psychoactive and calming effects.
  105. Thirteen: Because the first letter in marijuana is the thirteenth in the alphabet.
  106. Toke: Because when you take a draw on a marijuana cigarette it’s called a ‘toke’.
  107. Yellow Submarine: Because of The Beatle’s greatest hit Yellow Submarine.
  108. Yerba: Meant to reference the infused tea yerba mate.

Other Marijuana Names

Although these marijuana names are not as popular as the common weed names, they are words used to refer to a joint. Here are some other names for weed:

  1. African Bush
  2. Afro
  3. Airhead
  4. Alfalfa
  5. Alkaline / Alky
  6. All American
  7. AM
  8. Asparagus
  9. Assassin
  10. Babysitter
  11. Bambalacha
  12. Bammer
  13. Bananas
  14. Bar
  15. Barbara Jean
  16. Bash
  17. Bat
  18. Bazooka
  19. Beard
  20. Binky
  21. Black Bart
  22. Black Gungi
  23. Black Mo
  24. Bogart
  25. Bone
  26. Bonsai – A synthetic drug that replicates the effects of weed. Sometimes used to refer to the real thing.
  27. Boo
  28. Bowl
  29. Brick
  30. Brown
  31. Bubblegum
  32. Buddha
  33. Bullion
  34. Burnie
  35. Burnt
  36. Butter
  37. Butter Flower
  38. C.S.
  39. Cacho
  40. Cacti
  41. Caff
  42. Cake
  43. Calyx
  44. Cam Trip
  45. Cambodian
  46. Can
  47. Cannapa
  48. Canoe
  49. Cartucho
  50. Catnip
  51. Caviar
  52. Cereal
  53. Cess
  54. Chamber
  55. Champagne
  56. Chase
  57. Cheddar
  58. Cheeo
  59. Chiba Chiba
  60. Chief
  61. Chilla
  62. Chipi
  63. Chips
  64. Chocolate
  65. Chorus
  66. Christmas Tree
  67. Chunky
  68. Churus
  69. Clickers
  70. Clone
  71. Cobalt
  72. Cocktail
  73. Colas
  74. Coli
  75. Colombian
  76. Coloring Books
  77. Coma
  78. Corn Stalker
  79. Cosa
  80. Cottonmouth
  81. Cracker
  82. Creeper
  83. Crunk
  84. Crying Weed
  85. C-Tea
  86. Cubes
  87. Dab / Dabtastic
  88. Daddy
  89. Dawamesk
  90. Derbs
  91. Dew
  92. Diablito
  93. Diggidy
  94. Dimba
  95. Ding
  96. Dizz
  97. Djamba
  98. DOA
  99. Dody
  100. Doja
  101. Dome
  102. Domestic
  103. Don Jem
  104. Donk
  105. Dow
  106. Draf
  107. Dry
  108. Dub
  109. Dug Out
  110. Durog
  111. Dust
  112. Earth
  113. Easy / Eazy
  114. Ebenieghber
  115. Eight Ball
  116. Electric Lettuce
  117. Elephant
  118. Elevator
  119. Elmer Fudd
  120. Endo
  121. Enzyme
  122. Esra
  123. F1 / F2
  124. Face Fungus
  125. Fade
  126. Faff
  127. Fairy
  128. Fallbrook
  129. Fat Dad
  130. Feed Bag
  131. Fiend
  132. Finger
  133. Fir
  134. Flower
  135. Fraho
  136. Fresh
  137. Frosted
  138. Fry Sticks
  139. Fu Manchu
  140. Fuel
  141. Fullstock
  142. Fuma D’Angola
  143. Funk
  144. Funny Stuff
  145. Fuzzies
  146. Gaffer
  147. Gallo
  148. Game
  149. Gander
  150. Gange
  151. Gangers
  152. Gank
  153. Ganoobies
  154. Gar
  155. Gash
  156. Gasper
  157. Gauge
  158. Geek
  159. Geno (from genotype)
  160. Ghana
  161. Ghetto
  162. Giggles
  163. Gimmie
  164. Gimp
  165. Glow
  166. Gluestick
  167. Go Loco
  168. Gold Star
  169. Golden Leaf
  170. Gong
  171. Goo
  172. Goody-goody
  173. Goofbutt
  174. Gopher
  175. Gorge
  176. Gorilla Tampon
  177. Gram
  178. Grasshopper
  179. Grat
  180. Grata
  181. Greek
  182. Griefo – a bastardization of grifa, see also Reefer
  183. Gunny Sack
  184. Gunther
  185. Gyve
  186. Haircut
  187. Hanhich
  188. Harsh
  189. Heffer
  190. Hella
  191. Hemp
  192. Hit
  193. Hocus
  194. Homegrown
  195. Hooch
  196. Hooter
  197. Hubbly Bubbly
  198. Hybrid
  199. Illegal
  200. Illies
  201. Igbo
  202. Indo
  203. Instaga / Instagu
  204. Ivory
  205. Izm
  206. Jack Willie
  207. Jag
  208. Jamaican
  209. Janet
  210. Jason
  211. JIB
  212. Jive
  213. Johnson
  214. Jolly Green
  215. Jolt
  216. Joyride
  217. Juan Valdez
  218. Juggler
  219. Juice
  220. Juja
  221. Jumbos
  222. K2 / Spice
  223. Kabak
  224. Kaff
  225. Kajee
  226. Kalakit
  227. Kaya
  228. Kaya
  229. KB
  230. Kee
  231. Keef
  232. Kief
  233. Kiff
  234. Killer Bees
  235. Kilter
  236. Kind
  237. Kumba
  238. Kutchie
  239. L.L.
  240. Lab
  241. Lace
  242. Leaf
  243. Leak
  244. Lemonade
  245. Lid
  246. Lima
  247. Limbo
  248. Lipton
  249. Llesca
  250. Loaf
  251. Lobo
  252. Loco
  253. Log
  254. Love Boat
  255. Lubage
  256. Lucas
  257. Lumber
  258. Lush
  259. Lye
  260. Machinery
  261. Macon
  262. Manhattan Silver
  263. Meggie
  264. Method
  265. Mgobi
  266. Mighty Mezz
  267. Minglewood
  268. Modams
  269. Mohasky
  270. Moht
  271. Monster
  272. Monte
  273. Moora
  274. Moto
  275. Mu
  276. Mutha
  277. Nail
  278. O.G.
  279. O.J.
  280. One Hit Wonder
  281. Onion
  282. Oregano
  283. Oreo
  284. Organic
  285. Ounce
  286. Owl
  287. Ozzy
  288. Pack
  289. Pack of Rocks
  290. Pakistani
  291. Panama
  292. Panatella
  293. Parsley
  294. Party Peno
  295. Pasto
  296. Philly
  297. Pixie
  298. Pod
  299. Poke
  300. Pooner
  301. Potlikker
  302. Potten bush
  303. Premos
  304. Prescription
  305. Pretendica
  306. Primo
  307. Punk
  308. Purple
  309. Railroad
  310. Rainbows
  311. Rambo
  312. Rauch
  313. Raw
  314. Razorback
  315. Red and Blue
  316. Red Dirt
  317. Reindeer
  318. Robo
  319. Rock
  320. Ron
  321. Root
  322. Rope
  323. Rosa
  324. Roz
  325. Ruffles
  326. Rugs
  327. Rusty
  328. Sadhu
  329. Salad
  330. Santa Marta
  331. Sassafrass
  332. Scissors
  333. Scooby / Scoobs
  334. Score
  335. Scrilla
  336. Scrub
  337. Seed
  338. Sen
  339. Shank
  340. Shiva
  341. Shlook
  342. Shmagma
  343. Shotgun
  344. Siddi
  345. Sinsemilla
  346. Skama
  347. Skeet
  348. Skins
  349. Slack
  350. Slice
  351. Snag
  352. Snatch
  353. Snop
  354. Sonic
  355. Spark
  356. Speed Boat
  357. Splim
  358. Spring
  359. Sprite
  360. Sprout
  361. Spruce
  362. Square
  363. Squirrel
  364. Stack
  365. Stamen
  366. Stash
  367. Steamroller
  368. Stick
  369. Stinky
  370. Swag
  371. Swamp
  372. Swazi
  373. Sweet Lucy
  374. Syrup
  375. Taima
  376. Takkouri
  377. Tampon
  378. Tater
  379. Tea Party
  380. Temple Balls
  381. Texas
  382. Tex-Mex
  383. The Cure
  384. Thumb
  385. Thyme
  386. Tijuana
  387. Tin
  388. Tootsie Roll
  389. Torch
  390. Torpedo
  391. Toupee
  392. Trauma
  393. Tray
  394. Trees
  395. Trisome
  396. Turbo
  397. Twist
  398. Unotque
  399. Vega / Vegan
  400. Vipe
  401. Viper
  402. Volcano
  403. Voomp
  404. Wacky
  405. Wake and Bake
  406. Wet / Wetware
  407. Whack / Whackatabacky
  408. Wheat
  409. White Russian
  410. Woo / Woola
  411. Yeh
  412. Yellow Taxi
  413. Yen pop
  414. Yeola
  415. Yerhia
  416. Yesca
  417. Ying / Ying Yang
  418. Yum Yum
  419. Zacatecas
  420. Zambi
  421. Zeppelin
  422. Zig Zag
  423. Zigba
  424. Zol
  425. Zooie
  426. Zoom
  427. Zug
  428. Zu-pu

As you can see, there are hundreds of different names for weed.

Not for the plant alone, but for the act of smoking it, for those who cultivate it, and for those who smoke it.

It is one of the few substances which sometimes feels like it needs its own dictionary, and is a testament to the long history and numerous cultures who have utilized marijuana through the centuries.

Can you think of any marijuana names we might have missed, feel free to comment in the section below!

More Drugs and Substance Nicknames:

People often use several nicknames for weed to avoid detection by cops or snitches. Here is a mega list of different marijuana slangs and words. ]]>