Cannabis? Marijuana? Weed? Pot? Dope? Ganga? Mary Jane? In the cannabis vs marijuana name debate, which name do you use?
First, it helps to know where these words began. While cannabis is the name of the plant, many other names have been used to describe this plant, such as marijuana, pot, weed and ganga.
Cannabis sativa is the name of the plant.
Pot and Weed are common slang terms today. While pot is the most common term, weed seems to be quickly replacing it. The term pot was much more common in the 60’s and 70’s while weed is a more common term among young people today.
Marijuana (marijhuana) is a Spanish word used to reference “devils weed.” The term marijuana was historically a racial term referring to cannabis coming from Mexico. This was often used referring to Hispanic and Black jazz musicians using marijuana to create their “satanic” jazz music. Leafly has an article on the history of the term marijuana.
“Marijuana is the most violence-causing drug in the history of mankind… Most marijuana smokers are Negroes, Hispanics, Filipinos and entertainers. Their satanic music, jazz and swing, result from marijuana usage.”
I use the term cannabis to educate people on the plant and it’s healing benefits. Sadly, many people think cannabis and marijuana are different products. Until we have education on the correct terminology to use, people continue to misunderstand the plant. Furthermore, legislation in most states covers “Medical Marijuana.” As a result, the terms will continue to be confused until this is corrected to say “Medical Cannabis.”