How Many of These Street Names for Cannabis Do You Know?

Purple Cannabis Plant Leaves Nicknames
Photo by: Canna Obscura/Shutterstock

Cannabis can take many forms, both physically and linguistically. Though many grow up learning about the herbal “marijuana” plant, there are hundreds of street names floating around, continuing to both pushes the boundaries of cannabis culture’s creativity and antagonize parents of teenagers.



You don’t have to be hip or woke to have a firm grasp on marijuana nicknames. Sit back, relax, and don’t worry: Leafbuyer’s got you covered with this comprehensive list.

The Basics

These are the street names everyone has heard, read, and probably used personally in a sentence (or hundreds).

1. Pot

Pot is one of the most popular street names thrown around, usually by those who have nothing to do with streets (i.e. concerned parents, teachers, and friends), but are compelled to warn others about the dangers of becoming a “pot-head.” It’s believed that pot stems from the Spanish word for cannabis-steeped wine, potiguaya.

2. Weed

After its first popular-culture appearance in the film American Speech in 1929, weed broke ground as popular slang. Weed has two main perks: first, cannabis comes from a plant, so it’s not that far of a stretch; second, the phrase deviates from the formal parental use of “pot,” with a more casual, youthful tone.

3. Ganja

Rumor has it, ganja originates from a Hindi word for the hemp plant, which came to the shores of Jamaica via 19th century British colonists. Both the Hindi and Rastafarian words were rooted in spirituality.

Named for Effects

Due to the altering effects of marijuana, a whole naming category based on experience was born.

4. Reefer

This Spanish-derived word comes from slang describing someone under the influence of marijuana. “Grifo,” later morphed into “greefo,” then into “reefer,” describes both the appearance and mental state of tangled frizziness.

5. Spliff

Born from the odd combination of the words “stifle” and “suffocate,” we get the portmanteau “splificate,” or “spliff” for short. A spliff is confusing and a little hard to breathe around; thus, marijuana slang was born from these confounding, smoke-filled thoughts.

6. Doobie

One theory is that a doobie refers to slang for a stupid, dull person. Not all nicknames are kind.

7. Houdini

Many attest that smoking cannabis is a sure way to experience a mind-altering high. This is similar to the infamous magician Houdini, who also used to escape reality.

Named for Appearance

Remember: not all marijuana nicknames are creative. Some are just descriptions. Prepare for lots of references to color.

8. Green Goddess

Green Goddess is a two-fold nickname, with both double the meaning and twice the fun. Green represents the color of cannabis (what did I tell you?), while the goddess represents the enlightening, nearly holy experience. It’s no wonder that so many dispensaries aim to have “green” or “goddess” in their names.

9. Alfalfa

This phrase refers to alfalfa’s sister, a non-marijuana plant that is also green.

10. Asparagus

What’s another plant that has a green hue? Asparagus. Other green vegetables, including broccoli, parsley, sassafras, and turnips can be used interchangeably for this street name.

11. Bud

Bud is another popular nickname since it’s the part of the cannabis plant that is smoked. Additionally, hemp buds have the highest concentration of THC in them, making for an excellent, budding high.

12. Christmas Tree

Christmas tree, fir, and lumber all refer to unwanted twigs that sometimes find their way into the batch of marijuana. Think of them as the presents you don’t want to receive.

13. Grass

A green crop. Imagine that.

14. Green

See above. Also, green can allude to the relationship between cannabis and money, and how life seems to improve automatically with a little extra green of either sort.

15. Herb

While its roots are grounded in appearance, the nickname herb also has a historic background. When used by Rastafarians through religious belief, using this word reinforced its natural qualities, comparing cannabis to other herbs.

Named for Language

Language is a beautiful thing that influences history. Cannabis and linguists, too, go hand in hand.

16. Mary Jane

This popular nickname for cannabis comes from its acronym “MJ,” which is classically linked to the abbreviation of marijuana.

17. Aunt Mary

Aunt Mary piggy backs off of Mary Jane, forming an alternative term of endearment. Other similar options are Mary Warner, Mary Weaver, and the good ole’ pair Mary and Johnny.

18. Da Kine

This Hawaiin surf slang is not specific to cannabis; it’s the phrase people use to refer to the names they’ve forgotten. Naturally, marijuana makes you forget, so it’s a perfect fit.

19. Dona Juanita

Dona Juanita translates to “Lady Jane” in Spanish, akin to the English version Mary Jane.

20. Muggle

Don’t worry, this nickname has nothing to do with Harry Potter, and therefore can’t ruin anyone’s childhood. Rather, muggle has an unknown origin but was used to refer to marijuana smokers in the 1920s.

21. Rainy Day Woman

In Bob Dylan’s song “Everybody Must Get Stoned,” the artist alludes to a rainy day woman. Listeners connected the dots, and a street name was born.

22. Thirteen

The thirteenth letter in the alphabet is “M,” which also happens to be the letter heading the word marijuana.

Named for Quality

Purple Cannabis Plant Leaves Nicknames
Photo by: Canna Obscura/Shutterstock
As creatures of habit, humans have a tendency of naming things for how they taste (for example, the slang for candy is “sweets”). When it comes to marijuana, we’re no different.

13. Cabbage

Cabbage is the word used to describe marijuana of poor quality. In certain cases, the worse the weed, the more it looks like the vegetable.

14. Catnip

Just like catnip (the herb that famously makes cats crazy), this blend of cannabis is fake or inferior. It just doesn’t taste the same.

15. Chronic

Chronic is typically used to mean extreme or severe. In the case of cannabis, chronic does the same: this strain has strong effects.

16. Dank

Though dank used to be used to be an adjective for unpleasant experiences (describing things like swamps and mold and other vile, smelly experiences), it is now known to mean good. If weed is dank, it is of the highest quality.

17. Nixon

This phrase is named after the 37th president of the United States, Richard Nixon. Just like Tricky Dick, when marijuana is Nixon, it’s no good. In fact, it’s crappy bud being sold as high-quality marijuana. This kind of treachery is deserving of impeachment.

The Rest

Some street names for marijuana have no rhyme or reason, other than the fact that they sound cool. The following nicknames have enjoyed varying popularity, though nobody’s really sure why (or maybe it’s better just not to ask): Boom, cheeba, ashes, atshitshi, baby bhang, bammy, blanket, bo-bo, bobo bush, hash, bomber, skunk, cripple, dagga, dinkie dow, ding, gasper, good butt, hot stick, jay, jolly green, joy smoke, joy stick, roach.

 

Marijuana has so many different strains, tastes, and experiences that it’s no wonder that the wordplay associated with it is also expansive. The cannabis community is filled with creativity and innovation, which is one of many reasons why street names for the plant have taken flight with such energy and fervor. While knowing all the names is a true test of knowledge and history, there’s comfort in simplicity: When all is said and done, if you ask for marijuana, everyone will know what you mean.