What The Kids Are Calling It: 56 Creative Terms for Cannabis

Updated on July 19th 2023
Slang words for "cannabis" forming shape of a cannabis leaf In our last article, we discussed the origin and controversy surrounding the word “marijuana” as compared to the scientific term “cannabis.” If neither term feels quite right, don’t worry. Our writers delved deep into every source on slang this week to bring you fifty-five unusual terms for cannabis, with brief explanations of each. You’re sure to find your new favorite name for your favorite plant below.

The Glossary of Grass

  1. ACE – Slang term for cannabis which is considered better than alternatives
  2. AIRPLANE – Something used to get flyin’ high.
  3. ALFALFA – Used to refer to cannabis because of their visual similarities as two green flowering plants
  4. ALLIGATOR CIGARETTE – This term draws similarities between the shape of a joint and the body of an alligator – long, thin and pointy at each end, and a little thicker in the middle. Some believe that it also references the alligator’s slow-moving speed.
  5. AMNESIA – Both amnesia and cannabis can make people a little forgetful. There was more to the story with this one, but I can’t remember the rest.
  6. AUNT MARY – A feminized and familiar nickname for “marijuana” – much like Mary Jane and Mary Weaver.
  7. BAG OF BONES – Multiple rolled cigarettes.
  8. BHANG – Bhang is an ingredient in Indian culture, often used to make traditional food and beverages. It’s valued for its medicinal properties and as a component of the traditions like the Holi festival.
  9. BOMB CHRON – Like “Ace,” this term refers to weed of a better-than-average quality. If a selection of cannabis smells notably fresh, looks rich in color, and shines with healthy trichomes, then you may have your hands on some bomb chron.
  10. BUD – This common term specifically describes the cannabis plant’s lush, smokable flowers.
  11. CABBAGE – Subpar cannabis. Bud described as “cabbage” may physically resemble the vegetable itself.
  12. CATNIP – Cannabis which isn’t particularly good – or isn’t real cannabis at all.
  13. CHEEBA – Derived from the Spanish word “chiva,” “cheeba” originates from Brazilian stoners who adapted it as slang for weed.
  14. CHRONIC – Describes cannabis with strong effects – which, when used regularly, may lead to chronic symptoms.
  15. CLIMB – Loosely based on the concept of “getting high.” This term may also be a reference to the potential negative effects of overdoing cannabis and “climbing the walls.”
  16. DA KINE – Hawaiian surfers use this phrase to describe anything and everything for which the specific name has been forgotten.
  17. DAGGA – This term originated in South-Eastern Africa in the 1600s. It originally meant “a feeling of intoxication” in the regional Khoekhoe language.
  18. DANK – Refers to every type of cannabis with an especially potent scent, taste, or effect.
  19. DITCH WEED – Generally refers to cannabis plants found growing freely in the wild. Because these are generally remnants of free-growing, Midwestern industrial hemp, they generally contain little-to-no THC and aren’t suitable for human consumption.
  20. DONA JUANITA – A feminized, familiar Spanish term for cannabis, which directly translates to “Lady June.”
  21. ENDO – This term – which is used interchangeably with “indo,” generally references cannabis plants which are grown indoors using hydroponic growing systems. Many cannabis users claim that indoor-grown plants are superior to those grown outdoors, due to the increased control over variables affecting their growth like light exposure, temperature, and weather.
  22. FIRE – This term is generally used to describe cannabis of exceptional quality. It’s also the name of a specific Indica-dominant strain (also known as “Fire OG“).
  23. FLOWER – The portion of a cannabis plant which can be smoked to potentially induce psychoactive effects. If decarbed, this portion can also be used in the preparation of edibles.
  24. GANJA – Dating back more than three hundred years, this term stems from ganja, the Sanskrit word for cannabis.
  25. GRASS – This term likely references the physical similarities between cannabis and grass.
  26. GREEN GODDESS – This two-part term references the color of the legal herb it describes – and the experience allegedly felt by users.
  27. GREEN – “Green” is slang for cannabis for the same reason it’s slang for money – it’s the color of cash and cannabis alike. “Greenery” and “green tea” serve the same purpose.
  28. HERB – This term references the natural quality of cannabis as just one of many potent, organic herbs. The term “righteous bush” has the same aim of reminding the public of the substance’s natural roots.
  29. HIPPIE LETTUCE – Since weed is typically associated with the ‘60s hippie movement, and lettuce loosely resembles the physical appearance of cannabis, “hippie lettuce” is used to reference reefer. Anyone using this term without a hint of irony may still fear the wrath of “reefer madness.” Many smoke shop fans use either term in a joking way.
  30. HOUDINI – Prepare to be amazed – the world-famous Houdini may make reality disappear!
  31. KAYA – We have Bob Marley to thank for the term “Kaya,” as he’s frequently used it to refer to cannabis. Like Mary Jane, this term is a feminized and familiar nickname for the plant. Kaya is likely derived from the Caribbean-English term “kayakiit” for a popular medicinal herb.
  32. KILLER BUD – Regardless of your experience level, if you’re offered “killer bud,” proceed with caution. This term references a strain of cannabis with exceptionally strong effects.
  33. LAUGHING GRASS – This once-popular term isn’t used much these days. Like “grass,” the meaning references the green color of cannabis – with an extra descriptor to reference the potentially euphoric effects some strains evoke.
  34. LOUD – Potent cannabis has such a strong aroma that it can’t be ignored – so it’s occasionally referred to as “loud.”
  35. MARY JANE – This popular phrase is a play on the word “marijuana.” As a feminized nickname for the plant, the phrase is used to reference cannabis in popular culture in a romanticized, personified way. For instance, Tom Petty’s “Mary Jane’s Last Dance” and Rick James’ “Mary Jane” speak affectionately about “Mary Jane” to reference their love of cannabis.
  36. MIDS – A term for cannabis that isn’t especially great or terrible – in other words, “mid-grade.” Mids generally have less impact and longevity than top-shelf cannabis. However, anyone looking to save money at a dispensary can opt for mids, as they generally cost less than the highest quality options.
  37. MOTA – This Spanish terminology directly translates to “speck” or “mote.” The word indicates a very small supply of cannabis.
  38. MUGGLE – Think the word “muggle” originated in the world of Hogwarts? Think again. “Muggle” was used as a word for cannabis for decades prior. In fact, the term “muggle-head” has been used as a derogatory reference to cannabis smokers since the 1920s.
  39. NIXON – This tongue-in-cheek, once popular term refers to low-quality bud passed off as superior in quality. Those who bought into the lofty appeal of Nixon are usually left feeling conned and disappointed.
  40. NUG – This abbreviated form of “nugget” refers to any of a cannabis plant’s dried buds. The genetic composition of cannabis varies significantly by plant, and as such, their nugs differ quite a bit in size.
  41. PAKOLOLO – The Hawaiian word for cannabis is Pakalolo, which made its way into the English language around the start of World War II before losing traction in later years. Former President Barack Obama’s biography references his love of pakalolo as a young adult – bringing the term back into our mainstream lexicon.
  42. POT – Regardless of your feelings on cannabis, you’re undoubtedly familiar with the term “pot.” You may not have known that it originated as a shorted form of “potiguaya” – the Spanish word for the leaves of a cannabis plant.
  43. PURPS – Cannabis flower buds with purple coloration are sometimes referred to as “purps.”
  44. RAINY DAY WOMAN – The Bob Dylan song “Rainy Day Woman” implies that he turns to Mary Jane for comfort from the coldness of the world. As such, “rainy day woman” is sometimes used as a clever term for cannabis.
  45. REEFER – Some have suggested that “reefer” originated from “grifa,” a Spanish word for cannabis. The term gained popularity after the fear-mongering 1936 propaganda film “Reefer Madness,” which has earned a legendary status in the cannabis community for its comically ridiculous premise and claims.
  46. SENSIMILLA – This word, meaning “seedless,” refers to the life cycle in which adult cannabis plants haven’t been fertilized – generally considered to be the optimal stage by growers. “Sensimilla” is typically used to reference top-quality buds.
  47. STICKY ICKY – This term for cannabis took hold in November of ’99 with the release of two hip-hop songs. E-40 officially coined the phrase with “Do What You Know Good,” and Dr. Dre and Snoop Dogg cemented the term with their instant hit “Still D-R-E.” The phrase “sticky icky” is thought to reference the physical attributes of top-quality, trichome-dense cannabis strains.
  48. STOGIE – “Stogie” can refer to a cigar or an oversized joint.
  49. SUNGROWN – Sungrown cannabis strains are often referred to simply as “sungrown.” Sungrown strains often have less THC but just as many cannabinoids as those grown indoors and/or with speciality lights.
  50. TEA – In the 1940s, talk of cannabis required careful codes, so many fans of the plant would refer to it as “tea.” In today’s much more accepting culture, teas with infused cannabis abound.
  51. THE GOOD – This shortened form of “the good stuff” refers to top-quality cannabis.
  52. THIRTEEN – Don’t overthink this term: “marijuana” starts with “M,” the thirteenth letter of the American alphabet, leading some to call cannabis by the name “thirteen.”
  53. TREE – Since cannabis leaves arguably look like tiny trees, the word “tree” is sometimes used as a term for cannabis.
  54. WACKY TOBACKY – The comical “reefer madness” paranoia and related propoganda films spurned the phrase “wacky tobacky” in the 1950s. Some smoke shop fans jokingly use the phrase today.
  55. WEED – Since some strains of cannabis can grow “like a weed” in virtually any habitat and conditions, the term “weed” grew just as quickly in popularity.
  56. YERBA – Generic slang for cannabis in Spanish-speaking nations. This phrase for cannabis shouldn’t be confused with Yerba Mate – a popular caffeinated tea predominantly grown in South America.

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