With so many names for Cannabis, it might make you wonder about their origins. Here are 6 Names for Cannabis and Where They Came From.

1. Cannabis

The plant name cannabis is from Greek κάνναβις (kánnabis), via Latin cannabis, originally a Scythian or Thracian word, also loaned into Persian as kanab.


Information Source: wikipedia.org

 2. Ganja

From the Hindi ganjha, the word ‘gan-zi-gun-nu’ is referenced from stone tablets (dating 700BC) that indicate a connection with eastern and near-eastern terms for the plant, (‘gan-zi’->’ganja’,’gun-nu’->’qaneh’). This substance was used for witchcraft and prescribed as a useful remedy for a variety of ailments including depression and impotence.


Information Source: etymonline.com

 3. Marijuana

The term, originally spelled variously as marihuanamariguana, etc., originated in Mexican Spanish.  The ultimate derivation is unknown.   According to the Oxford English Dictionary, it may come from the Nahuatl mallihuan, meaning prisoner.   Harry J. Anslinger popularized this term in the 1930s, during his campaigns against the drug.


Information Source: wikipedia.org

4. Pot

Possibly a shortened form of Mexican Spanish potiguaya (“marijuana leaves”) or potaguaya (“cannabis leaves”) or potación de guaya literally ‘drink of grief’, supposedly denoting a drink of wine or brandy in which marijuana buds were steeped.  The name became popular in the United States in the late 1930s and early 1940s.


Information Source: wiktionary.org

5. Kush

Shortened from Hindu Kush, the region from which the species of cannabis originates.  Hindu Kush is a mountain range that stretches from Afghanistan to Pakistan.


Information Source: wikipedia.org & wiktionary.org

6. Hemp

Hemp refers to a fiber made with the cannabis plant.  Probably a very early Germanic borrowing of the same Scythian word that became Greek kannabis.


Information Source: etymonline.com

And there you go! You learn something new everyday. Unless you already knew all that, then you’re just being a smarty pants!