Why Do Cannabis Have So Many Names Like Ganja, Dope, Marijuana ?
What do you call it? Weed? Ganja? Snootchie Pootchie? When it comes to cannabis names, there seem to be an endless amount to choose from. There are many reasons why there are so many names to cannabis ranging from geographic location to ‘code names’ created to speak openly about something that is illegal.
Today we’ll be diving into the names and meanings of cannabis and will be attempting to place a bit of order to all the chaos. So without any further delay, let’s dive into the names of Cannabis and the motivations behind the label.
The Names of Cannabis for Legal Reasons
The first reason why cannabis has so many names is due to the fact that stoners want to evade the police as often as possible. Many law enforcement agencies already know the wide database of names associated with the plant. So, cannabis users keep on inventing new names. In fact, when I was younger, we created our own names regarding the drugs we used so that not even those who are within the stoner communities would know what we’re talking about.
This could very well be the reason why there are so many names for cannabis, in the attempt to keep law enforcement in the dark.
Personalizing your Experience
Another reason why there are so many names for cannabis is due to the fact that stoners tend to be creative people. Similar to how people name their cars or guitars or whatever other object of personal ‘meaning’, cannabis users do the same when it comes to weed.
For instance, perhaps you and your crew had a running joke and decided to identify the reefer with the joke. “Sally was one hairy girl” a friend of yours jest while taking a hit from the blunt, then suddenly the joke turns into a label.
“Let’s go get some Sally”. No one else would know what you’re talking about except for the people who partook of the joke itself. When enough people learn about the new “name” for weed, it spreads across the cannabis culture and could be adopted as an “official name”.
Obviously, this is all theoretical, but to be honest, there isn’t a lot on the history of cannabis names and thus we are attempting to bring some order to the chaos.
Every culture has different names for the same thing. For instance, in Jamaica, Ganja is typically the name used to describe weed. In Mexico it’s Marijuana. In South Africa they call it Dagga.
These cultural differences also created the diversity in naming, and as the globalization of the world continued to advance, these names traveled abroad. Nowadays, while the word Ganja originated from Jamaica, you can say it anywhere in the world and people will know what you’re talking about.
We can thank Reggae for that.
Music Culture and Movies
There is yet another reason why we have so many names for weed; Culture! Movies and Music influences our naming processes. Rather, I would say that movies and music legitimizes the names we use for weed.
For instance, when rappers started to refer to weed as the “Sticky icky” and sang about it, people quickly adopted it and integrated it into their weed vocabulary. So understanding this formula, you could potentially create your own lingo and legitimize it by integrating it into movies and music.
If Snoop Dogg suddenly referred to weed as “Wizzle”, people would quickly start replicating the word and integrating it into popular vocabulary. Soon you’ll start hearing people say things like “Hey man, let’s go get some Wizzle”.
What’s in a Name?
I don’t know exactly how many names there are in reference to weed, but the truth of the matter is that the list keeps on growing every passing year. The common ones like “Weed, Reefer, Marijuana, Ganja” and so forth will always be a staple and was probably one of the first words you ever used to describe cannabis, however as culture continues to evolve and different demographics interact with the substance, names will continue to be piled on.
It really doesn’t matter what you call it, in the end people know that cannabis is cannabis, no matter what we call it.
With the cannabis industry rapidly expanding, it would be very interesting to know what future generations will call weed. Just remember, you can call cannabis anything you want, it’s really up to you and seeing that cannabis usually inspires its own unique culture, it’s no surprise that the different cultures within the cannabis community created their own verbiage to describe a plant that has provided smiles to millions of people all around the world.