marihuana wiki August 11, 2023 – Posted in: Uncategorized

marihuana wiki The Many Names of the Cannabis Plant

marihuana wiki

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marihuana wiki

The cannabis plant, known by various names, has a rich history and a complex linguistic background. In this article, we will explore the different terms used to refer to the cannabis plant and its derivatives. From the etymology of the word “marijuana” to its contemporary usage in pop culture, we will delve into the fascinating world of cannabis nomenclature. marihuana wiki

Etymology: Tracing the Origins

The term “marijuana” or “marihuana” originated in Mexican Spanish and found its way into other languages, including English and French. The exact etymology of the word is a subject of debate, with various theories proposed. marihuana wiki

One theory suggests that it may have derived from the Nahuatl word “mallihuan,” meaning “prisoner.” However, linguists argue that there is no semantic basis for this connection, suggesting it may be a case of accidental homophony. Additionally, the presence of cannabis in the Americas before Spanish contact makes it unlikely that an indigenous word would be the source.

Another theory traces the possible origins of the word to the Chinese phrase “ma ren hua,” meaning “hemp seed flower.” This phrase might have originated from a Semitic root meaning “hemp.” The Semitic root is also found in the Spanish word “mejorana” and the English word “marjoram,” which could be related to “marihuana.”

Furthermore, there is a folk etymology associating the word with the personal name “Maria Juana” or “Mary Jane.” However, this connection is likely a product of popular imagination rather than historical accuracy.

Early Use of the Term “Marijuana”

The term “marijuana” entered English usage in the late 19th century. It first appeared in Hubert Howe Bancroft’s book, “The Native Races of the Pacific States of North America.” Early variants of the word included “mariguan,” “marihuma,” “marihuano,” and “marahuana.”

During the 1930s, the use of “marijuana” in American English increased significantly, especially during debates about the drug’s use. Some suggest that opponents of cannabis deliberately promoted the term to stigmatize it with a foreign-sounding name. This strategy aimed to associate the drug with the Latino community, contributing to the negative connotations surrounding it.

The term “marijuana” was eventually codified into law with the passing of the Marihuana Tax Act of 1937, further cementing its place in common American English.

Contemporary Pop Culture and Counterculture Use

In popular culture, the word “marijuana” became associated with the revolutionary youth of the 1960s, particularly the hippie subculture. The portrayal of marijuana use in the media, along with the advocacy of reggae artist Peter Tosh in his song “Legalize It,” contributed to the word’s association with counterculture movements.

The stoner comedy genre, which gained prominence in the late 1970s with films like “Up In Smoke,” further solidified the association of “marijuana” with a recreational drug and its subculture. Even today, the term is frequently used in various forms of media, including films, music, and literature.

Formal Usage: “Cannabis” vs. “Marijuana”

While many legal references prefer the term “cannabis,” the terms “marijuana” or “marihuana” are still commonly used in laws and regulations, such as the Controlled Substances Act in the United States. Several cannabis reform organizations also use the term “marijuana” in their names, emphasizing its continued significance in the discourse surrounding cannabis legalization.

In summary, the cannabis plant is known by different names, with “marijuana” being the most widely recognized term. Its etymology is complex, with theories ranging from indigenous languages to Chinese and folk etymology. The term gained popularity in the English language during debates on drug use and became associated with counterculture movements. While legal and formal references often use the term “cannabis,” “marijuana” remains prevalent in everyday language and popular culture.

See Also


  1. “Marijuana.” Wikipedia. Link
  2. “Marijuana (word).” Wikipedia. Link
  3. “Oxford English Dictionary.” Wikipedia. Link
  4. Booth, Martin. Cannabis: A History. Transworld Publishers, 2004.
  5. Haugen, Jason D. “Etymology of ‘Marijuana'” Lexis 2005.
  6. Anslinger, Harry J. “Marijuana: Assassin of Youth.” The American Magazine, July 1937.
  7. Post, Lizzie. “Why the Word ‘Marijuana’ Should Be Retired.” The Emily Post Institute, April 2019.
  8. “The Native Races of the Pacific States of North America.” Link
  9. “Marihuana 1 (1936).” Link
  10. “Smoke-in van. July 4, 1977.” Link