If you’re unfamiliar with any of the terms used on this site, let this glossary be a starting point in understanding marijuana/cannabis terms and concepts.
Referring to its effects
Airplane: it takes you into the skies, the same reason as a marijuana cigarette is called a “parachute” or a “pocket rocket.”
Amnesia: thanks to the fact that you forget everything while you’re smoking it.
Climb: another way to get “high,” though it could also be a reference to “climbing the walls.”
Doobie: slang for a moron, this is could be a reference to what you become when you smoke marijuana.
Good giggles: because you’re bound to laugh when you light up a doobie.
Houdini: it provides a means of escape from your problems.
Reefer: traced back to “grifo,” a Mexican slang term that describes someone who’s been smoking marijuana. That term also means kinky and knotted hair, or someone in a messy state. “Grifo” was eventually spelled “greefo” before becoming “reefer.”
Spliff: thought to originate from “splificate,” a verb that supposedly pairs “stifle” with “suffocate” in a fanciful effort to describe the act of bewildering a person.
Referring to its popularity
Ace: because it means “the best.”
Baby: a term of endearment for anything, including marijuana.
Green goddess: referring to the sublime or holy experience of smoking marijuana, as well as the color.
Referring to it being a green plant
Alfalfa: means a beard, money and tobacco as well.
Asparagus: for the same reason it’s called “broccoli,” “parsley,” “sassafras” or “turnip greens.”
Bud: this refers to the part of the plant that is crushed and rolled into a cigarette.
Christmas tree: or simply “fir,” while “lumber” is a nod to the undesirable pieces of twig that become trapped in the bud.
Grass: another one of the many green plants that bear a resemblance to marijuana, along with “bush” or “weed.”
Green: referring to marijuana’s color, this is also why “green” serves as a term for money. “Green stuff,” “greenery” and “green tea” are elaborations.
Herb: originally used by Rastafarians, who smoke it as part of their religion, in order to stress that it’s natural like other plants. Terms that reference marijuana’s holy status include “mother,” “mother nature,” “noble weed” and “righteous bush.”
Referring to language
Aunt Mary: one of the many translations and word plays on the word marijuana along with “Mary Jane,” “Mary Warner” and “Mary Weaver,” as well as “Mary and Johnny.”
Da kine: used by Hawaiian surfers to refer to anything when you can’t remember its proper name.
Dona Juanita: Spanish for “Lady Jane,” referring to the “Juana” in marijuana.
Ganja: comes from the word for hemp plant in Hindi.
Marijuana: what the plant is called in Spanish, the term is becoming less frequent in legal markets in the United States due to its affiliation with the illegal drug trade. Cannabis is now the preferred term.
Muggle: the term “muggle-head” has been used to mean “marijuana smoker” since the 1920s, though the origin of “muggle” itself is unknown.
Pot: a reference to the leaves, which are called “potiguaya” in Spanish.
Rainy day woman: thought to be a reference to the Bob Dylan song by the same name. It contains the line “Everybody must get stoned” in the chorus.
Thirteen: because the “m” in “marijuana” is the 13th letter of the alphabet.
Referring to a joint’s shape
Alligator cigarette: also a possible reference to the slow movement of the animal.
Bag of bones: or a bunch of marijuana cigarettes.
Blunt: derives from the cigar brand Phillies Blunt, the wrapper of which is often used to roll a marijuana cigarette.
Stogie: its origins deep in history, this referred to Conestoga, a strong breed of horse. Men who drove them were known as heavy smokers of cigars, which eventually came to be called “stogies.” That later became slang for an oversized marijuana cigarette.
Referring to the quality
Cabbage: refers to marijuana that’s inferior in quality, possibly looking like the vegetable.
Catnip: marijuana that’s considered to be low quality or even fake.
Chronic: a synonym of severe, it refers to particularly potent marijuana.
Dank: now referring to high-quality marijuana, it used to mean somewhat the opposite, describing something musky coming from a bog. Its ironic usage may be similar to “bad” often meaning “good” in street slang.
Nixon: an insult to the unpopular president, this is low-quality marijuana sold at a high price nonetheless.