Even though cannabis use has been widespread practice about the globe for thousands of years, the names and neologisms reserved for the plant have evolved alongside human culture. The meandering etymology of the plant’s root words traces back centuries, and today’s widespread terms and slang have the energy to sway the public’s perception of all factors weed.
A lot of of the words we use for cannabis carry historical baggage — and the usage of particular words in today’s legal landscape is usually up for debate. “Cannabis” has been the scientific Contemporary Latin name for the genus of aromatic plants such as cannabis sativa and cannabis indica considering the fact that at least 1728. Tracing the word’s etymological origin, having said that, is a substantially far more tricky activity. The Greeks referred to as it kannabis, or κάνναβης, but the earliest records have been most likely transcribed from a Scythian or Thracian word. And there is no shortage of theories of the earliest origins of the word. “Cannabis” was also the preferred term for the tincture remedy-alls located in 19th century pharmacies.
The earliest attested usage of the words resembling “marijuana” dates back to an 1873 book by Hubert Howe Bancroft and an 1894 document. In 1905, Punch Magazine and the Pacific Drug Critique started applying words like “marihuana,” followed by a coast-to-coast anti-marihuana mania that unfolded more than the subsequent 3 decades in the kind of Reefer Madness. The contemporary cannabis neighborhood is split on regardless of whether or not we really should continue to use the “M” word, a term rooted in racist American prohibitionist techniques.
As quite a few currently know, Harry J. Anslinger promoted the Spanish-sounding word to additional his agenda to outlaw the plant. Shortly ahead of alcohol prohibition dissolved in 1933, Anslinger was appointed Commissioner of the Federal Bureau of Narcotics, and didn’t hesitate to blame Mexicans and folks of colour for smoking pot. Other people blame William Randolph Hearst’s influence as a publisher to market an anti-cannabis campaign, as effectively as anti-Mexican hysteria. Hearst’s biased news articles insisted that marijuana induced sexually deviant behavior, satanism, arson, and violence, and he profiled Mexicans as the culprits. A lot of now think that Anslinger, Hearst, and Andrew Mellon colluded to sink the hemp sector, paper’s competitor.
More than time, the perception of pot has changed, as effectively as the words we use for it. “The Devil’s Lettuce” gradually became a funny, harmless drug for “stoners” and hippies, and then once again evolved into a medicinal plant that every person makes use of. Right now, there are hundreds of colloquialisms and euphemisms we use for the plant, and most folks are really familiar with the myriad of weed slang across American culture. Right here are a couple of variations of cannabis terminology and how the words have been formed and adapted more than time.
The word “hashish” originated from the Arabic word حشيش مخدر (hasheesh). The very first attested use of the word was located in a propaganda-filled pamphlet from Cairo, Egypt dating back to 1123 CE — utilised to blame a certain sect of folks, the Nizari Muslims, for consuming hashish. Sound familiar? The use of hash as an intoxicant most likely started to emerge in the Middle East as early as A.D. 900, and then gradually started spreading worldwide. Inside a couple of hundred years, hashish bans have been in spot in many components of the globe. Historians regularly disagree more than regardless of whether or not the word “assassin” is derived from the word “hashish.” Marco Polo’s records described foreign folks like the Order of Hashashins in Northern Persia consuming a highly effective drug as element of a rite of passage, but components of that story may possibly have been injected into the narrative or invented later on. By the 19th century, use of the word “hashish” had spread to Western culture, as observed in texts like 1857’s The Hasheesh Eater.
Folks that are from Hawaii — such as former President Barack Obama — know pot b its Hawaiian slang name, pakalolo. Via higher college, Obama was a member of a pot-smoking collective referred to as the Choom Gang. “Choom” is an islander word which means “to smoke pot.” “Paka” signifies tobacco, and “lolo” signifies stupid, dumb, or crazy in Hawaiian, so you are actually saying “wacky tobacky” when you say pakalolo. Fairly easy stuff. Provided the reality that the state is attempting to legalize cannabis, and that common fruity cannabis cultivars flourish on the island, this is a word that you really should add to your vocabulary.
Kief, kif or keef — originating from the Arabic word  كيف (kayf) — signifies either “intoxication” or “pleasure.” Historically, kief was consumed in quite a few types, ranging from smokable preparations to mahjoun, a beautiful ancient Moroccan hash jam. For Americans now, kief is just the higher-THC dust that collects in the bottom section of your grinder, but the word itself is substantially older.
In South Africa, locals get in touch with weed“dagga,” which is the official Afrikaans term for cannabis. The name comes from the Khoikhoi root word “dacha,” which referred to nomadic folks who after roamed the region. According to some sources, dagga has been utilised in the area considering the fact that the 1670s. South Africa is not that far off from America in terms of heartless prohibition. The assholes operating South Africa’s eradication system in the 1990s doused dagga fields with paraquat, a poison. The deplorable actions have been covered in depth by publications like Higher Occasions.
“Ganja” and “Bhang”
The use of the word “ganja” comes from the Hindi word गांजा, which itself was inherited from an ancient Sanskrit word. In Northern India, processed pot is identified as charas, or the nearby word for hashish. A hugely widespread kind of cannabis in India, having said that, is bhang — a milk-primarily based cannabis tea. Words like “bhanga” started appearing in Sanskrit about at least 1000 C.E, and, in ancient texts, Shiva was identified as “Lord of Bhang.” Right now, it is widespread to obtain variations of “bhang,” such as the common drink bhang lassi. Commonly, Indian locals refer to cannabis as “bhang” in just about each kind and preparation. Devout Sadhus nonetheless consume the beverage and recognize its sacred nature. For some cause, use of the word “ganja” caught on in Jamaica, and it became a single of the island’s prefered terms for weed.
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