Why is Weed Called Pot: The Story Behind the Name

Table of Contents

Has it ever come across your mind why is weed called pot? Lucky for you, you are not alone! A lot of people are still wondering why is a weed called a pot. Although Cannabis itself has many variations of its name, one name that stands out the most is pot. Most people like to call marijuana “pot” because it is quite easy to pronounce and pretty straightforward if you ask me.

But for some people who have curious minds, they often ask where did this name come from? What country did it originate? In this article, we’ll take a deeper dive into why is a weed called pot and other information about the name “pot” itself.

Before we start calling Marijuana, “pot”. Readers need to know why Marijuana is even called marijuana in the first place.

Why is Weed called Pot?

Just like with any other drugs, they have a bunch of nicknames to show to cover their true names. It is for the safety of people using these illegal substances known to man. Some plant’s nicknames are rooted in their names or the plant’s etymology.

Over the years, the social acceptance and legalization of marijuana have paved the way for consumers to smoke this plant. As legalization and decriminalization of Marijuana have increased over the years, so is the curious minds of people. There are still people who are left wondering where the name came from, where it originated, and it’s whereabouts.

Marijuana is called “pot” because it was a shorter term of “Potación de guava,”, which comes from a Mexican beverage made from drinking cannabis leaves in a brand of wine.

From the Oxford dictionary as well, the word “pot” comes the word “Potación de guava,”, a Latin term which means “drink of grief”. As I’ve mentioned before the “Potación de guava,” is a Mexican beverage that is made from cannabis leaves then formed into brandy or wine.

So, there you have it. For curious minds out there or cannabis smokers who don’t know where the name “pot” originated, that’s the answer to the question!

Why is Cannabis called Marijuana?

That’s a great question! Now that you know where the term “pot” originated, this leaves us to the word Marijuana. For years, many cannabis enthusiasts and smokers dropped to the word 

Marijuana because it has a disturbing history that most cannabis smokers don’t like to bring up. Most people know marijuana more than cannabis! There’s a good reason behind that notion too.

During the year 1910, there was a Mexican revolution that led people to immigrate from Mexico to the United States. Mexican immigrants spread like wildfire in the US during these times. 

Before that revolution, Cannabis was still called cannabis. Widespread use of industrial hemp and cannabis tinctures are allowed, however – cannabis smoking wasn’t. During the time where immigrants flooded the US, there was widespread hate on them and their cannabis smoking. In turn, this led to politicians to create the name Marijuana, to avoid racial discrimination among Mexicans.

Why is Marijuana called Weed?

Now that you know where Pot and Marijuana originated, now is the time to discuss why cannabis is called weed. Cannabis a flowering plant, great thing about cannabis plants is that they can grow in the wild without much care, just like weed. However, where people started using the term is still unknown.

Other Names of Cannabis


Although the name Kush is quite new among old cannabis users, the term Kush is primarily associated with having a good quality of cannabis. The name Kush comes from the mountain range of Pakistan. In these mountain ranges where some of the most potent strains are found, is it the birthplace of a legendary strain, the Hindu Kush strain. This is where the strain name originated, so as the name “Kush”.


Although not as frequently used before because it is the other term for Heroine. Dope is a more common name for drugs like cocaine, meth, opium, and all sorts. Back in the days where using cannabis is illegal, dope is widely used. However, due to the legalization of marijuana, dope isn’t used anymore.


Without a doubt, when you talk about Ganja, you talk about the country of Jamaica. As some people would attest, both Jamaica and Ganja resonate well with each other. However, Ganja didn’t come from Jamaica. The term Ganja came from the Hindi word – “Ganjha”. And how did Ganja resonate with Jamaica? Back in the days, a British empire shipped almost 40,000 Indians and Jamaicans to serve them. When both Jamaican and Indian cultures came together, it was apparent that Ganja blends well with them, and because they smoked cannabis as well.


The term “grass” was heavily used during the late ‘70s to ‘80s period. It was coined grass for its grassy appearance. Plus, the term grass didn’t give anxiety to smokers as it was for of a slang term for people not to be suspicious of them because using marijuana during these years were illegal, and only legal to some select state and countries.

However, it is important to note that cannabis is mentioned in the Hindu sacred manuscript “Atharvaveda”, which says that cannabis is one of the five blessed plants of India. 


Marijuana. Pot, Ganja, Cannabis, you name it. There are a lot of slang terms used when associated with Marijuana. One this is true, all those words originated from the cannabis itself. How ironic it is that Cannabis isn’t as popular as its nicknames are. Marijuana has been a staple name for people way back and up until now. 

The legalization and decriminalization of cannabis should pave the way for even more nicknames being generated. Regardless of what its nickname is, the use of cannabis is here to stay. Moreover, studies have shown that using cannabis has a tremendous impact on people’s health. For me, as long as they provide people with therapeutic healing, they should be legalized in many parts of the world. By now, you know why is a weed called the pot. 

Share this
Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on pinterest
Share on email

Subscribe To Our Newsletter

Subscribe to our news letter today to receive latest news, tutorials and special offers right directly in your inbox!

We respect your privacy. Your information is safe and will not be shared