Ever wonder where the term “weed” came from?

February 2, 2016

Ever wonder where the term “weed” came from?

Marijuana has been known to us by many, many names. Mary Jane, grass, pot, ganja and others have all referred to one beloved plant that has become the recent focus of many people. One of the less obscure nicknames is “weed”. So where did that come from?

Surprisingly, the term “weed” didn’t originate as a reference to the marijuana plant itself. While the word “marijuana” means “the weed that intoxicates”, the terminology “weed” wasn’t the same. In the late 1920s, the word first was used as a synonym of the marijuana cigarette and the act of smoking it. This was a time in American history where more and more people began smoking “weed” a.k.a. marijuana cigarettes with the onset of The Great Depression in 1929. Weed provided some stress relief to those living through the depression and did so without breaking the bank or causing conditions such as cirrhosis like alcohol could.  As far as drugs go, marijuana was cheap and safe. It was during this time that marijuana had gotten into the hands of New York’s high society and was no longer limited to folks living in inner city slums.

Marijuana later became more mainstream in the United States after Jazz artists latched on to the drug by the 1940s. Weed was said to have allowed artists to express themselves more freely, creating an unbeatable jazz scene that could be appreciated by everyone who listened. A “blast of weed” or two (drags on the marijuana cigarette), allowed musicians to freely function and tap into their talents without the potentially heavy effects that alcohol is known to have.

So the next time you have a hankering for your favorite plant, take a minute to evoke the past and relish in the thought that no matter what marijuana is referred to, we are part of the modern marijuana movement and are participating in history in the making.

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