Cannabis Slang Throughout History: Part 2

Cannabis Slang Throughout History Part 2
Cannabis Slang Throughout History Part 2

Photo by Heidi Kaden on Unsplash



Hello and welcome back to Cannabis Slang Throughout History. If you haven’t read part one I definitely suggest you go back and have a look. There are so many slang terms that I either hadn’t heard before or just didn’t realise how old they were. Drug slang has always been a rich area, partly because of people trying to talk about drugs subtly and also just because it’s fun to come up with nicknames for things so people think you’re a cool guy. Last time we left off in the 60s through to the 80s so that’s where we shall start. 


1960s – 1980s (Continued)


So last time we began talking about how the 60s was a real renaissance for cannabis. The hippies were coming out in full force and the general social attitude towards weed was becoming more and more popular. This came with some much nicer slang. I mentioned last time that this was when grass came about, celebrating the natural aspects of cannabis. This also gave rise to terms like flower and herb. Here we also see a return to the more medicinal aspects of weed and it being highlighted in this terminology. 

This was also when cannabis cooking gained in popularity due to a reprint of the famous cookbook by Alice B. Tolkas that contained a cannabis brownie recipe. The first time the book was printed in the 50s the hashish brownies were actually left out of the print. Not only was the reprint released in the 60s but the film ‘I Love You Alice B. Toklas’ spread the word in 1968. 

Cannabis was also becoming generally more present in popular media which is where the slang name Rainy Day Woman came from. It’s the name of a Bob Dylan song due to the line about everybody getting stoned. Getting stoned was actually a pretty recent concept when it came to meaning smoking weed. Whether the song was actually about cannabis or not isn’t really relevant I suppose. Young people latched onto the term and I honestly think it’s one of the prettiest colloquialisms so far. 

Let’s move on to the 1970s when cannabis enthusiasts became interested in the origin of the plant as well as smoking it. This is where the term ‘Kush’ came into play thanks to the hippies getting really into Indian Hindu Kush strains. More and more strains were coming into America now that people were less aggressive about the plant. A journey labelled the ‘hippie trail’ became popular and was responsible for many of these strains becoming popular. The trail wound its way through India, Nepal, Pakistan, Afghanistan and Iran. It became a point of pride for those in the hippie community to have completed the trail and experienced all of these amazing cannabis strains at its source. 

Around this time we also got the phrase “wacky baccy” which is pretty self explanatory. However, it is one of my absolute favourites as now my flat mate and I can have this exchange every time I smoke;


“Is that wacky tobacky?”

“The wackiest!” 


Which if you’re not familiar is from that episode of the Simpsons where Homer untangles a repressed memory about finding a corpse. That exchange is very important to me so thanks the 70s. 

I know it’s not a term for cannabis but the very well known ‘420’ actually appeared in the 70s. I seem to remember writing an article about the origin of the term but let’s have a recap. It is thought that the term came from a fun coming of age style high school caper involving a group of teen boys. They heard tell of a plot of weed plants that had been left unattended and they met at 4.20pm every day after school to search for it. This is the widely accepted story, I have no idea how true it is but it sure is fun. It easily could have just been slang the boys used because they just met at that time to get high. 


1990s – Present 


Interestingly this time period isn’t rife with fun new terms for weed. It was really the eras where it was very illegal and very socially taboo that people needed all the mad slang to hide what they were talking about but really we’ve reverted back to ‘weed’ for the most part. The 90s really brought the word weed back and also pot which had been floating around without being that popular for a few decades. Pot was a pretty big one, especially with Americans. You can tell because so many elder stoners still use it unironically, sorry if that applies to you I love you and you are very important. 

Some new slang came with new methods such as ‘dabbing’ or ‘hotboxing’ but we really didn’t get much more inventive than that. 


Funniest Slang 


Ok you’ve all been very good and now you get a list of the silliest slang words for weed. 


  • Devil’s Lettuce – Pretty self explanatory from around the 60s – 80s era. I just think they are super cute. 
  • Burning Bush – This is apparently Snoop Dogg’s favourite phrase and I’m pretty into it. However, I’m a child and always find the word bush funny. 
  • Doobie – This is a cute classic but the origin is what I love. Apparently it came from Scooby “Dooby” Doo because the character Shaggy was obviously always high. 
  • Fine Stuff – Ok, hear me out, imagine someone saying “Excuse me sir could I perchance purchase an eighth of the fine stuff”. Makes me happy anyway. 
  • Ham – Not a clue about this one but it seems to be real, and I like it. 
  • Jazz Cabbage – Once again you can see where this came from but it might be my favourite. It’s cute and ridiculous, which are two of my favourite things. 
  • Sin Spinach – Oh my, I was wrong, this is my favourite. I love it so much I want to cry. 
  • Magic Dragon – Likely because of Puff the magic dragon who lived by the sea. This is good because I like both magic and dragons being associated with getting stoned. 



Written by Tasha Porritt


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