Why Is Marijuana Called Pot?

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Written by Sindy Brent on 05/05/2022.
Data Last Updated: 05/31/2024.

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There are a lot of slang names for cannabis in the English language, and some of them are quite strange. One of these words is pot. There are a lot of questions about this slang term – why is marijuana called pot, and what does pot have to do with a kitchen accessory? We’ll talk about this later.

The history of the jargon

The history of the jargon - pot

It’s all about the southern origin of the cannabis sativa plant, which smoking culture came to the US from Mexico. It all started in 1910 when during the Mexican revolution, a huge number of emigrants rushed to the United States in search of a better life. It was the Mexicans who brought with the habit of using dried flowers of the plant.

Emigrant social groups were directly associated with the use of this drug at that time.

But what does all this information have to do with the fact that marijuana is “pot” in slang? Don’t let the term mislead you – it has nothing to do with the kitchen kettle.

Why is the weed called pot?

Why is the weed called pot?

The main version of the origin of the term pot is that the jargon is derived from the Spanish word “potaguaya”, which literally means cannabis leaves. In the Mexican dialect of Spanish, there is also the term “potacion de guaya”, which refers to an alcoholic drink made from hemp and guava. Linguists consider this version of the origin of jargon as the most adequate and justified by facts.

When did the term become popular? Jargon entered the daily life of cannabis lovers in the 1930s. It was during this historical period that weed began to gain popularity as an alternative to alcohol as a way to relax. Today, the term pot is used in relation to any cannabis products intended for smoking (cones, leaves, resin). The word has gained a universal meaning and has become very popular.

Pot and medical cannabis

One of the most popular questions on the web is whether medical cannabis can be called pot? Many people are misled by the huge number of terms that are used to call dried cones of cannabis. Despite the fact that medical marijuana varieties are a special niche in the cannabis market, medical cannabis can be safely called a pot. If you use this word, you will be easily understood by anyone who has used or is using pot for medicinal or recreational purposes. Moreover, you are likely to be understood by people far from cannabis, since the term has really become widespread.

What Other Names Can Cannabis Have?

What Other Names Can Cannabis Have?

Pot is not the only slang word for cannabis. There are plenty of other nicknames. You’ve already heard of weed, but what about Mary Jane, Chronic, Grass, Boom, Herp, Skunk, Cheeba, or Dope? There are about 41 other slang words, and they all appear mostly for geographical reasons. The formation of slang is influenced by the dialect, language, place of residence, cultural characteristics, and the contingent that uses these words. Many are wondering why weed can be called Mary Jane. The answer is simple – “Mary Jane” is an English variation of “Maria Juana” (which literally can be spelled like “marijuana”).


The word “pot” is a universal jargon that can be safely used for all smoking forms of cannabis. In the United States, the term is quite common, so you can use it everywhere, knowing that others will understand exactly what you mean.

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