The Street Names of Marijuana around the world

Humanity gives female names to everything beautiful and also powerful. Like those magnificent tall ships of the past, the fastest trade clippers, the Christopher Columbus’ fleet, and the name he has given to the first island he has touched in Americas, the most furious hurricanes in Caribbean bear girl’s names so often, and among others — Marijuana which is an obvious combination of two girl’s names and they are María and Juana.


The image is a credit to

Mary Jane the courtesan

Mary Jane at its turn is counted as a conversion of Spanish into English, where Mary is the replacement for María, and Jane is an equivalent for Juana, I dun’no how is that but people say so and that is how Mary Jane has appeared,

Rumors say that the name was designated artificially to fight with the word against cannabis plant. Back in the middle of the past century the Latin culture was not totally accepted by the majority of population of the American society, some say – because of Mexico, therefore a Hispanic name got suggested to play its part against the drug and that is how María y Juana got linked together to represent cannabis. For! Ever! If this version could ever be a true I can guess these two names are among the most popular female names in Spanish speaking countries in general, if not the most popular two names, and especially María, thanks to Mary, the mother of god. Anyway, the story nowadays appears merely as a fine urban legend.

For sake of bare facts, the other sources state that Marijuana-word arrived to USA even earlier, in late 1800s, and again from the same Mexico where Maria Juana used to be a slang word for both: the recreational cannabis and also for naming a random courtesan.

María and… Yohana?

A popular version for Maria’s name origin is that it is “bitter” in Hebrew also in relation to the sea (like “mar”, “mer” in ancient languages), so sources say “maria” is often related to “bitter sea”.

And there is another version that it comes from Mariam, the queen of Babylon, the gran-grand-mother of totalitarianism, and her name’s meaning was “Rebellious”. Well, okay, the sea is rebellious too, no contradiction, and this is one more version. The true story is hidden behind the ages, anyway, as usual. Then we have Yohana, the Hebrew version for Joanna or Jane or Juana, pretty much means “God’s mercy” or “God’s love”. Look, isn’t it nice that both parts of marijuana name — Maria and Juana historically (intentionally or not) reflect the very nature of the drug, which is rebellious and god’s mercy at the same exact time. Not to mention the irony that the Queen of Babylon and Marijuana look like having a serious link in etymology. Ugh.

In other languages

Porro, dagga, plan, hanf and kif. The list is endless. Sometimes it’s Marihuana, where original “j” is replaced with “h”. In South America they pronounce: Mari-uána. Silent “h”. Aparently in Russia they stress on “h” more likely it’s “Marikhuana”…

I’m sharing the best I know, don’t shoot at me. It would be cool if we grow this page together to contain the hell amount of Marijuana aliases, and the comprehensive marijuana dictionary, let me start.

Hispanic World calls it “porro”

— Marijuana word itself is used relatively freely all around in Latin America, less encoded into slang comparing to other countries, no surprise here. They just sometimes replace “j” (which is “h”-sound in Spanish but even a bit harder than “h”), it becomes Marihuana then, where “h” is a totally silent, always in Spanish, and in written they use both versions, pronounce it as: Mari-uána.

They also and f* often call it PORRO in Latin America, or FASO. Very seldomly it’s COGO as short from cogollo = bud, literally, where LL forms a “y-sound” in Spain or Mexico making a whole word sound as [cogoyo] but it is a “sh-sound” in Argentina or Uruguay, making it [cogosho].

Porro is universal anyway in the Spanish World

Porro derives from Latin “porrum” meaning literally a leek. It has landed into Spanish as “ajo porro”: ajo = garlic; ajo porro = leek. A good to know information if once you need an excuse what have you just requested in the fruit market, heh.

HANF — Marijuana in German

Social media suggests Hanf is the popular and common name for weed in Germany, or may be just most polite to be published, it stands for merely “hemp”. Honestly I am not mad, at least not mad enough to look for dank in Germany in the street, so having no forking idea how else in a street language it may be called. I believe Ze Germans have a famous sense of humour and it must be yet another funny name for marijuana.

Brazilian and Portuguese are way different except for “Maconha”

Yes, classic Portuguese was once transformed into Brazilian, these two are since then so different rather than any difference between Spanish and Spanish or English and English may exist. However for marijuana — it’s Maconha in both. Keep “H” silent like in Spanish they have it same way, while “N” becomes soft because of following silent “h”, something like if it is Macóña or Macón’ya. They also use FINO in Brazil for a joint (literally ‘thin’).

Chamba — Malawi

Oh my goodness why is there Malawi in the list? It’s because the Malawi Gold, which as it follows from its name originates from Malawi, the African country. A Pure Sativa Strain, prize-winning & highly psychoactive many sources report, and it’s not easy to spot one in the online stores.

They nickname Malawi Gold often as CHAMBA in Malawi (a more often sound rather than “malawi gold”, I’m sure, hahahaha), that chamba bears an aroma of sweet fruits also spicy, a serious pretender to be in the hall of fame of marijuana (if such existed).

Very alike to Sri-Lankan “kandi”, it’s originally a strain but the word “chamba” is also used for any recreational marijuana, even the political discussions can refer this chamba as a word to separate hemp and medical cannabis (both are legal in Malawi when licensed) from chamba (which is psychoactive, and not legal yet over there).

Malawi is a landlocked country in Southeastern Africa, sharing borders with Zambia to the west; Tanzania to the north; and Mozambique to the east, south and southwest. I can guess neighbors share the word “chamba”.

L’erba Italiano

In Italian they call marijuana “Erba” or “L’erba”, literally the Hemp. For a splif or a blunt — Spinello. It derives from Latin word for “spine”, and in modern language “spinello” stands for gemstone group united by contents of Magnesium and Aluminum, named after spine due to the shape of crystals.


For a single king-size joint they use Kosyák or Kosáya, roots from an ancient measure of length equal to roughly 2.5 meters, or my favorite phonetics is Düdka, stressing on “ü” and the word stands for a flute as of normal meaning, fragile, romantic and elegant.

Do not try to find it there unless you know a Russian friends and you trust them. The cops are mad over there, you will find nothing but trouble, and you won’t find any marijuana. The common slang name, neutral enough, used on all levels of society is Plan, it sounds with classic “a” sound alike “PLΛN”, and the word in dictionary points same meaning as plan, planning in English.

Oh yes, so right, you need to plan marijuana! Spot on y’al Russians.

For a single king-size joint they use a funny one Kosyák or Kosáya, the latter somewhat seldom or within certain social groups, and it roots most probably from the old-russian unit to measure length, “Kosaya Sazhen” is approximately 2.5 meters long. OMG, Mother Russia, this is a BIG joint indeed!

My favorite and the most romantic sound for a joint: Dudka (Düdka, stressing on “ü”) where the word stands for “flute” in normal use of the word.

Anashá — Persian/Arabic Origin

There is also a word, a very old-school one, coming most probably from the former Persian domain, then the Golden Horde, now Kazakhstan. The word is Anashá, little-bit deprecated from the wide use nowadays. Arabic sources suggest “Ana” is woman, and “Sha” is a feminine form of “Shakh”, the latter is “King” and the former is “Queen”, so Anasha means simply a Queen. Also a feminine name in India, Pakistan, etc.

“Plan” however is a universal name for weed in Russia

Another one is “ganjubás”, it originates from ganja, maybe changing the sound of “ganja buzz” into “gangubas”, Russians change sounds recklessly when import words, haha.

Ganjubas appears a little bohemian, but another one is a totally neutral yet still a slang, it’s is “travá”: neutral, no emotion, considered to be for the most civilized use, and also a very word for any wild unsorted grass too. People who think they get problems from only saying a word, they will never use none of the above, but they certainly say “trava” still hiding the real name, still avoiding to be the underground, so to say.

Dagga — South Africa

In South Africa, and in the surrounding area too, like in Botswana, places, where there is Afrikaans dialect (the mix of African languages and Dutch) — they call marijuana Dagga, a beautiful word, I love it, and it sounds like Daguh or something. They also use Zol or Zolo. In USA within the cannabis community the south-african “dagga” is already in use pretty often too.


Oh the phonetic structure of this one is the music to my heart, I cannot stand, I’m hypnotized. This is for the whole language, and for the marijuana wording consequently. Yet they are not much inventive, using L’Herbe, “the herb”, or La Beuh literally translates into “weed” as a wrong plant. Of course there’s more words for marijuana in French but just we have not spot them yet. And for hashish it is KIF, coming from Morocco.


Kif — everyone knows, mostly a word for hashish rather than marijuan in a form of buds. The word is also widely used specifically for hashish in France due to vast communication between the countries happening historically. The country is impressive indescribably beautiful, cannot forget the body check in the airport, do not even think to carry anything wrong with yourself in either direction. I love desert, and a kif in the middle of this desert is in my bucket list for sure.

Discover Majoun, the Moroccan “Love Candy”. Brilliant storms of laughter.

Weed in English?

Who on Earth wants English versions for this? but okay, for sake of giving food to search engines and to feed their reckless spyders otherwise they start biting people, haha. From my personal exploration and experience, in Britain they use “DOPE” more often than “WEED”, because weed is well known and well spread and a totally recognisable wording by those ppl who deny the plant. Many of our fellahs still complain on the situation around marijuana in UK, considering that this type of the country suggests the enthusiastic officers still hunting on kids smoking dope, news say so, but I have never seen such by my own eyes (official statement)). So, our brothers in England still need to mask weed, and this is for real. Also in UK also use a “SPLIFF” often to replace “joint”, as the latter already hides nothing. I personally love “DANK” most of all, phonetically, yet I think it’s American origin.

The street language in USA also suggests: chit, caca, dupa, grass, doobage and blunt for a big fat joint, and of course, Ganja! where the latter one is a worldwide spread, having its roots coming from India and Sri Lanka.

India and Sri Lanka

They call it Ganja over there, the whole world knows, and it is already hardly counted as a slang word, it is just a word for marijuana. Lord Shiva had used ganja, Lord Rama had used ganja, and everyone uses ganja for a million years. Everyone will understand what you want if you say “ganja”, be sure.


In Sri Lanka, however, it’s more often: Kandi, especially for a HIGH quality weed, not necessarily cultivated by men, so it may be wild, Wild, and it is W.I.L.D.!! taking its name from the highland region in the middle of the island, between Southern Sri Lanka and the former Tamil’s territory in the North (remember there was a war once?). Kandi HIGHlights the very rich and natural taste, like nowhere else, and it gets you really high, funny, with a continuous ever-lasting effect. The beautiful island and the outstanding smoking experience.


This is a new entry into this page, spotted on twitter by @ThulaniDeAfrika, and below there’s the image shared, the pure emotion. And now we know a word for marijuana will be Zolo, in Africa.

Zolo, Africa
Let me smoke my zolo in peace — by ThulaniDeAfrika

Additions please?

Mon, 06/Sep/21