The Street Names of Marijuana around the world

Humanity gives female names to everything beautiful and also powerful. Like the magnificent tall ships of the past, the fastest trade clippers, the most furious hurricanes in the Caribbean bear girl’s names so often, and among other powerful sounds — Marijuana, which is an obvious combination of two girl’s names, 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, that is how Mary Jane has appeared.

The urban legend say that the name of marijuana was designated artificially to fight with the word against the cannabis plant. Back in the middle of the past century, the Latin culture was hardly accepted by the American society, some say — because of Mexico. Therefore, a Hispanic name got suggested playing its part against the drug, and that is how María y Juana got linked together to represent marijuana. Needless to say, these two names are among the most popular female names in Spanish-speaking countries in general — and especially María, thanks to Mary, the mother of God.

Other sources state that the Marijuana-word appeared in the USA even earlier, in the late 1800s, from Mexico again, where the double name “Maria Juana” was used as a slang word for both — recreational marijuana and for naming a random courtesan.

María and… Yohana?

MARIA — derives from ancient origin Merriam or Mariam. It means “sea” and extends to “rebellious” because the sea is such and logically correlates to “freedom”. Imagine seafarers — they symbolize freedom. Those who have ever sailed may confirm the freedom the sea provides, and you already recognize a part of Maria, Mary or Merriam in words “MARitime” and “MERmaid”.

JUANA — is the Spanish version of Yohana, Joana or Jane. The name starts with “Yah”, the name of God in Hebrew, or “Jah” as Rastafari followers refer to Him. And it continues adding “Ana”, shortened from Anahita, the ancient goddess of love (3500 BC). The latter is reflected in Santa Ana’s personality, who was the grandmother of Jesus. Ana, Anna, Anne translates as “love”.

Maria FREEDOM + Jah GOD + Ana LOVE. This is Marijuana.

Mary Jane is the same but in English => MARY+JAH+ANNE.

In other languages

Porro, dagga, anasha, hanf and kif. The list is endless. Sometimes it is Marihuana, where the originally hard “j” is replaced with a softer “h”. In South America they pronounce it as Mari-uána. Silent “h”. Apparently, in Russia they stress on “h” more likely it comes as “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 compared to other countries, no surprise here. They sometimes totally replace “j”, which is “h”-sound in Spanish but even harder than “h”, but replaced it becomes Marihuana, where “h” is a totally silent, pronounce it as: Mari-uána.

PORRO for marijuana or marijuana joint has a wider use in Latin America and Spain than the original “porro” which is leek as in the dictionary. More seldom is FASO. Very seldom is COGO shortened from “cogollo”, literally “bud”. Where LL forms a “y-sound” in Spain and Mexico making a whole word sounding as [cogoyo], but it is a “sh-sound” in Argentina or Uruguay producing the sounding [cogosho].

Porro is universal in Spanish-speaking countries, and safer if you know it is “leek”

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 a strong excuse about what you have just requested in the fruit market, ha-ha.

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 marijuana in Germany in the street, so having no idea how else in a street language it may be called. I believe Ze Germans have a famous sense of humor 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, since then they have been more different rather than any difference between Spanish and Spanish or English and English may exist. However, for marijuana — it is Maconha in both. Keep “H” always silent like in Spanish, they use it the same way, while “N” becomes soft because of the following silent “h”. So, it’ll be Macóña, if written in a Spanish style, or Macón’ya, applying the English transliteration. 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 of 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 rather than “malawi gold”, I’m sure), 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 yet legalized 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 Doudka, stressing on u-sound and the word stands for a flute as for the normal meaning, fragile, romantic and elegant.

Do not try to find any dope unless you have Russian friends, and you trust them. The cops are mad in the country, you will find nothing but trouble, more important, you won’t find any marijuana. The common slang name, neutral enough, used on all levels of society is Plan. It sounds like a plan, and the word in the dictionary points to the same meaning: plan, planning, as in English. Oh yes, right, you need to plan marijuana!

For a single king-size joint they use a funny one Kosyák or Kosáya, the latter somewhat seldom existing only within certain social groups, it takes its root from the Old Russian unit to measure length before the metric system, “Kosaya Sazhen” is approximately 2.5 meters long. OMG, Mother Russia, this is a BIG joint indeed!

My favorite and most romantic sound for a joint is Doudka, stressing on u-sound, where the word stands for “flute” in the normal use of the word.

Anashá — Persian and Arabic Origin

Another very traditional slang word for marijuana — Anashá — is coming from the former Persian domain, then the Golden Horde, now Kazakhstan.

The Arabic and Persian sources suggest ANA stands for a woman or the goddess of love, and SHA (KING) is a feminine form of SHAKH (QUEEN), so Anashá simply translates into a Queen. Also, a popular feminine name even now in India, Pakistan, etc. Just like Maria, Mary, Juana or Jane.

Plan is the universal name for weed in Russia, but “travá” is the most neutral and polite one

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

Ganjubas appears a little bohemian, but another one is a totally neutral yet still a slang, it’s is “travá” — so neutral, that there is no emotion in it, considered to be for the most civilized use. The word itself is for any unsorted grass or a lawn. People thinking they are getting problems from only saying a word, will never use none of the above but they will certainly say “trava”. Such still hides the real name of marijuana, showing the speaker’s distancing of 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 that I love. In the United States within the cannabis community the South-African “dagga” is already in use pretty often too. They also use Zolo as a street name of marijuana.


The phonetic structure of French is the music to my heart, I cannot stand, I’m hypnotized, it makes my timbers shiver, as for the whole language. However, they are not much inventive, using L’HERBE (literally “the herb”, mind that “h” is silent) or LE BEUH, literally “the weed” as a wrong plant. For hashish, French use KIF importing the word from Morocco.


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

Moroccan Majoun

Discover MAJOUN by the link — the Moroccan Love Candy cooking recipe based on kif and promising the brilliant storms of laughter 👍 👍

Weed in English?

Who wants English versions of marijuana street names? As for my personal exploration and experience, in Britain they use “DOPE” more often than “WEED” because weed is a well-known, well-spread and well-recognizable word by those people who deny the plant. Many fellahs still complain about the situation around marijuana in the UK, considering that this type of country suggests the enthusiastic officers still hunting for kids smoking dope, as news says, but I have never seen such by my own eyes (my official statement). Anyhow, our brothers in England need to mask weed, and this is for real. Also, in the UK the usage of “SPLIFF” occurs more often than “JOINT”, despite the latter being hiding nothing. I personally love “DANK” most of all, phonetically, but I think it is of American origin.


In India they use “Ganja” to describe marijuana, the whole world knows it is the most original name, hardly accounted as a slang word. GANJA is just an Indian word for marijuana. Lord Shiva had used ganja, Lord Rama had used ganja, Lord Ganesha — definitely had, being a symbol of happiness and harmony, did you see him? I think he is eternally stoned. Everyone has been using ganja in India for a million years. Everyone will understand what you want if you say “ganja”, be sure. Or — “Bhang” which is the very word for hashish in India as for the religious purpose.

BHANG in India

This is how they call a type of hashish in India, meaning the religious idea in the first place, following the recommendation of Lord Shiva himself. Numbers of Bhang Shops are spotted in VARANASSI, the religious center, where the Indian Government treats hashish and marijuana use as legal use for the religious purpose (do not forget to check the laws before applying any action).

Hashish Bhang India - Cannabis Religious Purpose in Varanassi, India

The man on the photo smokes Bhang. Technically speaking, Bhang is not grass but more likely HASHISH. They also cook Infused Milk loaded with marijuana, hashish and spices which is also referred to as BHANG.

Sri Lanka

In Sri Lanka the name for marijuana is KANDI for a high quality weed, not necessarily cultivated by men, it may be Very Wild both literally and figuratively! ツ

KANDI takes its name from the highland region in the middle of the island, between Southern Sri Lanka and the former Tamil 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, rilli-rilli high and funny, with a continuous, ever-lasting effect. The beautiful island is Sri Lanka, the holy land as it translates into English, where the biblical Eden was due to the legend, and where I felt the outstanding smoking experience.


This is a new entry into this page, spotted on twitter by @ThulaniDeAfrika, and below there is the image shared, the pure emotion. We already know a word for marijuana in Africa will be zolo.

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

If you have any additions, corrections or anything in relation to this post, or anything positive to share about marijuana or the names of marijuana around the world, please feel free to contact us.

Peace and love.

Thu, 23/Sep/21