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Where Did the Term “Marijuana” Come From?

The word “

Marijuana” has many different names around the globe but so far has unknown origins that where did it come from. Marijuana is the most commonly used name for the dried buds of the Cannabis plant and the oldest one as well. Marijuana is a drug that is smoked after mixing with tobacco and has a multi-billion industry in the United States.

The term seems to come from Mexico. According to some historical books, the term may have come from the Aztec language or some soldier's slang. In today’s world, both terms, “Marijuana” and “Cannabis” have been used identically, but a vociferous minority favors the less culturally problematic "cannabis."

The term is also pronounced differently in different regions like Marijuana or Marihuana. The term "marijuana" has a wide range of meanings, definitions, and legal implications around the globe. Some regions describe "marijuana" as the entire cannabis plant or any part of it, whereas others classify it as a section of the cannabis plant with high tetrahydrocannabinol concentrations. Some countries distinguish "marijuana" from "hemp" as a separate form of cannabis. The term "marihuana" was first used in Mexican Spanish and later extended to other Spanish dialects, as well as English and French.

There are different etymologies of the term. Oxford Dictionary describes its origin as Nahuatl, which is a Mexican language. Some say the term was first used in the Chinese language. The term was first used in the English language at the end of the 18th century. The earliest documented occurrence of the term in the English language, described by Oxford Dictionary, was in the book by Hubert Howe Bancroft in 1873. The name of the book was "The Native Races of the Pacific States of North America". This is how the term penetrated the English language in the US but the origins of the term are still unclear with many speculations.


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