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  • Writer's picturechadwalkaden

Five Cannabis word and their origins


The word “hemp” is of Germanic origins adopted into Old English. According to the Etymology Online Dictionary, “hemp” comes from the Old English word “hænep,” referring to Cannabis

sativa. It originates from the Proto-Germanic word “hanapiz,” which is also the word source of the Old Saxon word “hanap,” the Old Norse word “hampr,” the Old High German word “hanaf,” and the German word “hanf



While countries in northern Africa use different terms, in South Africa and surrounding areas, “dagga” is commonly used to describe cannabis. Dagga is the Afrikaans word for cannabis that became widely used in the 1660s. Dagga derives from the word “dacha” in the Khoekhoe language, used by Hottentot people, and is a term used to describe cannabis and other various psychoactive plant species such as Leonotis leonurus, a smokable shrub also called lion’s tail.



According to English Words of Arabic Ancestry, the earliest known archived record of the word

“hashish” is from 1598, but it has been commonly used since the Middle Ages. Hashish comes from “assassin,” originating from the 13th-century French and Italian words “assissini” and “assassini,” and transforming from the Arabic “hashīshīn” in the 12th century.



The ancient Sanskrit word for cannabis is exceptionally old and dates back to the 5th century BC or 400 CE. According to Cannabis: A History, the word “bhang” and other variations became popular among Hindi-speaking cultures. The word was first mentioned in 1596 by Dutch merchant Jan Huyghen van Linschoten. The Shaivite tradition, for instance, believes that bhang should be given as an offering to Shiva.



Literally speaking, pakalōlō, the Hawaiian word for cannabis, means “numbing tobacco.” The Hawaiian “paka” means tobacco, and “lōlō” means numbing or getting high. It has been in use since at least 1842, when it appeared in the Hawaiian language newspaper Ka Nonanona. It’s also the reason for the name of the cannabis brand lōlō.

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