What do you call it? Weed, Pot, Herb, Marijuana, Cannabis or what?

We’ve heard from many people that using the “proper name” Cannabis helps to elevate the conversation and remove the stigma of terms like “marijuana.” There is quite a history of the vilification of Cannabis and the origin of the word “marijuana.”

We asked some women in the Cannabis industry how they referred to, well, Cannabis. Here’s what they told us and why.

Ashley Woodbury, CEO and Co-Founder, Mindful Cannabis Consulting
I call it “cannabis”…it seems to be a more culturally accepted term than “marijuana” in the current political atmosphere.

Roni Stetter, The Hurt Guru
I try to use the word ‘cannabis’ whenever possible! To the untrained ear, it can sound stuffy or science-y, but honestly, it’s just the proper term. Occasionally, more colloquially, I’ll use ‘weed’ because for some reason I just can’t stand the word ‘pot.’


“For some reason I just can’t stand the word ‘pot.'”
-Roni Stetter, The Hurt Guru

Pamela N. Epstein, Esq., LL,Green Wise Consulting, LLC 
Ahhhh, this comes backs to the optics and knowing your audience. Cannabis the scientific name of the plant and is the most respectable. However, when we are fighting to remove the stigma I want to see a world where none of the names associated with cannabis are taboo … it is marijuana, pot, weed, ganja, kush etc.

THEY ALL ARE MEDICATION. No matter what you call it or how you ingest it, it’s medication. One quote I’ve read and resonated deeply was “You may not believe that cannabis cures cancer… Luckily, cannabis doesn’t care what you think, and cures cancer anyway.”

“You may not believe that cannabis cures cancer… Luckily, cannabis doesn’t care what you think, and cures cancer anyway.”

Dr. Emily Earlenbaugh PhD., Fleurish Farms
I call it Cannabis, usually. There are a million reasons, but it’s the word that seems to make people feel the most comfortable, and is used more often in reference to the medicinal use of the plant.

Angel, MaryJane Gift Boxes
MaryJane because of the song, “Maryjane” by Rick James.


Natasha Irizarry, Co-Founder & CEO of Stashbox
I call it cannabis… because it’s pretty. Sometimes I call it all of the names… it just depends on who I’m around!

Jessica Catalano, Author of The Ganja Kitchen Revolution
I call it all of the above including “ganja”. I really appreciate all the different names and why they came to be in our culture.

Suzanne Shpall, Highland Pantry
We call it Cannabis, but I also call it flower because its beautiful!

Jenna Bartell, West Coast Distributors
Cannabis and “delicious!”


“Cannabis and delicious!”
-Jenna Bartell, West Coast Distributors

Catherine A. Montgomery, California for Cannabis & Titan Smokescreen
CANNABIS. Because all the other slang terms used to describe this healing plant buy into Reefer Madness, cultural stereotypes and outdated thinking.

Cindy, co-owner of Treat Yourself
I call it cannabis. I think the reason for that is because it feels like a more general term. If I say weed, or pot, I think of the plant itself. If I say cannabis I can be referring to the plant, extracts, edibles, etc.

Heather Hoffman, Pura Vida
I usually use “cannabis”, also “herb”, and sometimes “weed.”

cannabis smoke.jpg

Veronica Santarelli, Senior VP of Business Development & Government Relations for Grassp; Advisory Board Member for Women Grow – San Diego Chapter
Cannabis – always, because it’s the scientific term.

Sharon Letts, Writer/Producer for Secret Garden Productions
I was raised in the age of the 1960s and 70s in Southern California and still often refer to it as “weed” on a personal level, but for my work it’s always the correct botanical name of cannabis – never the given slang of marijuana. That nickname [marijuana] was born from hate and misinformation, and it needs to go away now, in my humble opinion.

My series of essays (and subsequent book I’m working on), Educated Stoner, has been criticized for the use of the word “stoner,” but I identified as a stoner for years before I was educated on the subject.  At the very least, it’s a conversation starter.

So what do YOU call it?

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