The Adventures of the Word Marijuana

After reading through several different articles, papers, and other ancient forms of documentation across the Internet I have found that the Sino-Platonic paper Series research on the origins of marihuana to be the most informative of them all.
Most of the information provided was done through an extensive research paper via Kingston University, Surrey, UK. The documentation of this research is brought to us by the Sino-Platonic Papers series edited by Victor H Mair. Victor H Mair is an Editor at the Department of East Asian Languages and Civilizations at the University of Pennsylvania in the United States.

The purpose of these Sino-Platonic papers is to "make available to specialists and the interested public the results of research that, because of its unconventional or controversial nature, might otherwise go unpublished. Basically guys, these papers are created by collegiate and scholarly research professionals and students on subjects that are not currently ‘popular’ in modern society, such as research on the origins of the word ‘Marihuana’.

Among the most prevalent drugs throughout history – Tobacco, Hashish, Cocaine - Hashish or varying versions of Marihuana have been present since times dating back to the early A.D period. This information has been gathered from mummified tissue remains such as in hair, skin, muscle, brain, teeth and bones of the corpses found in Pre-Columbian Peruvians and Egyptians.

We’ve also found several pieces of literature and references to the word marijuana. Often these references and literary pieces give details of the plant’s effects on the user in conjunction with the commonly used name of the plant for the region. The cannabis plant’s origins point at Kazakhstan being the place where the plant’s world domination started. The plant seemed to go from China to Spain and Africa. There seems to be a bit of blurriness about exactly when the plant spread to Spain but the reasons were clear – Hemp was a solid building material for sailors and builders alike. The Chinese artisan migrating to Africa to help build the ships for the Spanish slave trade possibly spread hemp seeds to Africa’s coasts. Then the slaves and Spanish planted hemp seeds once more for sails and building materials. They also used the seeds as food. Chinese workers went to Mexico in the 17th century before those to California. After hitting Mexico it’s thought that the plant made it’s way up through Mexico into the Americas through the use of the native people in the region and Moors influence.

The Portuguese themselves brought hemp seed to Brazil to grow as a source of fibre. Once the plant began to grow the African salves prevalent in the area would have used the plant the same way they had in their native lands and therefore referring to it by the plant’s name in their native language. Islam reached West Africa by 900 AD, almost 600 years before the beginning of the trans-Atlantic slave trade and, if not established earlier, and it is thought that the use of cannabis as an intoxicant likely followed the spread of Islam and Middle Eastern culture through trade. This theory can be argued due to pre-Columbian transatlantic contacts with the Americas and it’s thought to be possible that cannabis reached the Americas from Africa or even possibly the Mediterranean before its introduction by the Portuguese.

Below you can see a documented timeline of how the plant came to be what it is today and what a long journey it’s been on.

BC 2050 – BC1050
• Renowned Ethno Botanist - Richard Evans Schultes estimated cannabis’s introduction to the African content during this period.
• However, physical evidence did not present itself of the plant reaching the African content before the period of AD 1310 – AD 1450.

115 – 1500
• Scientists Parsche, Balabanova, and Pirsig found THC in 39 of 60 Mummified remains in Peru.

1800 - Pipiltzintzintli - Older
o Reference: Jose Luis Diaz
o Origin: Language of the Aztecs and modern Mexican Amerindians
o Meaning: Cannabis – Also possibly pertains to the plant Salvia Divinorum

1894 - Mariguan
o Origin: Scribner’s Magazine – “The American Congo” - Possible Indian Name
o Earliest known reference to the cannabis plant by John G. Bourke

1905 - Marihuma
o Origin: Punch Magazine - Sino-Platonic Series Research

1905 - Mariahuana
o Origin: Pacific Drug Review - Sino-Platonic Series Research

1912 - Marihuano
o Origin: The American Practitioner – An Indian Name

1914 - Marahuana
o Origin: The L.A. Times – A drug peddler’s term

1933 - Maraguango
o Origin: The Military Surgeon – ‘Provincialism’

The following names refer to the word 'cannabis' or 'marijuana' and have unknown dates:

Indracana – Date Unknown
o Origin: Sanskrit and Hindi literature
o Meaning: The food of Indra

Vijaya – Date Unknown
o Origin: Sanskrit and Hindi literature
o Meaning: Victory

Turkic esrar or ‘The Shrub of understanding’
o Origin: Franz Rosenthal’s study of hemp in medieval Islamic culture
o Meaning: ‘secrets’

Ma (ren) Hua
o Origin: Chinese
o Meaning: Hemp (seed) flowers

Additional 40 phrases for Hemp – Date Unknown
o Origin: Ancient Vedic scriptures of India with the help of the Monier-Williams’ Sanskrit-English Dictionary

Maconha; Liama; Diamba
o Origin: Brazilian – Portuguese
o Meaning: Marijuana

Makana
o Origin: Bantu dialect – Angola – West Africa
o Meaning: Marijuana

Gage
o Origin: Jazz Age Term

Muggles
o Origin: Jazz Age Term

Cannabis
o Origin: Modern - Unknown

Marijuana
o Origin: Mexico

Mary J or MJ
o Origin: Modern – Mispronunciation of Marijuana as known as a ‘Hobson Jobson' - a loan word from another language based on similarity of the sound. An Abbreviation of the word: Mary Jane

Mary Jane
o Origin: Modern – Mispronunciation of Marijuana as known as a ‘Hobson Jobson' - a loan word from another language based on similarity of the sound.

MMJ
o Origin: Modern – “Medicinal Mary Jane” as known a mispronunciation of Marijuana as known as a ‘Hobson Jobson' - a loan word from another language based on similarity of the sound.

Pot
o Origin: Modern – Another way of American using slang to say “cannabis” or “ marijuana”

Weed
o Origin: Modern – Another way of American using slang to say “cannabis” or “ marijuana”

Smoke
o Origin: Modern – Another way of American using slang to say “cannabis” or “ marijuana”

Herb
o Origin: Modern – Another way of American using slang to say “cannabis” or “ marijuana”

Medicine
o Origin: Some American patients 100% refer to the cannabis plant as medicine as that’s what they use it for.

Ganja – Gunja – Gunjha
o Origin: Modern – Another way of using a Dravidian term to say “cannabis” or “ marijuana”

Shiva
o Origin: Modern – Another way of American using slang to say “cannabis” or “ marijuana”

Flower
o Origin: Modern – Another way of American using slang to say “cannabis” or “ marijuana”

Skunk
o Origin: Modern – Another way of American using slang to say “cannabis” or “ marijuana”

Dope
o Origin: Out of Date – This is an old term use in the early to late 1900’s in America to say the word “cannabis” or “ marijuana”

Hash or Hashish
o Origin: Old/Modern - Middle East, Western Asia and South Asia

Blunt
o Origin: Modern - Another way of American using slang to say “Cannabis or Marijuana Cigarette”

Reefer
o Origin: Out of Date – This is an old term use in the early to late 1900’s in America to say the word “cannabis” or “ marijuana”

Jay or J
o Origin: Modern - Another way of American using slang to say “Cannabis or Marijuana Cigarette”

Doobie
o Origin: Out Of Date - Another way of American using slang to say “Cannabis or Marijuana Cigarette”

Pakalolo
o Origin: Modern – Hawaiian slang term use to describe “cannabis” or “ marijuana”

Mejorana or possible slang term – Mejorana chino
o Origin: per-Columbian Spanish word
o Meaning: Marijuana

Oregano Chino
o Origin: Mexican Slang
o Meaning: Chinese Oregano

Sources
http://www.sino-platonic.org/complete/spp153_marijuana.pdf
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Indra
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Marijuana_(word)
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Moors
http://forum.wordreference.com/showthread.php?t=1040943
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hashish