Maybe not “laughing grass,” but…

Weed, pot, ganja, chronic: Cannabis is a drug with a lot of nicknames. That should make it easier for you to avoid the term marijuana this week if you’re discussing or partaking in 4/20 festivities.

Although “marijuana” is very commonly used, it’s a word with a racist history that traces back to efforts to demonize use of the drug in the United States. As with many things language related, there is not going to be universal agreement on the appropriate terminology, so we don’t think “marijuana” is going anywhere anytime soon. But, with so many widely understood alternatives at your disposal, we recommend choosing a synonym when possible. “Cannabis” is an especially easy choice, and “weed” and “pot” work just fine too.

A screenshot of a message from Stylebot on Slack that reads: "“Marijuana” and “cannabis” are often used interchangeably, but marijuana is the flower of the cannabis plant. Some people avoid use of “marijuana” because of its racist history, and you should consider an alternative such as “cannabis” or “weed” when appropriate. Don’t capitalize any of the terms: “Her mom smoked pot well into her 70s.” “THC” is short for tetrahydrocannabinol, the active ingredient in the drug, and is acceptable on first reference. “CBD,” short for cannabidiol, is another component of marijuana, though it does not produce a high. “CBD” is acceptable on first reference: “CVS has begun selling CBD oil.”"

And while you might find more many more alternatives as well, stick to the more widely understood terms. What’s your favorite cannabis nickname?

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