Monday, June 1, 2020
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The Oxford English Dictionary Just Got High On Reefer Madness

Language constitutes reality, so it stands to reason when the country is afoot with change around the way we perceive and discuss cannabis, so too would the words we use to describe marijuana-related activities. Words that previously held pejorative, negative connotations like stoner or pot have slowly exited the lexicon, thanks to careful work by cannabis media. Don’t worry, you’re still allowed to make stoner jokes.

No authority is greater in the English world of language than the Oxford English Dictionary. Not only does the OED define words, it also records when a word entered a casual, daily use. And according to those OED authorities, that now includes a heaping of cannabis-related words.

RELATED: How Marijuana Slang Evolved Across States And Generations

A couple new concepts that combine with cannabis to form new words include “cannabusiness” and “cannabutter,” as The Los Angeles Times recently pointed out. “Cannabusiness” is defined as “The branch of commercial activity concerned with the production and sale of cannabis or cannabis-related products. Also as a count noun: a company engaged in such activity.”

Meanwhile, cannabutter is even more straightforward in definition: “Butter infused with cannabis, used as an ingredient in cannabis edibles such as cookies and brownies.”

RELATED: Stoner Stereotypes Fall Away As Cannabis Is Rebranded

Speaking of which, cannabis edibles also entered the OED, as well as “cannabis dispensary” and “cannabis café.” Another term to characters marijuana users is one I’ve frankly heard before. That would be “grasshopper,” which is apparently a slang term meaning “a person who smokes marijuana, esp. habitually; a marijuana user or addict.”

Sorry, stoners, your time as leading term to describe marijuana users is finished. With patientce, the young “grasshopper” has taken over.


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