What are weeds, and why do we call Cannabis 'Weed'?

Let's start with a game to open up your senses to this brief analytical conversation. 

I want you to reference the photo below, and spot the 'desirable' flowers out of the ones that would be classified as weeds in this type of Garden.

(home garden)

Can you spot the weeds?
  • By definition, a WEED is; a plant that is not valued where it is growing and is usually of vigorous growth.
  • especially: one that tends to overgrow or choke out more desirable plants
  • an obnoxious growth, thing, or person.


Most of the plants in front would classify as a weed.

(home garden)

This includes Clovers and Dandelions. 

You can get a peek at spearmint to the right in the photo above. Mint actually behaves like a weed, in the sense that it can overgrow other plants in the garden. I never actually planted mint, I only noticed it a couple of years ago and even after the gardeners ‘accidentally’ took it all, a fresh batch popped the following season.  

Is Cannabis a Weed?


Not in the sense of it being unwanted. 

Though, it does behave like a weed in the sense that it can thrive well and is adaptable. Cultivation is where we get specifications for perfect conditions Cannabis needs to grow. 

The Origins of the alias ‘Weed’ has little to do with the common term for pest plants.  In fact, the earliest reference to the associated term for Pot dates back to a 1932 editorial of The Chicago Defender where 'Weed' was another reference for a Doped/Marijuana Cigarette. 

The relative association between the different reference for weed may originate from the title ‘locoweed’, which was applied to any plant that had a psychedelic effect on livestock in the original ‘Make America Great Again’ years of the USA (aka wild west, early industrial 1870's - 1930's but I'm mostly reaching).

Full disclosure, Cannabis isn’t in any of the ‘Home garden’ pics above. Besides the purple flowers, Mint is the abundant plant in the 1st photo in that pair.

 The following pic is an example of Wild Cannabis and links to a pretty cool explorer article about weed in the wilds of our planet.

Cannabis growing wild in Islamabad, Pakistan. Wikimedia Commons via thegrowthhop.com

For an abbreviated understand on Terms like Pot, weed, and Chronic and  being applied to Cannabis; 

Check the links below. 



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