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Why Is It Called Pot?

Cannabis Etymology

© Dale A. Clark /Stock Pot Images

Just like with any other drug, there are many slang terms for cannabis. Some of them are accurately rooted in the plant’s etymology and some are not.  If you’ve ever wondered about cannabis etymology and some of its various slang terms, you’ve come to the right place.

As widespread legalization and social acceptance of cannabis use as medication or recreation rises, so does curiosity surrounding its near-century illegality and odd, twisted history of terms associated with the plant/ medicine. Etymology is just a fancy word that basically refers to the history of words or phrases.

Like many words in the English language, terms for the flowers of the cannabis plant like marijuana, pot, and dope have a bit of a bastardized past. The word “dope” obviously comes from the old school insult akin to calling someone an idiot or a moron. The now debunked thought process that cannabis makes you stupid fueled this one. This kind of changed around the mid to late 1980’s, when the word “dope” started to be used to describe more positive things.

The word “pot” is more shrouded in mystery. It doesn’t seem to have anything to do with a pot for cooking. The Oxford English Dictionary seems to concur that “pot” comes from the Latin term “potación de guayaya,” which means, “drink of grief”. This traditional Mexican beverage is prepared by steeping cannabis buds in wine. Sounds like a good time to me.

This brings us to the word marijuana. Many cannabis enthusiasts and professionals have dropped the use of the word marijuana entirely. The fact is, more people know the word marijuana than cannabis. There’s a good reason for that. There’s been a massive storm of propaganda hurled in people’s general direction over the past near-century regarding the cannabis plant, so it’s not surprising that most people are unaware of cannabis etymology. People know what the term marijuana means than cannabis.

Even NPR has confirmed that before circa 1910, marijuana wasn’t even a word. Before that, everyone just called it cannabis. While industrial hemp and cannabis tinctures were widely used and accepted, smoking the cannabis plant was not. Around that time, close to a million Mexicans legally immigrated to the U.S. to escape their civil war. This caused hatred towards Mexicans and their cannabis smoking. In turn, this led racially charged politicians to create the term marijuana, which was supposed to mean, “loco weed”. This rearranging of language and understanding of the cannabis was a precursor to its ultimate prohibition and demonization of the Reefer Madness late 1930’s.


  1. “Potiphar, an officer of Pharoah, captain of the guard, an Egyptian, bought Joseph” from the Midianites. xxxvii. 36. The Ishmaelites got paid for shipping and that is all they would take.

    Potiphar came to trust Joseph completely and later placed him in charge of the Customs House. He knew Joseph would not betray him. Joseph was now resigned to his fate and would not attempt escape to go home. The man is a genius and the punishment for a fugitive slave is severe. Joseph was a rare gem of a man among the barbarians. Educated and cultured with an air of command and breeding that generates instant confidence and authority. Men and women instantly loved and honored the man who is also so honest he really isn’t even normal. And so later the pretended shock that Joseph tried to force his overweight, painted, wife. Joseph’s jailers were pleased to find a competent administrator. Potiphar knew his wife was spurned but collecting off the Prison and the Midianites each time they came through was good business. The butler kept his mouth shut and now, so did Potiphars’ wife. They all knew better than to say a word. Keeping Joseph locked up was a good deal for everyone. Pharaoh could fill that story in quick. Men in power understand these things only too well. The whole court loved this fascinating opera of conspiracy getting exposed and the mystery in visions of the Divine Providence.

    The whole ancient world recognized the hemp as a holy plant. And oddly the same restrictions institutionalized by the Lord to hide this representative existed then as it seemingly does today. Seti the Goddess of the Temple builders of the 1st Dynasty stylized the KNH leaf over her head and in her hand is the measuring line KNH and measuring reed KNH. The Assyrian base relief found prevalent in archeological digs repeat a different stylized KNH leaf and the king is shown picking its’ bud. Baskets of buds being picked from this stylized seven-leaf plant are common in discovered symbolism throughout the Ancient world. The most revered and educated men of our time are absolutely ignorant of what this mystical plant could possibly be. The KNH is the reed that measures the Temple in Ezekiel and Revelation and is the balance beam in Isaiah forty-six. The KNH is raised up by Eve in worship in Genesis. Ancient man saw God within this incredible gift to mankind. In Genesis, God said, “Behold, I have given you every herb bearing seed, which is upon the face of all the earth, and every tree, in the which is the fruit of a tree yielding seed, to you it shall be for meat.” i. 29. All of the necessities of life are provided in this one plant. Arrows, spears and shields were fashioned from the KNH. Clothing, rope and canvas tents to live in were weaved from the KNH. The oil of the KNH seed is added to ash in making soap for cleansing. KNH in the Word means to redeem, to purchase, to erect, to create, to attain, buyer, teach to keep cattle, possess, the branch and more. The Israelite nation of herdsmen honored this plant by calling their cattle MKNH in the Word that came into their language from antiquity. The Sacred Bundle is made from the KNH and rose to heights upon the skyline. This Ancient Church symbolism is lost in its significance to the darkened consciousness of men today. Mankind could see then in this erected Sacred Bundle the promise of God to come to earth as the Man. A unique male and female sex exists within this holy plant. When the male plant is separated, the female leg becomes freakishly enlarged and prodigious in the production of TCH soaking glands seeking her pollen. The holy men of Pharaoh’s court were not blind as are the priests of Corah today. The evil of the priest loves the falsified Word for its power over the minds of mankind. KNH in the Aramaic Gospel spoken by our Lord testifies to the ministry of John. Later, after His betrayal and death sentence He was struck by the KNH. And, not a single priest of Pharaoh’s court would consider saying, “Pharaoh, you’re just going crazy because you are a KNH abuser.” Now the plight of Joseph has been brought to the attention of Pharaoh and the whole court was in full attention to this incredible drama and the vision of MKNH and KNH.

    Joseph stood before Pharaoh. The first dynasty of Egypt was brought down by a famine. The populace revolted and executed the political leadership of the day. Joseph the seer sent from God horrified this Pharaoh of the second dynasty. All of the most intelligent and upright religious leaders of the day and all of the uppermost governmental officials that were so enthralled with the far-reaching threads of this treacherous tale of family betrayal only moments before were all suddenly terrified. What happened before will soon happen again. Everyone believed Joseph and feared God. A famine brought them into power and will soon take them out.

    The plan that Joseph then presented was extraordinarily simple. The hempseed is a cheap easily harvested cattle fodder but in a time of famine will keep the populace at bay. The hempseed is unique in that one bowlful will keep one man alive for one day. Gruel it was called in those bygone days of shipping with canvas sail and covered wagons in colonial America. It is the perfect starvation ration. The crop can be sown on land owned by the priests, unclaimed marshy areas and any open range. One fifth of the seed produced could be easily stored and it keeps for years. The herds of Pharaoh and the local market could absorb much of this crop. The remainder would be exported to provide a profit. Getting into the export business will require governmental assistance. The shipping industry will get the boost they have been lobbying for. Amphoras of ‘a smitten’, grain and textiles trade very well and are all products of the hemp plant.

    This ingenious insurance program that pays relieved all the priests and counselors in the Genesis account. Pharaoh and the court had already run a background check and were extremely pleased to find a man without any family or agenda and a known honest and proven competent chief executive of both the Customs and Prison. And to top it all off, Pharaoh was giggling like a schoolgirl over his choice of Potiphor’s niece to tie up all the loose ends. Those two powerful brothers will now have to work together to make sure this all works. Joseph was given a bride, the daughter of Potipherah the priest, and put in charge of this new government program. There is no place like Egypt under the sun. All slept comfortably that night after drifting off with a smile. Everyone knew Joseph was still a virgin. Did you ever wonder how ladies leg came to be called ‘pot’? But, no matter how you want to figure this, it’s pot like it or not.

    The revealing of Joseph to his brothers in the story that follows is a prophesy of the New Christian Church age and relates to the Second Coming of Jesus Anointed. The Christian Church has betrayed Jesus Anointed just like the Israelite priests did back in the day and the brothers before them. The outlawry of mans first crop will be known and understood as the ultimate evil against the Lord and the neighbor because it is sanctioned by His Church. And just like back in the day, once again hemp will be grown everywhere and our present state of starvation and evil will be forgiven in the New Christian Church age to come in worldwide fulfillment of prophecy. Joseph will once again be brought out of the prison house to take complete control. Our evil brothers that sold Him will bow down and cry to be forgiven. And will be told again what was spoken then. “I am Joseph your brother, whom ye sold into Egypt. Now therefore be not grieved, nor angry with yourselves, that ye sold me hither: for God did send me before you to preserve life.” vl. 4, 5.