For many, the word “marijuana” may conjure up thoughts of stoned hippies. But for others, it refers to a life-saving medicine. (For more about this, see Medical Marijuana.)
Marijuana, sometimes referred to as hemp, is in the genus Cannabis in the Cannabaceae family, which is closely related to nettles and mulberry. Cannabaceae also includes the genus Humulus, or hops.
Over the centuries, cannabis has collected many names. Mexican-Spanish gives us marijuana and possibly reefer, most likely a modification of the Mexican-Spanish word for marijuana, grifa.
• Schultes, R. E., and A. Hoffman. The Botany and Chemistry of Hallucinogens. Springfield, Illinois: Charles C. Thomas, 1973.
• Boyce, S. S. Hemp–A Practical Treatise on the Culture of Hemp for Seed and Fiber with a Sketch of the History and Nature of the Hemp Plant. New York: Orange-Judd, 1900.
• Dewey, L. H. “Hemp.” Yearbook of the U.S. Department of Agriculture, 1913.