In Japanese, what's the most common way of describing weed (aka cannabis)?

Apparently you can use 葉っぱ, but I'm just wondering what your average stoner would use to describe there favourite 'activity'.

Is 葉っぱ a good pick? Or is something else used? Like some katakana word?

  • Asking the important questions! :D
    – Tirous
    Nov 19, 2016 at 3:10

2 Answers 2


大麻 is the most formal and common word which can safely be used in news articles, for example. マリファナ is also common and people can instantly understand it's a kind of narcotic drug.

As an argot, yes I have definitely heard 葉っぱ (lit. "leaf") and 草 (lit. "grass") to refer to this. With a verb, 葉っぱを吸う and 草を吸う. But I don't know whether or not this is the most common phrase among those who are addicted to it. Ordinary people can perhaps correctly guess the meaning if there is enough context.


Cannabis is 大麻{たいま} in Japanese and the most common way to refer to smoking weed is probably a shortened form: 麻{ま}を吸う{すう}.

As for katakana, マリフアナ or カンナビス are rarely used.

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