Weed is becoming a popular natural health solution. As such, the world is learning more about the plant. One thing we are seeing is an increased use of a marijuana vs marihuana alternate spelling. Marijuana is sometimes spelled with an H.

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“Where did this H spelling come from?” you may wonder. “Does it have some sort of cultural significance?” Well, this article will break it down, so you understand the marijuana vs marihuana difference.

Establishment of a New Code for Marijuana Extract

Back in the old days of 2016, Congress published a rule in the Federal Register called the Establishment of a New Code for Marijuana Extract. It stated that marijuana and all its extracts, including CBD, were Schedule 1 controlled substances.

A DEA spokesman said that the rule was released as an administrative measure to help with bookkeeping. But many focused on the marijuana vs marihuana spelling. The H spelling was used in the title and throughout the document.  

Some speculated that the spelling was a strategy marijuana advocates used “to be sneaky”. Perhaps they were hoping the article “would not pop up under searches for changes in marijuana policy”.

Others felt the DEA needed to get with the times. “When will the DEA step into the 21st century and stop using the archaic version of the word marihuana?” they wondered.

Marijuana vs Marihuana Historical Significance

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The marijuana vs marihuana spellings can be traced back in time.

First, let’s consider the terms ‘cannabis’ and ‘marijuana’. Cannabis is used to describe the entire plant and all its cannabinoids and terpenes. ‘Marijuana’ is used to describe THC, the cannabis cannabinoid that gets you high.

During and after the Spanish-American War, there was a lot of American resentment towards Mexicans and Mexican immigrants. Authorities who wanted to illegalize cannabis found that associating the drug with Mexican immigrants helped propagandize it as something evil.

They came up with the words marijuana and marihuana as slang term for THC. Both the J and H spellings were reminiscent of the Spanish language. “If the drug could be made to sound Mexican, it would seem more dangerous,” said Mark Kleinman, NYU drug policy expert.

Marijuana vs Marihuana Throughout History

So, we have a timeline that looks something like this:

It is unclear why people chose to use the J spelling and left the H spelling in the dust. Kleinman thinks it may have become more popular as people learned “how to pronounce Spanish words”. But it is the most common spelling to this day.

Marijuana vs Marihuana Today

Today, there is a movement to do away with the term marijuana altogether. Many advocates feel its racial insinuations make it inappropriate. They feel the term cannabis should be used instead.

Researchers also prefer the term cannabis. They feel the various cannabis names cause too much confusion.

The DEA continues to use marijuana vs marihuana interchangeably. Spokesman Russell Baer says, “There is no clear dividing line between the two.” The spelling used in any legal document is up to whoever is writing it.

Baer declined to comment on the suggestion of doing away with the M word completely.

Marijuana vs Marihuana in Michigan

The H spelling of marijuana may be foreign to some people, but Michiganders have gotten quite used to it over the years.

The state chose the H spelling when they released the Marihuana Tax Act of 1937. They have continued using the H spelling in the Michigan Medical Marihuana Act, the Michigan Medical Facilities Licensing Act, and the Michigan Regulation and Taxation of Marihuana Act.

If Michigan wanted to change the spellings used in these statutes, they would have to pass a legislative act to codify the change. It’s a tedious process that few lawmakers want to deal with.

So, what’s the state’s overall stance on the marijuana vs marihuana matter? The H spelling will be used in administrative rules. The J spelling is used in nonformal communication.  

The state has decided to use the J spelling informally to improve communication with stakeholders. The increased legalization has made it necessary for Michigan to eliminate confusion throughout its cannabis market. Hence, they use the J spelling more often.

The Bureau of Medical Marihuana Regulation updated to the Bureau of Marijuana Regulation in 2018. The state also uses the J spelling on the universal symbol all Michigan medical marijuana retail stores are required to put on products. However, the Michigan State Police are still on board with the H spelling.

Marijuana vs marihuana may cause some confusion throughout the industry. But at South Coast Safe Access, one thing is certain, good weed is good weed.

We do the industry justice by selling high-quality cannabis products and accessories. We offer online, in-store, and weed delivery purchase options. Customers can expect top-notch service with every interaction.

And that adds up to good stuff no matter how you spell it!

Contact us to learn more about what we have to offer.