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Originating from the Hindi, Urdu and Sankrit languages Ganja is a term referring to the flower of the cannabis plant. Ganja’s first known use was in 1689 and is still used today. The term “Ganja” made its debut in Jamaica during the late 19th century by Indian labourers, where it became popular among Jamaican field workers.

Ganja is the term used in Sanskrit for unfertilized female marijuana flowers There was a deep relationship between Indian swamis and ganja. From the third to the eighth centuries BCE, marijuana was used as a therapy for the overproduction of phlegm and diarrhea. Many years later, it was used as an aphrodisiac and pain killer.

The word became prominent when it was embraced by Jamaicans, and particularly Jamaicans who followed the Rastafari movement, a religion that started in Jamaica in the 1930s. Ganja was often used as part of the spiritual practice for people of the Rastafari movement. Bob Marley the famous music was the most prominent Rasta in Jamaica and often made references in his music to Rastafari values and ganja (including in songs such as “Ganja Gun and “One Drop”). During the advent of the Rastafari movement, cannabis remained illegal in Jamaica.

Under the Ganja Law of 1913, the plant was criminalized, but as Rastafari attracted more supporters— and the leaders feared political unrest from the lower class — reforms were introduced in 1941 and 1961, making prohibitions even more severe. The decriminalization of ganja didn’t start until 2015.

Most people mistakenly started thinking and claiming that ganja was a Jamaican word for cannabis and that ganja came from the small island itself. In modern times, ganja has now become a popular street term used to describe all forms of cannabis. All types of cannabis are still referred to as ganja in the current day in Jamaica.

Use of Term

That Ganja danks!

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