This is a term we do not like to use. Please refer to our blog about cannabis terminology for a full explanation.
Marijuana has no scientific meaning. It was a word popularized by Harry Anslinger (leader of first US drug control agency) and William Randolph Hearst (successful yet arguably unethical newspaper mogul) in the fight against cannabis.
The term 'marijuana' originated from a Mexican term meaning 'wild weed' in the sense that the plant grew easily, quickly, and in most places.
The two individuals above used this word to invoke racist imagery while simultaneously confusing the general public that cannabis was actually the plant being targeted. At this time, cannabis was traded heavily for use in multiple industries. It was also commonly used among those who could afford the luxury of imported recreations.
This confusion exists even today, with people going back and forth about what exactly cannabis is versus hemp versus marijuana, etc.