The Unofficial Origin Story Of ‘Dank’ Weed

Dank. Every weed lover knows it and uses it to describe high-quality herb.

But when did “dank,” a Swedish word otherwise synonymous with moist, sticky, and damp first get introduced into cannabis culture? And why did we even start calling pot “dank” in the first place?

The answer is probably pretty simple: Good weed is generally more sticky, green, and odorous than bad weed. High-quality cannabis can even smell musty or appear to be wet and look like something that would grow in a swamp or a cave. Sometimes weed is so strong it can smell like a skunk. Really, what other word makes sense besides “dank”?

As internet culture increasingly influences how people act, speak, and relate to one another IRL, “dank” sees new usage. Most recently, the phrase “dank memes” has come into popular practice. But “dank memes,” more often than not, have little to nothing to do with weed or cannabis culture and instead refer simply to the mindless yet funny memes being trafficked across social media platforms.

Not too long ago, before state-level cannabis legalization increased access to the drug in more places, there were two types of weed: Reggie, which is low-quality cannabis, usually pretty cheap ($20/eighth) and otherwise known as mids, mersch, brick weed, dirt weed, and a host of other colloquial or regional slang. Then there was dank weed, which, as mentioned above, was used as a blanket statement to describe any strain of high-quality, potent weed. For the vast majority of in-the-closet pot smokers and the high school selves of KINDLAND editors, there was no differentiating between indica, sativa, hybrid, indoor, outdoor, hydroponically grown, aeroponically grown, organic, light dep––you just had mids and dank.

Like most growing industries, weed culture and its corresponding vernacular are subject to change. And though a dank meme is funny on its own, that shit is probably hilarious AF if you’re also high AF on some dank weed. Am I right, bro?


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