How do you communicate all the joy and emotions that the marijuana experience has to offer in your texts, IMs, and emails? Weed emojis!
The all-things-cannabis experts at Honest Marijuana have compiled a list of the best weed emojis for your phone, tablet, or mobile device.
A Brief History Of The Emoji
Emojis are essentially ideograms — symbols that represent an idea or concept independent of any particular language.
What the world would eventually dub “emojis” have actually been around for a long, long, long, long time. Ancient cultures used symbols of all sorts to represent common objects like fish, birds, and arrows.
By 1982 — as the digital revolution was kicking into high gear — computer users began expressing emotion and meaning using text symbols strung together to form a picture.
Examples of early emoticons include:
- : )
- : – )
- : D
- : P
- : (
- : O
In the mid- to late-1990s, Shigetaka Kurita created the first widely used set of emojis for a Japanese mobile internet platform.
The concept didn’t really take off until the big mobile operating systems (e.g., Apple, Android, and Windows) included emoji capability in their devices.
From there, emojis exploded in popularity, eventually becoming a significant part of online communication as well as popular culture.
With the proliferation and wide-spread legalization of all things cannabis, it was only a matter of time before weed emojis found their way onto your device.
That time has arrived!
Behold, the very best weed emojis that communicate everything the marijuana experience has to offer.
How to request new emojis
Each year, the Unicode Consortium has expanded their available options, adding new characters (like the taco) and allowing modifications of previous emojis (like turning a baseball into a softball or allowing you to change the skin color and gender of a surfer). Anyone, from nonprofits to businesses to individuals, can suggest a new emoji if they’re willing to go through the arduous application process.
A proposal to add a weed emoji has to be remarkably detailed, and could easily be rejected simply for not following the correct format. You need to prove the importance of the new emoji, point by point, and include proposed artwork, which presents its own set of difficulties: would a weed emoji depict a cannabis leaf, nug, joint, pipe, blunt or bong?
To be accepted, the Unicode Technical Committee (or UTC) would have to agree on a rigorous set of standards. Is the emoji already in such heavy use on a platform like Facebook Messenger or Snapchat that it’s needed for compatibility? Is it overly specific, or will it have a high frequency of use throughout large communities? Can it already be represented by existing emoji, or is it distinctive and groundbreaking?
“More weight is given to emoji that convey concepts that are not simply variants of concepts conveyed by existing emoji or sequences of existing emoji,” the proposal submission guidelines state. “For example, it would be better to proposal an emoji for a new kind of animal rather than an emoji for a new breed of dog.”
To limit strain on memory and usability, only seventy new emojis are added annually. After going through the approval process — which can take up to two years — an approved emoji will finally be released.
Each major vendor (like Apple and Google) will create their own version of the proposed artwork to fit their distinctive house style. They may even choose to cloak the original meaning to fit their community standards — like when Apple, Google, and Facebook replaced the emoji depicting a realistic handgun with a playful, lime-green squirt gun.
Should you proposal a weed emoji yourself?
Still, nothing’s stopping you from submitting your proposal for a weed emojis; in fact, six different requests have already been declined, many after the UTC’s Emoji Subcommittee decided that a cannabis leaf was already representable by existing emoji. They’re not the only ones wondering whether we really need a weed emoji all that badly.
“Do we need a literal penis emoji to understand why an eggplant is referential?” asks Carly Fisher, an award-winning journalist and author whose work covers the cultural intersection of food, travel, and cannabis. “To me, part of the fun with emoji is interpretation, like hieroglyphics.”
“Green plants, vegetables, and hearts seem to be the wink-nod these days,” she says, though she’s fond of alluding to the “Devil’s lettuce” with a head of romaine or reaching for a maple leaf during the fall season.
In 2016, rapper DRAM released ‘Broccoli,’ a sunny collaboration with Lil Yachty with a chorus that alluded to cannabis with the lines, “Yeah, I know your baby mama fond of me, all she want to do is smoke that broccoli.” Almost four million views later, the music video featuring oversized broccoli headpieces and plenty of literal broccoli has helped establish the broccoli emoji as a reliable, if unusual way to text message or post on social media the concept of cannabis buds.
The most popular alternative emojis to weed
A floral bouquet or daisy can signal “flower”; pine trees can represent woodsy strains high in pine and humulene, or just “tree” in general. Data harvested from money transfer app Venmo, which encourages users to describe payments using emoji, shows that options for representation stretch far beyond the plant kingdom.
The top twenty-five most-used emojis on Venmo include a red fuel pump, fire, and an electric plug. While the fuel pump could mean users are splitting fuel costs in exchange for rides, it’s not hard to imagine that at least some of those transactions are alluding to “gas,” a slang term for strains with strong chemical-like scents like Sour Diesel or Jet Fuel.
A fire emoji might reference sparking up a joint, bowl or bong. Lastly, the plug emoji almost certainly alludes to “the plug” — a common slang term for someone who connects a buyer with a coveted good, whether it be backstage passes, organic compost or weed.
With so many alternatives available, it’s not surprising that approving a cannabis emoji hasn’t been a top priority for the UTC. The situation isn’t hopeless, however; as attitudes surrounding cannabis change worldwide, there’s a potential for a grassroots push to finally gain traction.
Until now, we have had to use a lot of innuendos to get our message across. The traditional pictures we have used (if you can call something traditional that has only been around for a few years) often spoke in slang. Trees, big smileys, clouds to represent smoke, lighters, and of course the “okay” hand signal, which also looks like how you hold a joint.
But the future of cannabis acceptance and Tommy Chong, one of the pioneers of stoner culture have come together to bring us authentic weed emojis.
1. Weed on the mind
This lets your friends know exactly what is on your mind with a smiley face who has ganja goo-goo eyes.
2. What time is it?
Let your friends know what time it is with the wrist watch set to our favorite moment of the day.
3. Right now
When you’re happy, you smile. When you are sad, you cry. But when you have weed, you get high.
4. Rolling one up
Your method of choice, and a great way to express what activity should be in the imminent future.
5. Making America great again
Want to let your friends know your political views? Tell them what would really make the country great again with a whole group of political satire emoji. This one, however, simply says it all.
6. Thank goodness
For when you are praying for the hookup, or just giving thanks for that good friend coming through. Pray for weed.
7. Key to happiness
Sometimes you have to spread the word. The key to happiness is the good herb.
8. Feeling patriotic
One nation, under God, with liberty and justice for all. Bring back the true meaning of land of the free. Enough said.
9. Giving thanks to the man
And, of course, what image best represents the overwhelming love of all things green and ganja? The man, Tommy Chong himself. When you see him, you know exactly what the message is.