Cannabis culture describes a social atmosphere or series of associated
social behaviors that depends heavily upon cannabis consumption,
particularly as an entheogen, recreational drug and medicine. Cannabis
— the plant that produces hemp and hashish — has been one of the
most used psychoactive drugs in world use since the late 20th century,
following only tobacco and alcohol in popularity. According to Vera
Rubin, the use of cannabis has been encompassed by two major cultural
complexes over time: a continuous, traditional folk stream, and a more
circumscribed, contemporary configuration. The former involves both
sacred and secular use, and is usually based on small-scale
cultivation: the use of the plant for cordage, clothing, medicine,
food, and a "general use as an euphoriant and symbol of
fellowship." The second stream of expansion of cannabis use
encompasses "the use of hemp for commercial manufacturers utilizing
large-scale cultivation primarily as a fiber for mercantile purposes";
but it is also linked to the search for psychedelic experiences (which
can be traced back to the formation of the Parisian Club des
Cannabis has "evolved its own language, humour, etiquette, art,
literature and music." Nick Brownlee writes: "Perhaps because of
its ancient mystical and spiritual roots, because of the
psychotherapeutic effects of the drug and because it is illegal, even
the very act of smoking a joint has deep symbolism." However, the
culture of cannabis as "the manifestation of introspection and bodily
passivity" — which has generated a negative "slacker" stereotype
around its consumers — is a relatively modern concept, as cannabis
has been consumed in various forms for almost 5,000 years. The
counterculture of the 1960s has been identified as the era that "sums
up the glory years of modern cannabis culture," with the Woodstock
Festival serving as "the pinnacle of the hippie revolution in the USA,
and in many people's opinion the ultimate example of cannabis culture
at work". The influence of cannabis has encompassed holidays (most
notably 4/20), cinema (such as the exploitation and stoner film
genres), music (particularly jazz, reggae, psychedelia and rap music),
and magazines including
High Times and
Cannabis has been used as an entheogen - most notably in
Nepal since the
Vedic period dating back to approximately 1500 BCE,
but perhaps as far back as 2000 BCE. Its entheogenic use was also
recorded in Ancient China, the Germanic peoples, the Celts,
Ancient Central Asia, and Africa. In modern times,
spiritual use of the drug is mostly associated with the Rastafari
movement of Jamaica. Several Western subcultures have had marijuana
consumption as an idiosyncratic feature, such as hippies, beatniks,
hipsters (both the 1940s subculture and the contemporary subculture),
ravers and hip hop.
1 Social custom
2 In the arts
4 See also
A 420 holiday event in Santa Cruz
Recreational drug use
Cannabis was once sold in clubs known as "Teapads" during Prohibition
in the United States; jazz was usually played at these clubs. Cannabis
was often viewed to be of lower class and was disliked by many.
After the outlawing of cannabis, its consumption was used in secret.
Years later after cannabis has been once again tolerated legally in
some regions. Holidays have formed around the consumption of cannabis
such as 420, named after the popular time of day to consume cannabis
(4:20 pm and celebrated on April 20 (4/20). If consumed in a
social setting it is encouraged to share your cannabis with
In the arts
This section needs expansion. You can help by adding to it. (April
As the psychoactive effects of cannabis include increased appreciation
of the arts, including and especially music, as well as
increased creativity its influence and usefulness can be found in
a variety of works of art. Many popular musicians, not constrained to
any drug-culture specific genre, are known to have taken cannabis
purposely as inspiration for their works.
Process of making bhang in a Sikh village in Punjab, India.
Main article: Drug culture
Cannabis has been used in the ancient past in places such as ancient
India, Romania, Egypt, and Mesopotamia. It was often used as
medicine or for hemp, its main route of consumption was smoking. Over
time the culture became more international and a general "cannabis
culture" formed. The culture has been responsible for the genre of
films known as stoner films, which has come to be accepted as a
mainstream cinema movement. In the United States the culture
has also spawned its own celebrities (such as
Tommy Chong and Terence
McKenna), and magazines such as (
Culture and High Times).
In the 30 years after 1900, more than 1 million Mexico laborers
entered the southwest of the United States. The customs of smoking
marijuana also followed them into the United States. Tens of thousands
of people spread to the central and western parts of the country,
found jobs in railways, construction sites and factories, and reached
the farthest distance to Chicago. Meanwhile, before and after 1910,
the marijuana smoke brought by the Caribbean and South American
sailors to New Orleans also spread northward and eastward. By the
middle of the 1930s, there were people everywhere in Louisiana that
saw cannabis selling, even the remote "Civilian Conservation Corps",
the government employed unemployed young men for timber, flood
control, forest, fire, road repair and other organizations. The
ongoing cigarette revolution taught Americans to use their lungs for
inhalation of addictions, and by the way the spread of cannabis, the
abundant supply of cannabis in the United States is another power.
Cannabis is originally a commercial crop to be grown for its fiber and
seeds, but hemp is often seen around the abandoned ropes and waste
cannabis fields, so English is also used in Weed (originally "weed")
to refer to cannabis. Criminals in Tennessee only need to pick up the
corolla found on the roadside and dry up with hemp smoke. San Quentin
(San Quentin) of the inmates in prison simply on the ground inside for
their own use of marijuana. In 1936 years, the New York police station
destroyed 18 thousand kilograms of cannabis planted in the municipal
Because it is generally easy to get, the price of marijuana cigarettes
is low, and a package of marijuana cigarettes is priced at 5-50 cents.
This is the price that urban young nigger can afford to identify with
this new subculture. This sub culture hero is a jazz musician. They
play the role of promoting marijuana and promoting their skills. One
of them promoted the way of promotion. Chicago born Jewish Clarinet
(Milton "Mezz" Mezzrow), the first "White Negro" - the first "White
Negro" - believed to be a black man, and as a proponent of cannabis,
hawked a plump, 3 - cent, 50 - cent smoke on the streets of the Harlem
Yu district. He said to the person who smoked cigarettes, "click on
one and raise your head."
During the Second World War, the American Army psychiatrists carefully
examined the situation of smoking cannabis smoking in the army to
prevent morale and discipline in the army. In a case study, a 26 year
old soldier's experience is recorded, which is whispered in a whisper,
and a dreamy and fancy expression on his face. "You'll be hot all over
and you'll get cold. You will like to see strange things, and you will
want to go to a ghost place that can see people naked and lounging to
smoke marijuana. That is the culmination of the addiction. You want to
see that stuff. You will like people to kiss you all over. You're
going to look at this. Go together to smoke pot where you would like
to hear the sound of drums and drums mad, want to see naked woman
insane." Diagnosis: anesthetic addiction. The reason for the
withdrawal is: according to the eighth paragraph, it has the habit of
being inappropriate and unable to adapt to the army life.
Cannabis in India
Cannabis is indigenous to Central and South Asia.
Cannabis is also
known to have been used by the ancient Hindus of
India and Nepal
thousands of years ago. The herb is called ganja (Sanskrit:
गञ्जा, IAST: gañjā) or ganjika in
Sanskrit and other
modern Indo-Aryan languages. Some scholars suggest that the
ancient drug soma, mentioned in the Vedas, was cannabis, although this
theory is disputed.
Today cannabis is often formed into bhang, which has become an
integral part of tradition and custom in the Indian subcontinent. In
some sections of rural India, people attribute various medicinal
properties to the cannabis plant. If taken in proper quantity, bhang
is believed to cure fever, dysentery, sunstroke, to clear phlegm, aid
in digestion, appetite, cure speech imperfections and lisping, and
give alertness to the body.
A Rasta man holding cannabis.
Jamaica and Rastafari
By the 8th century, cannabis had been introduced by Arab traders to
Central and Southern Africa, where it is known as "dagga" and many
Rastas say it is a part of their African culture that they are
reclaiming. It is sometimes also referred to as "the healing of
the nation", a phrase adapted from Revelation 22:2.
Alternatively, the migration of many thousands of Hindus and Muslims
India to the Caribbean in the 20th century may have
brought this culture to Jamaica. Many academics point to
Indo-Caribbean origins for the ganja sacrament resulting from the
importation of Indian migrant workers in a post-abolition Jamaican
landscape. "Large scale use of ganja in
Jamaica ... dated from the
importation of indentured Indians...."(Campbell 110). Dreadlocked
mystics Jata, often ascetic known as sadhus or
Sufi Qalandars and
Derwishes, have smoked cannabis from both chillums and coconut shell
South Asia since the ancient times. Also, the reference of
"chalice" may be a transliteration of "jam-e-qalandar" (a term used by
Sufi ascetics meaning 'bowl or cup of qalandar'). In South Asia, in
addition to smoking, cannabis is often consumed as a drink known as
bhang and most qalandars carry a large wooden pestle for that
Today the Jamaican religion
Rastafari promotes cannabis use for
Main article: Beatnik
Marijuana use was associated with the subculture, and during the
1950s, Aldous Huxley's
The Doors of Perception
The Doors of Perception further influenced
views on drugs. This would later influence the hippie movement.
Hippies smoking cannabis in Thailand
Main article: Hippie
Following in the footsteps of the Beatniks, many hippies used
cannabis, considering it pleasurable and benign. On the East Coast of
the United States,
Harvard University professors Timothy Leary, Ralph
Ram Dass advocated psychotropic drugs for psychotherapy,
self-exploration, religious and spiritual use. Regarding LSD, Leary, a
prominent hippie thinker, said, "Expand your consciousness and find
ecstasy and revelation within." These attitudes greatly influenced
the hippie movement and culture, not just on the topic of
LSD but with
drugs in general, including cannabis.
Hipster (1940s subculture)
Hipster (1940s subculture) and Hipster (contemporary
The term "Hipsters" define two cultural groups, the 1940s subculture
dedicated to jazz, and the contemporary subculture today. Both are
stereotyped as enjoying cannabis. In fact the early hipsters of the
1940s had many slang terms dedicated to the drug and its distribution.
Cannabis use among modern hipsters is common.
Entheogenic use of cannabis
^ Rubin, 1975. p.1
^ a b Rubin, 1975. p.3
^ a b Rubin, 1975. p.4
^ a b c d Brownlee, 2002. "01: Culture"
^ Courtwright, David (2001). Forces of Habit: Drugs and the Making of
the Modern World. Harvard Univ. Press. p. 39.
^ Joseph Needham and Gwei-djen Lu (1974). Science and Civilisation in
China: Volume 5, Chemistry and Chemical Technology; Part 2, Spagyrical
Discovery and Invention: Magisteries of Gold and Immortality.
Cambridge University Press, p. 152
^ Rätsch, Christian (2003–2004). The Sacred Plants of our
Ancestors. TYR: Myth—
Culture Tradition. 2.
^ Creighton, John (2000). Coins and Power in Late Iron Age Britain.
Cambridge University Press. p. 52.
^ Booth, Martin (2005). Cannabis: A History. Picador. p. 29. As
the seeds of cannabis contain no psycho-active chemicals, it is
believed the Scythians were actually casting cannabis flowers onto the
^ a b "Lab work to identify 2,800-year-old mummy of shaman". People's
Daily Online. 2006.
^ [Dunhill, Alfred "The Pipe Book" London A & C Black, 1924]
^ Rubin, 1975. p.45
^ Ryan Grim (April 20, 2010). "420 Meaning: The True Story Of How
April 20 Became 'Weed Day'". The Huffington Post.
^ Osborne, Geraint B.; Fogel, Curtis (2009). "Understanding the
Motivations for Recreational
Marijuana Use Among Adult Canadians"
(PDF). Substance Use & Misuse. 43 (3–4): 539–572.
doi:10.1080/10826080701884911. Archived from the original on
2016-03-03. CS1 maint: BOT: original-url status unknown (link)
^ "We Asked Some Experts Why Weed and
Music Go So Well Together".
Thump. Retrieved 22 April 2017.
Cannabis and Creativity". Psychology Today. Retrieved 22 April
^ "Beatles' Acid Test: How
LSD Opened the Door to 'Revolver'". Rolling
Stone. Retrieved 22 April 2017.
^ "Rihanna, Billie Holiday, Bob Marley and 6 of the most famous
stoners in music history". Retrieved 22 April 2017.
^ Branco, Nelson. "Melissa Etheridge: From LGBT to O'Cannabiz".
Toronto Sun. Retrieved 22 April 2017.
^ "Sound Bathing With Sigur Rós and Their Lord Jones Edibles".
Billboard. Retrieved 22 April 2017.
^ Rudgley, Richard (1998). Lost Civilisations of the Stone Age. New
York: Free Press. ISBN 0-684-85580-1.
^ Peters, Jon. "top ten stoner movies". Killerfilm.com. Retrieved
^ "top ten stoner movies". Ign.com. 2008-08-08. Retrieved
^ a b Stolley 1998, pp. 139.
Marijuana and the Cannabinoids", ElSohly (p. 8).
^ Leary, Timothy (1990). Tarcher & Putnam, ed. Flashbacks. New
York: GP Putnam's Sons. ISBN 0-87477-870-0.
^ Miller, Ga (1911). Encyclopædia Britannica. Science. 34 (11 ed.).
pp. 761–2. doi:10.1126/science.34.883.761. PMID 17759460.
Archived from the original on August 26, 2013.
^ Rudgley, Richard (1998). Little, Brown; et al., eds. The
Encyclopedia of Psychoactive Substances.
^ "Holi Festival". Tradition of Bhang
^ Hamid, The Ganjah Complex:
Rastafari and Marijuana, introduction, p.
^ Chanting Down Babylon, p. 130 ff.
^ Barry Chevannes,
Rastafari and Other African-Caribbean Worldviews,
pp. 35, 85; Edmonds, p. 52.
Bhang is often produced in large vessels at dargah gatherings known
as "shaam-e-qalandar". During these gatherings large kettle drums
known as naggara are played or alternatively, the Dhol. It is known as
Qalandri dhamaal. Both groups, the Qalandar's and Sadhu's were lumped
together by the British as faqeers. They are still frowned upon by the
industrious population and are considered "dreadfull". Yet they are
considered holy men by many. Both groups practice either some sort of
chilla nashini or yoga in remote jungles, mountains or charnel grounds
in which ganja aids to put a veil on the worldly and to transcend the
various societal trends and pressures. It is also used to induce a
state of euphoria and trance by some in conjunction with drumming,
dance or whirling. Arrow of the Blue-Skinned God: Retracing the
Ramayana Through India, Jonah Blank, p. 89.
Rubin, Vera (1975).
Cannabis and Culture. De Gruyter.
Brownlee, Nick (2002). This is Cannabis. Sanctuary Publishing.
Recreational drug use
nail polish remover
Psilocybin / Psilocin
Atropine and Scopolamine
Legal history of cannabis in the United States
Legality of cannabis
Marijuana Policy Project
Cannabis and religion
Counterculture of the 1960s
Party and play
Poly drug use
Religion and drugs
Sex and drugs
Coca production in Colombia
Opium production in Afghanistan
Rolling meth lab
Illegal drug trade
Date rape drug
Effects of cannabis
Opioid replacement therapy
Fetal alcohol spectrum disorder
Long-term effects of cannabis
of tobacco or other substances
1961 Narcotic Drugs
1971 Psychotropic Substances
1988 Drug Trafficking
Council of the European Union decisions on designer drugs
Drug Policy Alliance
Law Enforcement Action Partnership
Students for Sensible Drug Policy
Transform Drug Policy Foundation
Just Say No
Office of National Drug Control Policy
School district drug policies
Arguments for and against drug prohibition
Capital punishment for drug trafficking
Politics of drug abuse
War on Drugs
Mexican Drug War
Philippine Drug War
Anabolic steroid legality
Psilocybin mushrooms legality
Recreational and medical applications
Difference between C. indica and C. sativa
Etymology (cannabis, marijuana)
Religious and spiritual use
List of hemp diseases
List of hemp products
List of hemp products (
Hempcrete • Jewelry • Milk
• Oil • Paper)
Hemp for Victory
Hemp Industries Association
The Emperor Wears No Clothes
Extracts by potency
Cannabis in pregnancy
Effects of cannabis
Adult lifetime use by country
Annual use by country
Bootleggers and Baptists
Legality by country
Legal and medical status
Legal history in the United States
Marijuana Anonymous (MA)
Marijuana Control, Regulation, and Education Act
Marihuana Tax Act of 1937
UK: Return to class B
Uruguay: Law No. 19172
Decriminalization of non-medical use
Rescheduling per the Controlled Substances Act
Cannabis political parties
List of British politicians who have acknowledged cannabis use
List of US politicians who have acknowledged cannabis use
Gonzales v. Raich
Ker v. California
Kyllo v. United States
Kyllo v. United States (thermal imaging)
Leary v. United States
Philosophy of culture
Popular culture studies
Semiotics of culture
Sociology of culture
Theology of culture
Culture by location
High- and low-context cultures
Cross cultural sensitivity
Culture of fear
Circuit of culture
Cultural jet lag
Culture and positive psychology
Culture and social cognition
Death and culture
Emotions and culture
Living things in culture
Transformation of culture