Cannabis and inspiration

Cannabis has a long history as an aid or complement to inspiration in art, philosophy, music and most other kinds of creative human endeavour. Art and cannabis go well together.

Cannabis is unusual in that it does not fit clearly into any one category of drugs. The effects of cannabinoids on the human body can be experienced and described as relaxing, hallucinogenic, stimulating, psychedelic or sedative, but there is no single ‘universal effect’ of cannabis. Different strains of the plant can be generally experienced as more energising or more relaxing but at the same time, different people may report dissimilar effects from the same sample of cannabis.

A long history 

The nearest thing to a ‘universal effect’ is that most people who consume psychoactive cannabis experience an alteration of their perceptions or thought processes. Thus, cannabis could be defined as being more like a hallucinogen or psychedelic than one of the other categories. For this reason, cannabis has a long history as an aid or complement to inspiration in art, philosophy, music and most other kinds of creative human endeavour.

But cannabis should not be seen as a direct source of inspiration, talent or skill. Art comes from the artist, not from the ingestion of any substance. There are no shortcuts to contact with one’s Muse!

In almost every form of contemporary art and popular culture

Having said that, cannabis has been involved in the creative process of countless artists and thinkers and has been noted for its influence on both ancient and modern culture. From historic art and literature produced in Europe, Asia and the Middle East, to the explosion of Modernism, to virtually every form and genre of contemporary art and pop culture - the evidence of cannabis as an inspirational aid can be found if one knows what to look for.

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Collection items

Collection Hash Marihuana & Hemp Museum

Hash cafés were widespread in Greece, as French author Francis Carco learned during a visit to Athens in 1932.

Hash made with the aid of a sieve in Afghanistan.

Hash (also called hashish) is made from the sticky substance (trichomes) found on marijuana. Some methods are thousands of years old.