The legalization of cannabis means it is becoming more popular today. But it has been a common pop culture theme for many years. This article will reflect on the cannabis influence on pop culture throughout time.
Evidence of the Cannabis Influence on Pop Culture
Cannabis and Music
The cannabis influence on pop culture is most evident in music. Its inspirational roots can be traced back to the 1920s when jazz legend Louis Armstrong honored it in his instrumental song “Muggles” which was also a slang term for weed. Weed’s association with black culture and music is responsible for the negative connotation between society and law enforcement that exists to this day.
The relationship between cannabis and music was emphasized during the ’60s. It was one of the main forms of recreation in 1969’s Woodstock. It was a popular song topic for artists like Bob Dylan (Everybody Must Get Stoned), The Beatles (Got to Get You into My Life), and Jimi Hendrix.
Cannabis’s popularity continued into the 70s as part of the reggae movement. Bob Marley was an early advocate. He used marijuana for spiritual reasons.
In the ’80s, cannabis was a popular rap song subject. Snoop Dogg wrote countless songs paying homage to weed. Cypress Hill also included plenty of marijuana references in their lyrics.
Cannabis continues to be a popular topic in modern music. Lana Del Rey’s song “High by the Beach”, Bruno Mars’ “Smokin out the Window” and Future’s Drankin n Smokin” all contain cannabis references.
But the relationship between cannabis and music is not only based on marijuana being cool. Jorge Fachner, professor of music, health, and the brain at Angela Ruskin University explains that there is a deeper relationship.
“Marijuana works like a psycho-acoustic enhancer. That means you are more able to absorb, to focus on something, and have a bit of a broader spectrum. It doesn’t change the music, it doesn’t change the ear functioning. Obviously, it changes the way we perceive ear space in music,” he explains.
Marijuana and Movies
Movies are also telling of the cannabis influence on pop culture. Perhaps the earliest movie to explore the topic of cannabis was Reefer Madness. The 1936 film was a propaganda piece that explored the effects of marijuana on high school students.
Originally financed by a church group, it attempted to teach parents the dangers of cannabis use among teenagers. It took a melodramatic approach showing how teenagers would try cannabis, become addicted, and get involved in various crimes. It was rediscovered in the 1970s and viewed as a satire film by reform advocates.
Since then, countless marijuana films have been released typically glorifying it. Cheech & Chong starred in several films that recounted their adventures using cannabis. Up in Smoke was among the most popular.
Other cannabis films to check out include Pineapple Express, a Seth Rogan film named after a marijuana strain. Harold & Kumar Go to White Castle follows the protagonists on their bizarre quest to acquire White Castle hamburgers. Dazed and Confused is a stoner dramedy that follows the misadventures of teenagers on their last day of school before summer vacation.
There are several cannabis icons that further establish the cannabis influence on pop culture.
Snoop Dogg not only sings about cannabis. He fights for it. He has stood behind countless cannabis movements. He also owns or co-owns several cannabis companies.
Seth Rogan is another star who puts his money where his mouth is supporting the cannabis influence on pop culture. He has stood behind cannabis causes. He recently opened his own cannabis company as well.
Other celebrities that aren’t as vocal in their support of cannabis include Martha Stewart. Stewart may be best known as a homemaking entrepreneur, but she has extended her business ventures by partnering with Snoop Dogg to start the CBD business Cannabis Growth. She says she does not smoke high-THC cannabis products but enjoys the plant’s non-psychoactive effects.
Whoopi Goldberg is also a less vocal cannabis supporter. She launched a company called Whoopi & Maya which offered cannabis products to ease menstrual discomfort. The brand was eventually shut down as there was not enough clinical proof to establish a tie between cannabis and menstrual symptom relief.
Cannabis and Fashion
The cannabis and fashion relationship is another sign of the cannabis influence on pop culture. It’s not unusual to see people wearing clothing with pot leaves emblazoned across it. But the relationship runs deeper than that.
The brand Zig Zag, which makes rolling papers, has started its own clothing line. The company has long been making t-shirts. But more recently it has stepped out with a line that includes hoodies, joggers, leather bags, and jackets.
We are also seeing more cannabis-user-friendly clothing designs. For example, you may find coats with interior pockets that are ideal for holding pipes. There is also a rise in comfortable clothing that’s perfect for lounging around stoned.
The cannabis product hemp is also becoming a more popular clothing material. It is often used in clothes manufacturing because it is durable, antimicrobial, and eco-friendly. It also has breathable and moisture-wicking properties making it a comfortable fashion choice.
Cannabis Influence on Pop Culture: Final Words
Cannabis is becoming more popular due to its ability to improve mental health. But its years as an underground favorite have established the cannabis influence on pop culture. It is celebrity-endorsed with a long history of influencing musicians, film writers, and clothing designers. It’s likely that legalization will increase this trend.
How has the cannabis influence on pop culture affected you?