By Miguel Ordoñez

Putting together a music selection for cannabis users is walking on very thin ice. Weed smokers and cannabis users usually know what they’re talking about, and have a much more distinguished taste in music, compared to the non-smoking listener. Why is that? The scientific explanation would be that cannabis works in areas of the brain that are responsible for processing auditory stimulation, putting us in the position to recognize the smaller details and subtle differences within the sound. We do not only fine-tune our auditory senses with weed, most of us combined cannabis and music for years and years, helping our taste in music to develop over time.

We put together a total number of 20 songs, divided into 4 categories and two parts. This is Part 1 of our Top 20, featuring music from the categories “The 1960’s and 70’s” and “Cannabis Classics”. Part 2 focuses on “Rap & Hip Hop” and “Electronic Music”.

Do not think of this Top 20 as something that is carved in stone. It makes more sense to see the following selection as a musical journey, where weed smokers on the hunt for new tunes can dig deeper into things they like, and leave the rest untouched. For best results, get high before you start to explore or while you listen to these songs, and enjoy your music on good speakers or headphones.


Bob Dylan – The Times They Are a-Changin’ (1964, The Times They Are a-Changin, American Folk)

This is one of the best protest anthems written in the 1960’s. This song has the potential to take us back in time, when protesting for civil rights and against war was common sense among a whole generation of cannabis enthusiasts. Great choice for listeners with a rebellious soul!

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Jimmy Hendrix – Purple Haze (1967, Are You Experienced, Psychedelic Rock)

Most of us given the chance to time travel would most likely set the date to 1969, to see Jimmy Hendrix perform Purple Haze, along with his interpretation of the American national anthem at Woodstock. There is nobody on this planet who knows how to play the guitar he did.

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The Doors – Riders on the Storm (1971, L.A. Woman, Psychedelic Rock)

Riders on the Storm, along with Light My Fire, are excellent songs to listen to while getting high. It’s Psychedelic Rock, but much smoother than Hendrix shredding his guitar for example. The electric piano perfectly matches the samples of rainfall, and the voice of Jim Morrison was recorded twice to get an echo-effect, helping to create this gloomy atmosphere. We talked about subtle differences in the introduction. Can you hear Jim Morrison whisper the lyrics? Listen closely.

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John Prine – Illegal Smile (1971, John Prine, Country/Folk)

Have you tried listening to Country while getting high? If not, give it a chance. Illegal Smile, written and performed by John Prine, is a very good example for a country song describing the everyday life of a full-time cannabis connoisseur: “Bowl of oatmeal tried to stare me down... and won; And it was twelve o'clock before I realized That I was havin'... no fun”.

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Pink Floyd – Time (1973, The Dark Side of the Moon, Progressive/Psychedelic Rock)

You haven’t tried listening to Pink Floyd while being or getting high? This is not good! Generations of cannabis users worship The Dark Side of the Moon, and you should start with it today. Taste in music is subjective but there is no way around Pink Floyd if you smoke weed. When you have the time, listen to The Dark Side of the Moon in full length. Pink Floyd is THE choice for smokers of all ages!

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Ray Charles – Let’s Go Get Stoned (1966, Crying Time, Rhythm and Blues)

Let’s go get stoned was shortly released after Ray Charles got out of rehab. It’s a classic that brings things to the point. Give it a try and maybe use it as musical reminder when other weed smokers are living with you. When “Let’s Go Get Stoned” is being played, everybody knows what’s happening.

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Peter Tosh – Legalize it (1976, Legalize It, Reggae)

“Every man got to legalize it, and don't criticize it; Legalize it … and I will advertise it” Peter Tosh was way ahead of his time and sadly passed away before he got the chance to smoke legal Jamaican bud. Tosh was murdered in his house in Kingston but his spirit continues to live in the music he created. We will legalize it, won’t criticize it, and most definitely, advertise it.

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Rick James – Mary Jane (1978, Come Get It!, Funk)

It’s about to get funky up in here! Rick James and weed smoking is the perfect symbiosis. “I'm in love with Mary Jane. She's my main thing.” Most of us would agree and thank Rick James for this 70’s funk classic. Some might know Mary Jane from the movie Half Baked, and the genius impersonations of Rick James by Dave Chappelle. Great song for smoking and hilarious comedy!

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John Holt – Police in Helicopter (1983, Police in Helicopter, Reggae)

“If you continue to burn up the herbs, we gonna burn down the cane fields” You are a militant guerilla grower and not a big fan of police helicopters? Here is your Reggae anthem! The lyrics speak directly from the heart of a passionate outdoor grower. “We don't trouble your banana, we don't trouble your corn; We don't trouble your pimento, we don't trouble you at all.”

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Ben Harper – Burn One Down (1995, Fight for Your Mind, Alternative Rock)

“My choice is what i chose to do; and if I'm causin no harm, it shouldn't bother you.” Burn One Down pretty much reflects the attitude most cannabis aficionados have, and creates a nice atmosphere to roll the next one.

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