5 Facts About How Cannabis Was Used in Classic Literature

Marijuana has been consumed for thousands of years across the world, so it’s no surprise that renown authors wrote about the drug and its effects. Now, there are thousands of books available that are specifically about marijuana, but many classic novels only mention or allude to the drug use. Some of these famous authors were also known for their personal cannabis use, so the drug was frequently used in classic literature.

A Midsummer Night’s Dream” is a famous Shakespeare piece that alludes to marijuana in the form of “cowlip”. The fairies in the play consumed “cowlip”, a tall flower that skews reality and amplifies senselessness, similar to marijuana. Later, it was discovered that Shakespeare may have also consumed cannabis because there were traces of the drug in his old pipes. “The Lord of the Rings” is another classic piece of literature that uses cannabis because J.R.R Tolkien’s Middle-Earth is a world inspired by the counterculture, which broke social norms with marijuana and free speech. Also, a notable part of the hobbit lifestyle is the halfling's leaf or “pipe weed”, which is smoked by almost every character. A conspiracy theory also believes that C.S. Lewis wrote marijuana edibles into “The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe”, the first book from his classic series “The Chronicles of Narnia”. These novels prove that even authors of classic literature consumed and wrote about consuming cannabis.


Because it has been illegal or stigmatized for decades, the body of cannabis research available is, in many ways, incomplete. But Canada’s federal government is taking advantage of the country’s status as the only G7 country to have legalized marijuana and addressing that issue. It was announced yesterday that nearly 25 million dollars will be used to fund cannabis research in Canada.

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