Art Elevated: A Cannabis Connoisseur's Guide to Appreciating Museums

December 14, 2023

One of my favorite activities, when I have a significant portion of the day to myself, is visiting a museum while under the influence of cannabis. This has been a regular practice for me over the years and has had a profound impact on my career path and life priorities, leading to a more positive and fulfilling existence.

My journey into the world of art began at the age of 21. Although I had a basic understanding of art that every person should possess, I never truly appreciated it nor had any desire to delve deeper into its study. However, one morning, a friend proposed that we visit an exhibition featuring the works of Amedeo Modigliani, which was being held at our city's largest fine art museum. For some reason, we decided to indulge in some cannabis beforehand. As college students, the prospect of enjoying some good weed was reason enough for us to partake.

First time in a museum, stoned! 

We were successful in bypassing the one-hour queue to enter the museum and started our observation. The majority of the artwork consisted of portraits executed in Modigliani's distinct style. There were depictions of figures clothed, heads, and nudes.

One painting caught our attention, portraying Anna Akhmatova, a prominent figure in Russia's "Silver Age" of poetry, as rendered by Amedeo Modigliani. The delicate features of the subject made them appear almost androgynous to us. It was at that moment when I acquired an extraordinary ability to perceive everything in the world as if it had been painted by Modigliani himself, with his distinctive lines, brushstrokes, color palette, and textures.

More museums...

My craving for art intensified, leading me to visit museums numerous times over the following months, both while under the influence and in a sober state. I yearned to expand my knowledge and began immersing myself in art literature. This newfound passion drove me to pursue a second Bachelor's degree, this time in cultural studies. During my studies, I delved into various disciplines, including history, literature, art history, philosophy, and religious studies. The best part was that visiting art museums was encouraged and, to my delight, I could avail myself of student discounts wherever I went.

Despite working full-time as a news editor, I managed to juggle my responsibilities, which included writing essays, completing coursework, taking tests, and devouring countless books. It's still a mystery to me how I was able to balance it all while indulging in marijuana consumption and playing video games, but I somehow managed to do it all, and it brought me immense joy.

Why do I need to tell this story?

"I am not alone in this sentiment. Many individuals, including myself, have found that a fortuitous encounter with cannabis has played a pivotal role in transforming our appreciation for various forms of art and creativity. This transformation isn't just subjective; research suggests that cannabis can alter sensory perception, potentially making colors seem more vivid and sounds more distinct. This heightened sensory awareness can apply to a range of activities, from fine art and art house movies to music, nature walks, gardening, culinary arts, and even intricate tasks like paper cutting. Especially when using sativa-dominant strains, which are known for their uplifting and mentally stimulating effects, people often report enhanced concentration and a sense of exploration.

One Redittor wrote about his experience at The Museum of Modern Art

'As soon as we get to the museum, I start to peak and as we go around looking at the artwork I am suddenly embraced by the pure bliss of all these mesmerizing colors and shapes. Every time I see a piece, I can almost feel the thoughts and emotions that the artist tried to emote. It's almost as if the paintings were talking to ME personally.' Such experiences underscore the potential of cannabis to deepen the connection between the observer and the observed, adding a unique dimension to the appreciation of art and beauty."

Related Article: Know Your Weed! Complete Guide to Choose The Perfect Marijuana Strain for Your Lifestyle

5 Tips to Appreciate Art and Enjoy Museums While You're High

Exploring the world of art while under the influence of cannabis can be a uniquely enriching experience, offering new perspectives and deeper appreciations. However, it's important to approach this experience thoughtfully to enhance your enjoyment and understanding of the artworks. Whether you're a seasoned cannabis enthusiast or new to this practice, these five tips will help you make the most of your museum visit while high. From selecting the right cannabis strain to ways of preserving your memories, here's how to navigate your artistic journey with mindfulness and a heightened sense of appreciation.

  1. Choose sativa-dominant strains with higher THC and lower CBD levels. These strains are known to stimulate focus and creativity, making them more suitable for an art appreciation setting. Avoiding strains that are too sedative helps ensure you remain alert and engaged. To better understand the effects of different cannabis components, consider researching the differences between THC and CBD, and the 'Entourage Effect' they can create. Read more about THC and CBD, and the Entourage Effect here.

  2. Focus on a smaller exhibit. Large museums can be overwhelming, especially if you're high. A smaller exhibit allows for a more in-depth exploration of each artwork, leading to a better understanding and appreciation. Before your visit, check the museum's website for information on current exhibits and plan your visit accordingly.

  3. Download the museum's audio guide in advance, if available. Audio guides provide valuable insights into the artworks and help you stay focused on the purpose of your visit. They can also offer interesting stories and historical context that enhance your experience.

  4. Keep a journal. During your visit, take brief notes or voice memos about your impressions. Afterward, elaborate these notes into a diary entry. This practice not only preserves your memories but also helps in processing and internalizing your experience. For ideas on how to structure your notes, you might find inspiration from online museum trip reports.

  5. Practice moderation. It's important to find the right balance in your cannabis consumption. Being too high can detract from the experience, making it hard to focus or remember your visit. Aim for a state that enhances perception and relaxes the mind without overpowering your senses

As for my own plans for the weekend, I’m going to roll a couple of joints and begin my journey into the world of classical music.

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