Three of History’s Most Influential Weed Icons

Queen_VictoriaAs one of the first plants known to be cultivated by mankind, it should come as no surprise that many famous, well-respected historical figures might have had a few run-ins with cannabis over the years…

With everyone from presidents to playwrights taking a puff through the pages of history, let’s take a look at three of history’s biggest weed icons…

 “The important thing is not what they think of me, but what I think of them” – Queen Victoria

With a reign of 63 years, this monarch defined an era: Literally!

George_WashingtonGiven the record-breaking duration of her time on the throne, it is not unexpected that Queen Victoria had a fairly eventful life:

  • During her time on the throne, she helped to expand the British Commonwealth into the most powerful and far-reaching empire that the world had ever seen, making her one of, if not the most influential person on earth at the time.
  • By carefully arranging the marriages of her descendants, she united many royal bloodlines throughout Europe.
  • She survived an assassination attempt in 1840 and later went on to become a well-loved and respected figure, with extravaganzas like The Great Exhibition and her Diamond Jubilee going down in history as extremely popular events.

Despite these achievements, Queen Victoria was not invulnerable to pain and illness: William ShakespeareLuckily, the Royal physician of the day, Sir Russell Reynolds, had an effective treatment for the queen’s ails, which would help him to go down in history as a medical pioneer: Marijuana…

Yes, even royalty once approved of the herb!

 “Observe good faith and justice toward all nations.  Cultivate peace and harmony with all”- George Washington

For many Americans, few historical figures are held in such high regard as their first president: But did you know that ‘the man who never told a lie’ was a pioneering figure in the world of cannabis cultivation?

  • As a major player in the American Revolutionary War, Washington successfully brought about a massive change on an international scale, essentially becoming the father of a new country, which would go on to become the most powerful nation on the planet.
  • Along with his military and political achievements, Washington was a successful tobacco plantation owner, who later turned his hand to a crop of a different kind…
  • By focussing his efforts on hemp, Washington worked hard to advance and promote the plant as a valuable resource, which could be used for many diverse purposes: This involved working with farmers to develop new strains, equipment and processing methods.

So, aside from being one of America’s best-loved presidents, Washington may have been a founding father of modern hemp production!

 “We are such stuff as dreams are made on” – William Shakespeare

In the world of literature, William Shakespeare will forever be listed as a pre-eminent figure and a genius of epic proportions: Modern evidence now hints that the Bard himself may have enjoyed a touch of herbal inspiration from time to time…

  • Shakespeare was incredibly prolific: Over the course of his career, he wrote 38 iconic plays, 154 sonnets and 2 narratives which would all go down in history as masterpieces.
  • He was also very versatile: He covered everything from comedies to tragedies, histories to romantic poems.
  • Aside from his lasting literary legacy, speculation is rife that his creative spark may have been helped along by marijuana…

Traces of substances which could be derived from cannabis were found on clay pipe fragments which look likely to have been used by Shakespeare himself…


It just goes to show: Whether it was used as a medicine, a cash-crop or as a mind expander, cannabis has played a vital part in the lives of many successful, well-respected and highly influential historical figures.


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