We include no shock value in this title because we feel its existence is shock enough.
Yes, that’s right, in the centre of Amsterdam there is a museum that is all about weed. Well – where else in the world would you go to learn about it, other than Amsterdam? This place is a testament to all that is good and holy throughout the land. For millions of people every year, it is a sort of pilgrimage.
Now we don’t want to upset anyone by comparing the collective love of weed to a religion – but think about it. It takes most of your money, you can’t spend Sunday without it, and it needs close personal attention to be able to grow. See… It’s just like religion.
You can address any written complaints about this directly to the Lilly likes website. We recommend that while you are there you have a good look around – and maybe even plan your next Amsterdam Itinerary. Vegans will love the VJFB, while those interested in the darker side of the city might like to ponder the Red Light Secrets Museum. Of course, why would you want to do that, if you are of a religious nature?
Three Floors of Weed Wonders
On the first floor of the museum, you are introduced to both the origins and the history of cannabis use in Holland. The use of marijuana dates all the way back to Roman times. This section of the museum goes into greater detail about the tools earlier humans created using hemp. The sails of ships, for example, would have used hemp fibers.
The second floor is all about the endocannabinoid system. Those that aren’t up on their weed knowledge might not know what this is; but it’s a blanket term applied to how the human body processes weed (or the cannabinoids inside the weed, at least). Did you know dogs have an endocannabinoid system? This is the kind of thing you find out at the museum.
On the third floor, the museum covers the many, many, many obscure ways in which we have taken cannabis over the years. It details everything from refining extracts to making a bong out of an old bottle. We love it, obviously.
Why Have a Museum of Weed?
There are loads of things to see inside these walls. Mainly the exist to destigmatise weed – in their own words. They want people to learn about the origins and long, long, long history of cannabis use before they pass judgement. Obviously, this works on the people that are dragged along to see it.
Over the years, we have notice that those who have the most stigma about marijuana are the same people that have no interest in learning more. They certainly don’t want to spend an afternoon in a museum that is pointing out how wrong they are. On the contrary, most of the people that dish out all that stigma would never visit Amsterdam in the first place… but it’s a nice idea.
If more places took this attitude there might never have been so much stigma in the first place. The Cannabis Museum in Amsterdam takes the stance of anti-prohibitionists everywhere. It is the war on drugs that makes them dangerous. When you force people underground or into the shadows, that is when your weed supply gets cut with rat poison, motor oil, and other horrible things. When you regulate it? You can test it in labs, apply laws to ensure nobody inhales toxic death through a joint, and (most importantly for the bigwigs) you can tax it.
But let’s not proceed down the path of debate and simply jump behind the museum. They are educating and enlightening far faster than we ever could. They attribute the stigma to the era of prohibition and go about teaching us about how it came to be decriminalised in Amsterdam. The Museum also actively pushes for sustainability models that heavily feature hemp. Why? We are so glad you asked…
Hemp and Marijuana – And Carbon!
Marijuana plants are like big sponges. They soak up everything around them – which is both good and bad. In Amsterdam, both are effectively measured and regulated through testing. So before any of the cannabis you buy in coffee shops reaches their distribution centres – the weed has been tested and given the all clear.
What we mean is that there’s nothing to worry about when weed is regulated. But this soaking up of the atmosphere around them leads to an added bonus. Both cannabis and its cousin hemp grow plants that suck up carbon out of the atmosphere. It is theorised that hemp is a carbon-neutral or carbon-negative crop. This means it sucks more carbon out of the air than it either puts back in, or that we use to farm it. If we all switched to hemp plastics, fuels, and fibers, we would see a lot less pollution overall.
But we are off topic. Sort of. The museum covers this much better than we ever could. It’s educating masses, and that education leads to less stigma.
Museum and Shop
The Cannabis Museum in Amsterdam features its own shop, which is expected. What’s not so expected is that you can get 10% off in store along with the price of your ticket. Weirdly, they also do school tours – but isn’t that the point? To make it not weird through doing it? We don’t know, but we do like the sound of ten percent off.
The shop has all sorts of canna-gifts. It also sells seeds – which isn’t illegal and which you should be able to take home with you. Seed collecting is a hobby to some people. You can also buy all manner of paraphernalia from the shop, including pipes, bongs, and grinders. Oddly, the Cannabis clubs in Barcelona have reviewed their Head Shop.
Opening Hours and Getting There
The Cannabis Museum in Amsterdam is open from 10 am until 10 pm every day, except during pandemic crises. You can find it on Damstraat 6, which is within a 10 minute walk of Dam Square stations or from Centraal Station, if you are travelling by train instead of tram.
If you get lost, you can phone them on 020 624 5628. You can also get both tickets and information by using their contact page, if there is anything else you need to know. The whole tour ought to take around 45 minutes. If you are really into your smoke, however, prepare to spend the afternoon.
We Are Not Alone
You can also visit the Hash Marihuana and Hemp Museum in Amsterdam, which has been in operation since 1985. They have a little more information about the Hemp side of things. They also run exhibits on Mr Nice (the man who used to smuggle all the cannabis to Europe) and the use of weed in cartoons… which is just as disturbing as it sounds – even if it does explain a lot.
While this museum does cover some of the areas the Cannabis Museum does not cover, we feel that you wouldn’t book a school tour to this second option. Although educational, we feel that it definitely has a more grown-up vibe to it. They do cover multiple uses of cannabis and style themselves as the oldest and most important museum of hemp. We don’t disagree with this; we just feel it’s a little arrogant. These museums are being adopted now in America, as well, and you will find one in LA that is run by a firm called Weedmaps.
The Hash Marihuana and Hemp museum has a twin in Barcelona, Spain, theoretically opened after the cannabis clubs there banded together to get it decriminalised. With so many countries across the world cashing in on this carbon neutral crop… how long do you think it will be before Britain follows suit?
Asking for a friend.
Here at Lilly likes we love everything Amsterdam and the Cannabis museum is no exception. You can learn all you ever needed to know about how cannabis grows, where it came from, and its many uses. You also get a good overview of cannabinoid receptors, and how it affects both our body and our brain.
We recommend the Cannabis Museum to anyone who is even a little bit curious. There are some of us that go all the way to Amsterdam just to visit this place… and we don’t disagree. We would advise you to book before you go just to make sure you can get in. The more of you there are, the cheaper it will be so make sure you take your friends.
If the Weed Museum isn’t your bag, then that’s fine too. There are plenty of other places to visit – and you can plan before you go with a little help from the team at Lilly likes. Hop on over to our HQ and have a browse. You never know what you might get yourself up to on your next Amsterdam visit… but we may!