Country Music, Cannabis, and Creativity

The country music scene, like any other genre, is full of creative artists. Men and women who seem to have a never-ending pool of musical ideas inside them. Garth Brooks for instance has more diamond-selling LPs than even the Beatles. He also has more album sales in total than any other musician worldwide, except for the Fab Four.

For some though, creativity comes much harder. For someone starting to write their songs and hoping for a future in the music industry, it might be more of a struggle. With the relaxation of the laws surrounding cannabis, many people are finding that there is more to the plant than just getting high. 

CBD oil is now often used to help with pain relief, and help with sleeping disorders. Many others might wonder if CBD can help enhance or enrich an artistic performance.

With this in mind, is there any room for cannabis within country music, and could it help creativity? 

Is cannabis becoming more popular with creatives?

Marijuana has always been linked with artists and musicians, and creativity in general. The Beatles were well known for their love of marijuana, and Paul McCartney found himself on the wrong side of the law because of it.

McCartney enjoyed cannabis so much that he felt the need to take about 8 ounces with him to Japan in 1980. An amount that could have led to a 7-year prison sentence. Today, anyone can go online to Canna Cabana, or another dispensary, and legally purchase an ounce of cannabis.

McCartney insisted it was solely for personal use, and who knows, perhaps it was. Whether it helped with his creative process is also difficult to say, but looking at his lifetime output, perhaps it did.

If cannabis is becoming more popular with creatives today, then it is likely to be due to people looking at past heroes such as McCartney, and also because the laws surrounding weed have been relaxed. 

Who in the world of country music uses cannabis?

There are plenty of country songs that reference weed, and for sure there will be plenty more to come. Sunday Morning Coming Down by Johnny Cash, Weed Instead of Roses from Ashley Monroe, and Eric Church’s Smoke a Little Smoke, all either reference the plant or blatantly put it right out there.

Willie Nelson is probably the most obvious name when it comes to country music and cannabis. Willie has had to stop smoking cannabis after developing breathing problems, however, he hasn’t given up marijuana completely and is reported to still be enjoying it in other ways.

Other country names that have admitted to enjoying recreational cannabis in the past include Dierks Bentley, Merle Haggard, and Kris Kristofferson. 

Can cannabis help you to be more creative?

There have been many studies on the use of cannabis and whether it can help someone to be more creative. The results might be surprising.

Jimi Hendrix said that cannabis helped him create his music. Willie Nelson created history when his album Stardust remained on the Country Billboard charts for 540 consecutive weeks. No one could say either of these legends was lacking in creativity, but they also liked to smoke cannabis.

However, when it comes to scientific studies, there is a definite link between cannabis and a lack of creativity, in certain cases anyway.

Small doses of cannabis appear to help people become more creative, but high potency cannabis actually impaired creativity. As one doctor said, feeling creative and actually being creative are two very separate things. 

But could cannabis help musicians in other ways?

While some people may find cannabis enhances their creativity, others may find other benefits from it.

Live performances and preparing for gigs can result in stress and anxiety. A nervous musician will not be able to perform to the best of their capability. Some musicians are now finding that CBD could ease anxiety when performing live.

Cannabis products such as edibles, can also aid with better sleep, and reduce the stress felt when deadlines are approaching and new songs need to be written.

Cannabis may have also inadvertently helped some country stars live a little longer. Merle Haggard credits cannabis with helping him and Willie Nelson to have a longer life. He stated that if it wasn’t for marijuana, they would have both drank whisky and smoked cigarettes instead. 


It would appear that a little cannabis could enhance the creative process, but overdoing it would likely make someone less creative. Another study showed that when subjects were given cookies that they believed contained cannabis, they became more creative through the placebo effect.

What cannabis might do for country musicians is provide subject matter for writing, and help with relaxation for live performances. If you are going to use cannabis for creative or recreational purposes, then buy weed from a legal dispensary and understand your local laws. Otherwise, you might need Paul McCartney’s lawyer.