Top 5 70s Rock Bands That Used Weed

Medically reviewed by Alexander Tabibi, MD
January 28, 2021
70s Weed Rock Band
70s Weed Rock Band

Do you ever wonder what made the music of the 70s so unique? Was it the weed? What 70s rock bands that used weed?

The 1970s was a period of creativity in the music world, with rock music splintering into subgenres that all saw enormous popularity.  From indie folk rock to harder metal, rock music in the 70s offered something for everyone.  In fact, many of the top bands of the day continue to inspire us in the 21st century, which says something about the enduring high quality of the music put out during the decade.

As we know, rock bands of the 70s and marijuana go hand in hand.  Many of our musical idols were regular cannabis users, with a good number of them claiming that weed helped them write better music and came in handy when dealing with the pressures of fame, packed schedules and performing.

Here is where we are going to talk about the best 70s rock bands that used weed regularly.

70s rock bands that used weed

#5: Crosby, Stills, & Nash

Formed in 1968, Crosby, Stills & Nash saw enormous success in the late 60s and 70s, with their complex harmonies giving them a unique twist on American folk music.  Many of their hits were inspired by current events of the time, which gave them a political edge that helped secure their legacy as influential voices during a particularly tumultuous era in American history.  David Crosby Stephen Stills. and Graham Nash each played a role in writing the band’s music, with each member having enormous talent, rather than relying on a single front man supported by background players.

The band was known for their marijuana use and did not attempt to hide it during their heyday.  Graham Nash has been outspoken about his positive experiences with cannabis, claiming that it directly helped him write better music.  David Crosby has been an advocate for marijuana legalization and has gone so far as to say that every one of the band’s hits were written while he was under the influence.  Many modern-day weed proponents can credit the band with helping the general public be more accepting of weed.  The band always maintained a relatively clean reputation, as their music’s messages were ones of love and unity.  This helped give marijuana a reputation of being a unifying, peace-invoking substance.

#4: Jefferson Airplane

Jefferson Airplane was formed in the 60s, but their popularity endured throughout the 1970s, with the band evolving constantly to suit the changing tastes in American music.  They never veered too far away from their psychedelic roots, which were largely inspired by their start in San Francisco, where psychedelics and marijuana were particularly popular among residents.  Also, they were one of only a handful of female-led bands, with vocalist Grace Slick showing that women knew a thing or two about rock, just like her male counterparts.

Jefferson Airplane’s experimental sounds inspired other acts that would shortly follow, and their songs are among some of the most psychedelic of the time.  The band was known for their marijuana use, and some argue that many of the band’s lyrics are innuendos for weed.  Guitarist Paul Kantner has been a marijuana advocate for some time and credits the stuff for helping him overcome his shyness so that he could perform better onstage.  He also swears that cannabis helped him write better songs which helped the band see enormous success over the years.

Grace Slick herself was quite a stoner and has gone out of her way to talk about how it’s helped her with various ailments throughout her life, both physical and mental in nature.  A strong advocate for legalization, she still talks about its potential benefits to this day in interviews.

#3: Black Sabbath

Formed in 1968, Black Sabbath is considered one of the very first metal bands, with a love of heavy rock music and dramatic theatrics onstage.  Front man Ozzy Osbourne is one of the most recognizable men in the world, which speaks of the enduring success of the band, which still performs today.

While Black Sabbath may now seem tame compared to more contemporary metal acts of the 21st century, they were one of the most controversial bands of all-time during their heyday.  Many did not recognize that their borrowing of satanic culture was largely for marketing purposes, and parents notoriously banned their children from purchasing their albums.

Ozzy, never known to mince words, has been quite outspoken about the band’s heavy marijuana use, saying that he and his fellow members were rarely not high.  Of course, this means that many of the band’s iconic songs, if not all of them, were written under the influence.

Today, Ozzy stays away from most substances, but he continues to support legalization, as he believes the stuff is harmless.  And, as he did experiment with heavier stuff, his perspective is quite valuable.

#2: Led Zeppelin

To many out there, it is hard to think of a 1970s band that’s more influential than Led Zeppelin.  Even today’s rock bands shamelessly borrow inspiration from them.  Formed in London, Englad in 1968, the band quickly rose to fame with their unique take on heavier rock, with wailing guitar riffs, mild psychedelic influences and vocals that could not be rivaled.  Critics largely consider Led Zeppelin to be one of the most successful and gifted rock bands of ever.

It’s a shock to no fan that the band was a fan of marijuana.  It influenced many of their lyrics, with references to weed found in many of their songs.  Further, Robert Plant has shared stories about getting high.  He even advocated for legalization back in 1967, when many celebrities were afraid to be associated with an illegal substance.

Led Zeppelin got thrown into the counterculture scene of the late 60s, but it is important to remember how they stood out from other famous stoners of the time.  They were not making political messages or advocating for love and unity as the Woodstock crowd.  They knew how to write killer songs and play their instruments well, showing that marijuana users are, in fact, a diverse crowd of everyday people looking for something to take the edge off.

#1: The Grateful Dead

You will have a hard time finding a band more associated with marijuana than the Grateful Dead.  Front man Jerry Garcia currently owns a cannabis company, which is no surprise to anyone who has followed the band over the years.  Known for their constant touring, and endless jamming, they are the ultimate stoner’s band.

The Grateful Dead was always touring, and this created a subculture of stoners who loved to follow the band around their tour schedule.  Focusing largely on outdoor festivals, the band created an environment in which weed lovers could smoke outdoors and listen to the half-psychedelic, half-folk sounds the band came to be known for.  All of the band’s members have been outspoken weed advocates at one point or another and have influenced many jam bands of the last several decades.

Their Music Still Lives On

The 1970s was a great time for music, and it was also a great time to be a stoner, as some of the greatest, most popular bands of the time wrote music while under the influence, which made great background tunes while getting high.  The 1970s also proved that you could be a phenomenally successful touring musician while maintaining a cannabis hobby daily.