Hash, Marijuana, & Hemp Museum Amsterdam and Barcelona

About the Museum

Uncovering the Past, Present and Future of the Cannabis Plant

The history of the cannabis plant is the history of human civilization. In this unique permanent exhibition visitors can discover how this versatile plant enabled the development of clothing, medicine, sea travel, agriculture and more, and how cannabis and hemp (which are in fact simply different strains of the same plant) have been part of everyday life for thousands of years.

A Worldwide Phenomenon

In 1985, the first museum in the world devoted to cannabis opened in the heart of Amsterdam. As Ben Dronkers, the founder, stated: “The Museum wanted to provide people with information about what hash, marihuana and hemp means. Not just in the Amsterdam coffeeshops, but as a worldwide cultural and natural phenomenon.”

Since then, the collection has grown to encompass over 6000 individual pieces, mostly acquired by Ben on his journeys around the world. By 2008 the Museum had welcomed over two million visitors. The original premises had become too small to fully represent the enormous range of the topic, and so an annex was created: the Museum Gallery, only a few metres along the canal from the original premises.

New Possibilities

Current renovation work on the original premises of the Museum will create new possibilities for fun, interactive and educational exhibits. For the convenience of visitors, various highlights from the entire collection are on display in the Museum Gallery for the duration of the renovations, and a special discounted entry price of €5 per person is in effect for the same period. We hope that you will visit us again in early 2012 to experience the newly refurbished, state of the art Hash Marihuana & Hemp Museum.

The Museum Gallery

With the opening of the Museum Gallery it has become possible for visitors to admire many more exhibits – rare paintings and prints depicting cannabis use throughout history and objects such as the various tools and implements used to make hemp into rope, paper and fabrics. Some of these tools, such as the loom from 1903 strung with hemp thread and the model sailing ships which demonstrate just how much hemp rope was required for each vessel, were simply too large to have been previously displayed.

Art lovers will be delighted by the genuine paintings by noted Dutch artists David Teniers the Younger, Cornelis Decker and Adriaen van Ostade. Many of these depict everyday men and women enjoying a companionable pipe of cannabis hemp in rookhuizen (smoke-houses), the coffeeshops of the 17th Century. More modern works by Piet Mondrian and others are also on display. These paintings are brought to life by the exhibits around them: pipes and smoking devices from around the world, and weaving equipment holding hemp fibres which visitors can touch.

Ancient and Modern Medicinal Cannabis

Cannabis has been used as a remedy for ailments and afflictions since ancient times, and up until 1937 was the second most common ingredient in medicines. Some of the largest displays are devoted to medicinal marijuana. Highlights include antique medicine bottles, some still complete with contents, from such notable products as One Night Cough Syrup and also complete antique pharmacy kits featuring vials filled with grains of Cannabis Indica and Cannabis Sativa extract.

Following on from the past of medicinal marijuana, the future is demonstrated for visitors by the Interactive Vaporizing Exhibit. This special feature of the Museum Gallery was a favorite with visitors to the original Hash Marihuana & Hemp Museum premises for many years. This unique exhibit demonstrates how the active component of cannabis becomes vapour when heated without being burned. Visitors over the age of 18 can experience for themselves how this is one of the safest and healthiest methods of using cannabis.

More information, images, and video

For more about this great museum, the largest collection of cannabis-related artefacts in the world, please see Hash Museum

For images from the Hash Museum, Permanent Collection

For beautiful images from the Barcelona location

Video (with English subtitles) from the 26 April, 2012 re-opening of the Amsterdam Hash Marihuana & Hemp Museum by Hedy D'Ancona:

For more about other Medical Museums, please see:

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