The Hash, Marijuana and Hemp Museum

The Hash, Marijuana and Hemp Museum is one of the few museums in the world devoted entirely to cannabis. It is only logical that this is located in Amsterdam, given the tolerant policy towards soft drugs in the Netherlands. The museum consists of two small buildings close to each other on the Oudezijds Achterburgwal, in the middle of the Red Light District, the oldest part of the city.

Hash, Marijuana and Hemp Museum

The museum consists of several exhibition rooms. The walls are covered with brochures, photos and posters. Glass display cases show hemp, weed, seeds, hash, bongs and pipes in all sizes and from all parts of the world. Textile and paper samples show that hemp is also a useful product.

The collection consists of more than 9.000 cannabis-related objects and shows all stages of cannabis cultivation: from growing and consumer goods to art and literature inspired by cannabis. How cannabis was used in traditional medicine and how it is used in modern medicine.

The Cannabis Garden and Hemp Gallery

The Cannabis Garden showpieces hemp plants in different stages of growth and flowering. The room is warm and brightly lit with 600 Watt lamps. The air is permeated with the typical sweet-pungent smell. Afterwards, head to the ‘Vaporizing Area’ and enjoy the home-grown ‘herbs’ in a healthy and responsible way. In the Hemp Gallery you learn everything about the industrial use of hemp and objects made from hemp.

Drugs from Plants

Did you know that cannabis is not a drug but a plant? Only when it is eaten or inhaled does it become a drug. Cannabis is a member of the hemp family. Hemp is a versatile plant and has many other uses than making people high. Ropes, oils, textiles, paper, insulation material, the list of products that can be made from hemp is endless.

Hemp, Cannabis, Weed, Marijuana or Hashish?

Hemp or cannabis is the name of the plant. Weed, marijuana and hashish (or hash) are different names for the products made from the plant.

What is the difference between cannabis hashish and weed?

*Cannabis is a collective term for hashish and weed also known as grass, pot and dope
*Weed is the brown-green flower tops, and is sold under different names such as Skunk, Haze, Kush and White Widow.
*Hashish is the resin of the flower tops pressed into a block and has a higher concentration of active substances and is therefore more expensive than weed
*The active substance of hashish and weed is Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC).

Cultivating your own Cannabis

The cannabis plant has thin, pointed leaves. Originally, it thrived in Central Asia, but can now be found all over the world. In cold climates the plant needs greenhouse conditions, and if you cultivate it at home, you can only do this in summer.

It is easy to prepare the drug cannabis from the plant. If you want to grow your own, all you have to do is buy seeds or young plants from a Grow Shop. These specialized shops sell everything needed to grow your own mind-enhancing plants. Nurture your seedlings. Water them. Give them eighteen hours of daylight. Be sure you have at least one male and one female plant. Treasure them and they will yield a crop.

Pick the bud at the right time. It is slightly tricky to decide what the right time is, but ask your Grow Shop when in doubt. Store the bud in a dry place. Once it is completely dry you have your own home-grown weed, pure and not contaminated, and safe to use. The drying conditions must be optimal; otherwise your crop gets mouldy and unfit for consumption.

If you want to do big business and smuggle your stuff out of the country, you will have to press the sap of your plants into hard blocks, known as hashish. Unfortunately, you will need a large plantation to make this profitable. Besides, you will have to heat these blocks of hashish to make them pliable before you can smoke them. Another disadvantage is that weed plantations are illegal in the Netherlands.

Getting there

Hash Marihuana & Hemp Museum, Oudezijds Achterburgwal 148, Amsterdam
Open daily from 10.00 to 22.00

The museum is a five-minute walk from Dam Square and right in the middle of the Red Light District.
Tickets for the Hash Marihuana & Hemp Museum include an audio guide (English, Dutch, German, French, Portuguese, Spanish, Italian and Russian)

Photos Marianne Crone