"Weed Aesthetic" is a concept used to describe cannabis culture from a fashion, art and aesthetic perspective. This aesthetic has as many definitions as there are weed smokers. That said, there are many icons and images that most individuals associate with cannabis culture and weed smoking. As cannabis legalizes in more areas, whether or not marijuana will remain a counter-culture symbol is now in question.
The single marijuana leaf is the premier symbol of cannabis culture. The marijuana leaf shows up in several different uses, from simple symbology (the leaf only) to incorporation (use of the leaf to replace part of another image, such as the maple leaf on the Canadian flag). Typically shown in green, the marijuana leaf is used in all colours and can appear on virtually any item.
In North America, the symbol of the hippie has dominated the image of weed smokers in the media for over fifty years. Associated clothing items include tie-dyed clothing (particularly t-shirts), bell bottom jeans and flower imagery. More contemporary examples include the marijuana leaf, cannabis-associated brands (such as Tweed or Rolla Wear), and particular marijuana-associated icons (like Cheech and Chong).
Signage for weed users can vary widely depending on the individual. Some may choose lesser-known symbols such as 4:20, or a play on traditional sayings (such as 'Thank you for pot smoking' vs. 'Thank you for not smoking'). Additionally, signage ranges from lighters to wall art to magnets and other branded products. Finding these items out and about is becoming more commonplace as people work to combat the stigma surrounding cannabis. While marijuana-related signage used to remain mostly in private homes, it is now prominently displayed by those who love weed!
Paraphernalia in itself is a symbol of cannabis culture and the weed aesthetic. Pipes, bongs, and roach clips are smoking accessories that typically denote cannabis consumption. These items are often decorated with other symbols, such as the pot leaf, psychedelic art, abstract patterns or made into shapes associated with the counter culture (such as mushroom-shaped bongs).
We can't forget the greats! Many celebrities who are associated with cannabis culture. Bob Marley is the premier icon of marijuana from the 1960s. Marley still holds a special place for new generations born long after his death in 1981. A newer figure in the past 30 years is Snoop Dogg, the rapper who is outspoken in his weed consumption. As contemporary icons become more involved with weed, its place as a symbol of counter-culture becomes problematic. What was once an illegal product is now moving into public markets.