Cannabis and marijuana have been present in movies for more than 80 years. Through movies and documentaries, spectators have seen the long way cannabis, hemp and CBD have walked to get legalization. The USA CBD Expo staff recommend, on the weekend of the Oscar ceremony, eight documentaries and two films to watch at home.

This list of movies about cannabis and CBD includes documentaries and films that will give you the chance to learn more about CBD (cannabidiol)—the non-psychoactive compound of hemp and cannabis—to see how the hemp industry has grown in recent years, and know more about cannabis history. Also, we added some fiction because who doesn’t love good weed movies.

CBD Nation (2020)

CBD Nation follows the emotional stories of several patients and how CBD (cannabidiol) changed their lives for the better. Director/producer David Jakubovic examines fundamental research and evidence behind CBD. He interviews doctors and scientists to learn about CBD therapeutic benefits in treating seizures, epilepsy, and disorders related to opioids. As they say on their website: “This film is not about weed. It’s a movie about science.” 

It is available free on Amazon Prime Video for subscribers, Itunes, and Youtube.

Grass is Greener (2019)

Grass is Greener explains the problematic relationship between the United States and marijuana and simultaneously shows how marijuana changed jazz and hip hop music. Miles Davis, Bob Marley, and Snoop Dog are only three of the dozens of singers and musicians who made music with the help of cannabis. The film runs deeper into sociopolitical issues and describes historical facts related to marijuana and its prohibition—from the ’30s, passing over the ’60s and arriving nowadays. 

It is available on Netflix.

Kings of Kush (2021)

Kings of Kush TV series follows Anthony “Sully” Sullivan, a celebrity TV pitchman best known as the OxiClean guy when he launches a new hemp farming venture.

Sully left a 30-year TV career when his daughter was born with a rare genetic disorder and began looking for treatments. He found a solution on CBD and started in Vermont a 116-acre organic hemp farm named Mont Kush. He wanted to show the audience what CBD is and its benefits, so he started filming this series. 

Sullivan is learning on CBD in every episode and shows himself as a curious person. He and his filming crowd went last year to a USA CBD Expo show in Las Vegas and filmed what happens in CBD shows. It will be released soon.

It is available on the ViceTv website.

Weed (2014)

Doctor Sanja Gupta explores in this CNN’s four-part documentary the current cannabis state, from the medical issues to the recreational ones. Gupta interviews everyone who has something to say about this. The first part focuses on medical cannabis, and the emergence of CBD. Then, he goes to Colorado to meet Charlotte Figi, the child who suffered a strange kind of epilepsy and became a CBD pioneer. Charlotte’s parents explain how her child got better after taking CBD oil and how their story inspires other families to ask their Governments to legalize medical cannabis and CBD. Gupta also interviews the Stanley Brothers, the cannabis and hemp growers that prepared the unique CBD oil that helped Charlotte.

Charlotte Figi passed away last year, and in 2021 the Colorado Government declared the 7th of April “Charlotte Figi Day” in honor of the pioneer of the CBD movement. 

It is available on Youtube and CNN.com.

Emperor of hemp (1999)

This documentary, filmed 20 years before the 2018 Farm Bill was approved, it’s an excellent film to see the evolution of industrial hemp. It explores the life of Jack Herer, a pro-cannabis activist. The film tells the story of how Jack became known as the “Emperor of Hemp.” From his origins as a very conservative person to his revelation in 1984—he realized “hemp could save the world”—to his work to ending marijuana prohibition.

Emperor of hemp is a historical piece to learn about the origins of the growing hemp industry and how the action of individual people has had an impact on hemp and cannabis evolution.

It is available on Prime Video and Youtube.

American Hemp (2019)

This documentary explains how industrial hemp has become a growing industry in America since the 2018 Farm Bill. The film follows Colorado-based hemp company Evo Hemp, focusing on the day-to-day business, processing and selling hemp and hemp products from the fields to the store shelves. American Hemp also shows how the company goes into the CBD industry and creates, with Alex White Plume of the Oglala Lakota tribe, the first Native American hemp product in the United States. 

It is a very informative film, excellent for those who are not familiar with the hemp industry, its possibilities, and hemp-derived products like CBD.

It is available in Amazon Prime Video.

American Hemp: The Evolution Continues (2020)

Thanks to American Hemp’s success, Amazon produced a spin-off series that shows different stories related to CBD and the hemp industry. The first episode follows Alex Corren, the CBD start-up Uncanny Wellness founder, introducing CBD in local coffee shops. Other episodes show Alex White Plume’s story and how he develops his hemp products. 

It is available in Amazon Video for free for subscribers.  

The legend of 420 (2017)

¿Why has cannabis become so popular, and so many people fight for its legalization? This documentary tries to give answers to this question. In the film dozens of personalities make their appearance—including guitarist and singer Jason Marz, actor and stand-up comedian Tommy Chong, and Henry Rollins, leader of the punk band Black Flag—talking about their thoughts on cannabis. The film also makes a historical review of cannabis evolution since its penalization to the current situation, where several states have legalized recreational marijuana.

Available to purchase on Amazon and Itunes.

Clearing the smoke: The Science of Cannabis (2017)

This documentary by PBS explains the role of cannabis in modern medicine through medical marijuana patients, physicians, and skeptics. The most exciting thing about the film is that it presents the two sides of medical cannabis in a very informative way. Those who are enthusiastic and believe in the medical benefits of the plant, and those critics who think that behind it there is only a desire to get stoned.

It is available on PBS.com for free.

Bonus: From Cheech & Chong’s Next Movie (1980) to Pineapple Express (2009)

Tommy Chong and Cheech Marin were a couple of comedians who popularized films related to marijuana in the ’70s and ’80s. Their films, seeing today, are full of stereotypes: hippies traveling around the country in a van and smoking weed. But at the same time, these movies about cannabis showed what it was like to be a cannabis enthusiast 40-50 years ago. Specifically, Cheech & Chong’s Next Movie has everything the couple offers: jokes, drugs, and music.

Another buddy movie with cannabis as the central theme is Pineapple Express, with James Franco and Seth Rogen as two smokers hiding from the mob after seeing a murder. The film reveals how normal and quptidian cannabis is shown in movies in recent years, compared to decades before.  Rogen is also known for being a CBD investor.