Applied by phenomenally talented artists, cannabis tattoos have moved far beyond plain pot leaves to make room for some seriously inspiring artwork. And whether you’re wandering the cities of South Korea or soaking in the salt air of California, you can find cannabis themes cropping up in tattoo shops all around the world.
To celebrate this unique branch of artwork, we’re spotlighting some incredible pieces below. From smoky lions to witchy scenes, cannabis enthusiasts keep their hearts on their sleeves—truly—with these permanent tributes to our favorite plant.
Alphonse Mucha Inspirations (displayed above)
“It’s a famous Alphonse Mucha lithograph, but to me it just captures the feeling of bliss and escape that consuming cannabis gives me—the feeling of really letting go, you know?” —Darren Harris (client)
Location: Washington State
Shop: Two Birds Tattoo
The Woman in Blue
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The Smoking Joint
Shop: Think Tank South
Witchcraft and Medicinal Plants
“My sleeve is an ode to the Renaissance witches’ flying ointment. During the Renaissance, Italian witches would mix a potion of Deadly Nightshade, Henbane, Hemlock and Wolf’s Bane. Then they would slather the potion on a wooden dildo and stick it up their vagina. (This is why we have the trope ‘witches flying on a broomstick.’) The potion would cause them to have an incredibly psychotropic experience and they would dance around a fire while practicing divination.
My sleeve pays homage to this practice, as my matriarchal line is made of Italian witches. My forearm holds the botanical illustrations of the plants used in the potion and cannabis. I chose to include cannabis to make the sleeve even more personal. Cannabis is the all-star medicinal plant and I think it can act as a great illuminator, which is the intent of the witches’ potion.
It is also my life’s work as I am a cannabis educator and advocate. As you travel up the arm, the plants devolve into flames that then give way to a fiery night sky. The hawk with its wingspan outstretched over the galaxy represents the ability to use medicinal plants to reach the highest divine potential. The piece ends with the full moon on the shoulder. With this piece I wear my heart, my history and my power on my sleeve.” —Emma Chasen (Client)
Shop: Tender Foot Studio
Shop: Queendom Crew
True Cannabis Buds
Shop: Wonderland Tattoo
Bob Marley and The Lion of Judah
“This piece was done by my good friend Katie and is a part of a sleeve on my left arm. It’s dedicated to a lot of artists and musicians that have made an impact on myself, my perspective, and my own art. Bob helped me realize the power and potential of cannabis—his music celebrated life as well as the herb. To this day, whenever I’m in a funk, I can put on a Marley tune like Three Little Birds or One Cup of Coffee to remind me that without the lows in life the highs wouldn’t be so sweet. You also might notice that Bob is exhaling smoke that makes up the clouds surrounding him and the other symbols incorporated in the sleeve.” —Will Hyde (Client)
Location: Washington State
Artist: Aries Rhysing (Instagram)
Shop: All Sacred Tattoo
The Smokey Lion
Shop: This Mortal Coil
Skulls and Cannabis
“Cannabis has been very good to me in many ways for a very long time. I can’t wait till my country gets on board with legalization so I can achieve a lifelong dream which is to have my own cannabis farm. Hopefully this will happen soon.” —Jorge Del Rio (Client)
Shop: Tia Juana Tattoo
Location: South Korea
Artist: Wilson Pan (Instagram)
Shop: Cryptic Tattoo
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