Top tracks to pair with pot, track two: The Beatles’ White Album

Music and cannabis go together like peanut butter and jelly. The two are intrinsically tied for many consumers, with one often influencing the other. While it may sound cliche, there’s something about the way a song sounds that feels different after a toke or two.

I first discovered this phenomenon in my late teens. I had recently realized my affinity for smoking pot and was experiencing the world in a whole new way. My sister’s egg sandwiches somehow tasted better, and my brooding teenage angst was slowly dissipating.

One night, I went to visit a friend at his apartment. We smoked a bowl of some random mid-grade bud (beasters as we called them in the Midwest, a colloquial term for cannabis thought to be from British Columbia). 

He then turned on the stereo. I heard an incoming jet, and looked around, surprised. Thankfully, I quickly realized I wasn’t hallucinating—it was just the beginning of The Beatles’ groundbreaking self-titled double LP, often referred to as The White Album.

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I enjoyed The Beatles immensely throughout my childhood. Every summer, my Girl Scout troop would go on a trip to Wisconsin Dells. We would all fight over who got to ride in Troop Leader Julie’s car since she would let us listen to Fab Four (the other troop leader relegated us to Christmas songs in July). We would pretend her green Ford minivan was actually a yellow submarine as we trekked the four hours to our waterpark paradise.

In middle school, the multi-platinum compilation 1 dropped. My best friend Emily and I would dance around her living room to hits like Hello, Goodbye, and Help!, nary a care in the world. Despite the inherently psychedelic nature of many of the tracks (I’m looking at you Day Tripper), we never fathomed that any of the songs could be about drugs. We saw The Beatles as nothing more than perfectly wholesome oldies. 

a group photo of the beatles white album
The Beatles always felt so wholesome to me, at least before I started smoking cannabis. Photo: Universal History Archive / Getty

Fast forward to my friend’s apartment. As the album played, I heard and saw the band in an entirely different light. When John declared in Glass Onion, “The walrus was Paul,” I laughed out loud. The jubilant Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da made me bop and sway in my seat.

But when George Harrison came in with the face-melter on While My Guitar Gently Weeps, I was struck. It was a true holy spirit moment; I felt every single note throughout my entire body. Harrison had created a portal directly into my mind. Even though the song had been recorded decades before, it was like he was speaking right to me.

“I get it now—I get The Beatles!” I suddenly declared to my friend, who was likely laughing on the inside at my stereotypically stoner moment.

My newfound appreciation of The Beatles led to the band finding itself on extremely heavy rotation, particularly their later catalog. My dad was a big fan, and when I went to visit him, I’d make him turn on Abbey Road. Late-night seshes with pals? You know we were watching Yellow Submarine.

Even now, as I transport myself back close to 20 years later, listening to While My Guitar Gently Weeps evokes the same response. It’s a feeling that runs deep and will likely stick with me whether I’m high or not. 

At that earlier moment, cannabis may have felt like the conduit to George Harrison’s brain. The plant had seemingly unlocked something about the music that I hadn’t noticed before. Perhaps the guitar god’s riff was just that powerful on its own. Either way, cannabis definitely put me on the right frequency. 


Rachelle Gordon

Rachelle Gordon is a cannabis journalist and Editor of She began her weed writing journey in 2015 and has been featured in High Times, CannabisNow, Beard Bros, MG, Skunk, Cannabis and Tech Today, and many others. Rachelle currently splits her time between Minneapolis and Oakland; her favorite cannabis cultivars include Silver Haze and Tangie. Follow Rachelle on Instagram @rachellethewriter