Rock and roll is, arguably, the most flexible and expansive genres of music in the world. It’s also indisputably better when you’re high—but choosing the best rock songs to listen to while smoking weed is no easy feat.
For simplicity’s sake, this list sticks to songs that exemplify the hallmarks of rock music. These tracks serve virtually any situation you’ll need while getting baked: to get hyped, contemplate the world, or simply enjoy a solid groove.
Spirit of the Radio
If you’re trying to start your day off with a positive vibe (perhaps accompanied by some tea and weed), there’s no better track. This upbeat song is straightforward compared to the rest of Rush’s discography, presents plenty of opportunity for air drums, and has a reggae break deserving of its own song.
Even though it’s a chipper tune, the lyrics are dense—making this song worthy of scholarly, even high-thought, analysis.
This song may seem a little on-the-nose based on its title, but the track has much more than meets the eye (uh…ear). Accusatory and damning lyrics meet time signature-shifting bass lines and thick guitars.
If the heavy groove that dominates this song doesn’t do it for you, then the 3:39 break sure will. Heavy panned guitars and cascading drums take you to a meditative state before rocking out one last time.
To this day, 311 remains a band that is dedicated to unity and positivity. They’ve never been shy about their support of ganja with lines like “Makin’ the funk that smells of skunk” and “Look into my eyes and see them dilatin’.”
311’s Midwestern anthem covers a wide array of styles, from alternative rock to hip hop, to roots reggae.
Hell, this song even sampled “Wake the Town” before Kanye thought to do so (but don’t tell him that).
Which came first, the Hendrix tune or the legendary weed strain? Whatever the answer is, you can now enjoy both at the same time.
“Purple Haze” instantly takes you back to another time with its intoxicating guitar riff. It seems like a simple blues rock song, but meanders into psychedelic territory with panning vocals, octavia electric guitar, and rolling drums.
If you’ve somehow never given Jimi Hendrix a listen, this will be a great start.
Guns of Brixton
You may not think that listening to a punk rock band like The Clash is the right call when smoking, but “Guns of Brixton” is the perfect song to get down to with its heavy reggae vibe.
While the track predates the Brixton riots that occurred in 1980, it effectively represents the discontent surrounding police brutality and a recession, both of which seem strikingly fitting in modern America.
Despite its heavy lyrical content, the song is fun and sure to entertain with vibrato guitars and bouncing percussion.
“Anesthetize” by prog rock outfit Porcupine Tree is a 17-minute masterpiece about self-medication and acceptance. It’s one of those tracks with the rare and unique ability to take you on a trip; all you have to do is close your eyes and listen.
Even though it’s a dark song, “Anesthetize” has multiple rewarding moments of spectacular musicianship, including a guest solo by Alex Lifeson, and one of the heaviest breakdowns ever at 10:57.
No One Knows
Queens of the Stone Age
If you’re wanting a foot stompin’, heavy groovin’ tune that isn’t 17-minutes long, “No One Knows” by Queens of the Stone Age may be more your speed.
This song features drummer Dave Grohl (Nirvana, Food Fighters) hitting at his absolute hardest, while vocalist/guitarist Josh Homme sings some of the catchiest and most haunting vocal melodies ever.
There’s no way around it: this is a catchy tune from a band that practically re-invented the genre of stoner rock.
Whether it be from decades of radio broadcasting or cult classics like Dazed and Confused, you have almost certainly heard this smash hit from Aersosmith. Want to check your vocal skills? Just try and sing along.
Unlike many classic rock hits, “Sweet Emotion” has managed to age well with its instantly recognizable vocoder guitar intro, smooth and drawn-out vocals, and heavy-hitting ending. All of these aspects make this a standout Aersosmith tune to smoke up to.
And if you really want a laugh while you’re getting baked, just watch the music video.
Don’t Forget Me
Red Hot Chili Peppers
Funk rock tunes typical of the Chili Peppers are plenty of fun to smoke to, but this deep cut offers a sonic experience unlike any other song in their discography.
John Frusciante’s guitar work is simple yet inventive, with palm-muted guitars layered in delay. You almost don’t even recognize that Flea’s bass line repeats throughout the entire song.
All of this is narrated by Anthony Kiedis’ lyrics, which are some of the most introspective he’s ever written. Of course, they don’t pass up the opportunity to admit that “I’m a pothead.”
“Pardon Me” has just about everything you could possibly want in a catalog of rock songs to listen to while smoking weed.
If Mike Einziger’s modulated guitar swells, DJ Killmore’s death-defying turntable skills, or Brandon Boyd’s inventive lyricism and flawless rapping aren’t enough for you (impossible), here’s another incentive to listen: the song is downright catchy. It commands you to sing along, and boasts incredible repeat value that’s only enhanced by getting high.
These songs are far from the be-all end-all of great rock, but they’re a solid start to your personal pot playlist.