What Hashish Did To Walter Benjamin

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What is it like to be high on marijuana? Can a cannabis high help to remember long gone events, to fuel your imagination, to work creatively, to come to introspective and other insights, to empathically understand others, and to personally grow? How much did cannabis inspire outstanding thinkers, artists and musicians like Charles Baudelaire, Rudyard Kipling, Walter Benjamin, Billie Holiday, Diego Rivera, John Lennon, Carl Sagan, Hal Ashby, and so many others? And how much did the marijuana high positively transfom our society?

“What Hashish Did To Walter Benjamin – Mind-Altering Essays on Cannabis”  is a collection of 20 groundbreaking neurophilosophically inspired essays on the astounding positive potential of the cannabis high. The essays summarize more than ten years of Marincolos research and are written for a wide audience. This deep new exploration of the marijuana high as an altered state of consiousness addresses educated marijuana users and their relatives, medical cannabis professionals and patients, as well as neuroscientists, psychologists, and philosophers interested in the subject of altered states of consciousness.



“Sebastian Marincolo’s work is terrific and is going to make a big contribution to the field.”

Lester Grinspoon, medical marijuana expert and Harvard Associate Prof. Emer. for Psychiatry

“Marincolo’s research on the marijuana high is years ahead of others working in this field”

Joe Dolce, former editor-in-chief of Details and Star magazines. He is writing a book, as yet untitled, about the new world of cannabis.





HIGH. The Positive Potential of Marijuana

Does marijuana have a potential to lead to introspective and empathic understanding? Can it help users to generate creative ideas and valuable insights? To see new patterns and to retrieve distant memories?

Writers like Jack London, William Butler Yeats, or Charles Baudelaire used marijuana as a source of inspiration, just like the musicians Louis Armstrong, Bob Dylan, or the Beatles. The world famous scientists Carl Sagan claimed that marijuana helped him to gain deep insights which he often used in his publications.

In seven essays inspired by neuroscience the philosopher and photographer Sebastián Marincolo delivers new and groundbreaking explanatory approaches drawing on recent interdisciplinary research from the philosophy of mind as well as from neuroscience and other cognitive sciences. HIGH. The Mind-Altering Potential of Marijuana features dozens of fascinating reports from marijuana users about their experiences with marijuana as a cognitive enhancer. Based on more than a decade of research also in close cooperation with Carl Sagan’s best friend, Harvard Prof. Emer. Lester Grinspoon, one of the world leading experts on marijuana, Marincolo develops groundbreaking new hypothesis and explanations of how cannabis effects higher cognitive functions.  His fine art macro photography series of marijuana strains based on deep-focus-stacking technology brilliantly complements the unusual intellectual perspective on the positive mind-altering potential of marijuana. The book also includes a foreword written by Lester Grinspoon.


“It was not until some years after I began these studies that I initiated personal use of marijuana and I gradually began to discover its capacity to enhance some of my capabilities. I have now arrived at the point where I view this substance as a nature-given blessing. And I am thankful that Sebastian Marincolo has provided us with his timely “High. The Positive Potential of Marijuana” which, as the reader will discover, does much to illuminate this wonderful phenomenon.”

Assoc. Prof. emer. Lester Grinspoon, medical marijuana expert and Harvard Associate Prof. Emer. for Psychiatry

Marincolo’s book is great evidence that he has further developed a theory of consciousness taking a highly original path. Good philosophers are as comprehensible as possible – they have arguments and do not need to hide anything. It is wonderful to see how his photo art contributes to his research; the photos are magnificent. I have read the book and enjoyed watching the photos with much delight.

Prof. emer. Manfred Frank, German philosopher 

“In many places, Marincolo’s arguments profit from the fact that the philosopher has a specialization in the cognitive sciences. Also, Marincolo’s lovely photos of the plants are stunning; magic floral details, wet chlorophylic dreams.”

Arno Frank, journalist, in a review for the SPIEGEL-ONLINE, one of Germany’s biggest online news resources

Available in German.




High. Insights on Marijuana

Is it true that a marijuana high can lead to profound insights, as many users have reported? In his now classic essay “Mr. X”, anonymously published in 1971, even the famous astronomer Carl Sagan claimed that he owed many invaluable insights for his publications to marijuana. The investigation High. Insights on Marijuana  explains in depth the different ways a marijuana high can lead to insights as well as to other mind enhancements, such as the enhancement of episodic memory, pattern recognition, imagination, creativity, introspection, and our ability for empathic understanding of others.

Countless fascinating reports given by marijuana users and cutting-edge research from various areas of knowledge help Marincolo to take our understanding of the marijuana high to a new level. His unusual study is a thoroughly accessible and entertaining interdisciplinary tour de force through the current cognitive sciences, evolutionary psychology, neuropsychology and the philosophy of mind. High. Insights on Marijuana offers a revolutionary new perspective on the mind-enhancing potential of marijuana and takes his readers to a voyage deep into the high mind.


“I’m loving it! Wow. What an amazing, important work! Your book is such a treasure – a unique resource. Such a definitive statement of everything I’ve been thinking when it comes to marijuana … I now understand the benefits that Norman Mailer, Carl Sagan, and Richard Feynman got from Marijuana.”

Jason Silva, filmmaker, gonzo journalist and founding producer/host for Current TV, the Emmy winning cable network started by Al Gore

“Marincolo’s writing and manner of thinking are excellent – I am enthusiastic about recommending his work.”

Michael Backes, author of „Cannabis Pharmacy – The Practical Guide to Medical Marijuana











  Marijuana enhances our mind in a way that enables us to take a different perspective from ‘high up’, to see and evaluate our own lives and the lives of others in a privileged way. Maybe this euphoric and elevating feeling of the ability to step outside the box and to look at life’s patterns from this high perspective is the inspiration behind the slang term “high” itself.

Sebastian Marincolo


The Art of Cannabis

Fine Art Macro Photography Series
Limited Art Edition of 7 large format pieces each


Visualization- art-stone wall-4-small

The Art of Cannbis, Part I: Growth



The Art of Cannbis, Part II: Zoom in

Visit the Galery Shop!


Sebastian Marincolo

Portrait Sebastian Marincolo-groß

Dr. Sebastián Marincolo

Dr. phil. Sebastián Marincolo is a former student of the philosophers William G. Lycan, Simon Blackburn, and Manfred Frank. His research focuses on the philosophy of mind, neurocognition, and on altered states of mind. Marincolo has published various articles on the marijuana high, co-edited bewusstseinserweiterungen (“mind expansions”), an issue of the German internetzine “parapluie”, and published three books on the marijuana high: the study “High. Insights on Marijuana” (Dogearpublishing, Indiana, USA, 2010), the essay collection, “High. Das positive Potential von Marijuana” (in German, Klett Cotta/Tropen, Stuttgart, Germany, 2013), which contains his macro art series “The Art of Cannabis”, and the essay collection “What Hashish Did To Walter Benjamin” (Khargala Press 2015).

Marincolo also worked with marijuana expert Harvard Associate Prof. Emeritus Lester Grinspoon on a book project. For more than five years he was a creative director and consultant for one of the biggest foundations in Germany and has more than 25 years of experience as a freelance photographer. His art photography from New York City, Rio de Janeiro, Bali and other places has been shown in various exhibitions and art galleries in Germany and the U.S. He is currently living in Stuttgart, Germany, and works as a freelance writer, creative consultant and photographer.


Sebastian Marincolo * Ecklenstrasse 15 * 70184 Stuttgart * Germany