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.”

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

“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




Alien Minds. Investigating Eliminative Materialism

(Doctoral thesis in philosophy, published under my real name Sebastian Schulz)

“Alien Minds” is a comprehensive discussion of the philosophical position of Eliminative Materialism. The roots of this doctrine go back to Paul Feyerabend, but it was prominently revived by Paul and Patricia Churchland in the mid 1980ies. Proponents of eliminative materialism argue that new findings in the neurosciences are beginning to show that our folk psychology as well as current scientific psychology based on our folk-psychological framework must be considered as radically false and will therefore be eliminated. Accordingly, our current psychological frameworks will be replaced by a new “psychology” which will be built on the new insights of the “materialist” cognitive neurosciences.

The critical refutation of this perhaps most radical philosophical thesis of our time turns out to be a tour de force through the recent philosophy of mind, cognitive psychology, neuroscience, and the philosophy of science.

Research sponsored by the DAAD (Deutscher Academischer Austauschdienst – German Academic Exchange Service) and a 2-year LGFG stipend (given by the state of Baden-Württemberg, Germany, for academic excellence)

Received an academic award by the DFG (Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft- German Reseach Foundation)



Who, Me?

Dr. Sebastián Marincolo

Sebastian Marincolo

I planned to live like Tarzan

is a former student of the renowned philosophers Manfred Frank, Gianfranco Soldati, William G. Lycan, Dorit Bar-On, and Simon Blackburn. He received numerous academic fellowships and awards from various institutions, including the DFG (German Research Foundation), the DAAD (German academic exchange service) and the Fulbright Commission. His research focus is on the philosophy of mind, neurocognition, and on the cannabis high. Marincolo has published a series of essays 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), and the essay collection High. Das positive Potential von Marijuana (in German, Klett Cotta/Tropen, Stuttgart, Germany, 2013), which contains his limited photo macro art series “The Art of Cannabis”. His third book on cannabis “What Hashish Did To Walter Benjamin – 20 Mind Altering Essays” appeared in 2015. His fourth book on the cannabis high is in preparation.

but then found that i am too dreamy

but found that I am too dreamy

Many of the essays on his personal blog first appeared in shorter versions in five languages on his expert blog for the renowned Dutch cannabis seed bank Sensi Seeds, the official provider of medical marijuana in the Netherlands. Marincolo also worked with marijuana expert Harvard Associate Prof. for Psychiatry 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 for many other national and international clients.

thought it over on a bench in Central Park in New York City

thought it over on a bench in Central Park in New York City

As a freelancer, he has continued his conceptual work as a creative consultant. Marincolo also has more than 25 years of experience as a freelance photographer specializing on documentary, art, travel, and macro-photography.

and then decided to explore the jungle of consciousness

and then decided to explore the jungle of consciousness

His art photography from New York City, San Francisco, Rio de Janeiro, Bali and other places has been shown in various exhibitions and art galleries in Germany and the U.S.

Since 2017 he has been working for Canopy Growth Germany as a Director of Communications and Marketing. He is currently living with his family in Stuttgart, Germany.



Sebastian Marincolo * Ecklenstrasse 15 * 70184 Stuttgart * Germany



Summit Recreational Retreat and Conscious Cannabis Culture presents two workshops with Dr. phil. Sebastián Marincolo:

Cannabis, Consciousness, and Personal Growth

October 1-2, 2016

Cannabis, Creativity, and Living Outside the Box

October 8-9, 2016

Come join dynamic, internationally respected cannabis researcher and author, Dr. phil. Sebastián Marincolo, as he shares his insights into the creative, cognitive, and many wellness-enhancing effects of cannabis. Dr. Marincolo has published articles and books on neuro-philosophy, altered states, and the positive potential of the cannabis high. His unique lens — of scientific acumen and personal observations — will expand your understanding of the full spectrum of what cannabis can offer through teaching sessions, guided cannabis journeys and stimulating discussions. Attend one, or both, of these illuminating and potentially life-changing workshops.

Each workshop: $299
Early Bird discount: Register by September 16 and save $50 off each workshop

Cannabis, Consciousness, and Personal Growth
October 1-2, 2016

“A marijuana high can enhance core human mental abilities. It can help you to focus, to remember, to see new patterns, to imagine, to be creative, to introspect, to empathically understand others, and to come
to deep insights. If you don’t find this amazing, you have lost your sense of awe and wonder. Which, by the way, is something a high can bring back, too.“

~Dr. Sebastian Marincolo

Cannabis users don’t often access the full potential of this plant’s positive effects. High quality cannabis strains can offer cognitive, creative, and spiritual benefits ranging from increased memory and empathy to faster pattern recognition and enhanced creativity.

In this workshop, come learn how cannabis can help you imagine — and take action on — new possibilities; understand, and avoid, sabotaging behaviors; and discover insights into your purpose; who you can be at your finest, and how to use cannabis as a tool to further your personal growth.

Dr. Sebastián Marincolo is your host for this entertaining and highly-interactive workshop! He’ll share his experience and insights, facilitate discussions and take you on cannabis-activated journeys. You’ll increase your understanding through first-hand experience of how to boost personal development with cannabis.

So whether your relationship with cannabis is new or seasoned, come register today for an amazing journey with this internationally respected expert. It’ll expand your mind, enhance your creativity, and unlock new parts of yourself.

Here’s Some of What You’ll Learn…

* The science behind cannabis as an enhancement tool
* 10 cognitive benefits of cannabis
* Choosing specific strains to maximize enhanced effects
* Applying lessons learned from deeper cannabis experiences
* Breaking free from debilitating states such as fear, doubt, and insecurity
* and much more…

Who Can Participate?
If you can answer yes to any or all of the following questions, then this was designed with you in mind:

Do you enjoy cannabis?
Are you new to or checking cannabis out again after all these years?
Are you curious to know more about its psychological benefits?
Do you have an interest in personal growth?
Would you like an expert guide facilitating your cannabis journeys?
Are you interested in connecting more deeply with yourself and others?
Would you like to learn how to enhance your personal growth with cannabis?

Professionals Will Benefit, Too…

Medical professionals along with their patients and relatives
Life coaches, counselors, and psychotherapists
Researchers and neuroscientists
Specialized cannabis growers/breeders

Recommended Cannabis Experience Level: All levels welcome from novices to more experienced cannaficionados. Click Register to sign up for this workshop.


Cannabis, Creativity, and Living Outside the Box
October 8-9, 2016

In this workshop, come explore the dynamic relationship between creativity and cannabis. We’ll focus on using cannabis to specifically stimulate peak creative experiences.

When you need to continually think outside the box — and design creative solutions or approaches — cannabis can offer unique support. From writers and graphic designers to programmers and folks who simply enjoy being creative, come discover new ways that cannabis can supercharge your creative process.

Throughout history, highly-creative industry leaders have used cannabis to enhance their work. Some were musicians, like Louis Armstrong, Bob Dylan, and Bob Marley. Paul McCartney once said that marijuana caused a U-turn in the way the Beatles approached music and life… which profoundly changed what they brought into the world. Others leaders have been writers like Charles Baudelaire, Allen Ginsberg, and Jack Kerouac; or painters like Diego Rivera and Amedo Modigliani. Even scientists and innovators — like cosmologist and astronomer, Carl Sagan — used cannabis to think more creatively inside their linear industries.
“Cannabis helps produce the serenity, insight, sensitivity & fellowship so desperately needed in this world.”
— Carl Sagan

A cannabis high can hyper-focus attention; intensify imagination; accelerate pattern-recognition; deepen introspection; and expand empathic understanding. Cannabis is an amazing tool that delivers profound insights, novel solutions, and uplifting, energizing experiences, AND there are specific ways to use it to achieve such results. It’s even possible to fine-tune the timing and type of creative support you receive from cannabis; however, cannabis of low quality — combined with a lack of knowledge of how to fine tune your experience — can actually interfere with and diminish your creative output.Dr. Sebastián Marincolo is your host for this entertaining and highly-interactive workshop! He’ll facilitate cannabis-activated journeys that will show you, first-hand, how cannabis can supercharge your creative output and problem-solving skills while steering your creativity enhancement in EXACTLY the directions you desire.

Here’s Some of What You’ll Learn…

The science behind cannabis as an enhancement tool for creativity
The specific types of cannabis to avoid in being more creative… and why
Choosing specific strains, dosages, settings, and consumption methods to stimulate and maximize the enhancement of creative tasks and activities
Discerning the different creative phases and which cannabis strains are best for each one (for example, what’s good for generating article topics might disturb the actual writing process)
and much more…

Who Can Participate?
If you can answer yes to any or all of the following questions, then this was designed with you in mind:

Are you drawn to cannabis for enriching inspiration, insights, and mind-expansion?
Is it time to bring your creative output and personal growth to the next level?
Would you like an expert guide facilitating your cannabis journeys?
Would you like to learn how to facilitate cannabis journeys for yourself?

This Workshop Is Also for Creative Folks From All Industries…

Creative professionals of all kinds including musicians, painters, writers, video artists, graphic designers, copy text writers, advertising professionals, art directors, creative directors, brand experts, etc.
Counselors, life coaches, psychotherapists, and medical professionals who are considering working with any kind of creative therapeutic techniques, such as art therapy, dance therapy, guided visualizations, hypnosis, EFT (emotional freedom technique), etc.
Researchers in the field of creativity and the nature of the psychoactive properties of cannabis, including physiologists and neuroscientists, specialized cannabis growers/breeders who want to create specific strains and products to enhance creativity

Recommended Cannabis Experience Level: Experienced cannabis users / cannaficionados. However, even novice users can benefit from attending this workshop. For creative professional and others interested in enhancing their creativity. Click Register to sign up for this workshop.


Here’s What Each Workshop Looks Like…
For 2 days on two weekends, Dr. Marincolo will lead group and individual sessions as well as guided exercises, cannabis-activated journeys, and stimulating discussions. He’ll share exciting insights from his research that you can apply to your own cannabis journeys, innovative journeying tips and techniques as well as give individualized advice based on your growth goals. You’ll also receive informational handouts; and a suggested reading list. And, you’ll receive bonus coupon codes for purchasing Dr. Marincolo’s books in your Welcome packet.On Saturday evening, October 1 and 8, there is an optional gathering at The Retreat for participants to relax and enjoy further conversations in a casual setting with your fellow participants and Dr. Marincolo.

The workshops will be held at Summit Recreational Retreat. We’re only 30 minutes from downtown Denver and Denver International Airport. For your convenience, we recommend Uber or Lyft for your transportation needs.Might we mention that although every time of year is beautiful in Colorado, Autumn is especially so with golden aspens blanketing the Rockies, crisp mornings, amazing sunsets, and generally mild sunny days. If both workshops beckon to you, consider making this a vacation. Come for the week. Enjoy a leisurely drive through the mountains, find your way through a corn maze, visit Denver’s incredible museums, or take in the grandeur of Garden of the Gods. There’s any one of a number of fun and inspiring activities, along with a fabulous choice of restaurants and a fantastic high life to keep you smiling, inside and out.

Workshop times (both weekends): Oct 1-2; Oct 8-9

Saturday: noon – 5pm Dinner break – participants’ choice of local restaurant
Saturday: 7pm – 10pm Optional casual hang out time with Dr. Marincolo and your fellow participants at
Summit Rec Retreat
Sunday: noon – 5pm.

Organic refreshments and healthy drinks will be provided during the event. Bring additional food you may need to fulfill your specific dietary requirements.Please Note: This is a BYOC (Bring Your Own Cannabis) event — please bring your own vaporizer if you have one. There will also be a Volcano vaporizer on site for your convenience. Plan to visit a dispensary, prior to the workshop to purchase a minimum of 2-3 grams each of 2 *different* strains of sativa flowers, or a sativa-dominant hybrid. For the purposes of this workshop, please avoid purchasing an indica strain or cannabis edible or concentrate, such as wax or shatter. Feel free to purchase these products if you wish to use them outside of the workshop.

Once you register, your Welcome packet will include venue address, recommendations for nearby hotels, high-quality dispensaries in the Denver area and local strain recommendations to purchase.

For more information, see

If you have any questions, please contact Karen at, or call The Retreat at 303.841.7050.


In the News

Sebastian Marincolo’s publications have generated a lot of regional, national, and international media attention.

Here is a selection of reports, interviews, and book reviews in various media outlets:

Podcast interview with Aidan McCullen, The Innovationshow, 2018:

Podcast interview with Joe Dolce, author of the book “Brave New Weed”, 2018:

Interview with magazine THCENE, Germany, 2017:

“Cannabis fördert die Vorstellungskraft, Introspektion und Empathie”

Portrait article and interview in: in.fused magazine (in German):

Portrait article in the magazine Ganjly, January 2017:

Interview for radio station SWR1, “Der Abend – “, (in German), podcast see here:

Interview for radio station SWR2, (in German), podcast see here:

Article on my work on, online magazine

Read the article here. Check out for my online video classes on how to use cannabis for creativity and better empathic understanding.

greenflowermedia article 2015

SPIEGEL-ONLINE, online news magazine, one of the biggest German news-websites.

Read the review (in German) here.

Bildschirmfoto 2014-07-24 um 20.28.24

TV-channel 3sat, interview in the public TV-magazine “Kulturzeit” (“culture time”), produced by ARD/ZDF, shown in Germany, Switzerland, and Austria. Watch the interview here.

Bildschirmfoto 2014-07-24 um 21.40.52

PENTHOUSE MAGAZINE (Germany/Austria/Switzerland, print run 120.000)

page 4-klein (interview, one of the biggest Croatian online news magazines). Read the interview (in Croatian) here.

Russ Belville Radio Show in the U.S. Hear the interview here. (from min 31,00 sec)

Bildschirmfoto 2014-07-24 um 22.59.23