Weed Culture

Did Bob Ross Smoke Weed?

Bob Ross painting

Bob Ross may have found his claim to fame through his relaxing painting videos. But it was his calm demeanor that really won audiences over. So much so, it had people wondering: did Bob Ross smoke weed?

The answer lies somewhere in between maybe and maybe not. Grab your pipe and head on down this wonderfully whimsical road with us as we find out.

Photo: Flickr

Bob Ross: The Man, The Myth, The Legend

Ross was known for his relaxing painting tutorials and his signature perm. His ability to lull viewers into a trance as they painted along with him was, and remains, unparalleled.

The recent 2021 documentary film, “Bob Ross: Happy Accidents, Betrayal & Greed” brought to light that behind his joyful, warm persona was a man plagued by business woes and grief.

Yet, his ability to find beauty in the world persisted. He channeled his struggles into happy trees and allowed that joy to bleed out onto the canvases of millions.

This, precisely, is why so many people wonder if Ross dabbled in a bit of cannabis on the side. After all, how could someone continue to be so cheerful, carefree, and in love with the world, despite the pain?

Turns out, there was a bit more to Ross than meets the eye.

From the Trenches to the Terpentines…to the Terpenes?

Prior to his career as a painter, Ross was an Air Force Master Sergeant. He had risen through the ranks and proven his mettle, finding himself in an array of situations.

But even as he balanced deployment with being a single father, he still made time for art.

When he was finally free of the war machine that had dictated his life at the time, he immediately made his way to painter Bill Alexander in search of an apprenticeship.

The duo proved a jovial pairing. They both had an immense love for painting and a deep respect for the beauty nature had to offer. Each boasted a razor-sharp wit and could spin a tale like you’d never heard.

Once Ross finished twenty years of service, he turned his passion and apprenticeship into his full-time career. The rest, as they say, is history.

Except, there’s a missing piece in this story: where’s the weed?

Bob Ross and Weed


Well, here’s the thing: Ross may have indulged in many things, most notably fast cars and whiskey. But he swore he’d never done any other substances whatsoever. So as far as the answer to the question, “did Bob Ross smoke weed?” goes, it’s quite unlikely.

So where on earth did that gentle voice and soft persona come from?

Some fans have suspected it stemmed from the high-octane, aggressive twenty years of service. The constant shouting, danger, pain, and strife are often linked to the severe PTSD veterans endure.

In Ross’ case, however, many noted that it pushed him to embrace a totally opposite persona in civilian life. He would be calm, kind, gentle, and nurturing. Above all, he would bring peace and love into a world that is fraught with more than enough heartache.

Other fans, however, are convinced Ross was high the whole time. They believe him to be the embodiment of the chill stoner friend who shows up, offers free therapy via nuggets of wisdom, and fades away until the next sesh.

The Secret to Bob Ross’ Happy Trees

The fans who are certain Ross was a stoner have redefined his “happy trees” as being cannabis plants in disguise. It’s certainly a fun way to add meaning to the painter’s favorite subject to paint. This train of thought takes Bob Ross smoking weed from theory into the territory of conspiracy.

That said, there is no real proof he was a stoner, that he ever stoked a toke, or that he was particularly partial to the substance in any way.

And yet, there’s no denying that watching a Bob Ross tutorial feels like being on a cloud. So whether he indulged in weed or not, there’s definitely one thing stoners can do: watch his videos while high. And if you’re feeling really adventurous, try making some stoner art while you’re at it.

You’d be surprised at how well Bob Ross and weed go together.

There’s No Strain on This Train

There is, however, a Bob Ross strain. It’s earthy and sweet with a hint of spice. Much like the man himself, truth be told.

So what if he didn’t toke? We can put the doubts about whether Bob Ross smoked weed to rest. Instead, pop some Ross in your pipe and smoke it while his voice gently rocks you up into the ether.