Cannabis Stock Photos & Illustrations: Free, Paid and AI Options

By Toni Allen | Last update: March 26, 2024

Need cannabis photos, illustrations, or other media for your projects?

Once hard to source, now there are plenty of free and paid options for hemp and marijuana stock photos licensed for commercial use.

This page covers them all and includes examples from these sources. Keep reading to learn more or use the table of contents to jump to a specific section.

Free Stock Photos of Cannabis

These are the websites with the largest collections of free stock photos, illustrations and icons related to cannabis and hemp.


Pexels: All photos on the site are licensed under the Creative Commons Zero (CC0) license, meaning that you can use them for any purpose, including commercial use, without attribution.

Pexels provides a range of free stock photos, including cannabis and CBD images. At the time of writing, Pexels had over 4k free stock images related to cannabis, hemp and CBD.

screenshot of pexels free cannabis photos
Out of any of the free photo resources on this page, I think pexels should be your first stop as their website is fast, easy to navigate, and doesn’t have as many confusing ads as the other free photo sites.


Unsplash: Offers a large selection of free, high-quality stock photos, including thousands of cannabis and CBD related images. All of the photos on Unsplash are licensed under the Creative Commons Zero (CC0) license.

unsplash cannabis stock images screenshot


Pixabay: Free stock photos and illustrations. You’ll find more illustrations and icons on Pixelbay vs the other sources featured in this list. Images on Pixabay are licensed under the Creative Commons Zero (CC0) license, which means you can use them for any purpose.


Freepik: Free vector illustrations and stock photos, including cannabis images. Many of the photos on the site are licensed under the Creative Commons Zero (CC0) license, but some images require attribution or a paid license, so be sure to check the terms of use for each image before using it.

Please note: while the above websites offer free stock photos, they may have specific rules about how the images can be used. Be sure to read the terms of use for each website and each image to ensure that you are using the images accordingly.

Paid Stock Photos of Cannabis

While free photos work for most people, if you need higher quality and unique images then these professional stock photo websites might be a better fit. Plus, you get a license so you know you’re using them legally. And there’s usually much more to choose from, including images you won’t find on free sites.

Your options for stock agencies with plenty of cannabis images include:

Shutterstock: Offers a wide range of images, vectors, video, templates and other design elements. Over 300,000 cannabis related images. Pricing starts at $29/month for 10 credits.

iStock: Photos, vectors, and illustrations including over 150,000 cannabis images. Pricing is similar to shutterstock, starting at $29/mo for 10 credits.

Adobe Stock: Giant database of stock images, graphics, videos and illustrations. Searching for “cannabis” gives over 2 million results. Pricing comparable to other stock agencies.

Getty Images: Over 20,000 hi-resolution stock photos of cannabis. More expensive than other stock photos, but a good option if you need large images suitable for print material.

Keep in mind that many of these websites require a subscription or the purchase of credits to download images. Be sure to read the terms of use for the website you choose to make sure you are using the images in accordance with their rules.

AI & Other Options for Cannabis Images

Although the above sources of free and paid stock photos are what most people are probably looking for, I personally use a few unique sources for my own websites.

Nightcafe – This is an AI tool I’ve been using for a while to generate images. Mostly, I find it fun, but I’ve also used it to successfully create images for my websites including this site. There is free image generation options and you can also purchase plans or credits if you want more advanced options. If you join, you can find me here on Nightcafe.

There are lots of AI photo creating options (Midjourney, Craiyon, etc) but I like Nightcafe the best because the web-based tool is super easy to use.

Canva – Canva is an online photo editor and design suite that has replaced Adobe Photoshop for me in recent years. It’s very affordable and offers a giant cannabis-related stock photo, icon, design & even video library included with their subscriptions. There’s a free version, too.

Using Google to Find Cannabis Stock Photos

Google image results filtered to “creative commons licenses” is a good starting point to check multiple sources at once, but caution is needed to double check copyright & attribution details before using.

How to finding free stock photos that are legal to use with Google:

  1. Go to and type a description for an image your are looking for.
  2. Click on the ‘Images‘ tab.
  3. Click on the ‘Tools‘ button, which is right under the search box.
  4. A new toolbar will appear underneath. Click on the ‘Usage Rights‘ drop-down menu.
  5. Select ‘Creative Commons licenses’ for images that are free to use, share, or modify.
  6. Google will automatically filter your search criteria to show only images that are labeled as being under Creative Commons licenses.
how to use google image search to find creative common licensed images

Important! Before using an image found on Google you’ll need to check:

  1. Accuracy of License Information: Not all images shown under ‘Creative Commons licenses’ are accurately labeled. You should check each picture individually to verify that it’s truly free to use.
  2. Attribution: Even when photos are free to use, some licenses require you to credit the image creator or source.

Conclusion and Further Resources

Bottom line: If you run cannabis-based websites or design for cannabis companies, the above resources will get you started for images & design elements.

Pexels is my top recommendation for free images, but ShutterStock is a great option if you have a budget to work with, and AI image generators like NightCafe are an interesting option to try, too.

Google images filtered for “Creative Commons” pictures can be a great research tool. But remember, you’ll need to double-check each photo for any copyright or credit rules before you use it.

Please comment below if you have another source you think should be included on this page, and also check out some of the other great resources I’ve put together like this list of cannabis-friendly advertising networks and my introduction to understanding how affiliate marketing works.

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