You’re probably used to sparking up a joint and turning on your favourite song. But do you know why you do that? There is some evidence out there to suggest that there is a link between your enjoyment of music and cannabis use. Read this article to learn more about smoking weed with music.
It seems we can all testify to the fact that smoking weed makes music sound better, but is there any evidence to support it? Is this notion just a stoned dream that cannabis enthusiasts have been deluded by? Well, it seems there must be some truth in it. Rastafarian music basically revolves around this principle.
Interestingly, research exists about this very topic. Stoners might not be surprised to find out that marijuana use does, in fact, have a very profound effect on the perception of music and sound. It might actually be true that smoking weed completely changes the musical experience.
What history tells us
Well, history basically speaks for itself. It is a plethora of songs and cultures that have preached about cannabis and music. In fact, human beings started writing songs about cannabis to give it praise for its musical inspiration.
One look at Rastafarian culture is the perfect example. Bob Marley was not the only one well known to love marijuana, but the entire culture to which he belongs is formed on marijuana and music. Bob Marley loved marijuana so much, that many of his songs were even about it. Remember the song, Kaya, where Marley said he was “so high, I even touch the sky”.
When we carry along the cultural timeline, we can see that the 70s, again was another explosion of marijuana inspired music. While The Beatles were psychedelic enthusiasts in general, Jimi Hendrix specifically enjoyed marijuana with “purple haze all in my brain”. There was definitely a psychedelic overtone to this music, but marijuana played a huge part.
In the 90s rappers started singing about marijuana (we all know who Snoop Dogg is). But there’s more than just Snoop Dogg – Cypress Hill, and let’s not forget Dr Dre, who’s advice was to “smoke weed everyday”.
The historical evidence is clear that musicians have a particularly special connection with marijuana. With or without scientific evidence, that happens to be obvious. What we are going to find is that scientific literature might also support the idea that marijuana and music go hand in hand.
What does literature say about music and weed?
Author, Norman Mailer, once said to the High Times that pot offered powers where “simple things became complex and complex things clarified themselves”. This might be a stepping stone towards understanding the profound effect that marijuana has on sound perception and expression.
All in all, it’s hard to scientifically research a subjective experience, but there are amazing people like Charles T. Tarts who are publishing interesting literature about this. His book, “On Being Stoned” pays particularly close attention to what is happening to our perception of sound when we are stoned.
Tart believes firmly that the effects of marijuana on sound are “emotionally pleasant or cognitively interesting”, or at least that’s what his studies seemed to show. From this increased sensitivity to the emotionality or intelligence of sound, there is an enhanced enjoyment of it.
Music psychologist, Daniel J Levitin also has ideas on why marijuana might encourage increased enjoyment of music. With THC playing a huge part in stimulating pleasure senses, there is a euphoria or sense of connectedness with the music that is being played. He describes it as the “time stands still” phenomenon, where even though life continues to move on around, everything seems still and peaceful.
In this state of awareness, music can really be experienced from note to note, rather than with the many distractions we usually face. This creates a sense of divine communication between the person listening to the music and the music being played.
Music and cannabis are both relaxing
When we consider some of the most fundamental qualities people say they receive from cannabis and music, the most prevalent is relaxation. Most people say that music helps them to arrive in the moment, and many say the same about cannabis. It could be that these two are on the same side, so to speak.
For that reason, when experiencing cannabis and music at the same time, both feel extremely heightened. It is not unusual that listening to music might ease feelings of anxiety, and marijuana has the same property. When they are being experienced together, it is potentially a recipe for pure joy and relaxation!