Sunday January 17, 2016
Why does music seem so much more enjoyable under the effects of marijuana? For that matter, why do musicians seem to produce better music while under the effects of marijuana? As far as we know, music and cannabis have been entwined for all of recorded history; in fact, music and marijuana have probably gone together since the first tribesmen were singing songs beneath the stars. But what exactly is it about marijuana that makes music so much easier to appreciate?
Getting Lost in the Moment
Have you ever noticed that all of your senses appear to be heightened when you're high? That's not your imagination. Cannabis does a few things to alter your state of mind that can bring you into a moment and send you into a place of heightened sensory reaction. And of course, one of our primary senses is sound .
One thing that marijuana tends to do is alter our short-term memory. Sometimes, we can't remember what we were doing a second ago. While that might be detrimental to, say, doing calculus problems, it's actually quite helpful when trying to enjoy a work of art, such as music. Rather than thinking over the music ("What am I going to have for dinner? What do these lyrics mean? How many voicemails has Adele left this guy?"), we instead abandon our internal monolog and are able to truly focus on the experience that we're having in the present.
But music isn't just about listening ; it's also about feeling . Marijuana is a known mood enhancer. It elevates our moods and floods our brain with dopamine and other happy-inducing chemicals. So when we wonder why music sounds better, we can also be wondering why we're enjoying it more. And the truth is that we're enjoying everything more, including the music. Marijuana puts the listener into a trance-like state of openness, through which music can be truly appreciated.
Now, why is music also performed better while high?
Heightened Creativity Leads to Better Results
Everyone knows that Snoop Dogg gets a significant amount of his inspiration from the green, but the artists who use marijuana for inspiration can hardly be stereotyped. There are countless musicians who have cited marijuana as a muse -- especially back before the days of the "War on Drugs," when marijuana became such a hot topic.
From Bob Dylan to Bob Marley, musicians from all genres, cultures, races, and classes have enjoyed a bit of a toke from time to time. There have even been scientific studies to that effect, which have found that marijuana does inspire creative pursuits.
Marijuana strips a significant amount of worry away from the creative process, and elevates the body's levels of dopamine, freeing an artist up to fully explore their true inspirations. Marijuana also seems to directly have an impact on creativity: the very same thing that causes your mind to "wander" when you're high can also send an artist down incredibly interesting avenues. And cannabis may not just affect the artist when they're actually smoking. If you've ever felt suddenly "high" while being sober, you know why; smoking marijuana regularly makes it easier to get into that cerebral head space, even when there are no chemicals at play. Thus, marijuana can actually make creative types more creative .
Make the Most of Your High
So now that you know why music is better when you're high, you might be wondering how you can get the most out of the experience. Generally, happy, bright tunes tend to be best experienced when you're high -- but you'll also find an incredible amount of depth to songs that have talented or soulful lead vocalists and that tell interesting or abstract stories.
Jimi Hendrix, Sublime, Pink Floyd, and of course, Bob Marley, are all commonly suggested artists for smoke session tunes. That being said, every regular pot smoker knows the truth: any music will sound great as long as you're listening to it in a good environment with good friends! Happy listening.
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