Many cannabis users know that there’s just something different about music when you’re high. But what is it about weed and music? Does some marijuana really make music sound better?
Though scientists have yet to pinpoint the exact reason why weed and music are such a match made in heaven, there has been a great deal of research that has shed some light on the process involved when the two forces collide.
The Science Behind Weed and Music
While there aren’t many studies into why or if cannabis actually directly affects the brain while listening to music, there has been emerging research that looks at how our brains react to music while using marijuana.
In one of the earliest investigations on the effect cannabis has on listening to music, author and researcher Charles T. Tart focused on the marijuana’s effects on music and sound perception. “Effects on sound perception are some of the most characteristic effects of marijuana,” Tart wrote. “Further, all of these effects were perceived as emotionally pleasant or cognitively interesting, leading to greatly enhanced enjoyment of sound and music.”
Perceiving Music While High
So, why does marijuana make music sound better? Past studies have proven that cannabis affects auditory stimulation, which may lead users to experience synaesthesia, a common phenomenon that joins together of sensations that are normally experienced separately. This blurring of the visual and auditory senses may explain why marijuana consumers may better recall lyrics, understand differences in sounds and other nuances that make up musical pieces and make rhythms sound better.
Being high may even make us more prone to interpreting high sound frequencies, suggests research. One 40-year-old study found that sound frequency thresholds greatly increased after using cannabis, which means that when high you may be more sensitive to higher sound frequencies. When it comes to music while high, simply put: cannabis may act as somewhat of an audio enhancer, making sounds more transparent and sound sources more recognizable.
Music and Marijuana are Relaxing
Cannabis may also make music sound so good because of the drug’s effects on the pleasure centers of the brain. The primary cannabinoid in marijuana, THC, is known to induce feelings of euphoria and connectedness, and is even thought to have a role as a stress reliever.
It may be no surprise then, that combining cannabis and music may have a unique link to relieving negative emotions, with research finding that both can be used as an extremely effective stress management tool. In fact, one Stanford University study found that listening to music seems to be able to change brain functioning to the same extent as medication.
So, just like listening to slow music to calm the body, enjoying music while high may also have a relaxing effect on the mind.
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