10 Facts About Music and Cannabis You Probably Didn’t Know
There is no doubt that music and cannabis were made for each other. Musicians from a wide variety of genres have written songs about weed and use the herb for artistic inspiration. For the less creative and talented, cannabis expands our minds as we consume at concerts or listen to tunes at home.
Here are 10 facts about marijuana and music that you probably didn’t know.
1. Cannabis May Help Us To Hear Better
While scientific research studying the relationship between music and marijuana is lacking, one study has made an interesting discovery.
After consuming cannabis, brain waves of participants were measured while listening to music. The parietal cortex of the participants (responsible for auditory processing) showed significant activity compared to those who did not smoke cannabis.
The researcher suggests that these results are promising for hearing-impaired individuals and that cannabis may act as a natural hearing aid.
2. Louis Armstrong Performed High
Mention the Roaring Twenties and people quickly think of jazz, speakeasies, and liquor. While not often associated with the time period, cannabis was commonly used by jazz artists for musical inspiration.
Louis Armstrong, arguably one of the most famous jazz artists of the 20th century, reportedly lit up before most of his shows. And he wasn’t alone. Other artists like Ella Fitzgerald indulged in cannabis as well. As jazz involves a lot of improvisation, marijuana’s ability to help us think outside the box is a useful tool for artists.
3. Music And Cannabis Distorts Our Perception Of Time Differently
Although musicians don’t need an excuse to use cannabis, science may actually support musical cannabis use. Music in general often speeds up our perception of time.
Marijuana, on the other hand, impacts a certain part of the brain that holds a large number of cannabinoid receptors, which helps to slow down our perception of time.
Adding these two together may provide listeners and musicians with more time to enjoy and process a song. Slow beats, like those found in reggae, likely sound so good when high because of this relationship.
4. Music Brings Out The Best In Cannabis
Unfortunately, most people have experienced or are aware of the anxiety and paranoia that can sometimes occur when using cannabis.
Listening to music when high can help to counteract these negative effects. Since music and cannabis both impact the pleasure sensor areas of the brain, a calming tune can overwhelm negative sensations associated with the plant.
If you’re feeling anxious, throw on a record and know that “every little thing is gonna be alright.”
5. Certain Tunes Sound Better With Specific Strains
‘Cannasseurs’ are using their expertise to match strains with specific types of music. The key is balancing the indica to sativa ratio to create the right level of energy and focus.
Bubblegum is known to make people want to dance, making it perfect for listening to pop music. Blue Dream helps users appreciate sounds and colors and is a solid go-to for concert goers of nearly every genre.
6. Country Music Mentions Cannabis More Than Any Other Genre
Musicians across every genre can agree that music and cannabis go together. While rap and reggae have numerous iconic artists who are known to partake in cannabis consumption, it is actually country music that refers to weed more than any other genre.
Country music mentions marijuana 1.6 times per song, while rap contains only 1.3 mentions. Willie Nelson is the most well-known country artist to use cannabis, however, he is definitely not the only one who mentions weed in his music.
7. When His House Caught Fire, Willie Nelson Chose Cannabis Over Music
While living in Nashville in 1970, Willie Nelson was forced to make an important decision when his house went up in flames.
He chose to save a pound of marijuana but unfortunately lost over 100 music tapes. He said, “I wasn’t being brave running in there to get my dope—I was trying to keep the firemen from finding it and turning me over to the police.”
Whether the music and cannabis outcome was determined by legal or personal motivations, we say good choice.
8. Cannabis Lights Up The “Music Oriented” Parts Of The Brain
One highly researched cannabis fact is what parts of the brain are affected by weed. In these studies, researchers have found that the parietal cortex, occipital area, and temporal area are responsible for processing music as well as color and other artistic sensory input.
Both music and cannabis have been found to light up all of these areas. Some individuals can experience synesthesia after smoking which blends senses and makes them “feel” color and music.
9. Bob Dylan And Marijuana Are To Blame For Some Of The Beatles’ Popular Tunes
Fans of The Beatles are aware that 1964 was the year that the band made their big break after signing on to Capitol Records. It is also the year that Bob Dylan showed up in their hotel room and introduced them to cannabis.
The introduction to the musical plant no doubt inspired numerous songs like Day Tripper and Magical Mystery Tour. We’ll let historians debate who is to blame for the songs about LSD and cocaine.
10. Two-Thirds Of Concert Goers Have Used Cannabis
One survey of concert-goers found that 66% of attendees reported having used cannabis sometime in their lives. Just over 40% admitted to using weed in the last month.
This isn’t too surprising for those who regularly attend rock or reggae concerts. It would be even less surprising to the alleged 99% of Woodstock attendees who were high during the festival.
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