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Cannabis & Music: Why Music Sounds Better When High

Let's explore how two of your favorite things work together to please your brain. Created with Pilgrim Soul.

Photo by Mathew Addington / Death to the Stock

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Cannabis and music go together like peanut butter and jelly. Each is great on its own, but when you combine them, you get an experience of pure bliss.

You may even feel that you see (or hear) your favorite songs in a completely new light when you’re high; you find things about the artfully crafted melody that you never noticed before. 

But why is that, exactly? How is it that cannabis and music work so well together?

The reasoning behind this sensation has a lot to do with how both cannabis and music interact with your mind. 

If you have ever become hyper-fixated on something while high, that would be the reason; you may even find it useful to journal those thoughts and come back to them when you’re sober!

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Cannabis And Music

The best way to understand cannabis and music together is to start by looking at how they each individually stimulate your brain.

Music In The Brain

Photo by Mathew Addington / Death to the Stock

Music does not only stimulate your brain, but it stimulates your entire central nervous system. There are typically many different facets of a song, making your brain and nervous system simultaneously stimulated. 

Music is known to prompt your brain to release dopamine, a neurotransmitter that allows you to feel good, as a way for your brain to support the enjoyment that comes from the activity of listening to music.

Because of this, music can play a significant role in reducing anxiety and boosting your mood; music can even enhance mental strengths like memory and alertness. 

Most people don’t realize that our brains need to put in a lot of work to make music comprehensible.

Again, there are many facets to any given song, and our brains have to work through all of it and put it together like a puzzle.

This creates a regular workout for our brain and enables us to connect so deeply with music. 

Cannabis In The Brain

Photo by Keti Chikhladze, @immigrantstoner

Interestingly enough, cannabinoids closely resemble molecules we already have in our brains. THC, specifically, very closely resembles a type of neurotransmitter. Thus, when you consume a large amount of THC, it can work very closely with your neurotransmitters and cause them to function a bit differently than they usually do. 

The most significant way THC affects those neurotransmitters is by keeping them from taking a break.

Under ordinary circumstances, your neurotransmitters will fire and then take a break, preventing any particular brain activity from getting to be excessive.

But, when you consume THC, those molecules stop the neurotransmitters in certain parts of your brain from taking that break, which allows some brain activity, particularly your thoughts, to trail on much longer than they usually would.

If you have ever become hyper-fixated on something while high, that would be the reason; you may even find it useful to journal those thoughts and come back to them when you’re sober!

This is why things like working on creative projects can amplify your high

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In addition, marijuana gets your brain to work extra hard on making you happy; it works with your brain on emotional processing and increases positivity while decreasing negativity in reaction to emotional stressors.

Further, cannabis causes your brain to increase levels of norepinephrine and, like music, dopamine.

This is how marijuana creates such a strong sense of euphoria in consumers.

In another similarity to music, the mood-boosting effects of cannabis are often compared to a runner’s high. 

Why Music Sounds Better When High

Photo courtesy of Goffkein / Adobe Stock

We know that both music and THC cause multiple reactions in your brain, including the release of extra dopamine.

With two forces combined to make your brain happy, you may feel like listening to music while high is one of the greatest feelings ever. This makes cannabis and music kind of a power couple; they both work with and enhance each other in the best way possible.

Since cannabis affects your brain in such a way that you can stay on one thought longer than normal, cannabis users can fixate on the particular aspects that they enjoy the most of whatever song they’re listening to. 

With many elements to be enjoyed in any song, music can carry a much stronger meaning when people listen to it while high. THC provides the music and extra feeling of euphoria and vice versa.

Our brains already register listening to music as an enjoyable act, but adding cannabis to the mix increases that enjoyment significantly.

You may find the increase of enjoyment true for all of your favorite activities when combining cannabis. 

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December 16, 2021 — Last Updated January 12, 2022
Written by Holly Crawford
cannabisFAQlearnmusicsmokingTHC
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December 16, 2021 — Last Updated January 12, 2022
Written by Holly Crawford
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