Is It Me or Does Music Sound Way Better When You Are High? (The Science Behind It)
Hippies love it, ancient Sufis preached it, rappers repeated it like a mantra. Every one of these groups has had their choice and way of portraying it, but they all agree on one truth about cannabis. These groups believe marijuana improves the act of listening to music, taking the whole experience to another level.
Cannabis has helped many great minds come to a better appreciation and understanding of music. It helps astrophysicist Carl Sagan have a full understanding of the principles of counterpoint and harmony. It also helped Norman Mailer finally under jazz.
Indeed cannabis and music are a match made from heaven. They blend together like peanut butter and jelly. Each on their own is great but when combined, an experience of pure bliss is achieved. In some situations, you might even start to feel, or hear your favorite songs in a new and different light when you’re high. You notice various features, the artistic craft, how the sound blends and bends, melodies you haven’t noticed prior to the experience.
But why is that so? How is it that music and cannabis work together so well? Well, the reason for this unique experience has so much to do with how music and cannabis interact with our minds.
Cannabis And Music
To understand how music and cannabis do so much together, we need to first look at how they each individually stimulate the brain
Music in the brain
Music, a blend of frequencies and vibrations stimulates not only the brain but the entire central nervous system. Certainly, a song comes in different elements and facets which makes your nervous system and brain get stimulated simultaneously.
Through scientific research, it has been established that music induces the brain to release dopamine. Dopamine is a neurotransmitter that enables people to feel good. It is a way your brain supports the gratification that comes with listening to music.
To this end, music plays a very vital role in boosting the mood and reducing anxiety. Music can also go a long way to improve mental strengths like alertness and memory. A lot of people fail to realize that our brains put in a lot of effort to make music comprehensible and understandable. Spotify, the most used music streaming service, has playlists now based on cannabis themes as well.
Each song comes with various elements and our brains have to do the work of analyzing these elements, combining everything like a puzzle. This helps to establish a regular exercise for our brain, enabling us to connect deeply with music.
Cannabis in the Brain
An interesting thing about cannabinoids in the close resemblance they have with the molecules present in our brain. THC in particular closely resembles a type of neurotransmitter in our brain. Hence, when a large quantity of THC is consumed, it can function very close to these neurotransmitters. This causes them to work differently than they normally do.
A critical way THC influences these neurotransmitters is by restraining them from having a break. Under normal conditions, neurotransmitters fire and then take a break impeding any specific brain activity from being in excess. However, the consumption of THC influences the neurotransmitters in specific areas of the brain from taking a break. This causes some brain activities most especially our thoughts to drift on for a while longer than they would usually do.
If you’ve ever been hyper-fixated on a particular thing while high, this would be the reason. It may be helpful if you could pen down those thoughts and come back to them after being sober. This is one of the reasons why working on creative and imaginative projects helps to amplify highs.
To add to these, cannabis also gets the brain to work more to make you happy. It operates with the brain to process several emotions and increase positivity. In reaction to various emotional stressors, cannabis also helps to reduce negativity.
Furthermore, marijuana also causes the brain like music to release dopamine and also increase levels of norepinephrine. This is how cannabis develops a strong sense of bliss and thrill in consumers. Also similar to music, the mood-lifting effect of marijuana is usually compared to a runner’s high
Why Music Sounds Better When High
It has now been established that both THC and music induce numerous reactions in the brain, including the release of additional dopamine.
With the combination of both forces, your brain is always happy when high and listening to music. Hence, you might feel that’s the greatest feeling to ever experience. This makes music and cannabis a kind of power couple—they work together to strengthen each other in the best way possible.
Given marijuana affects the brain such that a user can get fixated on a particular thought longer than normal, then users can stay on a specific aspect of the song they enjoy most. It can be said that cannabis influences our perception of time and the speed of our internal clock. Hence, this gives a cannabis user listening to music a heightened auditory sense. This allows the music to be enjoyed in a more detailed way given the user has “more time” to examine the musical elements of a song.
And with so many elements to enjoy in a song, music often carries a deeper and stronger meaning when listened to when high. THC gives the music the extra feeling of ecstasy and vice versa.
Naturally, the brain already has linked listening to music as a sensational activity. Adding cannabis to the combo only increases the sensation to a whole new level. In fact, you may find an increase in sensation in other activities you do when you are high on cannabis. Some streaming services now have marijuana-themed playlists to click on and just enjoy.
Several reasons have been established as to why music sounds better when high. Some scientific, and others superstitious but whatever the reasons might be we guess it doesn’t matter. The fact remains that music sounds better and ecstatic when high and there’s a general consensus amongst cannabis users that it does. So turn on the music, light up a joint and enjoy the experience.