Everything’s better stoned, but have you ever specifically wondered why listening to music while high is extra enjoyable? You aren’t alone. Surprisingly, there is a long history of heightened hearing when stoned. From cannabis cigarettes being sold in Jazz clubs during the 1920s to the unmistakable aroma at today’s concerts and musical festivals, listening to music when stoned is a pastime shared by consumers of all eras. We’re exploring why listening to music while high provides listeners a more elevated experience, plus five possible reasons music sounds so good when high.
Why Does Music Sound Better High?
It’s hard to say why we have heightened hearing when stoned, given the lack of specified research, but it’s long thought to be universal that music sounds better when you’re high. Whether it’s the melody, lyrics, or the rhythm and bass that hit differently when high, many notice a difference compared to listening when they aren’t elevated. Check out these five potential influences cannabis has on a more pleasurable experience while listening to music.
5 Reasons Listening to Music While High Sounds Better
1. Time Seems to Move Slower When High
Literally. A study conducted by a professor of music, health, and the brain at Anglia Ruskin University in the United Kingdom demonstrated that a 15-second time interval actually expands to an average of 16.7 seconds while under the influence of cannabis. Wild, right? We often feel as though time moves slower when high, but research actually proves this theory! The same Ruskin University professor, Jorge Fachner, further explains that “…it seems that the brain systems that are influenced by cannabinoids are producing a state of mind in which there seems to be a slower backward counting.” This expansion of time could be why listening to music just sounds better when consuming cannabis.
2. Altered Perception Heightens Experience
It’s no secret our experiences are heightened hearing when stoned. Whether we’re relaxing, playing frisbee in the park or listening to our favorite music come through the speakers straight to our eardrums, the altered state of mind provided by cannabis can allow us to hear the music more intensely, thus providing a more enjoyable listening experience.
3. Dopamine Enhancement
With or without the influence of cannabis, listening to music enhances activity in your nervous system’s reward center, otherwise known as the mesolimbic dopamine system. The relationship between music and cannabis becomes more interesting considering that smoking cannabis can also be a pleasurable dopamine-increasing act. This time the theory that one can expect a more heightened experience of listening to music when smoking cannabis is supported by the fascinating features of the brain.
4. Connection to the Artist
Hear us out here. It’s no secret that some of our favorite music has been written, composed and recorded by musicians under the influence. It may just be possible to have a heightened, connected experience when you are also stoned. Plus, according to Daniel Levitin, a neuroscientist professor at McGill University, “music combined with marijuana tends to produce feelings of euphoria and connectedness to the music and the musicians.”
5. Because One of the Greatest Minds Agree
One of the greatest minds in the world agrees that listening to music when high is a whole different level of experience. It is said that cannabis helped renowned astrophysicist Carl Sagan understand the concepts of harmony and counterpoint after struggling to comprehend it.
“Cannabis brings us an awareness that we spend a lifetime being trained to overlook and forget and put out of our minds,” Sagan, under the pseudonym of “Mr. X”, is quoted as saying.
Due to the illegality and political sensitivity of the time, Sagan used the pseudonym to write an essay in the 1971 book, “Reconsidering Marijuana,” about the sensory enhancing power of cannabis. Basically, if an astronomer, planetary scientist, cosmologist, astrophysicist, astrobiologist, author and science communicator says it’s true, it’s true. So in honor of Carl Sagen, light up and tune in to your favorite tunes today!
Listening to Music While High
So why does music sound better high? Now that we know some of the possible reasons listening to music while high sounds so much better, next time you’re listening to music while stoned, see if any of them resonate. Let the combination of weed and music take you to a heightened place of comfort.
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