We all have the friend we don’t want to connect to the speaker, and we’re probably a little more vocal about it when we’ve smoked. Music opinions change, the vibe has to be just right, and everyone wants to feel. You know when it’s time for Kendrick, Wu-Tang, Jimi, Black Sabbath, The Grateful Dead, or Massive Attack. It’s all about the moment.
While the science that adequately describes the way art makes us feel or the way weed enhances that feeling is somewhat limited, anyone with an eighth and a record player will be quick to tell you what their soundtrack contributes to their smoke sesh.
Keep these things in mind when you build the playlist for your next get-together. Create the perfect tone for your night.
Music heavily impacts our senses
Music can have an emotional impact on people. Listening to a complex and flawlessly performed Italian opera might make you cry for reasons you don’t understand. You don’t always get why you’re so moved by the art, but the feelings start to pour in. You involuntarily surrender that control of your emotions because of how a particular piece of art makes you feel, and your brain lights up in response. These tears aren’t from sadness but a profound appreciation that overwhelms your brain.
Sound can inspire many responses from our brains and bodies. If you’ve ever seen all those ASMR videos on your YouTube recommended page, they might look weird. They can be a little strange to watch, but the people who watch them do so to be stimulated and moved by the sounds in the video. ASMR, or autonomous sensory meridian response, occurs when audio or visual triggers can produce a profound soothing effect.
This is all without the involvement of weed. Music is capable of producing amazing responses from a sober brain. When you smoke weed, you’re changing how your brain processes information. Many people who take a few puffs off their vape cart find that they process great music more profoundly once the effects of their weed kick in.
There are a few reasons why the brain may respond to or interpret music differently when you’re high. Most of those changes enhance the experience and make music even more powerful.
You’re probably paying closer attention
Weed induces a state of both relaxation and focus. Many people smoke pot to take the edge off of their anxiety and give themselves a little break. They don’t want to worry about everything they have to do tomorrow. They want to exist in the present moment and limit their interactions to the things that exist in their immediate environment. Tossing the right music into that environment can have a profound effect.
Many people report that weed gives them an increased sense of focus. Sativa smokers swear by their favorite energizing strain for providing them with the support they need when approaching a creative process. Writers and musicians gravitate towards elevating strains because they inspire artistic thinking and enhance the way they perceive their art of choice.
When you’re so dialed into your music, you might notice things you’d never noticed before. A little bit of reverb on the guitar that adds a special touch, a soft background vocal, or a double bass kick that you took for granted before might become the most exciting thing in the world to you. Your brain will be eager to go down the rabbit hole of recognizing and processing the subtleties that make a great song resonate with you.
A great song becomes a maze that you can easily get lost in, no matter how melodic or complex the music is. The plucky acoustic guitar and melodic backing vocals in Fleetwood Mac’s “The Chain” are small details that will suddenly become a crucial part of your appreciation of the music. The resonating bass and electronic reverb in Vince Staples’ “Lift Me Up” will hit you harder, intensifying your mood. Every subtlety or unique characteristic of any band or genre is easier to appreciate profoundly.
Your brain feels like it has more time to appreciate music
If you feel like time moves slower when you’re high, you’re not wrong. No, you’re not redefining everything Stephen Hawking ever postulated. You’re experiencing changes to your perception that make time feel like it’s moving just a little slower.
This allows you to linger on concepts for a bit longer. Your reaction time is slower, and you feel as though you’re spending the tiniest bit more time in each moment. This allows you to explore your favorite songs a little more. This is also why jam songs tend to be a lot longer. The point is for the song to feel like an eternity, even though it’s only 8 minutes long.
If you’ve smoked a potent indica, you’ll have all the time to sit and bask in your favorite music. A little bit of couch lock combined with a great album inspires more of your attention. You’re not going to get up and get distracted. You’re tethered to whatever you’re listening to, thinking about the art and developing a new appreciation for it.
Your brain processes music differently when you’re high
Synesthesia is a condition where your senses interact with each other in an atypical way. People with synesthesia may feel as though they can taste or smell music, rather than just hearing it. Music might be perceived as a color or a texture.
Weed induces mild and temporary synesthesia in some people due to the way it changes the brain’s perception of certain stimuli. If this happens to you, you’re probably acutely aware of it. If your music feels to come alive or stimulates senses it doesn’t stimulate when you’re sober, you might be right. Although the effect is temporary, it’s nearly magical.
Music stimulates you
Your ability to respond to stimuli is enhanced when you smoke weed. Although your reaction time is likely delayed, you’re getting more out of every form of stimulation that impacts you. When you have a dry mouth, it might feel fuzzy. A soft blanket might feel even softer. Food can taste better and music can sound better. Your sensory processing is on high alert.
Music is one of the best forms of stimulation for a smoke session. Most people won’t be capable of stimulating themselves with a high-intensity workout, the world’s most difficult crossword puzzle, or even meal prepping for the week. These activities require a lot of thought and coordination, and the whole point of smoking weed is to chill out for a while.
Music is perfect for chilling out. You’re essentially a bystander. It requires no effort on your part. It’s the most low-intensity form of stimulation you can enjoy, next to watching a movie. Drawing, painting, writing, or playing an instrument requires much more effort.
This gentle and effortless stimulation is very easy to appreciate. You’re doing something to keep yourself engaged while expending as little energy as possible. This makes music so much more enjoyable than many other activities when you’re high. You’re doing something you like without impeding on relaxation.
You’re getting lost in a great place
You smoke pot to put the world on pause. You don’t want any of the exterior chaos to invade your personal bubble. You’re taking time for yourself to unwind and regroup. You want to get lost in something that feels good. Music is a harmless voyage that inspires people. Getting lost in a great album is a gentle way to spend an evening.
Sometimes, the best reason to listen to music and smoke weed is just because you like to. If it’s making you feel good, do it. You’re not hurting anyone. If you’re using headphones, you aren’t even disrupting anyone.
There is no shortage of reasons why weed and music perfectly blend together. The good news is that you don’t even need a reason why music makes you feel good when you’re high. You’re unwinding in the way you prefer to unwind, and you’re having a harmless good time.
Emjay will deliver you the weed you need for your next listening party. Place an order and start building a playlist. Get comfy and pick a few dozen songs that speak to your soul. We’ll be there in half an hour. It’s a shame we’re not invited, but we get it. You’ve got your own thing going on.