You close your eyes and take a breath from your vaporizer as the music begins to play. You’ve listened to this album on numerous occasions, but this time the individual notes, rhythms, and melodies seem to resonate with a particular richness, intensity, and gravitas that together arouse your senses on a whole new level.
As Lindsey Buckingham of Fleetwood Mac once said, “If you’ve been working on something for a few hours and you smoke a joint, it’s like hearing it again for the first time.” The connection between music and cannabis has a rich history, dating back to the emergence of jazz in the early 20th century. Many pioneers in this improvisational art form were regular users of cannabis, including Louis Armstrong and Dizzy Gillespie.
But why does music sound so good when you’re high?
While scientific research investigating this topic is rare, there are several hypotheses that attempt to explain the pleasurable duet that is cannabis and music.
Why Cannabis Makes Music Sound Better
According to individual user reports, modifications in internal time can alter our attentional spotlight, facilitating changes in auditory perception.
“When your time perception changes, your focus of attention changes,” says Fachner. “So when you put on a stereo headset you might have an enhanced ability to select certain information and disregard other information, which could help distinguish the individual sounds a bit more intensively.”
According to Fachner, this enhanced attentional focus to see “the space between the notes” results in music that is perceived to be “much more lively, much more clean, and much more distinct.”
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