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Are you a musician searching for a fresh avenue to channel your creativity and innovation, yet unsure about where to begin? Have you ever contemplated incorporating cannabis into your musical journey but remain uncertain about the potential outcomes or its effectiveness? Chances are, if you’ve ever indulged in cannabis, you’ve likely done so while immersing yourself in music, and you’ve likely noticed that the two activities complement each other quite harmoniously. But why is that the case? What is it about cannabis and music that forms such a harmonious connection? In this post, we will delve into the relationship between cannabis and music, addressing some of these questions. We will also explore anecdotal experiences and scientific research conducted on this topic. So, whether you’re a cannabis enthusiast or simply intrigued by this subject, read on to discover more!

Marijuana has had a significant presence in music genres such as psychedelic rock and reggae, even predating its integration into mainstream culture. Although historically associated with stigma, the legal landscape surrounding cannabis has evolved, with decriminalization and legalization becoming more prevalent across the country. As a result, recreational cannabis use is no longer met with the same level of scrutiny it once was. While marijuana, like any substance, carries the potential for dependency and misuse, it is often celebrated for its euphoric and stimulating psychoactive effects. These effects have served as a muse for musicians throughout history, elevating their musical creativity and expression.

The Historical Link Between Cannabis and Music

The intertwining history of music and cannabis stretches back long before cannabis gained legal status, whether for recreational or medicinal purposes. The 1960s marked a pinnacle of cannabis culture’s influence on music and music creation, with iconic musicians like The Beatles, Bob Dylan, Jimi Hendrix, and Willie Nelson, among others, embracing it. Recently, it seems like nearly every celebrity is endorsing various cannabis products, from CBD oil to vape pens and actual buds, openly sharing their cannabis habits. Some argue that this reflects the plant’s increasing acceptance in mainstream culture, a notion not far from reality. Cannabis acceptance is on the rise daily, with cannabis products more accessible than ever before. Within the realm of music creation, cannabis use has always had a profound connection because of the transformative impact it can have on the creative experience. It not only enhances musicians’ efficiency in their work but also fosters new dimensions of creativity and innovation.

The Beatles 

Bob Dylan 

Jimi Hendrix 

Willie Nelson 

How Cannabis can Spark our Creativity

Indulging in cannabis and immersing oneself in music is a commonly portrayed image of a cannabis enthusiast, and for good reason – it’s an experience that can significantly enhance the way you perceive and enjoy music. It goes beyond simply hearing a beat and melody; cannabis can transform your auditory experience, allowing you to appreciate music on a deeper level.

However, cannabis doesn’t just enrich the listening experience; it also has a profound impact on the creative process, particularly in music creation. Cannabis has the ability to alter your perception of various elements, including sound pitch, time, and even movement. This combination of effects creates an entirely new realm of experience while you remain firmly grounded in the familiar world.

Cannabis has the potential to influence the creative process, serving as a valuable tool for overcoming creative blocks and sparking innovative ideas. Heightened senses and a slowed perception of time open doors to new details and nuances, enriching your creative journey and broadening your horizons.

Recent findings from brain mapping reveal heightened activity in the parietal region and the right hemisphere of the brain when comparing responses to the same song before and after cannabis use. The parietal area plays a crucial role in information processing, and increased activity within it is associated with more effective problem-solving. Similarly, the right hemisphere is linked to creativity, intuition, imagination, and other creative faculties. Cannabis facilitates a deep immersion in the creative process, enhancing the enjoyment of activities such as listening to and creating music. We will get more into the synergistic effects of Cannabis and Music on the brain later but first we have listed some top historical songs made by commonly known ‘Weed Smokers’. 

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Historical Songs

The Beatles – Got to get you in my life

Bob Marley – Kaya 

Snoop Dogg – Gin and Juice 

Exploring the Interplay of Cannabis and Music on Brain Function

To delve into the fascinating relationship between music and cannabis on brain function, it is essential to first compare their respective impacts. Michael Thaut, a distinguished professor specializing in music and neurology at the University of Toronto, holds a Master’s and PhD in Music from Michigan State. His extensive research has centered on unraveling the neural and psychophysical underpinnings of music and rhythm perception.

Thaut’s investigations have revealed that music processing engages the entire central nervous system, from the spinal cord to the cortex. Intriguingly, the central nervous system is replete with cannabinoid receptors, particularly the CB1 receptors known for modulating mood and sensation. Furthermore, both music and cannabis activate the mesolimbic dopamine system, colloquially referred to as the brain’s reward pathway. This system releases dopamine as a chemical reinforcement of pleasurable behaviors. Consequently, music, whether experienced with or without the influence of cannabis, amplifies activity within this brain region. It is thus logical that people find music enjoyable in a sober state but often derive even greater pleasure from it when under the influence of cannabis.

An electroencephalogram (EEG) study, designed to measure the brain’s electrical activity, has shed light on the effects of cannabis consumption. This study has unveiled increased activity in two critical brain regions: the parietal area and the right hemisphere. The parietal area is responsible for information processing, while the right hemisphere is closely linked to creativity, imagination, and intuition. Elevated activity in both these regions following cannabis consumption suggests that cannabis enhances individuals’ ability to process auditory stimuli and fully immerse themselves in the creative aspects of both listening to and creating music.

The Influence of Cannabis on Modern Music Today

In today’s music landscape, the presence of cannabis is evident across a wide spectrum, spanning from mellow indie pop to gritty SoundCloud trap. Over the past decade, artists of diverse genres, such as Lana Del Rey with “High by the Beach,” Bruno Mars in “Smokin’ out the Window,” and Future’s “Drankin n Smokin,” have all made implicit or explicit references to cannabis in their songs. The perception of weed has evolved beyond its historical associations with hippie and Black culture. It’s doubtful that contemporary college students view smoking weed as the rebellious act it once symbolized. One could even argue that weed culture has achieved mainstream status, owing to its widespread adoption by white musicians.

Lana Del Ray – High by the Beach 

Bruno Mars – Smokin Out the Window

Cannabis vs Other Drugs - A Comparrison

It is intriguing to examine how marijuana’s portrayal and role in music differ from that of other substances, notably alcohol, which is often so pervasive in media that it is not always categorized as a drug. Alcohol tends to align more seamlessly with higher-energy music genres. Anecdotally, it complements the repetitive and driving rhythms of electronic dance music better than the dreamy soundscapes of psychedelic rock or the smooth grooves of rhythm and blues.

In contemporary hip-hop, recurring references to drug use often juxtapose marijuana with substances like MDMA and cocaine, further blurring the lines and diminishing the distinction regarding the relatively lower potential harm of marijuana. However, it’s worth noting that the easily accessible psychoactive properties of marijuana also position it as a significant influencer within the realm of psychedelic music. This umbrella encompasses diverse genres such as acid jazz, chillwave, hypnagogic pop, psychedelic rock, psytrance, and trip-hop.


In 1971, psychologist Charles Tart conducted a study examining the effects of cannabis. He gathered 150 cannabis users over several months, provided them with cannabis, and instructed them to consume their usual amount. Afterward, he administered psychological tests and asked them to articulate their experiences with the drug at various stages. These findings were later published in Tart’s influential work, “On Being Stoned.”

Within the data collected, there were notable effects related to the perception of music and sound. Mildly stoned participants reported a heightened sensitivity, describing a “more subtle quality” in sound. As they became moderately stoned, they noted an enhanced understanding of song lyrics. When strongly stoned, they could perceive greater spatial separation between sounds while listening to music. These precise and almost technical effects not only shed light on the nuances of the cannabis experience but also highlight the heightened sensitivities necessary in music production and performance. The latter effect, in particular, points to the characteristics often found in music styles associated with cannabis use, with dub reggae being a prominent example.

Additionally, cannabis yields physical effects that resonate with musicians, especially drummers and percussionists. Its relaxation properties assist in maintaining steady timekeeping, particularly when performing rhythmic patterns in cycles. The impact on memory and learning can help individuals settle into a musical groove, favoring familiarity over exploration of new ideas and materials. Even experienced cannabis users may experience this looping effect, especially when reading.

Furthermore, cannabis’s relaxing influence contributes to what one of my friends, who lived in Amsterdam, once referred to as the “look” of stoned individuals—detectable from a distance. This effect on posture and movement appears to aid musicians who emphasize cyclic and rhythmic elements in their music.

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About the Author

Our deep love of plants and fascination with Cannabis has enabled over 25 years of successful small scale Marijuana cultivation from indoor hydroponics, greenhouses and outdoor growing set-ups.

As Cannabis laws around the world change, *we support the movement toward freedom of choice for responsible, consenting adults who wish to experience the joy and wonder of growing a Cannabis plant.

*All info is for entertainment purposes only.  We do not condone illegal growing of Cannabis.   Consult your state laws accordingly. 

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