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How weed helps you dab music

by David Heitz 8 months ago in how to · updated 8 months ago
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Buy a pair of noise cancelling headphones, an eighth of your favorite bud, and buckle up


A longtime friend from college recently sent me a surprise. A package from Amazon arrived and inside was a pair of noise-cancelling headphones.

I must admit that the price of the headphones hit me at first. I had shopped for them and declared myself too cheap to buy a pair. Buying a pair for a college friend shows major generosity.

I didn’t even use the headphones at first, even though I had shopped for a pair. Buttons on electronic devices confuse me. I can never remember which button does which.

Unless I get really stoned. Then I can slow down enough to read directions and be in the moment.

Like you are when you listen to music.

So, several months ago I got stoned and figured out how to turn the headphones on. Pretty simple stuff, really.

When I paired the headphones with my laptop and Amazon Music, I felt like the guy in that old Maxell cassette tape commercial. In the spot, a man is blown out of his chair by the clarity of the music from the cassette tape. See photo with story.

Weed, noise canceling headphones pair nicely

Tomasz Golawski/Unsplash

Back to these Sony noise canceling headphones. They might be the nicest gift I have received since I got a toy typewriter for Christmas when I was six.

What a startling contrast technologically the noise canceling headphones are to the bygone cassette tape. The music listening experience is a thousand times better than it used to be.

Pair weed with it and it’s even better. Weed gets me grooving to the music and feeling its meaning. Lyrics seem profound.

But how does this happen? There has been some scientific research into weed’s impact on how we hear music. On a simple level, weed and music both ignite feelings of euphoria in humans. So, when you pair them, you’re double dipping on happiness.

"It enhances present focus, it inhibits searching through memory, and it allows you to focus on music to make it seem more novel and interesting," Zachary Walsh, a psychologist at the University of British Columbia, told the Canadian Broadcast Company. "The interference with the formation of short-term memories allows the listener to focus on the present moment, rather than searching the memory to predict what happens next."

Channeling music from ears to keyboard

So, the headphones. I swear it seems the music channels from my ears to my fingers and makes the screen on my monitor jump. Yes, I feel that stoned when I couple weed with music! And with these headphones, it’s like dabbing music compared to smoking it (or listening without the special headphones). The impact on my auditory system is intense.

In the CBC piece, Michael Thaut, a professor of music and neurology at the University of Toronto, said music sets the brain ablaze. "The brain is really on fire when it listens to music, just from a physiological point of view," Thaut said. "That's really important because there's pitch, there's rhythm, there's harmony, there's timbre. That's an enormous amount of work the brain does when it listens to music."

Thaut said weed affects the brain much the same. Cannabinoid receptors, when active, light up your mind. "There's certainly lots in the hippocampus and in the limbic system, which is associated with emotion and memory," Thaut said.

Drop the Franklin on the headphones

The headphones my friend bought me are pricey but worth it. A pair like mine, with a noise canceling and ambient noise feature, costs about $100. If you’re a stoner who likes music, consider a pair an investment in your mental health. The music experience is immersive, relaxing, yet stimulating too.

My headphones are wireless, and I can’t imagine owning a pair that aren’t. But if you want to save money, you can get the wired version of the headphones for about $40.

Weed and music go together like cream and sugar. If you poke around the internet, you’ll find there are sites that even recommend certain strains to couple with music.

Special thanks to my friend from my alma mater, Augustana College in Rock Island, Ill., who sent me the great headphones. They’ve been a life-changer.

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About the author

David Heitz

I am a journalist with more than 30 years' experience. Here at Vocal, I write mainly for Potent, Vocal's cannabis magazine. I have a PTSD diagnosis and a medical cannabis card. I have lived in a penthouse and also experienced homelessness.

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