Cannabis Makes it Easier to Appreciate Music by Changing Our Experience of Time and Altering our Alpha Waves

Scientists observe changes in brain wave patterns and record participants’ responses to listening to popular and classical music while under the influence of cannabis.

by | Sep 19, 2017

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Music is closely associated with plenty of mind-altering substances, but scientists are looking for answers as to why cannabis makes music sound so pleasing.

One theory is tied to the experience of time. “For example, one study demonstrated that a 15 second time interval was “expanded” to an average of 16.7 seconds while under the influence of cannabis (while sober controls correctly estimated this interval),” Adam Hoffman writes for Leafy. This feeling of time dilation among pot smokers may account for the feeling that they’re hearing the music for the first time or have discovered the ability to identify aspects of the music of which they were previously unaware.

A related theory is tied to focus. “According to individual user reports, modifications in internal time can alter our attentional spotlight, facilitating changes in auditory perception,” Hoffman reports. This change in perception can be seen in the brain waves of participants. Alpha waves were more common among listeners who were under the influence of cannabis, “Similar increases in alpha patterns in this brain region while solving problems, indicating that this activity pattern might be indicative of more efficient information processing than the average person,” Hoffman writes.

As marijuana becomes increasingly legal, might music become yet more important?

Read more: Why Does Cannabis Make Music Sound So Good 



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