Cannabis and music: the perfect pair
Most people can’t even imagine French fries without ketchup. Or peanut butter without jelly. Some things in life are just inextricably linked — things that just go better together, with each individual component making the combination better than either would have been on its own. That’s how it is, and may always have been, with cannabis and music. We’re exploring cannabis in the music industry and music inspired by cannabis experiences.
Jazz and cannabis
Cannabis not only seems to enhance the experience of listening to music, but the creation of it as well. And this is nothing new. Way back in the 1920s, well before the passage of the Marihuana Tax Act, cannabis was a fully legal cross-border import that the federal government was not particularly concerned with.
Most Americans were unaware of its existence, let alone its exploitation as a drug. Entering the country through the ports of New Orleans and then spreading to other U.S. metropolitan cities, cannabis was commonly sold as joints in American jazz clubs, often under the name “jazz cigarettes.” Back then, jazz and weed went hand-in-hand, as the psychotropic effects not only impacted how listeners heard the music, but also how musicians played it. And there was plenty of jazz music inspired by cannabis, including songs like 1932’s “Reefer Man” made famous by Cab Calloway, 1936’s “When I Get Low I Get High” made famous by Ella Fitzgerald and 1938’s “Jack, I’m Mellow” made famous by Trixie Smith. In fact, there were so many songs about bud back in the day that a group of artists compiled an album entitled “Reefer Blues: Vintage Songs about Marijuana” that spawned not only one, but three volumes!
Cannabis and all genres
Even after Federal Bureau of Narcotics commissioner Henry Anslinger enacted the Marihuana Tax Act of 1937, which sought to regulate the importation, cultivation and possession of the good ol’ green, cannabis in the music industry could not be stopped.
The 1960s saw the peak of cannabis culture within the music scene with artists like The Beatles, Jimi Hendrix and Bob Dylan firmly intertwining rock & roll and weed, and albums like The Beach Boys “Pet Sounds” which were famously made by pot smokers for pot smokers. And when it came to reggae and the Rastafarian religion, cannabis was not just considered a recreational hobby, but a holy sacrament. Bob Marley’s most famous poster, which adorned many a dorm wall for countless decades, showed him with a cloud of smoke billowing from his mouth. And Marley’s bandmate, Peter Tosh, promoted his strongly held belief that anyone who wants it should have it in no uncertain terms with his 1976 release of “Legalize It.”
When it comes to music and cannabis, there are references to the love of green in just about every genre. Classic metal band Black Sabbath starts off their song “Sweet Leaf” with a taped loop of coughing, presumably from a hit that went down the wrong way. And hip hop certainly took on the mantle of being the face of weed with over half of all rap videos produced featuring either smoking or vaping. Dr. Dre’s aptly named “The Chronic” has sold more than 5.7 million copies since its release. This album featured the debut of Snoop Dogg, who just might be more associated with ganja than any other celeb who has ever cooked with Martha Stewart.
Surprisingly though, wanna take a guess at which kinds of artists sing the most about smoking dope? It ain’t the rappers. It’s the country and western singers, with 1.6% of their songs containing a weed reference, beating out Hip Hop’s 1.3%.
Cannabis and music entrepreneurs
There’s no point in denying that the stereotype of a stoner putting on some music and vegging out is based on fact. Cannabis has a pleasurable effect and works as a psychoacoustic enhancer, allowing you to absorb, focus and dive more deeply into what you hear. It also aids in the creation of music as it can alter perception in areas such as time, sound and pitch.
Cannabis can also enhance creativity and break one out of a musical slump. A myriad of musicians have openly expressed their love for cannabis, with everyone from Damien Marley to Madonna to Lady Gaga to Miley Cyrus pledging their allegiance to the green. But these days, when it comes to talking about the relationship between cannabis in the music industry, musicians aren’t just crediting cannabis as their inspiration; they’re crediting it as their side hustles as well. Musicians aren’t only smoking cannabis, but owning and operating their own cannabis brands. While Leafs by Snoop may be a thing of the past for the notorious Snoop Dogg, Death Row Cannabis is a part of the future — just released in California and soon to be expanding with Snoop at the helm.
Another long-time cannabis user and advocate, 89-year-old Willie Nelson, not only has his own curated cannabis brand Willie’s Reserve, but also his own CBD-infused beverage line, Willie’s Remedy, which includes coffees, teas, and sparkling water. Jay-Z is Chief Visionary Officer and majority stakeholder in the luxury cannabis brand Monogram, which produces top-of-the-line flower, pre-rolls and artisan hand-rolls. Rapper Wiz Khalifa has Khalifa Kush, System of a Down’s bassist, Shavo Odadjian, has 22Red and Wu-Tang Clan’s Method Man has Tical.
Collaborations between cannabis and the music industry don’t end there. Lil Wayne says he’ll give you the best high of your life with GKUA Ultra Premium, Carlos Santana wants you to enhance your mind-body flow with his Mirayo by Santana line and Melissa Etheridge hopes her Etheridge Botanicals will offer an alternative to pharmaceuticals for those who are suffering. That’s only a portion of what’s out there. Smart money says there will be even more musicians blending their brands with cannabis brands in the future as the stigma continues to recede and profits continue to increase.
The science of cannabis and music
The reality is that there just have not been a lot of studies about the relationship between cannabis and music. This is because most scientists studying how cannabis affects the brain aren’t focusing on music — and those studying how music affects the brain aren’t focusing on cannabis.
But it is pretty incontrovertible that, as opposed to long-term planning, organizing and worrying, cannabis helps to put you in the present moment. This is really what music is all about. EEGs have shown that when you get high, there are changes to the occipital lobe, the area of the brain that handles visual processing as well as the temporal lobe, the part dedicated to auditory processing. Cannabis also impacts the parietal lobe, the part that handles all things sensory. So you’re not imagining that music sounds better stoned. It actually is.
Cannabis and music: the perfect pair
Cannabis in the music industry will always be a thing, and music inspired by cannabis will never disappear. They’re just two great things that are even better together…just like CVaults and bud. If you’ve got an appreciation for cannabis and all its benefits, whether those benefits are related to music or other areas of life, you want to do all you can to protect your product, keep it potent and give it the longest shelf life possible.
That’s exactly what a CVault is designed to do. The innovators at FreshStor have created the ultimate cannabis storage solution: no thinking required! Sleek and clean in design, so there’s no need to hide it, and manufactured from 304 grade stainless steel with the finest technology to protect whatever you put inside it from damaging elements such as air, light and moisture.
CVaults enhance taste and increase smoothness and — get this — can even revive old product! So you can always have that good good when you need it.
Crank up your beats, chillax with friends, jam in your garage — whatever you do, make sure you have enough of that dank enhancer to make it the best experience it can be. And protect your herb with a CVault. When it comes to weed storage, nothing even comes close. Do yourself a solid and get a CVault of your very own today.