Have you observed that many musicians throughout a spread of music genres have one factor in frequent? Bob Marley, The Beatles, and Wiz Khalifa – Yeah, you guessed proper…it’s hashish.

Visit a live performance or pageant at present and you’d hardly miss the whiff of the smoke within the air. The method music and hashish appear to comply with one another makes one marvel if there’s really a relationship between them.


Is there actually a connection between hashish and music? If so, what’s the connection? Is it detrimental to the music or the musician, and even each events? 

After a bit of analysis, I discovered {that a} good quantity of the musicians that depend on hashish for inspiration or a spark of creativity even have good reviews of the substance. But to make certain that this factor actually works in addition to testimonies declare that it does, some historical past and science analysis on the matter is so as.

Brief History of Cannabis and Music

Let’s take a look at what musicians of the previous needed to say about hashish. These musicians usually are not simply common musicians. They had big followerships and their music appealed to many, which means that their listeners cherished their songs. 

In the Beginning, There was Louis Armstrong… and Marijuana

The early 20th century noticed the primary recorded breakout of marijuana in America. This occurred in Storyville in 1909, eight years after the delivery of one of the best jazz musicians of all time, Louis Armstrong. 

You can think about what the boy grew into. In his biography, Louis testified that they “always looked at pot as a sort of medicine, a cheap drunk and with much better thoughts than one that’s full of liquor.”

That was the place the earliest connections between hashish and marijuana was established. Ernest Abel, a hashish historian, mentioned, “It was in these bordellos, where music provided the background and not the primary focus of attention, that marijuana became an integral part of the jazz era. 

Unlike booze, which dulled and incapacitated, marijuana enabled musicians whose job required them to play long into the night to forget their exhaustion. Moreover, the drug seemed to make their music sound more imaginative and unique, at least to those who played and listened while under its sensorial influence.” 

Marijuana turned the musicians’ emblem of that point, particularly among the many blacks and Mexicans. Music historian, Harry Shapiro, testified to this when he mentioned, “In the early ’20s, marijuana, muggles, muta, gage, tea, reefer, grifa, Mary Warner, Mary Jane or rosa maria was known almost exclusively to musicians.” 

The white authorities shortly moved to discourage the unfold of the “voodoo” music and the weed itself, however there wasn’t a lot they might do to cease pot from gaining recognition. 

That didn’t cease the authorities from banning it although. Louis was later caught smoking the unlawful substance by the police and was taken to the station. He was acquired with an uncharacteristic warmness because the law enforcement officials themselves have been followers of his music.

Marijuana and Milton “Mezz” Mezzrow

After discovering his approach to Harlem, the headquarters of the black neighborhood in America within the Roaring Twenties, Mezz was determined for recognition. He needed to compete with their native musicians if he was to be in style, however he discovered one other method. 

He realized that the standard of weed that was bought at Harlem then was far inferior to what he was used to. And that was how he warmed himself to the guts of Harlem and introduced his music alongside for the trip. He shared his first expertise with weed in his biography, Really the Blues. 

“The first thing I noticed was that I began to hear my saxophone as if it was inside my head… Then I began to feel the vibrations of the reed much more pronounced against my lip and my head buzzed like a loudspeaker. I found I was slurring much better and putting just the right feeling into my phrases. I was really coming on. All the notes came easing out of my horn like they’d already been made up, greased and stuffed into the bell, so all I had to do was to blow a little and send them on their way, one right after the other, never missing, never behind time, all without an ounce of effort.”

The testimony of an knowledgeable on the results of weed within the 1930s and 1940s, Dr. James Munch, had a correlation with Mezz’s assertion. According to the knowledgeable, “Because the chief effect as far as they were concerned was that it lengthens the sense of time, and therefore they could get more grace beats into their music than they could if they simply followed the written copy… In other words, if you’re a musician, you’re going to play the thing the way it’s printed on a sheet. But if you’re using marijuana, you’re going to work in about twice as much music between the first note and the second note. That’s what made jazz musicians. The idea that they could jazz things up, liven them up, you see.”

There are drummers who additionally declare that marijuana simplifies making music with drums, and takes you to new realms the place you’re in tune with each stroke and beat.


The Beatles

The Fab Four have been additionally identified followers of pot. After Bob Dylan, who is understood for his incoherent lyrics however extensively appreciated music, launched the Beatles to weed, the fab 4 may by no means get sufficient of it. 

From that point, the bulk of the songs that the 4 composed have been written underneath the affect of weed. Funny sufficient, these have been the songs that propelled the boys to the height of their profession as a pop group at the moment. 

John Lennon who was hanging with them at the moment mentioned, “The Beatles had gone beyond comprehension. We were smoking marijuana for breakfast. We were well into marijuana and nobody could communicate with us, because we were just glazed eyes, giggling all the time.” 

A buddy of Lennon’s, Lester Grinspoon, agreed with him on the goodness of hashish. Grinspoon himself was a fan of the joint. He as soon as revealed a conversations he had with Lennon the place he informed John how hashish appeared to make it doable for me to ‘hear’ his music for the primary time in a lot the identical method that Allen Ginsberg had ‘seen’ Cezanne for the primary time when he purposely smoked hashish earlier than setting out for the Museum of Modern Art. He may, with the assistance of marijuana, break by means of his incapacity to narrate to Cezanne.

John was fast to answer that “I had experienced only one facet of what marijuana could do for music, that he thought it did wonders for composing and making music as well as listening to it.”

What Science Has to Say About Cannabis and Music

Anyone can understand something. You solely need to be human to take action. That may clarify the perceptions of these musicians of hashish. But for these perceptions to be factual, science has to agree with them. That is why tons of research have been carried out to see if these musicians’ perceptions of weed really maintain any water. 

Surprisingly, or unsurprisingly, relying on what you consider this entire factor, many research have confirmed some of the claims of hashish customers. According to those research, getting excessive on hashish hastens the notion of your “internal clock”, making the real-time go extra slowly. 

And when this occurs, the musician might even see their music in a brand new gentle, take heed to it in better element, and make vital changes. 

A professor of music, well being, and the mind from Anglia Ruskin University, Jorg Fachner, mentioned, “If you look into the literature on timing,” referring to a examine that found {that a} 15-second interval was perceived to be widened to 16.7 seconds underneath the affect of hashish, “it seems to be that the brain systems that are influenced by cannabinoids are producing a state of mind in which there seems to be a slower backward counting. And that means your timing units, the time frames that you are overseeing, seem to be enlarged. So those who are improvising seem to have a bit more time to foresee the melodic developments in improvisation and to fine grain the rhythmic patterns.”

Cannabis within the music of at present

Since the 1900s, hashish has transcended the boundaries of jazz music. It has made its method into many frequent music genres at present. 

Some of these genres embody reggae, pop, nation, and hip hop. Contemporary artists, together with Rihana, Justin Timberlake, Miley Cyrus, Wiz Khalifa, and lots of others, have admitted at one time that they used leisure hashish.


You would possibly nonetheless have reservations in relation to taking weed, and that’s okay. But if there’s something that this examine and all of the historical past are all pointing at, it’s that there’s a useful relationship between cannabis and music.

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