Cannabis and music are the perfect match. It’s a fact that’s been known for a long, long time.
Because marijuana is known for heightening the senses. It interacts with your body’s endocannabinoid system and can cause the production of certain chemicals in the body which are associated with pleasure.
These heightened senses and feelings of pleasure can lead to the greater desire for and enjoyment of food, commonly known as “the munchies”.
But they also lend themselves to a deeply felt enjoyment of – and often the creation of – incredible music.
Weed and music genres – what works well?
So what music genres go well with a little cannabis?
We’re not necessarily talking songs specifically about weed here. More, the music which can create a pleasant, relaxing or energized environment which complements the cannabis experience. Something of a cheese and wine pairing, if your tastes run that way.
At K.I.N.D. Concentrates, we sometimes promote the idea that, when choosing the particular strain of cannabis you’re going to enjoy, you want to bear in mind the effects you want to create. It could be said that the same is true of the music choose to go along with it.
Here are some genres of music and a little hint at the effects they’re good for:
1) Jazz and swing (and modern electro swing)
In the US, some of the first artists to write songs about and for the cannabis experience were the jazz musicians of the 1920s and 1930s. To the America of this time, jazz and swing were the music of rebellion.
Famous names like Louis Armstrong and, later, John Coltrane were among the first to start bringing the street names and slang for cannabis – words which we still use today, like “reefer” and “Mary Jane” – into popular culture through their music.
Today, many people enjoy those very same classics. Others go to listen to the modern jazz players and bands who can be found in almost any major American city. The work of some modern, though relatively smaller artists, like The Two Man Gentleman Band, follows directly in this tradition.
There is also a modern twist on this classic genre – electro swing. Some people love it. Anyone who likes the authentic jazz of the 1920s or ’30s probably hates it! But there’s something about the energy of a great deal of electro swing which can really suit the vibe of certain cannabis experiences.
2) Classic rock
By the time of the 1960s and ’70s, rock had become the music of rebellion and, again, was heavily associated with and inspired by cannabis use.
Artists like Pink Floyd, The Who and Jimi Hendrix created music which featured distorted guitars, deep bass lines and psychedelic sounds which were not only likely written with the aid of a little marijuana inspiration but also fit perfectly with smoking it.
The other famous classic rock musical proponents of marijuana who also ended up creating music which is fantastic to listen to while enjoying a little cannabis are none other than the Beatles.
Reggae is probably the music genre which is most popularly associated with marijuana and cannabis use.
Bob Marley – possibly the most famous reggae artist of all time – famously and extensively used marijuana. But there are other reggae artists who are almost as well known – Peter Tosh and Augustus Pablo to name but two – who wrote songs about and inspired by cannabis.
Many of these tunes, many would argue, also can’t be beaten when it comes to creating the perfect cannabis and music pairing.
Although reggae might be the music genre most popularly associated with marijuana, it’s arguable that hip-hop has done the most in modern times to promote cannabis use.
The list of major hip-hop artists who have brought marijuana use from fringe rebellion to mainstream discussion is a long one. Dr. Dre’s debut album The Chronic is culturally as well as literally synonymous with cannabis. Even the cover art is heavily inspired by the marketing of the well-known Zig-Zag cigarette papers.
There are also other genres either descended from or linked to hip-hop which offer a huge variety of different listening experiences. Many of these can be profitably explored while the sense-enhancing effects of marijuana are present:
- Trip-hop – trip-hop draws on a wide array of musical influences, including hip-hop, jazz and what is often called “world music”.
- Lo-fi hip-hop and cloud rap – often more relaxed and calming, even dreamy, compared with some hip-hop.
Other dreamy, relaxing tunes hail from bands which could be said to inhabit the electronica genre of music. Portishead and Air often top lists of cannabis-suited electronica. Others might include Moby or even Massive Attack.
If you like hip-hop as well as a little electronica, you might also be interested in the early work of DJ Shadow, clearly influenced by both.
One of the successor genres of electronica, EDM (Electronic Dance Music), includes the lively work of artists like David Guetta and Calvin Harris and is often enjoyed by marijuana users who like to get up and dance.
6) Indie Rock
Indie rock, sometimes called alternative rock, includes the work of artists like Radiohead as well as more recent entrants onto the scene like Alt-J (Δ).
For many people who enjoy music and marijuana recreationally, much of this music offers nostalgic value because it was the music they listened to during their critical college years.
But whether you are a little older or a little younger than you would need to be to enjoy this music on a nostalgic level, depending on the effect you’re looking for, it’s still probably worth trying out a little Radiohead. Even if you don’t want to go any further into the alternative rock genre during your cannabis experience.
Choosing songs to listen to while high
Like selecting the strain of cannabis you are going to explore or the type of cannabis product you are going to try – perhaps live resin carts (like the famous K.I.N.D. live resin carts), THC distillate, or one of the many cannabis-infused drinks on the market for a change – it’s always best to guide your choice of songs to listen to while high by the effect you want to create.
Do you want to be relaxed and calm? Do you want to go on a mental journey of creativity and exploration? Do you want something a little livelier to move around to?
Whatever you have in mind, the perfect combination of weed and music is out there waiting for you to find.