We all are familiar with the benefits of cannabis. More and more states are now legalizing medical cannabis because of its therapeutic benefits. Anyone suffering from a qualifying condition can get an MMJ card after a 420 evaluation in Bakersfield. But, other than medical benefits, cannabis still has a lot to offer. You must have heard about cannabis boosting the creativity of people, or helping athletes with their workouts. But are you familiar with the relationship between cannabis and singing?
Both singing and cannabis have a lot of things in common such as making you feel fantastic and relaxed. But the connection between the two is much deeper than just that. And today we are going to explore that complex relationship between them. We will also look at how smoking cannabis can affect the singing voice of an individual. Whether you are a professional singer or a bathroom singer, we know you love your voice and you love singing. And if you are a cannabis enthusiast as well, you should definitely learn about this relationship cannabis and singing have.
The relationship between cannabis and singing
Singing can reduce stress and makes you feel good. Doesn’t it sound familiar? Cannabis is also associated with reducing stress and making users feel good. Both singing and consuming cannabis can induce a state of euphoria. And if we talk about the scientific terms, both the activities have an influence on the body’s endocannabinoid system (ECS).
Wait a minute, but what is the ECS? Basically, it consists of cell receptors and many chemical compounds known as endocannabinoids. This system is responsible for controlling mood, appetite, memory, and reward response. It does so with the help of its regulatory function that is present within the body. When you consume cannabis, the cannabinoids present in it act on the endocannabinoid system. Many cannabinoids present in cannabis have a similar molecular structure to the endocannabinoids of our ECS. That is why cannabinoids are able to interact with the same receptors. Hence, they are able to trigger the same functions.
Take THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) for instance. THC is the intoxicating compound of cannabis. THC and an endocannabinoid, anandamide, share a similar shape. One of the various functions of anandamide is to improve mood, that’s why it also got its nickname ‘the bliss molecule’. And THC interacts with the same receptors as anandamide because of their similar shape. That’s why THC is able to impart a state of calm and happiness. Or as we call it, the cannabis high. Another cannabinoid is CBD (cannabidiol), which is not an intoxicating cannabinoid. CBD also affects the ECS, but not directly. It does not bind with the cannabinoid receptors, instead, it simply increases the levels of natural endocannabinoids.
A study was done in 2018 by researcher Nicole Stone involving nine healthy female volunteers from a choir. The result of the study showed a 42 percent increment in anandamide levels of volunteers after singing. Two other endocannabinoids, palmitoylethanolamide (PEA) and oleoyl ethanolamide (OEA) had high levels. Volunteers also reported experiencing improved mood and emotions after singing. The study also showed that while dancing also improved the mood, it did not affect endocannabinoid levels. And, cycling and reading only increased OEA levels.
What are the benefits of cannabis and singing?
Over the centuries, people have been using cannabis for various purposes. In recent years, research was focused on figuring out the medicinal properties of cannabis. This has helped us explore the various benefits of medical cannabis. The most common reasons for people to use medical cannabis are –
- Chronic pain
- Muscle spasms
- Nausea and vomiting
- Post-traumatic stress disorders (PTSD)
- Appetite disorders
While singing may have its own significant benefits, researchers are looking to find out more about it. However, some investigation has shown its efficacy for certain conditions such as –
- Chronic obstructive pulmonary disorder (COPD)
- Alzheimer’s disorder
But more evidence is needed to reach any conclusion about these health benefits of singing. Although we can think that it may have some positive effects because of its interaction with the ECS. Now, let’s tackle a very important question – what effect does cannabis have on your singing voice?
Does cannabis have a good or bad impact on your singing voice?
We just read about some potential benefits of both cannabis and singing on our physical and mental health. But there are some drawbacks that we can not ignore. The first thing that we need to consider here is that most people consume cannabis by smoking. There’s no denying that this process could be bad for your voice. Whether you are smoking tobacco or cannabis, it will harm your throat and lungs. Some even say that smoking cannabis is more harmful to the voice than tobacco. This is because it burns at a higher temperature. Also, when you smoke cannabis, you tend to smoke it without a filter. You inhale cannabis smoke more deeply and hold it for longer than the cigarette smoke.
A 2019 study showed that people who smoked had dark vocal folds (as shown by laryngoscopy). The study also showed that cannabis can even cause injury to throats and lungs because of the by-product of smoking. Some of the adverse effects of smoking cannabis on the voice include –
- Dry throat
- Unclear articulation
- Low-pitched voice
- Altered voice rhythm and fluency
But can quitting smoking cannabis improve your voice?
Studies show that switching to a vape or simply stopping smoking can reduce respiratory problems. However, the impact of quitting cannabis on the voice is not clear. Chances are that it will help. But if you still have to consume cannabis, choosing another way to consume it can help. Thankfully, we now have a lot of options when it comes to consuming cannabis.
One of the best ways to consume cannabis is cannabis edibles. You can enjoy all the benefits of cannabis without putting your vocal cords or lungs at risk of getting damaged. Also, these cannabis edibles are very versatile and suit every taste. You can even find cannabis or CBD-infused lozenges on the market. These are a great option for you if you are looking to use cannabis but still want to soothe your throat.
Are there any potential benefits of cannabis for singers?
If you are not smoking cannabis, instead choose another method, it may actually offer some benefits for you. For example, THC and CBD have anti-inflammatory properties. They can provide muscle relaxation. They can also help in relaxing the throat and jaw, the two vital components of singing. Therefore, we can say that this magical herb can offer some benefits to your singing.
If you are looking to maximize the potential benefits of cannabis for your singing, try using either lozenges or syrup. By mixing a spoonful of cannabis honey and herbal tea, you can also try to make your own soothing beverage. Also, remember to keep plenty of warm or room-temperature water with you when singing. This is important because cannabis can cause dry mouth.