Does cannabis harm or enhance singing abilities?

Published Jun 18, 2023 01:00 p.m. ET
Unsplash / Bogomil Mihaylov

Cannabis and music have always been deeply intertwined, even though many lyrical geniuses haven't always been entirely open and honest about their relationship with the plant. This pairing is magical, fascinating, and highly debated, with passionate advocates crediting pot for their creativity and success, while others are concerned about the potential negative impact on the quality of a vocalist's delivery.

If you’re someone who sings for a living, or dreaming of making it big someday, it’s crucial to understand how cannabis may impact the way you perform. For that reason, this subject should be deeply explored from both sides.

Ways cannabis may improve singing skills

Here we highlight three of the main ways cannabis could make a singer sound better.

1. Less stress

The majority of musicians who talk highly of cannabis as a tool in their work point to its ability to melt away stress and anxiety. Whether you’re nervous about an upcoming show, tense and distracted due to the pressures of everyday life, or worried about something else, that feeling can adversely impact how a vocalist performs.

Singing on key, and keeping the right pace with the beat as you belt out lyrics is easier to do with a calm and focused state of mind. Cannabis is widely known for it’s relaxing effects which may allow performers to connect with and clearly focus on their voice. As a result they may see improvements in the quality of their work.

2. Enhance creativity

For many cannabis is a great way to kick start the imagination and boost creativity resulting in an open mind that’s often more willing to push boundaries, making it easier to think outside the box. Expanding those imaginative boundaries could potentially lead to the creation of new innovative techniques, sounds, and so much more.

3. Alter perception of time and music

Most cannabis enthusiasts would agree with the fact that a powerful buzz really alters the way you experience time. Some may hear sound, the beat, and the lyrics move faster than usual, but normally it’s the other way around, slowing things down, so you’re able to feel, absorb, and truly assess it’s worth.

Artists have said the effects of cannabis have taught them to embrace more nuanced rhythmic variations, phrasing or interpretations, and for many it was just the push they needed to deliver the successful sounds that ultimately changed their lives forever.

Ways cannabis may adversely impact singing abilities

Now that you’re hopeful after seeing some of the best things cannabis can do to improve an individual's singing abilities, it’s time to take a look at some of the potential risks.

1. Impaired lung function

Smoking anything including cannabis, especially if it’s rolled in paper or some kind of blunt wrap isn’t good for the lungs, since the smoke is created through combustion which causes irritation. Frequent and long term tokers have an increased risk of developing respiratory issues like bronchitis or a chronic cough which may worsen breath control and stamina.


2. Vocal drying and irritation

Burning cannabis produces smoke and as that cloud is inhaled, it almost instantly dries out the mouth, throat and vocal cords. This effect is typically short lived for irregular users, but in that time (30 minutes – 1 hour) it may be difficult to sing clearly and maintain control over breathing.

Chronic smokers on the other hand could face long term damage to their vocal cords, potentially impacting the way they perform for much longer.

3. Impaired cognitive function

Cannabis may help to inspire creative thought it could also impair cognitive function, and though not ever consumer experiences this effect, especially if they’re enjoying less potent products, it’s a well known fact that THC in particular can cause issues such as difficulty walking or speaking, grogginess, and so much more.

Cognitive impairment is something all kinds of entertainers should avoid, as it hinders skills and abilities that are crucial to the craft, like mental focus, pitch control, and memorizing lyrics or melodies. However it’s also important to mention this side effect is mostly avoidable.

Choosing low THC or high CBD strains and products in small amounts should keep the risk of intense impairment to a minimum.

Making a decision

The impact of cannabis on a person's ability to deliver a lyrical experience is a difficult subject and the potential benefits are appealing. A chill vibe, clear mind, creative boost and the ability to see sounds from a different perspective are all amazing qualities that may help some singers, while others could face adverse effects which could make it much more difficult to present.

It’s ultimately your choice. If you’re willing to experiment with how cannabis changes the way you sound before a big show, you’ll know whether or not it feels right.

Those most concerned with damage to the lungs and vocal chords should consider other much healthier alternatives to smoking, like edibles, drinks, capsules, tinctures, or oils. If you’re hesitating because of the potential for impairment but eager to test this pairing then try microdosing or pure CBD strains and products.

There are many options as well as possible outcomes, which is why we highly recommend seeking guidance from experts like vocal coaches, medical professionals. It’s also essential to stay well-informed on latest research into cannabis use and its impact on their vocal abilities.

Get your groove on by dancing with cannabis



Related posts