Cannabis and Singing: What’s the Relationship?
Singing and cannabis have one undeniable thing in common; they both have the ability to make you feel fantastic! However, the connection between the two runs even deeper than that.
In this article, we explore the complex relationship between cannabis and singing. We will also explain the impact of smoking cannabis on your singing voice. Here’s all you need to know.
The Relationship Between Cannabis and Singing
Using cannabis and singing can both bring about a state of euphoria. As it turns out, this isn’t a coincidence since both activities influence the body’s endocannabinoid system (ECS).
The ECS is a combination of cell receptors and chemical compounds called endocannabinoids. The system has a regulatory function within the body and controls mood, memory, appetite, and the reward response.
The cannabinoids in marijuana act on this system since many of them have a similar molecular structure to our endocannabinoids. This allows them to bind with the same receptors and trigger many of the same functions.
For example, THC (the intoxicating component of cannabis) has a similar shape to an endocannabinoid called anandamide. One of anandamide’s functions is improving mood, and it is sometimes nicknamed ‘the bliss molecule.’ THC binds with the same receptors as anandamide, imparting a state of calm or happiness, the typical marijuana high.
The non-intoxicating cannabinoid CBD also affects the ECS, although it does so indirectly. Rather than binding with cannabinoid receptors, CBD appears to increase our levels of natural endocannabinoids. Interestingly, a recent study suggests that singing may work comparably.
Researcher Nicole Stone led the study for Frontiers in Behavioral Neuroscience in 2018. It involved nine healthy female volunteers who were members of a choir. The research team tested the volunteers’ endocannabinoid levels before and after singing, dancing, cycling, and reading. They also assessed changes in mood, hunger, heart rate, and blood pressure.
After singing, the participants experienced an average 42% increase in anandamide levels. They also had higher levels of two other endocannabinoids, palmitoylethanolamine (PEA) and oleoylethanolamine (OEA). The women also reported improved mood and emotions after singing.
In comparison, cycling and reading increased only OEA levels. Meanwhile, dancing improved the volunteers’ mood but did not affect endocannabinoid release.
The Benefits of Cannabis and Singing
In recent years, research has highlighted the medicinal properties of cannabis. This has led many states to introduce medical marijuana programs allowing legal access to the herb. Some of the most common uses of medical cannabis include:
- Chronic pain
- Nausea and vomiting
- Appetite disorders
- Muscle spasms
- Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
Meanwhile, singing may have some significant benefits of its own. Researchers have investigated its efficacy for a variety of conditions, including:
- Alzheimer’s disease
- Chronic obstructive pulmonary disorder (COPD)
More evidence is necessary before we make any firm conclusions about the benefits of singing for health. However, it seems likely that it will have some positive effects, not least thanks to its interaction with the ECS.
Is Cannabis Good or Bad for Your Singing Voice?
Although both singing and cannabis have some potential benefits for physical and mental health, there are some drawbacks to consider. The most evident is the fact that many people use marijuana by smoking, a process that could damage the voice.
Smoking anything, either cannabis or tobacco, will harm the throat and lungs. Some sources suggest that smoking marijuana is even more damaging than tobacco since it burns at a higher temperature. Furthermore, people tend to smoke cannabis without a filter, inhale more deeply, and hold the smoke for longer than with cigarettes.
A study by Meehan-Atash and colleagues appeared in JAMA Otolaryngology-Head & Neck Surgery in 2019. It found that cannabis smokers had dark vocal folds, as shown by laryngoscopy. It also suggested that marijuana can cause lung and throat injury due to the by-products of smoking.
Some other adverse effects on the voice that cannabis smokers may experience include:
- Dry throat
- Low-pitched voice
- Unclear articulation
- Altered voice rhythm and fluency
So, are these effects permanent, or is it possible to reverse them by quitting smoking? Let’s take a look.
If I Quit Smoking Cannabis, Will My Voice Improve?
The aforementioned Meehan-Atash study suggests that stopping smoking or switching to a vape can reduce respiratory problems. Although it does not specify the impact of quitting cannabis on the voice, it is highly likely that it will help.
While it is clear that smoking and singing is not an optimal combination, we know less about the impact of vaping.
A 2018 study by Tuhanioglu and colleagues for the Journal of Voice suggests that the effects of vaping may be milder than smoking. However, the long-term effects of vaping on lung health are still unknown.
Therefore, singers may be keen to find another method of consuming cannabis. Fortunately, there are now many different options available.
How to Use Cannabis Without Damaging Your Voice
Since cannabis legalization began sweeping across the states, people have been coming up with ingenious ways to use the herb. Now, the days when the only options were to roll a joint or load a bowl are long gone.
One ever-popular consumption method is cannabis edibles. They allow people to enjoy all the benefits of marijuana without putting a strain on the vocal cords or lungs.
Furthermore, edibles are highly versatile, with options available to suit every taste. Some companies are even selling cannabis or CBD-infused lozenges. These are a great way to use marijuana while also soothing the throat.
Another more modern, but highly effective, way of using cannabis is dabbing concentrates. Although this method still involves inhalation, concentrates like wax and shatter are much purer than cannabis flower. This means that they have less of a negative impact on the throat and lungs.
Other options include oils, tinctures, topical creams, and patches. Our article on how to use cannabis without smoking has further details.
Potential Benefits of Cannabis for Singers
Aside from the smoking issue, cannabis may actually have some benefits for avid singers. For example, cannabinoids like THC and CBD are well-known for their anti-inflammatory properties. Marijuana is also a muscle relaxant, and relaxing the throat and jaw are vital components of singing.
Therefore, although there is no research specifically on cannabis and singing, the herb could have some valuable properties.
To maximize the potential benefits of cannabis for singing, we recommend using either lozenges or syrup. You could also create your own soothing beverage by mixing a spoonful of cannabis honey with your favorite herbal tea.
Just remember that cannabis can cause dry mouth as a common side effect. Therefore, singers will want to keep plenty of warm or room-temperature water on hand to keep themselves hydrated.
Final Thoughts on Cannabis and Singing
Using cannabis and singing are both activities that many people love. Their vast popularity probably stems from the fact that they both influence the feel-good function of the endocannabinoid system. Both singing and cannabis can improve the mood and may have many additional benefits for health too.
The downside is that smoking marijuana is likely to have a negative impact on the voice. However, there are plenty of other viable consumption methods available. In fact, using cannabis without smoking could potentially help singers due to its relaxing and anti-inflammatory effects. We hope to see more evidence of this emerging soon.
Do you use marijuana and sing? How does it affect your voice? Let us know in the comments.
How CBD Oil Help Improve Singer’s Performance
Could CBD help you improve your singing skills? Learn how it can aid in the healing of vocal cords and the relaxation of the muscles essential for singing.
November 29, 2021
Everyone wants to stay calm throughout the day, most especially in times of important events. One of the greatest examples is singers. They must maintain their overall health, both the physical and mental aspects. One way to maintain such things is through hemp CBD oil intake.
Is CBD effective in enhancing your performance as a singer? According to studies, there are several general Benefits, which contribute to a singer’s stage performances and recording sessions. How does CBD oil help improve a singer’s performance? To find out all the answers, continue reading.
How CBD Oil Help Improve Singer’s Performance: Top Seven Benefits
Anxiety, depression, and inflammation. These three things are just some of the main mainstream CBD benefits. How about the specific ones?
Relieves Performance Anxiety
Most people may get surprised by the idea that famous singers and other social performers experience anxiety with their performances. However, many superstars are even suffering from anxiety disorders. This can significantly affect performances. However, CBD can serve as a support assistant.
CBD for anxiety has been so popular to many, especially that continuous research and studies give light to its promising effects. There was a study conducted to investigate the effects of CBD on the anxiety of public performers. One group was administered with CBD oil, and the other one was treated with a placebo. The result showed that CBD significantly reduced the level of anxiety among performers, while placebo only made little to no difference.
There is also a similar study conducted in the United States. Even their Preclinical evidence shows a CBD’s high potential in reducing anxiety, including those who were having multiple mental disorders.
What about singers? The less anxious you are, the better delivery of performance you may offer. Plus, no anxiety results in better sleep before the live performance or recording sessions.
Protect Vocal cords
The role of CBD here is to serve as an anti-inflammatory solution. Most famous singers, whether you are a solo artist or a band vocalist, occasionally have long performances. Prolonged use of vocal cords may lead to certain inflammation. Inflammation may naturally heal by itself, but it is often best to prevent such conditions before it happens. CBD intake makes such a thing possible, without making you dependent on it.
Of course, there are other medications available to reduce inflammation. But, unlike CBD, those medications have unwanted side effects. Thinner blood is an example, which might lead to a vocal cord rupture.
Fights Against Depression
Most people perceived famous singers and even other musicians to have a decent life. However, often, that is not the case. As such, major depression may affect anyone, regardless of a person’s economic status.
As seen in social media, several American singers were already diagnosed with a mental disorders such as depression, anxiety, and bipolar. Indeed, the high expectations of society towards them lead to such conditions. CBD comes to alleviate depressive symptoms.
According to studies, CBD interacts with the receptors found in our brain, regulating chemicals responsible for the stability of mood. It also activates neurotransmitters affecting emotions, mimicking the behavior of SSRI (Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitor). Once symptoms of MDD (major depressive disorder) symptoms get alleviated, a singer will have better and more entertaining performances. Indeed, serotonin does not only regulate mood. It also affects motor and cognitive function, as well as one’s appetite.
CBD has the potential capability of enhancing one’s creativity. Aside from activating neurotransmitters and regulating brain chemicals, it interacts with the frontal lobe.
According to research, CBD increases the blood flow to the frontal lobe. An increased blood flow to the said brain area is common to highly creative individuals. Indeed, that part of the brain is also responsible for problem-solving and planning activities.
Increases energy levels
As a performer, singers need to maintain an enough or high enough amount of energy, especially for concerts and other related long-term performances. That is the key to entertaining audiences more effectively.
As mentioned earlier, CBD may enhance the production of serotonin within the brain. This does not only enhance the mood. It alleviates your energy level as well. Thus, those who take CBD may have a long-lasting performance without feeling tired easily.
Keep Skin Clear
As mentioned earlier at the Health Canal (2021), CBD has an anti-inflammatory property. It does not only benefit the vocal cords, but also the skin. While most people may think that skin appearance does not matter for a singer, it still matters when performing live. Also, CBD comes with antibacterial properties.
Through CBD’s capability of preventing skin inflammation and antibacterial components, one can prevent the production or occurrence of acne. This results in a lesser need of putting on lots of makeup just to appear good-looking down from the stage. Aside from that, research also showed that CBD prevents the sebaceous excretion of lots of sebum through the skin. Furthermore, it regulates the activation of cytokines.
When cytokines and sebum are out of control, both may result in more production of acne.
It is hard to perform if the singer experiences a lack of sleep. It leads to a lack of energy, and a person will get tired easily. CBD oil may come to the rescue. As such, CBD is also known for its relaxing or calming effect. Indeed, it relieves symptoms of anxiety, which promotes better sleep as well.
Unlike marijuana, hemp CBD does not contain a high amount of THC, which is less than 0.3%. Instead, it contains a higher amount of CBD, while marijuana contains it lower. THC is the substance of cannabis that makes a person feel too high, and the same compound makes the person addicted to it. On the other hand, CBD is a compound carrying various health benefits including calming effects.
The best CBD oil is always available for those who need it. It carries several benefits such as anxiety and depression relief, better sleep, maintained energy level, beautiful skin, boosted creativity, and Vocal cords protection. If you are a music performer and you doubt whether you should get one or not, consider these benefits on the highlights.