Cannabis culture, sustainability culture, and music culture – What combines them better than hemp headphones?
Music and cannabis go hand in hand. We’ve all experienced the joy of loading a playlist as we lie back after smoking some weed. The lyrics tell a new story, the melodies resonate with a richness never before noticed, and we’re engulfed in a whole new sensual awareness. For those who truly appreciate the connection to music that cannabis facilitates, then hemp headphones may well be the gadget of choice.
Sustainability and Cannabis
The hemp plant is one of the true miracles of nature. Whether for medicinal use, industrial use, or entertainment, its range of applications include biofuel, paper, medicinal oils, textiles, clothing, biodegradable plastics, paint, insulation, food, and now, even headphones.
Grado Labs have been making headphones for three generations. With wooden, metal, and wireless models, this small family-run business takes an innovative approach to headphone technology, where each new generation represents a significant step forward in sonic reproduction.
With a history of using alternate design methods, Grado Labs first produced mahogany headphones in an effort to create a unique soundscape, where mahogany brings a real warmth into the sound reproduction.
In their latest offering, they’ve opted for hemp. Retailing at $420, their hemp headphones are the result of two years of research and development. One of the underlying ideas behind hemp headphones is that the compressed nature of hemp creates a damping effect between the fibers, something that leads to a fuller sound with increased depth.
In what began as a journey into the unknown, the headphones are the result of a process of trial and error. In the quest for the perfect sound, Grado actually ended up including maple in the housing to help balance out the sound and bring out hemp’s full potential.
The inclusion of hemp in headphones is nothing new. Companies like Marley utilize hemp fibers, but Grado is the first to use it to create the actual sound. Compared to a standard pair of closed-off headphones, they let in more ambient noise and expand the soundstage to give the perception that the music is coming from all directions.
Music as Medicine
The combination of cannabis and music is one of the greatest pleasures in life. After consuming cannabis, poetic lyrics resonate more deeply; music often sounds just like it did the very first time, and the melodies often carry us off on a journey of introspection. Individual notes, rhythms, and melodies seem to resonate with increased richness, while the intensity of the music can arouse the senses of patients to a whole new level. But just how cannabis does this in the brain is a mystery to many.
A paper published by Harvard Academics (2015) investigated the medicinal power of music. Entitled “the impact of healing harmonies,” researchers claimed that “music seems to slow heart rate, lower blood pressure, and reduce levels of stress hormones.” It can also provide some relief to heart attack and stroke victims as well as patients undergoing surgery.
Why Cannabis is Better With Music
A study published in the Journal of Cannabis Therapeutics (2002) studied the link between cannabis use, music perception, and changes in brainwave activity.Fachner, Jörg. (2002). Topographic EEG Changes Accompanying Cannabis-Induced Alteration of Music Perception— Cannabis as a Hearing Aid?. Journal of Cannabis Therapeutics. 2. 3-36. … Continue reading Researchers began by measuring the brainwave activity of the participants when sober while listening to music. They then repeated the experiment after administering twenty milligrams of THC to participants.
Researchers found that participants experienced changes in brain areas associated with attentional strategy, auditory processing, and spatial processing. The finding led lead researcher Jörg Fachner to conclude that cannabis helped subjects focus more intently on the sound. It helped them “to listen, to focus, and to relax.”
Researchers also noticed increased activity in the right temporal brain region after cannabis consumption. This part of the brain is primarily responsible for processing auditory information. This is what researchers believe leads to altered music perception.
Many people also claim an ability to visualize more vividly when listening to music after consuming cannabis. Researchers in the study noted changes in the left occipital area, a brain region responsible for processing visual information. They believe that this may be responsible for the enhanced sensory experience of listening to music.
Connection, Discipline, Cooperation
Music also tends to improve community connection. Whether subjects listen to punk, country, folk, hip-hop, or any other genre, music is traditionally a very communal activity. With cannabis involved, the effects amplify. Where music promotes cooperation, discipline, and an enhanced outward perception of the surroundings, cannabis tends to foster introspection, intimacy, and reinforce positive communication habits. It’s this winning combination that enables us to connect with and interact more deeply with one another. It also helps us deepen the sensual experience of complete immersion in the music.
No matter what your musical taste, few could argue that it doesn’t sound better with cannabis. And, it may even sound better yet with a set of hemp headphones!