Marijuana And Music: Your Perfect Playlist For Indica and Sativa Highs

Have you ever wondered how marijuana makes music sound so damn good? Marijuana has a natural way of heightening the senses, whether it’s sound, sight, or taste. Come on, we’ve all experienced the munchies at least once or twice in our lives. If marijuana can drive us to call in a pizza delivery order at midnight, surely it can make us want to check out some new bands and musical artists. Marijuana and music (pretty much anything creative, in general) have been tied together since the beginning, and at the end of this, hopefully, you’ll have some new tunes to add to your iPod or iPhone.

The Connection Between Marijuana And Music

In the famous words of Lindsey Buckingham from Fleetwood Mac, “If you’ve been working on something for a few hours and you smoke a joint, it’s like hearing it again for the first time.” Musicians around the world can agree that sometimes, you just feel stuck. It happens with writer’s block. 

While actual scientific research on marijuana and music’s relationship is limited, experts say that timing is everything. Studies have shown that marijuana speeds up our internal clock, thus making “real world” time appear to pass slower. One study, in particular, concluded that a 15-second timespan felt more like 16.7 seconds to marijuana users. 


But so what, right?


To clarify, Jorg Fachner, professor of music, health, and the brain at Anglia Ruskin University in the United Kingdom, says, “If you look into the literature on timing, it seems to be that the brain systems that are influenced by cannabinoids are producing a state of mind in which there seems to be a slower backward counting. 

And that means your timing units, the time frames that you are overseeing, seem to be enlarged. So, those who are improvising seem to have a bit more time to foresee the melodic developments in improvisation and to fine grain the rhythmic patterns.”


Sativa Playlist For The Gym

We previously talked about marijuana’s influence on fitness and exercise. Now that we know the correlation between the two, we can create our perfect playlist. Gym goers typically reach for sativa before heading out because it’s more energizing, motivating, and uplifting than most indica strains. But did you know there’s a specific “beats per minute” (BPM) tempo that scientists prefer for each type of exercise? 

According to Live Strong, 115 to 120 beats per minute is ideal for stretching and warming up. Songs of this tempo include… 

  • “Teenage Dream” by Katy Perry
  • “Blah Blah Blah” by Kesha
  • “Billie Jean” by Michael Jackson
  • “Give Life Back To Music” by Daft Punk
  • “What I Might Do” by Ben Pearce

 For weight lifting, the fitness magazine recommends a BPM range of 130 to 140. 

  • “Somebody Told Me” by The Killers
  • “Mercy” by Duffy
  • “The Way You Move” by Outkast
  • “Material Girl” by Madonna
  • “U Can’t Touch This” by MC Hammer

Next up we’ve got cardio, which, as you can imagine, needs a serious beat behind it. The 145 to 160 range is perfect for running on the treadmill or indoor spinning.


  • “All The Small Things” by Blink-182
  • “Harder To Breathe” by Maroon 5
  • “Somewhere I Belong” by Linkin Park
  • “Sk8er Boi” by Avril Lavigne
  • “I See Fire” by Ed Sheeran

The last part of your workout is the cooldown. The BMP here should drop back down to 120.

Indica Playlist For Relaxation

Okay, so you’ve just worked your butt off at the gym and now need something to counter than high intensity. Indica strains are praised for their ability to melt away stress and anxiety. Went too hard at the gym? Feeling sore from head to toe? Indicas will take care of that for you. There are even times when we feel nauseous after a long run (and a big breakfast). Indicas can fix that, too.

Similar to the fitness world, chill out time also has an ideal BMP range. Love Your Brain claims “the best music for relaxation should be at a tempo of 60-80 beats per minute. This tempo matches the average heart rate at rest, and helps to slow down your breathing as you try to relax. It is also a good idea to avoid music with lyrics, as these can be distracting. Try to find music with 1 or 2 instruments, as well.” Check out these song suggestions.

  • “Come Away With Me” by Norah Jones
  • “I’m Yours” by Jason Mraz
  • “The Scientist” by Coldplay
  • “Skinny Love” by Bon Iver
  • “What A Girl Wants” by Christina Aguilera

Just Ask These Famous Musicians…

If you still don’t believe that marijuana has a powerful, positive influence on music, check out what these artists have to say. Some of these quotes were pulled from interviews while others are direct lyrics from their songs. Musicians have been flaunting their marijuana use for decades, lighting up on stage, smoking on the cover of magazines, and even admitting that they’re high in the middle of interviews with the press.

  • “When you smoke the herb, it reveals you to yourself.” – Bob Marley
  • “I’m in love with Mary Jane. She’s my main thing. She makes me feel alright. She makes my heart sing.” – Rick James
  • “I’d rather be smoking weed, whenever we breathe.” – Rihanna
  • “Weed makes me feel the way I need to feel.” – Snoop Dogg
  • “I think it may have had something to do with the joint I smoked before I came on.” – Madonna while talking to David Letterman on-air
  • “The only thing pot does for me is it gets me to stop thinking. Sometimes I have a brain that needs to be turned off. Some people are just better high.” – Justin Timberlake

One Final Note

Even if you don’t consider yourself a huge music fan, you’d be surprised at how much it unintentionally creeps into your life. In the elevator, on TV, at the salon, at a sporting event, from a street performer on the sidewalk. We are literally surrounded by music. There’s no escaping it, so wouldn’t it be nice if we could all enjoy it just a little bit more with the help of marijuana?