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Cannabis altered-states impact auditory perception and absorption

Cannabis altered-states impact auditory perception and absorption

Name:Chi Yhun, Lo

School/Affiliation:Toronto Metropolitan University

Co-Authors:Lena Darakjian; Frank Russo

Virtual or In-person:In-person


Robust research exploring the relationship between cannabis consumption and its impact on cognition and auditory perception is limited, particularly in the context of music. The longstanding historical association between cannabis and music, coupled with its current widespread use, warrants exploration of this topic.

This mixed-methods study aims to understand how auditory perception is altered while under a cannabis-induced state of consciousness. Fifty-seven experienced recreational cannabis users (average age = 26 years; 35 females; 22 males) completed an online questionnaire encompassing demographics, cannabis use patterns, as well as auditory and music-related experiences under the influence of cannabis. Additionally, ten participants engaged in semi-structured interviews to provide deeper insights such as listening habits, emotional experiences, and perceptual and attentional differences.

Sixty percent of participants reported that cannabis influenced their hearing, such as greater sound clarity and attentiveness (p < 0.001) and state music absorption increased while stoned or high (p = 0.001). Although auditory experiences were highly idiosyncratic, better hearing sensitivity and absorption were common experiences. Thematic analysis from open responses and interviews indicated enhanced emotional, cognitive, perceptual, and embodied sensitivity among cannabis users. These findings are novel and will serve to generate hypotheses for future research that seeks to uncover the impact of cannabis on auditory perception.

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