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heightened hearing when stoned

Weed Heighten Sensory Perception

Can cannabis enhance sensory experiences? It undeniably amplifies the enjoyment of food and elevates the perception of music. Intriguingly, compounds derived from marijuana engage with receptors located near or within all our sensory organs. In the following discussion, we will explore the scientific inquiry into the ways THC and other cannabinoids impact taste, sight, smell, touch, and heightened hearing when stoned.

How does Weed Heighten your Senses?

For an extended period, medical professionals and researchers hypothesized that one of the primary cannabinoids in medical marijuana could lead to heightened sensory experiences among users. This belief was substantiated by a 2014 study, which identified tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) as the culprit. THC, known for its appetite-stimulating properties, was found to also enhance sensory perception.

The mechanism behind this phenomenon involves THC interacting with receptors in the brain. Specifically, areas of the brain associated with sensory functions, such as the olfactory bulb responsible for managing the sense of smell, engage with THC receptors. This interaction results in heightened perceptions of the surrounding environment.

The Impact of Cannabis on Sensory Perception

heightened hearing when stoned

How does cannabis specifically impact our senses, and what physiological changes occur to facilitate this effect?


Many individuals who use cannabis would concur that it enhances the taste of food. It elevates the flavors of sweet dishes and imparts a satisfying quality even to the most basic snacks; even a simple combination like bread and butter becomes irresistibly appealing when one is experiencing the munchies. While THC is known to induce the munchies, the heightened taste experience is not solely attributable to hunger.


The presence of endocannabinoid system (ECS) receptors in our skin suggests a direct connection between marijuana’s cannabinoids and our sense of touch. It’s not surprising that the use of marijuana can result in a heightened sensitivity to touch.

Does weed make you more sensitive to touch? This increased tactile sensitivity, particularly unexpected for those seeking pain relief through cannabis, raises questions about how cannabis simultaneously impacts touch and pain perception. To illustrate, if one applies medical marijuana to a skin burn, the discomfort associated with the burn is likely to be less bothersome. The explanation lies in cannabis altering the individual’s relationship with pain rather than numbing the ability to sense it, essentially rendering pain more tolerable.


Many cannabis users acknowledge that music becomes more enjoyable when under the influence. Have you ever noticed a heightened sense of hearing while using marijuana? Does weed make your hearing better? The plant appears to enhance listeners’ ability to discern small details in a track, making everything seem more vibrant and significant. Interestingly, the impact of cannabis on musical enjoyment may be influenced by the concentration of cannabinoids. Researchers at University College in London discovered that high-THC cannabis can diminish the effect of music on brain regions linked to reward and emotion. However, introducing CBD into the mix counteracts these effects, illustrating the entourage effect.

Rather than altering the way we perceive sound in the ear, cannabis likely amplifies the neurochemical changes associated with listening to music. Both music we enjoy and smoking cannabis trigger an increase in dopamine levels.


Marijuana’s impact on vision is less pronounced and scientifically less explored compared to its effects on taste. Although many individuals may not perceive a significant alteration in their sight, some do.

In the short term, there is limited evidence indicating that cannabis might enhance night vision. Reports from individuals, including fishermen, have suggested improved night vision after consuming cannabis. A study corroborated these observations, demonstrating that both cannabis and THC-only therapy enhance night vision by engaging cannabinoids with the retina.


Research on the impact of marijuana on the sense of smell has yielded conflicting findings. Animal studies indicate that THC can heighten odor detection and intensify the perception of food smells. On the contrary, a study involving 15 healthy human volunteers revealed that 20 mg of oral THC inhibited participants’ ability to discriminate between odors.

To draw definitive conclusions on how marijuana affects our sense of smell, further research is imperative. It is plausible that specific compounds within marijuana may enhance certain aspects of olfaction while inhibiting others, necessitating a more comprehensive investigation.

Why are my senses heightened?

A diverse spectrum of medical cannabis strains can lead to various side effects, ranging from minor inconveniences such as red eyes to more significant issues like constipation. Conversely, certain patients intentionally leverage what might be perceived as negative side effects, such as drowsiness and increased appetite, as part of their treatment for specific conditions.

Typically, medical marijuana physicians refrain from recommending cannabis if they believe its potential side effects outweigh its benefits. In such cases, it might be advisable to seek a new healthcare professional to oversee your condition and treatment plan.

How to Prevent Heightened Sensory Perception Caused by Marijuana

Medical cannabis research has provided insights into preventing heightened sensory perception. An effective approach involves transitioning to a medicinal weed strain with a higher cannabidiol (CBD) content and lower tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) content.

To minimize the occurrence of heightened sensory perception, consider the following measures:

  • Closing your eyes
  • Wearing headphones or earplugs
  • Using a nose clip

It’s important to note that the duration of heightened sensory perception is contingent on the method of medical cannabis administration. Smoking and vaporizing typically result in shorter episodes, whereas effects from edibles tend to be more prolonged. The heightened sensory experience will gradually diminish as the effects of your medical cannabis wear off.

Does Weed heighten your senses?

Cannabis seems to enhance our enjoyment of sweet foods and heighten our musical perception, particularly when there’s a sufficient presence of CBD. Nevertheless, current scientific evidence indicates that the herb might temporarily diminish both visual and olfactory acuity. The research on the impact of cannabis on the sense of touch is still in its early stages, making it premature to draw definitive conclusions. In summary, while cannabis doesn’t amplify all senses, it can undoubtedly contribute to a heightened appreciation of your favorite foods and music.

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