Did you know that you can hurt your singing voice? Professional singers are usually well-versed in vocal health and know how to protect their voices. For example, they drink a ton of water and drink warm tea to take care of their voice. They may also avoid alcohol, caffeine, or cigarettes when they need their voice to be at its peak. Clearly, what you ingest may have some effect on your voice. But what about weed? Does weed affect your singing voice? Here’s what we know.
Does Weed Help You Sing Better?
Singers may have varying answers when asked whether weed helps them sing better.
According to Yona Marie Music, marijuana may actually be beneficial for singers.
They said, “Marijuana is also a muscle relaxant that can help you sing more clearly, and expressively with relaxed muscles in your larynx, mouth, and face.”
Yona Marie Music also mentions that weed can reduce anxiety for singers therefore they can perform better.
They also list famous singers who use marijuana such as Lady Gaga and Willie Nelson.
But what did other singers say? Does weed help them to sing better?
Well, one person on Reddit posed the question, “Been smoking weed for 10 years. Is it absolutely necessary to quit to get better at singing?”
Some singers say it helped their anxiety but you should skip weed if you will be singing that day.
One person commented, “don’t smoke too much before/close to shows and all. Smoking joints and blunts can burn your throat a little more due to the paper.”
They also mentioned that they love their raspy voice which they attribute to smoking.
“I also get a rasp to my my voice that I don’t think would be present without my smoking, and I love it.”
Another one said, “I tend to just not smoke two to three days before a rehearsal or performance”
One person commented that they feel like they’ve lost some of their singing ability but continue to use weed because it helps their anxiety.
“i have been a professional singer for many years and i smoke and sing daily. not on a performance day though. i feel i’ve lost some of my highest falsetto which is a little sad but smoking helps me a lot with my anxiety so i still use it.”
Can Weed Hurt Your Singing Voice?
There is evidence that weed can hurt your singing voice.
Smoking has the potential to irritate your airways which isn’t conducive to a great singing voice
A 2022 article in the Journal of Voice marijuana may have a negative effect on your voice.
The study analyzed the answers of 42 surveys of voice patients.
The symptoms caused by marijuana include:
The study concluded that there were no positive effects identified.
“Smoking Marijuana may cause immediate and long-term hoarseness. No positive changes to the voice were identified in this study. Further research is necessary to evaluate changes to the voice and safety of marijuana use.”
In addition, Dr. Reena Gupta the Director of the Division of Voice and Laryngology at Osborne Head and Neck Institute said that marijuana can cause long-term damage to your voice.
Gupta wrote in her article that inhaling marijuana can cause laryngitis which is characterized by a hoarse, tired, raspy, or rough voice. Unfortunately, laryngitis can cause permanent voice damage.
Using your voice to sing or even speak when you have laryngitis can result in:
- Development of nodules
- Vocal hemorrhage (bruise)
- Vocal polyps
- Scarring of the vocal folds
Gupta recommends that you get your suspected voice injury examined and treated by a qualified laryngologist and voice therapist team.
How to Protect Your Voice
If you take singing seriously, you’ll be curious about how you can protect your voice.
If you don’t want weed to affect your singing voice, it doesn’t have to. Since most of the vocal issues are caused by inhaling weed, if you’re a singer who wants to reap the benefits of weed you can opt for other methods. For example, edibles, dabbing or any other method that doesn’t involve inhalation may work for you.
In addition, Michigan Medicine recommends:
- Warming up your voice before singing
- Maintaining a good posture (no slouching) when singing
- Stop smoking
- Taking vocal rests after extended voice use
- Avoiding spicy, acidic, and dairy foods if you are sensitive to them.
- Reducing caffeine intake
- Avoiding mint
- Getting good rest at night
- Drinking one-half of your body weight in ounces of water daily
- Drinking warm, non-caffeinated liquids during extended periods of voice use
Does weed affect your singing voice? Yes, it can. It may affect it positively or negatively according to our sources. On one hand, it may reduce your anxiety and relax your muscles. However, smoking weed can cause damage to your vocal cords. Therefore, you may want to avoid smoking weed right before you have to sing. There are also ways you can protect your voice such as using weed in another form, being hydrated, and drinking warm liquids.
Do you have more burning questions around cannabis?
Email us at [email protected] with your questions/topic suggestions and we will get back to you!