The following is what a friend of mine wrote in one sitting after considering the manifold effects of marijuana on the senses. For context, the writer is currently a student at a prestigious university in the southern US, and he enjoys his high quality marijuana very much.
Marijuana as a sensory enhancer.
The psychoactive and euphoric effects of marijuana are caused by THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) and other cannabinoids. One will often notice while on this chemical, food tastes better, music sounds better, movies are better, running is better, etc. Everything is simply better, but why?
Wikipedia lists the effects of Cannabis as:
“Acute effects while under the influence include euphoria, increased appetite, anxiety, short-term memory loss…”
But where does it say it makes everything better? This common phrase uttered by most habitual marijuana smokers actually holds truth. The reason for this is the fact that Marijuana is a “Sensory Amplifier.” That is, all five of your senses, are enhanced and perform better than normal for the time you’re under the influence.
We must all understand that as sober humans we are cognitive misers. This means we don’t spend extra energy processing sensory information we don’t need to pay attention to, i.e. patterns in the floor’s tiles or underlying beats in music. But the enhancement of senses allows us to process more information, or at least, information we normally wouldn’t process, into our consciousness, and to process it more effectively. Music sounds so interesting because now, we’re not focusing on just one melodic line or instrument; with the help of Cannabis it’s easy to listen to multiple parts of instruments clearly and profoundly without having to consciously provide extra attention and effort.
The same goes for food. Now, we can taste more of the different elements that are in a piece of steak or a chicken breast. The synergy that is there but ignored is now obvious to our brain, merely because Cannabis gives us the capability to more profoundly interpret our senses and to interpret more of them unanimously. The same goes for looking at pictures, playing video games, etc. It’s all simply about increasing the capacity of our senses, in a quantitative sense and a qualitative sense.
Have you ever closed your eyes and listened to music? Most would say that this is a lot more enjoyable, since you can focus your attention completely on the music. A similar (and even arguably better) method to achieve this is simply getting some Cannabis in your system.
Paranoia is also an indicator of Cannabis’s sensory enhancement capabilities. Since all of our senses are enhanced, especially our senses of hearing and sight, we notice more things than usual. Suddenly, ordinary happenings, such as select people talking amongst a crowd, or someone getting a phonecall at a coincidental time, are more easily noticed. Perhaps you are running in a park and someone passes by you and looks at you; you’ll notice it and think about it more when you’re on Cannabis than not. One also takes into the account Cannabis’s psychoactive capabilities (Esp when considering paranoia) that foster creative thought, but that’s another story.
To finalize the evidence, touch comes to mind. If you have long hair (which many of you I don’t doubt do have), notice that when you’re sober, you don’t really “feel” the hair on your neck all the time. Again, as cognitive misers, we’re always ignoring stimuli that we don’t need to pay attention to, for example, the feeling of hair on your neck. However, on Cannabis, one might notice that they can actively feel their hair without repositioning it. Also, on many accounts, I’ve had people report noticing things in their pockets that they don’t normally notice when they’re not under the influence of Cannabis. Again, this supports my hypothesis.
In summary, there is strong evidence to believe that Cannabis is a sensory amplifier and enhancer. Cannabis has long been in our history, yet these wonderful benefits are still kept from us in the United States. Time will only tell if I’m right, or if Cannabis will ever become legal.