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Smoker's Voice

Does Smoking Weed Make Your Voice Deeper?

Does Smoking Weed Affect Singing?

A countless number of celebrities in the entertainment industry are known to be both cigarette and cannabis smokers. To actors and singers, their voice is their livelihood, and nothing is more important to a singer than their voice. Some of the more famous, current weedsmoking singers are Rihanna, Miley Cyrus, and of course, many more musicians and entertainers.

Rihanna

Miley Cyrus

Spoiler Alert-Smoking cigarettes, has been proven to cause voice damage.

Rihanna and Miley Cyrus are both young. So, smoking has not yet likely affected their voice that much. However, many famous singers who smoked cigarettes, like Frank Sinatra, voice changed throughout their career.

So, I was wondering if by smoking pot (also, often cigarettes) are they setting themselves up for trouble down the road? Better yet, can weed smokers expect their voice to change over time?

This article will attempt to answer this question by addressing what is a smoker’s voice, does weedsmoking also hurt vocal cords and preventative measures to take to lessen any damage.

What is Smoker’s Voice?

A smoker’s voice is when a voice because of smoking, sounds strained, breathy, and hoarse. The throat will often feel strained and scratchy.

Potential Voice Complications Caused By Smoking

According to numerous resources, tobacco smoke has been proven to negatively affect your vocal cords. Please note, I said tobacco (Cigar, Pipe, Cigarette, etc.) smoking and not cannabis. Cannabis, as it is not been able to be studied, has not been proven to cause vocal cord damage. But, that does not mean that a cannabis smoker’s voice will not be affected.

According to the Cleveland Clinic smoke first goes through your throat right by your vocal cords, and straight to your lungs. This can lead to irritated vocal cords, chronic cough, mucus accumulation, hoarseness, and other negative problems. It ultimately can result in your vocal cords swelling, which can make it harder for your voice to reach the high notes that it once did before you smoked.

In short, hot smoke hits and swells up your vocal cords, which results in your vocal range being lessened. This effect will start out slow, at first, and will eventually be quite noticeable and can even be non-reversible.

Second-Hand smoke can also be damagign to your vocal cords as it can cause you to be more likely to get laryngitis or propylene gycol.

Cigarette Smoke and Your Voice

Tobacco is legal, as a result, numerous studies have been done concerning tobacco smoking and the human voice. As a result, these below complications have only been proven to occur with cigarette smokers.

Cigarette, Smoking, Ashtray

Polyps

Studies have shown that current and past smokers have around three times the chance to have voice problems than non-smokers. Further, smoking can also raise the chance of polyps forming on your vocal cords. These polyps will result in your voice lowering and being raspy.

Reinke’s Edema

Smoking tobacco has the potential to cause polypoid corditis. Polypoid corditis, which makes the vocal fold tissue swell up.

Vocal cords swelling will not be able to vibrate as well, which results, in a raspy voice. Depending upon how badly you are affected, the swelling could be so severe that it will even narrow your throat‘s airways. With Reinke fluid will start to accumulate in the lamina propria areas (“Reinke’s Space”)of your vocal cords. This area is what produces the ability of your voice to reach certain high notes. Ultimately, if left untreated, your voice quality will be adversely affected. For singers who rely on their voice to make their living, you can imagine how devastating a chronic hoarse voice can be.

Cannabis Smoker’s Singing Voice

If you have read my other articles, like my article on drug-sniffing dogs, you’ll know that cannabis is illegal federally, very few medical studies have been done on cannabis. As a result, there have been no medical studies that prove whether or not cannabis smoking can damage your vocal folds.

The following is from an organization specializing in recovery from voice problems where they state that smoking “Anything”, could cause voice damage. However, cannabis has not been proven to negatively affect the voice, which acknowledges by WebMD.

Please note, I am not saying that pot doesn’t or does harm your vocal cords. I am saying that there have been no studies proving whether or not it can damage your vocal range.

As a result, I could not find any medical study concerning cannabis‘ relationship with your voice. The only information that I could find were doctors guessing that since a cigarette can cause voice damage, smoking cannabis could also cause voice damage.

Their reasoning is that smoking weed is similar to tobacco because when you smoke weed you are ingesting smoke, down your throat, into your airways. As a result, since weed is similar to tobacco; smoking cannabis will cause you to get a smoker’s voice. According to these medical professionals, smoking any substance will have an adverse effect on your voice.

Granted, to a non-scientist, without any medical background, the reasoning on why weed may be harmful sounds reasonable, and it likely may be real. Personally, as a smoker, I sometimes get a sore throat. So, I would not b surprised if it is true.

However, causation does not equal correlation. So, just because smoking weed is similar to smoking tobacco it does not necessarily mean that using cannabis will have the same impact or relationship on your voice as a cigarette.

Why Weed May Not Be As Bad As Tobacco

The only information that I could find was from a Doctor from the renowned Cleveland Clinic who stated that he saw more cases of tobacco smokers with polypoid corditis than pot smokers. He also acknowledged that there was no way of knowing if the afflicted only smoked cannabis. Also, more people smoke cigarettes, so, are the Doctor’s observations simply because of the fact that he sees more cigarette smokers than those who smoke weed?

How Can You Prevent Smoker’s Voice

Other than stop smoking weed, there are a few things that you can do to either eliminate or lessen the chance of you getting a smoke voice. First of all, consume edibles if you want to have no danger of cannabis damaging your vocal cords.

The second choice, which will minimize problems is to vape. Renee Gupta, MD, a laryngologist, specialist, states that vaping (as it does not burn) will result in less damage. However, as vaping is new, few studies have been done on vaping’s long-term health effects.

Vaping May Be Better For Your Voice?

Final Thoughts

Although there have been no peer-reviewed, medical studies on weed‘s effect on the voice. From a non-scientific standpoint, it does seem logical that smoking any substance, can result in your voice changing. So, I would not be surprised if cannabis can have a similar same effect on your vocal cords as weed does. Of course, that damaging effect depends upon how much weed do you smoke. If you only smoke on special occasions it may not be an issue. But, if you smoke weed like cigarettes, your voice will of course be more likely to be deeper.

If you are worried, see a Doctor. (Preferably a specialist, like an ENT) Your doctor though will likely tell you to stop smoking weed altogether. For what it is worth, (If you are not going to quit) as a non-doctor my only advice be to try to reduce your risks by either cutting down your smoking, try vaping (don’t vape more though), or eat edibles.