Why marijuana makes you laugh

Laughter can turn a bad situation around and make you feel much better. Here's why marijuana makes you laugh.

Laughter may not be the best medicine – but it's probably in the top three. Norwegian researchers conducted a 15-year study of the connection between a sense of humor and mortality among 53,556 women and men in their country. They found that laughter prolongs life. It seems like not laughing means a shorter life, but feels much longer. Movies, memes, friends, jokes, and general silliness can make you feel it. But cannabis can do that too. This is why marijuana makes you laugh.

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Not only does laughter boost you mentally, it actually triggers physical changes in your body, including:

  • Stimulate a range of organs. Laughter promotes the intake of oxygen-rich air, stimulates the heart, lungs and muscles and increases the release of endorphins in the brain.
  • Activate and reduce stress response. A boisterous laugh triggers the stress response and then cools it down. It can increase and then decrease your heart rate and blood pressure, resulting in a good, relaxed feeling.
  • Relieve tension. Laughter can also stimulate blood flow and aid muscle relaxation, both of which can help reduce some of the physical symptoms of stress.

Cannabis has been associated with laughter for thousands of years. In the 1st century, it was mentioned that Pliny the Elder called cannabis Gelotophyllis, which translates to “leaves of laughter.” But what is science?

THC, the primary psychoactive cannabinoid found in cannabis plants, increases mesolimbic dopamine transmission. By increasing dopamine production, you feel euphoric and happy, leading to spontaneous and powerful laughter sessions. One of the reasons people use cannabis recreationally is to experience a pleasant euphoria and feeling of relaxation. Other effects include increased sensory perception (e.g., brighter colors) and increased appetite with an exaggerated taste perception. This can lead to a light, happy feeling that paves the way for giggles.

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Laughter can have even more benefits in the longer term. It can relieve pain by causing the body to produce its own natural painkillers. Laughter can also make it easier to cope with difficult situations. In addition, many people suffer from depression, sometimes due to chronic illnesses. Laughter can help relieve stress, depression and anxiety and make you happier.

And people like being around someone who is happy – that's usually contagious and tends to express it in other people. So laughing every day is good for you and the people around you.

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