Ask Nancy: Why do I giggle when I get high?

ask-nancy

Ask Nancy: Why do I giggle when I get high?

giggles

There’s so many things I love about cannabis.  For me, it’s a great pain reliever, a sleep aid and a mood elevator. That last point is one of my FAVORITE reasons to use cannabis, and I’m not alone.  One of the most common side-effects of cannabis use is a mad case of the giggles.

Everyone has had the giggles at some point in their life,  and it’s an enjoyable bonding experience if there are people there with you.  Of course, I’ve had giggle fits alone with my dog watching comedians on Netflix, so it’s a good self-bonding thing too, I guess. The exact reason on why weed makes us laugh is unknown, but in researching this, I discovered that most of the answer to why this happens lies in the brain. And it just so happens that I love talking about brain stuff so

break-it-down

 

 

LAUGHING IS A MOTOR REFLEX

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Processed primarily in the frontal and temporal lobes of the cerebral cortex, laughing is a motor reflex, meaning that it’s an involuntary response to outside stimuli.  THC in cannabis changes the blood flow to the brain, exciting neural pathways and causing overactivity in the cerebral cortex. The cerebral cortex processes the laughing reflex and the overactivity keeps you laughing, long after the joke should have stopped being funny.  Somehow our brains just get flooded with dopamine and serotonin (the feel-good neurotransmitters)and I think our brains just ride that THC wave to get all the dopamine we can out of it.

 

 

LAUGHING IS CONTAGIOUS

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Similar to yawning, laughing is contagious.  However, there’s a difference between fake and real laughter and our own responses to it.  Neuroscientist Sophie Scott discovered that people are more likely to laugh genuinely in social situations.  Sharing a bowl with friends is one of the most satisfying and ancient ways people have been social with each other. Genuine laughter tends to trigger a response (mirror neurons) of returned laughter.  To prove that point, watch this video and try not to laugh.  People are apparently 30 TIMES more likely to laugh when in the company of another person! That’s the number BEFORE smoking a joint.

 

 

BOTH CANNABIS AND LAUGHING DECREASE SENSITIVITY TO NEGATIVE STIMULI!

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Cannabis has been shown to be effective in treating anxiety and depression, so this coupled with laughing equals the best. medicine. ever.  Laughing has also been shown to reduce damaging stress hormones, increase your immune response, decrease pain, lower your risk of heart disease and increase the quality of life in cancer patients. While we may never know the exact reason why smoking weed causes the giggles, we can be grateful for such a fun, healthy side-effect.

Feel free to comment on this blog or on our instagram here for any cannabis-related questions you might have for me!

 

Love, Nancy.

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