Why Does Cannabis Make You Laugh?
The fun never stops. That’s why you laugh when using. Laughter is the one sure that you are high when smoking pot. And, the higher you get, the more you laugh at the silliest things.
When I first smoked, I didn’t notice any effects. I asked my friends, “How do you know when you’re high?” They assured me I was high because it wouldn’t shut up or stop giggling.
For many folks, smoking cannabis makes them laugh even when things are not particularly funny.
Why does cannabis make you laugh?
The magic in cannabis lies in its neuro-chemical interaction with CB1 receptors. It jiggles your brain and energizes your neurology. It can knock you back and leave you sofa-sitting. Or, it can drive you to your knees in hysterics.
A cannabis hit is not an acid trip. But, it will disorient you and your perceptions of time, sound, and space—depending on the strength of the strain. That can seem funny at the time.
Some scientists theorize that all animals have a funny bone although they may have more or less ability to smile. Smiling signals two things. First, it indicates person is in a comfortable zone. Second, it signals others that there is nothing to fear. It’s a nonverbal cue to improve the dynamic of the social circle.
Contemporary living surrounds you with stressors. So, you suppress anger, impatience, and fear constantly. The suppression keeps you tuned to disruption and disturbance. You have antennae wired to detect oncoming threats so you can gear up to defend yourself.
Marijuana is one way to reduce that fear setting. It frees you to relax. And, when you smoke with others, participants are looking for a bonding ritual. Laughter is the outward sign that the social intimacy is welcome and present.
In social settings, the members expect and encourage each other to chill out, lay back, and mellow on. They invite you to join in the camaraderie, but laughter is the proof of the connection and release. They call this “the mirror effect,” the automatic response to others laughing. Like yawning, you are likely to yawn once someone near you yawns. So, it goes with laughter.
What’s the science behind the pot giggle?
THC alters the brain, engaging the human endocannabinoid system. As it feeds CB1 receptors, the cannabinoids influence the performance of neurotransmitters and activating dopamine and serotonin.
Dopamine, then, boosts the sense of pleasure, self-worth, and reward. It creates a sense of euphoria that can have physical and emotional effects. The serotonin is naturally linked with balance, equanimity, and happiness. It is a bliss center that manages and reduces depression and anxiety. According to Colorado Pot Guide, “This euphoric effect is one of the most common reasons people choose to consume cannabis and is a natural precursor to a good time.”
Huffington Post reported studies that found, “ticklish laughter and voluntary laughter activated the Rolandic operculum brain region, which is located in the primary sensory-motor cortex and is involved in movements of the face; both laughter types were also linked to activity in brain regions involved in vocal emotional reactions, such as crying.” In simple terms, it means laughter is triggered in the same part of the brain aligned with sadness and pain, so it’s likely that pot will trigger giggles while it relieves depression and anxiety.
What’s the situation got to do with it?
The social smoking circle will almost always lead to an end with laughing. But, it also depends on what you bring to the party. Your head must be in the right place and open to the experience. If you come to the circle deeply depressed and emotionally strung out, the smoking may relax you, but it is not going to eradicate your problems.
What cannabis will do is create a sense of detached perspective, a feeling you are not in the present, that you are brighter and more creative than others. It comes from the added oxygen reaching the brain where it enhances cognition and comprehension.
In detachment, you see yourself and your reality differently. That perspective can leave you laughing without any connection with the world around you.
What makes you laugh?
The following strains have a reputation for making you laugh at everyone and everything around you:
- Laughing Buddha originates in Thai and Jamaican strains. This potent Sativa boasts 18% THC and 0.4% CBD, enough to take you to a happy place.
- Deadhead OG is a Sativa-dominant hybrid with a fun but relaxing high. A cross between Chemdawg 91 and SFV OG Kush, it hits with 20% plus THC.
- Sweet Diesel is legendary for its Sativa power. You’ll enjoy more energy, better social interaction, and lots of laughs. The 10% to 18% THC is uplifting and balancing.
- Mango Kush is tasty and strong with 16% THC. You’ll find it relaxing for an extended period. Smokers associate the high with deep relaxation, strong euphoria, and overall relaxation, and it is recommended for many medical conditions.
- Purple Elephant is a powerful Indica. You may want to build up to its 25% THC power. It may make you tired with its full body sedation, but it is a weed-of-choice for socializing.
- Ghost Train Haze is some super strong Sativa with its potent 27% THC. If you’re in a smoking circle, enjoy the ride and laugh your way through it.
- Cinex is a Sativa-dominant hybrid with a stimulating cerebral head high. Mellow and blissful overall, the 15% to 25% THC leaves you laughing, playful, and focused. l. Laughter will come easy after just a few tastes of this psychoactive bud.
The last laugh
The chemistry of cannabis and the mechanics of its interaction with the endocannabinoid system helps you think differently. It lets you detach from the here and now so you can see things from a detached perspective. Smokers find the detachment ironic, and that produces laughs.
Marijuana is a mood-altering experience. This feeling of detachment and bliss also reduces your negative moods, mindset, and predisposition to depression. And, once you start laughing, it will be contagious.
So, why does cannabis make you laugh? Because you’re ready to, because it tickles your brain, and because you need to. If it doesn’t matter, just enjoy.
Recreational and Medical Marijuana News, Articles and Information: Why Does Cannabis Make You Laugh?
Why Does Cannabis Make You Laugh?
One of my favorite things about cannabis is its ability to shed a humorous light on everyday life. Like this Leafly user so eloquently puts it in a Blue Diesel review, “I laughed so hard that I threw up. And that made me laugh more. It was terrible.”
Okay, so most people won’t literally bust their guts over cannabis like this reviewer nearly did, but the point is that marijuana can make things seem hilarious, and that’s a beautiful thing whether or not your mood is in need of a boost. But as we prepare to launch Leafly’s first comedy tour in Seattle, Los Angeles, and Denver, the question occurred to us: why does cannabis make everything funnier?
Why Do We Laugh?
Before understanding how cannabis affects humor, it’s helpful to know what’s happening in the brain that causes laughter. Neuroscientists admit that it’s difficult to isolate specific reasons for laughter, as it involves multiple areas of the brain governing motor function, language, memory, auditory interpretation, and logic. Laughing is a motor reflex prompted by our interpretation of humor, which is a complex idea comprised of many different building blocks like our cultural, linguistic, and social contexts. MRI scans, however, have shown that humor is processed primarily in the frontal and temporal lobes of the cerebral cortex – and that’s where we start to see cannabis play its role.
Cannabis Stimulates Brain Areas Associated with Laughter
Studies show that cannabis stimulates blood flow to the right frontal and the left temporal lobes, areas of the brain which are also associated with laughter. In this way, it could be that over-activity in these cortical regions, thanks to THC, invites laughter. Could that explain why we laugh so hard even at stupid things while high? Science hasn’t revealed the extent to which that increased blood flow is directly responsible for stimulating laughter, but it’s certainly a target for future studies.
Cannabis Improves Moods
THC binds to receptors in the brain that modulate neural signaling, leading the blissful, happy effects we feel while high. A few reports, like these 2005 and 2007 studies, even suggest that cannabis compounds may promote neurogenesis in some areas of the brain for an anti-anxiety and anti-depression effect. And here’s another way to think about it: scientists have noted that the brains of depressed subjects show decreased activity in areas of the brain associated with humor, and if cannabis is able to replenish that activity, finding a good laugh is going to be easier.
Despite the promising results of these studies, there’s a shortage of clinical trials analyzing these effects in human brains. But there’s certainly enough there to speculate a chemical link between laughter and the THC in cannabis.
Laughing is Socially Contagious
When you’re stoned and in hysterics, it’s likely that you aren’t sitting at home alone (although scrolling through this Reddit thread by myself yesterday completely contradicts this assumption). In the same way that friends might like to crack open a beer together, cannabis is a social bonding experience. So in addition to the fact that cannabis brings a boost to our mood and stimulates areas of the brain associated with laughter, simply sharing the experience with someone else can make laughing easier. Why? Because laughing is contagious.
The reasons for this are still emerging in science, but researcher Sophie Scott dedicates her studies to the social role of laughter. In a TED Talk, she explains, “It’s an enormously behaviorally contagious effect. You can “catch” laughter from somebody else, and you’re more likely to catch laughter from somebody else if you know them. It’s modulated by the social context.” In fact, you’re 30 times more likely to laugh when in the company of another.
So in summary, cannabis appears to stimulate laughter by changing blood flow in the brain and exciting related neural pathways, and the presence of loved ones seems to only make laughing fits worse. We’re waiting for research to bring conjecture to proof, but considering the difficulty in studying even its medicinal, life-changing potential, it may be a while. Until then, just appreciate the fact that cannabis helps awaken the humor in us, making life a little less stressful.
Cannabis has a way of making everything funnier, but do you know the biological basis of why it makes us laugh?