One of the effects of smoking cannabis is its ability to make you find humor to what your sober mind would not. If you read this story, You are likely to know this feeling when you consume cannabis. What is this property of cannabis that adds a humorous light to everyday life? To understand how cannabis makes you laugh, we need to understand what laughter is.
Why do we laugh?
Laughter is a consequence of various areas of the brain that govern motor function, memory, language, auditory interpretation, and logic. This fact makes it difficult for neuroscientists to pinpoint specific causes of laughter. Laughing is a reflex that is triggered by things we see or hear and interpret as humor. How we interpret humor comprises several building blocks consisting of several building blocks such as linguistic, cultural, and social contexts.
MRI scans have shown that humor is processed on the frontal and temporal lobes of the cerebral cortex. This is where the effects of cannabis take a toll.
Effects of Cannabis on the Cerebral Cortex.
Cannabis contains two major substances; CBD and THC. THC is the substance in cannabis that actively influences how we behave when high. THC binds to the receptors in the brain that control neural signaling. This effect on the frontal lobe gives us the blissful and happy feeling that we get when high.
Studies have shown that cannabis increases blood and neural activity flow in the part of the brain that controls laughter. This lowers the inhibition of the laughing reflex in the sense that something that is not funny becomes funny. In addition, THC in cannabis promotes the release of the ‘happy hormones’ dopamine and serotonin. These hormones may also lower the control of the laughing reflex.
However, despite all these studies, scientists have not authoritatively linked the increased blood flow to triggering laughter. Future studies might be able to address this.
Effects of Cannabis on moods.
Cannabis generally improves mood. Studies were done in 2005 and 2007 suggested that CBD in cannabis promotes neurogenesis in some of the brains to bring anti-anxiety and anti-depressant effects. The brains of depressed subjects of the study showed increased activity after consuming cannabis. Despite a shortage of clinical trials to back these results, we have enough to link cannabis to causing laughter.
It is also worth noting that laughter is contagious. It is much likely that when you have fits of laughter that are cannabis-related, you are not alone. Giggles hit harder when you are sharing the experience with friends. There is not much science to support this but it is 30 times more likely for you to laugh when you are in the company of another.
To summarize, cannabis increases blood to the brain and the related neural pathways. When this happens to the areas of the brain that regulate laughter, your laugh reflex becomes much easier to trigger. This effect is not a sign that you are becoming psychotic. Next time you find yourself laughing hysterically at something yourself high and laughing hysterically at something that is not even remotely funny, do not worry. It is just the cannabis playing with your laugh reflex.