If you’ve ever shared cannabis with a group of friends, you’ve probably had cannabis-induced laughter. Marijuana can make you giggle, especially when you’re around friends who seem to think it’s funny too. But why exactly does cannabis make people laugh? To answer this question, let’s take a look at why we laugh and what science can tell us about how marijuana deals with laughter.
Why do people laugh?
To explain why marijuana makes people laugh, let’s first explain why we laugh in general.
Laughter is actually a very complex process. Neuroscientists have found that laughter involves many different areas of the brain, including areas that regulate language, memory, logic, motor skills and auditory interpretation. In general, laughter is a motor reflex, but what it triggers is a complicated response to humor, which varies from person to person.
So many areas of the brain are involved in the interpretation of humor and therefore make you laugh. But brain MRIs have shown that two parts of the brain are more involved in interpreting humor than the rest of your brain. The frontal and temporal lobes of your cerebral cortex do more work when it’s time for your brain to decide if something is funny enough to reflexively laugh at it.
Speaking of the frontal and temporal lobes of the cerebral cortex, it is precisely these two brain regions that are significantly stimulated by cannabis use.
Why Does Marijuana Make You Laugh?
When you consume marijuana, the cannabinoids and terpenes in that marijuana begin to interact with your endocannabinoid system (ECS). The SEC is a complex nerve signaling system believed to play a role in the regulation of many body systems, including mood, immunity, stress, memory and pain.
Increased blood flow
Because they interact with such a widespread body system, cannabinoids can affect the body in a variety of ways. One of these methods involves stimulating blood in the right frontal lobe and left temporal lobe of your brain, the brain regions most associated with laughter. While more research is needed, some scientists have hypothesized that the stimulation caused by marijuana makes the brain more sensitive to laughter triggers. Which basically means it can make you laugh more easily.
Another effect of marijuana that can stimulate laughter is euphoria. Euphoria is a scientific term for a feeling of intense pleasure and happiness. Your brain experiences a burst of euphoria when you laugh, which is the result of dopamine and serotonin activity. Your brain may also experience euphoria if you have taken tetrahydrocannabinol (THC).
Along with cannabidiol (CBD), THC is one of the two main cannabinoids in the marijuana plant. CBD is non-psychoactive, while THC is highly psychoactive. Euphoria is one of the most common psychoactive effects of THC.
Research on marijuana is still in its infancy, but current research suggests that THC is very similar in structure to an endocannabinoid called anandamide, which humans produce naturally in the body. Anandamide is a neurotransmitter that plays a huge role in how we experience pleasure and process reward signals. THC is almost exactly the same shape as anandamide, so researchers think it may interact with endocannabinoid receptors and neurons in a similar way. And maybe that’s why THC can induce a sense of euphoria in the brain.
Euphoria in itself is not the cause of laughter, but it does create the right conditions for laughter. When you experience euphoria, you feel safe, carefree, happy and stress free. It puts you in a different state of mind, more open and relaxed, and generally less anxious and depressed. Studies have shown that brains suffering from stress or depression actually have less activity in their brain’s humor centers. So while more research is needed, it’s possible that euphoria boosts activity in these parts of the brain, making it easier for you to like something and get hysterical.
Laughter is contagious
Have you heard the expression “laughter is contagious”? This is actually not just a saying. This is a fact supported by scientific research.
Two recent studies looked at how the brain processes social laughter and found that it actually seems contagious. One of these studies, entitled Social Laughter Triggers Endgene Opioid Release in Humans, used positron emission tomography to identify participants’ response to social laughter. They found that genuine social laughter made participants feel a surge of endorphins in specific areas of their brains, and participants with more opioid receptors in their brains were more susceptible to infectious laughter. The other study looked at this concept in a different way, but came to a very similar conclusion. They found that laughter engages the same brain areas as social reciprocity and emotional resonance, and that participants who listened to the emotions of others responded more to genuine laughter.
One thing to note is that unlike many other things that are contagious, laughter is good for your health. Studies have shown that laughter has many benefits for mental and physical health. In the short term, laughing stimulates your heart, lungs and muscles and gives you an endorphin boost. It also triggers and relieves a stress response, causing you to relax. In the long run, laughter can reduce stress, boosting your immune system and boosting your mood. It can also help you connect with other people more easily, improving your mental well-being.
Cannabis Strains That Induce Laughter
Based on current research on laughter and marijuana, it appears that cannabis stimulates laughter by increasing blood flow to the brain, relaxing you and preparing your nerves for a good laugh. Studies suggest that laughing with friends naturally triggers even more laughter, so using marijuana with your friends can actually lead to infectious laughter.
Of course, not all varieties are best for stimulating laughter. Some cannabis strains tend to be more euphoric than others, making them more likely to spark your sense of humor. If you are looking for a annabis strain that will help you laugh more, here are some famously giggly strains you should keep in mind:
- Chemdawg (Hybrid Strain)
- Church OG (Indica Strain)
- Blue Diesel (Indica Dominant Strain)
- Laughing Buddha (Sativa Strain)
- Mango Kush (Hybrid Strain)
- OG Kush (Hybrid Strain)
These are just some of the many types of marijuana that will make you laugh. If you’d like to try a euphoric strain, but aren’t sure which one to choose, contact Premium Medical Marijuana team for a personalized recommendation. One of our cannabis experts will be happy to help you find a strain that will not only make you laugh, but also matches what you’re looking for in terms of potency, taste, overall high profile and experience level. To get in touch with the Premium medical marijuana team, send us a message through our website.