LOL! With lives dominated by social media, you’d believe the world were full of smiley faces and emojis. Sadly, that’s not always the case. Stresses of contemporary social and economic competition often leaves you weary in brain, body, and spirit.
Laughter is a trusted and healthy therapy for stress-related issues. It improves your quality of life with physical and psychological effects. Research finds laughter reduces distribution of cortisol, epinephrine, and dopamine metabolite to repair, rewire, and refresh human systems.
Laughter modulates norepinephrine, dopamine, and serotonin to fight depression. And, it has proven a noninvasive, non-pharmacological, and non-addictive therapeutic response for anxiety, depression, and stress.
Cannabis-induced laughter can do much the same thing!
7 reasons laughter can improve your health:
As Forbes puts it, laughter is “a potent drug with the contagious power of a virus that conveys a slew of benefits for the mind and body.”
- Laughter lifts your heart. It has natural anti-inflammatory qualities that relieve blood vessels and heart muscles from cardiac disease symptoms resulting from congested vessels.
- Laughter releases endorphins. Endorphins are hormonal secretions or peptides that excite the body's opiate receptors. Some endorphins trigger receptors on the smooth surfaces of blood vessels, and that releases nitric oxide. Most important, the nitric oxide widens blood vessels to increase blood flow and reduce the formation of cholesterol plaque.
- Laughter makes friends. It is contagious and promotes socialization. When you laugh, others laugh with you because endorphins trigger bliss and reward systems in a sympathetic response.
- Laughter activates brain connectivity. And, it appears different forms of laughter activate specific brain sectors. After all, when you laugh, several bodily systems — muscular, respiratory, and more — are involved in the laugh.
- Laughter defeats depression. It releases serotonin to quell depression, at least for a short time. But, in releasing endorphins, laughter can trigger the neurotransmitters that satisfy reward systems and block pain perception.
- Laughter pumps oxygen. The contractions and inhale/exhale common in belly laughs circulates large volumes of oxygen that oxygenate tissues and organs.
- Laughter reduces fear and anxiety. Stress affects the prefrontal cortex, but laughter restores its balance with the amygdala.
7 reasons cannabis can improve your health:
The funny thing about cannabis is that it does the same things as laughter in much the same ways.
- Cannabis can help your heart. Excessive smoking of high-potency cannabis certainly presents risks of heart and lung damage. Any smoking will. But, additional research indicates that CBD helps reduce vascular tension and the inflammation specifically attached to diabetes.
- Cannabis increases anandamide. As in aggressive physical exercise, it releases this “bliss” molecule which, as it crosses the blood-brain barrier, triggers the neurons’ cannabinoid receptors.
- Cannabis use can make friends. Moderate use of most strains will leave you more mellow and amiable. Some strains will leave you giggling, and others may leave you laughing out loud. However, prolonged heavy use of high-potency psychoactive cannabis can leave you detached, isolated and depressed.
- Cannabis activates brain activity. Evidence suggest cannabis use may reduce brain volume, but the compression also increases its connectivity. On the other hand, heavy and prolonged use among adolescents may permanently affect brain development.
- Cannabis relieves depression. Huffington Post reported, “Neuroscientists from the University of Buffalo’s Research Institute on Addictions found that endocannabinoids — chemical compounds in the brain that activate the same receptors as THC, an active compound in marijuana — may be helpful in treating depression that results from chronic stress.” It has been routinely used to treat chronic anxiety and PTSD.
- Cannabis oxygenates blood. MedicalNews reported, “Dr. Francesca Filbey, director of Cognitive Neuroscience Research in Addictive Disorders at the Center for BrainHealth, led the team that found chronic cannabis users have higher cerebral blood flow and extract more oxygen from brain blood flow than nonusers. The rate at which oxygen is metabolized in the brain was found to be higher in users as well.” The increased blood flow, however, comes with the risk on increasing the heart rate, so cannabis should be used judiciously.
- Cannabis reduces fear and anxiety. Heavy use of high-THC strains aggravates fear and anxiety to the point of paranoia. But, CBD-dominant strains modulate emotion and learned fear processing. By interfering with short-term memory and emotional memory processing, conscientiously paced use of CBD effectively treats fear and anxiety.
Cannabis and Laughter Can Improve Your Health
Cannabis is not a silver bullet for all health conditions. But, it has served the world’s populations for ages. Stigmas attached to its use have limited extensive research into its mechanism and causal guarantees.
Still, its continuous beneficial use has created a testament of anecdotal experience that cannot be ignored or dismissed. The missing research leaves huge gaps in identifying the best or most appropriate strains for thousands of mind and body ailments.
It begs questions as to the appropriate dosage, quality assurance, and dose frequency. Without that confirmation, we are left with short-term and biased studies on lab animals. And, we are left needing the cannabis-derived pharmaceuticals that could make a real and verifiable difference.
If, however, you appreciate a good laugh and appreciate its benefit to brain, body, and spirit, you can see the parallels with cannabis use. You can appreciate those giggly sessions that social smokes and smoke circles lead to. And, you can appreciate how all good things in moderation lift your brain, body, and spirit.