Most individuals who have tried marijuana have experienced bouts of laughter commonly known as the giggles. Jack Margolis and Richard Clorfene, authors of ‘A Child’s Garden of Grass: The Official Handbook for Marijuana Users,’ best describe the humor-inducing effects of cannabis as being able to transform a person into a convulsive, laughter-filled state, even to the point of finding everyday situations hilarious. However, it’s important to exercise caution when in public as this uncontrollable laughter might lead to amusement at the expense of non-intoxicated individuals.”
What is it, And Why Does It Feel So Good?
Laughter is a fascinating and innate human behavior that transcends cultures and even extends to some animals. Its social nature is evident as we laugh much more when surrounded by others, and it can be incredibly contagious. The social aspect of laughter serves multiple purposes, fostering personal well-being, strengthening social bonds, and diffusing tense situations.
Beyond its emotional and social functions, laughter has been associated with potential health benefits. When we laugh, our bodies respond by deepening our breath, stimulating our hearts, lungs, and muscles, and triggering the release of endorphins—our natural feel-good chemicals. Consequently, laughter can reduce stress, elevate mood, alleviate pain, and potentially bolster the immune system, making it a natural and enjoyable form of medicine.
Dr. Codi Peterson PharmD, Chief Science Officer at The Cannigma, explains that laughter’s impact on neurotransmitters and hormones is multifaceted. It can increase the levels of endorphins and dopamine, which contribute to feelings of pleasure and positivity, while mildly reducing cortisol, epinephrine, and norepinephrine—hormones released during stressful situations.
Researchers classify laughter into two primary categories: involuntary and intentional. Involuntary laughter arises spontaneously in response to external events, such as encountering something hilarious that triggers bursts of laughter. On the other hand, intentional laughter is more controlled and is often used to maintain a friendly and light-hearted atmosphere during conversations.
While both types of laughter have their place, many of us find genuine joy in experiencing the natural high that comes from authentic, deep-belly laughter. So, the next time you share a laugh with friends or stumble upon a comedy show filled with infectious giggles, remember that you’re not only fostering connections but also nurturing your well-being and overall health. Laughter truly is a universal language that brings happiness and positive effects to both individuals and communities alike.
How Can Cannabis Trigger Giggles?
The mechanism through which cannabis triggers giggles is not extensively studied, but experts like Dr. Peterson provide insights into how it might influence the body’s systems to induce laughter. The key player in this process is the endocannabinoid system (ECS), which acts as a connection between various bodily systems. THC, the active compound in cannabis, interacts with certain endorphin receptors, potentially increasing the sensitivity of the endogenous opioid system. This system is responsible for producing endorphins, the body’s natural opiates that are released when we experience pleasure, pain, or laughter.
Additionally, cannabis may impact the release of oxytocin, a feel-good hormone known for its influence on social behavior. Oxytocin plays a role in promoting prosocial behaviors like smiling and laughing, reinforcing the connection between cannabis use and increased laughter.
Overall, cannabis seems to work in multiple complementary ways to create an environment where laughter comes more easily. It can lead to a reduction in inhibitions and defense mechanisms, allowing individuals to laugh more freely and enjoy the experience.
It’s important to consider that individual tolerance and dosage levels can influence the extent to which cannabis induces giggles. Low doses might have different effects than high doses. If someone notices a decrease in the giggly effects of cannabis, it might be time for them to consider adjusting their dosage or taking a tolerance break to reset their response to the substance.
Strains, Terpenes, Cannabinoids: Are Some Funnier Than Others?
The connection between different cannabis strains, terpenes, cannabinoids, and laughter is a subject of interest among cannabis enthusiasts, but scientific research on this topic is limited. Some cannabis users claim that certain cultivars induce more laughter than others. Strains like Blue Diesel, Chemdog, Sweet Diesel, Black Diamond, Mango Kush, Church OG, and Laughing Buddha are mentioned as popular choices for eliciting giggles.
According to Dan Wilson, the editor of Visit Hollyweed, the link between cannabis and laughter may be attributed to the plant’s ability to enhance mood. Many consumers anecdotally point to specific terpenes that seem to promote relaxation and a predisposition to laugh. Terpenes like linalool and beta-pinene are believed to have antidepressant properties, while others such as caryophyllene and myrcene may also elevate mood and contribute to a lighthearted state.
However, it’s crucial to note that excessive THC consumption can lead to anxiety, which may hinder feelings of hilarity. In such cases, the presence of CBD in a strain might help mitigate THC’s effects and promote a more balanced experience.
Instead of attributing laughter to a single compound, it’s likely that an entourage effect is at play—the idea that the combination of various compounds in cannabis leads to specific effects. Factors like the user’s mindset and the social setting also play a significant role, as getting high in a group of friends often enhances the sense of fun and laughter.
Ultimately, cannabis has long been associated with bringing people together, fostering social interactions, and promoting a sense of happiness. The joy and laughter that arise from using cannabis are considered integral parts of cannabis culture, contributing to the overall enjoyment and positive experiences it can provide.