You know the kind of laughing I’m talking about, right? For example- I’ll never forget sitting in my town’s local bagel shop, with a couple of my friends all hysterically laughing at our reflections in the mirror next to our table. We were barely able to take bites of our bagels. I remember laughing so hard I couldn’t breathe, finding the fact that none of us could breathe funny, and then laughing even harder. We had just shared a bowl of nice greens beforehand. So that explains that.
So yeah, we all know that smoking weed makes you laugh. But have you ever wondered why? These days we often read about the medicinal benefits and risks of using cannabis but what about the fun of it!? How does it make us belly-laugh so much that we can no longer control the laughter?
Why does weed make us laugh so much?
You might not be so inclined to believe it but there’s science behind this kinda laughter. Basically, scientists speculate that weed makes you laugh for a few reasons:
Cannabis affects the brain First and foremost, the brain obviously goes through changes when you get high. Research demonstrates that cannabis increases blood flow in the areas of the brain associated with laughter, including the right frontal lobe and left temporal lobe. If there is more blood flow in these areas of the brain, there is more chance of laughter! In addition, THC affects neural signaling that is associated with the happy, giddy feelings we feel after smoking. When we smoke or ingest cannabis, we feel freer and lighter, thus more susceptible to laughter.
Cannabis lifts your mood Cannabis works as a mood booster by increasing the amount of the feel-good neurotransmitters dopamine and serotonin in your brain. Cannabis induces feelings of euphoria, and encourages you to generally feel better – and when you feel better, it’s easier to laugh. Plus, many of us just aren’t as phased by negativity when we’re high, and we like to focus on the outlandish. This is evident to anyone who’s ever smoked or ingested cannabis. When you’re high, you are likely to get into laughing fits over things that might not make you laugh as hard, or frankly at all, when you’re sober (queue the bagels).
Cannabis helps you think outside the box When you’re high, your ability to think using other perspectives is heightened. THC reaches cannabinoid receptors in the brain almost instantly after smoking, and this is when your thought processes begin to change. Cannabis can open the door to thoughts you wouldn’t normally have, from no-such-thing-as-dumb questions like, “who put the alphabet in alphabetical order?” to much more profound reflections of self, existence, and all that is right and wrong in the world. You tend to think more outside of the box – you think metaphorically, you think creatively, you make connections between seemingly unconnected things, and you just see the world differently, which can be pretty entertaining.
Cannabis is social Finally, smoking is typically a social activity. More often than not, we’re passing our homies the joint too and giggling over something stupid together. Laughter is a socially contagious phenomenon, in fact. Mirror neurons fire in the brain when we are around others, so it makes sense that as naturally social creatures, we are more likely to laugh when we are around others (Caruana, 2017). Laughter is a way to ultimately build connections with others and feel good together – it is authentic and reflexive, which couples well with cannabis.
What are the best strains of cannabis for laughter?
One of the best parts of smoking weed is the uncontrollable laughing fits, whether you’re a seasoned smoker or a one hit wonder. Laughter is the best medicine, afterall. Weed smokers all across the world will certainly report different strains that make them laugh the most.
This is because strains can differ depending on where you are located, and at the end of the day, everybody’s body is different. Someone in California might swear by Fire Alien Strawberry to induce laughter, while someone else in D.C. may say their top choice is Pineapple Express. There is no set-in-stone list of ‘top giggly strains’, despite what you may have seen floating around the internet. Most strains of cannabis will have you giggling though, at least a little bit. This is due to a number of components in cannabis all working together in your body and brain to get you high and feeling fine.
So don’t be bummed – trying out different strains to find out which one makes you laugh the most sounds like a pretty fun challenge to me- you, too? What strain of cannabis gives you the most laughing fits? Leave a comment below!
Caruana, F. (2017). Laughter as a Neurochemical Mechanism Aimed at Reinforcing Social Bonds: Integrating Evidence from Opioidergic Activity and Brain Stimulation. Journal of Neuroscience 37, no. 36: 8581-8582. DOI: 10.1523/JNEUROSCI.1589-17.2017
Sneider JT1, Pope HG Jr, Silveri MM, Simpson NS, Gruber SA, Yurgelun-Todd DA. Altered regional blood volume in chronic cannabis smokers. Exp Clin Psychopharmacol. 2006 Nov;14(4): 422-8. Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17115869
About the author
Caroline Platzman is a Behavioral Health Counselor working with adult diagnosed with schizophrenia. She is passionate about mental health, journalism, nonprofit advocacy, and public relations. Caroline is also a dedicated guitarist and artist in her free time.