Why Weed Makes Things Better
More than half of all U.S. adults have tried marijuana at least once, according to a recent survey from Marist University and Yahoo News.
Nearly 55 million of them (22%) currently use it – – defined in the survey as having used marijuana at least once or twice within the past year.
And then, there are the 35 million U.S. adults who are “regular users”, meaning they use marijuana at least once or twice per month.
Obviously, a TON of people smoke weed.
Why does weed make things better? How does it make food taste so incredible? Why does it make us all happy and closer to our friends? How does it put us in a whole different state? Why does weed help with so many things?
How does marijuana work?
Let’s take a look:
How Does Marijuana Work?
Why Food Tastes Better When You’re High
As a stoner, you’ve undoubtedly had the munchies at least a dozen times. And, as someone who has experienced the munchies, you also undoubtedly know just how absolutely AMAZING good tastes when you’re stoned.
Generally, either salty or sweet foods are going to be nearly impossible to resist. But, before we get into why it’s so hard to stop eating once those munchies take hold, we’re first going to take a look at WHY food becomes so tempting to begin with.
Our brains release dopamine when we eat the foods we like. This is the chemical that causes happy feelings, like joy and satisfaction. Essentially, your brain is telling you that you’ve done a great job, so you should keep doing whatever it is you’re doing.
In this case, that’s eating food.
Now, throw some THC into the mix, and your dopamine levels will shoot up, making your favorite foods EVEN BETTER. (Pizza, anyone?)
Even without marijuana, those foods we love the most can cause excessive production of dopamine, which can lead to addictive issues like overeating. Marijuana just adds to the dopamine production.
That said, it’s not just the flavor of the food that makes your mouth start watering. Your olfactory perception (that’s your sense of smell) is significantly more acute when you’re stoned or high.
As you can imagine, this increases the appeal of certain foods, and makes them taste so good that it can be hard to stop eating them. Even if you’re full.
This is because trusty ol’ THC acts upon the cannabinoid receptors located in your brain’s hypothalamus. That’s the part of your brain that controls your appetite and other basic instincts.
Also tucked into that hypothalamus is a bundle of neurons known as the pro-opiomelanocortin neurons (POM neurons). Their job is to release the chemicals that signal you’re full and should stop eating. However, when you get stoned, they switch things up and tell you the opposite – – that you should keep eating, even if it hurts.
Why Weed Makes You More Creative
From writers to musicians, from actors to dancers, many famous artists have credited their creativity to marijuana.
Then again, there are plenty of other people who will hit the blunt before they start a project, but then become too distracted to even finish it.
So, why does weed inspire some, but distract others? How does weed make you more creative?
A few theories:
The first possibility is increased dopamine production, just as we talked about before. For those who have an inherent level of creative ability, the relaxing effects from marijuana can shut down their inner critic and allow their creative ideas to flow more easily and freely. For those who don’t have this ability, the increased dopamine production could cause a lack of motivation and make it harder to stay focused.
Another possibility is that the THC in marijuana causes what is known as “hyper-priming,” or an increased ability to connected seemingly unrelated ideas and objects. While some find that inspirational and to spark creativity, others find it distracting.
THC binds itself to the cannabinoid receptors in your hippocampus (the part of your brain that controls your memory), and basically commandeers that region of your brain. It takes over the helm, and decides what you will and won’t remember. If the project sounds especially fun, then you have less chance of losing focus. On the other hand, if it’s something you find to be boring, or that you’re still learning, you may not be nearly as productive after smoking.
Basically: Marijuana causes your brain to make more happy chemicals.
Why Weed Improves Relationships
If you’ve heard the phrase, “Couples who blaze together, stay together,” then you know marijuana can help relationships of all types, from romantic to friendly.
Earlier in this post, we went over how THC increases your brain’s dopamine production, making you enjoy food even more than you normally would.
Well, it does the same thing for social interactions. When you get that rush of happy chemical dopamine, your brain tells to repeat that experience over again. After all, it makes you happy!
If you smoke with people, then you get that rush of dopamine when you’re around them. This will make you want to be around them even more.
Have you found that marijuana makes things better? What’s your favorite reason to smoke weed?
Tell us all about it down in the comments!
Disclaimer: Marijuana has intoxicating effects and may be habit-forming. Smoking is hazardous to your health. There may be health risks associated with consumption of Marijuana. Marijuana, in any form, should not be used by individuals that are pregnant or breastfeeding. Marijuana is intended for use only by adults 21 and older. Keep out of reach of children. Marijuana can impair concentration, coordination, and judgment. Do not operate a vehicle or machinery under the influence of this drug. This product may be unlawful outside of Washington State.