Why Cannabis Makes You Laugh & Top Strains for a Giggle Fit
The mechanisms behind laughter are still mostly a mystery to scientists and doctors. But we know from experience and a long history of cannabis users that one of the best and fastest ways to induce laughter is by using cannabis! Could this funny “side-effect” of cannabis be one of its best therapeutic properties?
Cannabis is famed for causing uncontrollable laughter or “fits of the giggles” in users. In fact, even the notorious 1936 film Reefer Madness stated that the first sign of cannabis intoxication was “sudden, violent, uncontrollable laughter”. Dozens of research papers have noted this effect, but the reasons for it remain unclear.
As a whole, the study of laughter has been left to psychologists rather than biologists. The physiology of laughter is more or less a mystery, and it is most often explained in psychological terms. While doctors and scientist observe a positive physiological response to laughter (such as physical healing), the actual biological or neurological mechanisms behind laughter itself are pretty much unknown.
In any case, laughter is often seen as a “side-effect” of cannabis, albeit an enjoyable one. It’s often overlooked as a therapeutic quality, although we all agree that “laughter is the best medicine”, right? Why shouldn’t the medical world of cannabis embrace this “side-effect” as a therapeutic quality, one that is just as vital to healing as any other biomedical process?
Why the study of laughter is important
Many intoxicating substances can elicit mood changes in users, such as alcohol, various hallucinogens and opiates. The “positive” changes in mood often include feelings of profound joy, pleasure and exhilaration—and an increased propensity for laughter. Historically, many of the dozens of papers that note the phenomenon have simply mentioned its existence without exploring the mechanisms at work too closely.
However, now that our approach to understanding psychological processes has matured somewhat, researchers are beginning to pay closer attention to the processes at work when humans use psychoactive drugs. A matter of particular interest is in the potential for psychoactive drugs to improve mood, and this is especially pertinent in the study and treatment of depression and other psychological or emotional disturbances.
A more complete understanding of how human consciousness works will ultimately allow us to treat mood disorders at the source. This is in comparison to the current biomedical paradigm, which makeshifts treatments for signs and symptoms but doesn’t address the underlying cause.
One example of this new approach is the recent publicity surrounding depression and its possible basis in immune system inflammation. Initial studies are finding that treating the underlying cause—the inflammation—causes the symptoms of depression to reduce or even disappear. Laughter may also be useful in treating individuals with physical illness or injury, as is has been shown to reduce subjective feelings of stress and pain.
Laughter is an evolutionary component of human beings. It is so fundamental to human expression that people do it completely unconsciously (not on purpose). It is spontaneous like breathing, thinking or going to the toilet. It’s safe to say that studying human laughter can shed light on all kinds of neurological and psychological processes, and this lends itself to medicine in the way of understanding emotional ailments like depression or anxiety.
How does laughter naturally occur in humans?
The study of laughter in humans is known as gelotology, from the Greek word gelos, meaning laughter. It is widely understood that laughter occurs in response to internal or external stimuli, such as tickling, jokes, or humorous thoughts.
Laughter is a fundamental aspect of human social interaction (as well as that of our closer primate cousins), and can act as positive or negative feedback in social situations. For example, a group of people laughing at a joke made by one of its members acts as positive feedback, while laughing in ridicule at a social error made by a group member acts as negative feedback.
The area of the brain that controls the laughter response in humans is believed to be the ventromedial prefrontal cortex, which lies at the base of the prefrontal cortex and is known for producing endorphins. Endorphins are endogenous morphine-like substances produced by the brain. These chemicals evoke feelings of euphoria and inhibit pain. The ventromedial prefrontal cortex is part of the “limbic brain”, which is considered to be at the core of all human emotional response. It has been demonstrated that laughter triggers endorphin release, which in turn increases subjective well-being as well as resistance to pain.
Other parts of the limbic system, namely the amygdala, thalamus, hypothalamus and hippocampus, are also believed to be involved in the laughter response. The parts of the limbic system (also known as the reptilian brain) that are involved with laughter are believed to control the raw emotional response to a humorous stimulus.
The ventromedial prefrontal cortex mediates the higher-consciousness aspects of the laughter response, such as suppression of laughter if the social setting is inappropriate. The hypothalamus particularly is implicated in the expression of loud, uncontrollable laughter, such as that often seen in cannabis users.
Cannabis is one of the only known medicines to induce laughter. It could be an avenue through which to study the mysterious phenomenon of laughter.
Best 4/20 Strains For Laughing, Having Sex, and the Munchies
4/20 is recognised by almost all weed smokers, but the origins of these numbers are far from common knowledge. Let’s dive a little deeper into the true meaning of 4/20 before we explore the very best strains to smoke on this special day.
The month of April has arrived, which signals a time of significance for stoners all around the world, because it means 4/20 is closing in! As many will know, 4:20 on April 20th is cannabis o’clock, and time to light up. But 4/20 is also a highly regarded date that marks the annual celebration of all things cannabis. Every year, cannabis lovers from many nations join together in large cities such as London, Vancouver, Denver, and Amsterdam to smoke cannabis (legally or illegally, depending on location) as an act of mass appreciation for the herb. To mark the celebration, Royal Queen Seeds is offering a massive 20% discount over a 4 day period, to celebrate these special numbers. Take advantage of this promotion and procure yourself some high quality cannabis seeds, paraphernalia, and merchandise.
4/20: A HISTORY LESSON
4/20 is a combination of numbers that is shrouded in mystery. There are many different claims that have evolved over time attempting to explain what exactly these numbers mean. Some state it’s a covert police dispatch code that signifies people breaking the law by consuming cannabis. Others stake a more scientific claim, explaining that it’s the number of chemicals within the plant.
The truth is, the origins are a lot more simple and humble than this. It turns out this worldwide phenomena comes from a select group of high school students from San Rafael High School, California, who decided that 4:20pm would be the time they would meet up after class and attempt to locate a rumoured cannabis plantation around the area of Point Reyes Peninsula. Although their efforts did not succeed, the group of young men decided to keep these numbers and use them as a group code word when referring to all things weed.
But how did this random group of guys manage to catapult these numbers onto the world cannabis stage? Well, they stumbled upon a rather large platform. The group, who labelled themselves “The Waldos”, ended up forming a friendship with the legendary American rock band Grateful Dead. The band eventually adopted the numbers, even using them in promotional flyers as concert times and dates. This led a small group phrase to evolve into one recognised by practically every cannabis user on Earth.
Knowing the correct history of 4/20 adds even more meaning to an already unique day. Now it’s time to review some of the best cannabis strains available to enjoy on the day.
TOP 5 STRAINS TO ENJOY ON 4/20
4/20 isn’t just another day of smoking. It’s basically an annual holiday dedicated to weed, therefore it only makes sense to smoke the best you can find, and to smoke with a purpose. All of these strains will get you baked, but each of them have their own unique qualities that will allow you to enjoy the day’s activities.
1. SOUR DIESEL WILL GET YOU GIGGLING
Sour Diesel is famous for igniting cases of the giggles, which is ideal for such a large celebration. Sparking up this sativa-dominant strain at the biggest 4/20 event you can access will instantly land you in a great mood. It will make you extra sociable, chatty, willing to meet new people, and most of all, it will make you laugh. It’s as though Sour Diesel places a new lens over your eyes that makes almost everything appear bright, fun, and more humorous. The 30% indica genetics eventually allow this long-lasting high to taper off into a chilled body stone. This means it’s either time to go home or smoke more! THC levels of 19% make for instant highs, be sure to share this one around the event to initiate as many good moods as possible. A strain with vibes this good was only made possible by crossbreeding parent strains Original Diesel, Northern Lights, Shiva, and Hawaiian. Along with this giggly high come nice flavours of herbs and sourness.
If you enjoy this strain on 4/20, then consider growing your own stash at home. You won’t be disappointed in the yields. When grown indoors, Sour Diesel puts out great yields of 475–525g/m², grows to heights of up to 160cm, and has a flowering time of 10–11 weeks. Outdoor plants provide large yields maxing out at 600g per plant, grow to soaring heights of 200cm, and will be ready to smoke up in late October.
April has arrived, which means 4/20 is fast approaching. Stock up on these 5 strains for the day to enhance everything from mood and sex to appetite.