The Science of the Why we are laughing high on dope

Netter Artikel über den medizinischen Grund, warum man so oft lachen muss, wenn man Dope geraucht hat. Etwas zu flapsig formuliert für meinen Geschmack, dennoch ziemlich interessant: Why Marijuana Makes Things Funnier, Medically Speaking.

In their book The Healing Magic of Cannabis, Beverly Potter and Dan Joy (birth name Dave Ralston) discuss the “detached perspective” that one acquires when high as a source of finding things funnier. As you come to think differently from your normal self, it’s like having a little stand-up comedian walking back and forth fidgeting with the mic stand in your brain. You may find yourself laughingly musing, “I never thought of it that way before. That’s a realistic but unique take on that normal thing, from a perspective not too unlike my own — because it is actually still my own!” Continued laughter. […]

Still, the better part of the answer is probably that marijuana elevates your entire mood and, thereby, inclines you to laugh more. That’s done less through changes in blood flow patterns and more through release of neurotransmitters.

When you smoke pot, THC gets absorbed into your blood and then squeezes into your brain where it binds to cannabinoid receptors. That’s seriously what they’re called — for a long time we didn’t know of anything else that bound to these receptors, so they were named for cannabis. “Why does our brain have receptors for THC (a chemical that the human body does not produce)? Why would that evolve? Were we so destined to discover smoking marijuana?” Anyway, THC binds to the cannabinoid receptors, thereby activating the mesolimbic system and causing your brain to release dopamine and endorphins — the same end result as when you exercise or fall in love or see a bird that’s been on your list for a long time. […]

So you’re in a great mood, your brain has you feeling like you’re in love and on top of the world, and you didn’t even have to try hard to feel that way — of course you’re going to be inclined to laugh and be generally merry.

Why Marijuana Makes Things Funnier, Medically Speaking (via The Awl)