15 Reasons Why Smoking Weed Is Actually Really F*cking Good For You
As more statesВ join the movement to legalizeВ marijuana, smoking weed is becoming more mainstream than ever.
Unfortunately, marijuana still tends toВ get a pretty bad rap.
But if you ask me, there are all sorts of reasons why smoking weed is actually really good for you.
And I’m not just talking about weed’s ability to make you feel more creative or the fact that it helps you chill out, either.
Apparently,В getting high can also have a myriad ofВ health benefits.
That’s right. Sparking up can improve your health in all sorts of unexpected ways, and research showsВ that marijuana can improve your mood,В boost your energy, help you lose weight and even prevent certain diseases.
If you’re looking for yet another reason to justify your weed-smoking sessions, here are 15В advantages to getting lit AF on the reg:
1. Cannabis unlocks your creative potential.
A study found that cannabis causes psychotomimetic symptoms, which could lead users to make connections between ideas that aren’t exactly related.
This type of thinking is often crucial to creativity, so grab some ganja, and get those creative juices flowing.
2. Trees can be used to treat depression.
A study conducted by Rudolf Magnus Institute of NeuroscienceВ found that THC “reduces the negative bias in emotional processing,” which means weed could be used to help people cope with depression and other psychiatric disorders.
Plus, a study published by USC and SUNY Albany found that “those who consume marijuana occasionally or even daily have lower levels of depressive symptoms than those who have never tried marijuana.”
So if you’re feeling blue, brighten up your day by packing a bowl.
3. Weed can help you lose weight.
Although marijuana is notorious for giving you a mean case of the munchies, aВ study published in the American Journal of Epidemiology found that pot smokers are less prone to obesity.
Another study in the American Journal of Medicine revealed similar results, finding those who light up on the reg are actually a bit skinnier than those who don’t smoke marijuana.
In addition to giving you a smaller waistline, researchers also discovered that marijuana may boost your metabolism, increase fat loss and lower cholesterol. So next time you’re tipping the scale, try swapping out your salads for a different type of green.
4. Lighting up can lower your risk of diabetes.
A study published in The American Journal of MedicineВ found that people who smoke marijuana had lower insulin levels and insulin resistance levels by 16 and 17 percent, respectively.
This suggests that cannabis may play a role in regulating blood sugar, which can decrease your risk of developing diabetes.
5. Cannabis keeps you calm, cool and collected.
Researchers interviewed Swiss inmates who regularly smoked marijuana in prison and found that marijuana made the inmatesВ calmer and less stressed. Plus, marijuana use among prisoners also prevented violence and acted as a “social pacifier.”
I guess they don’t call it a “peace pipe” for nothing.
6. Sparking up is a great social activity.
Weed serves as a great icebreaker since it reduces social anxiety, encourages you to open up and makes you more accepting of others.
Plus, let’s be real: There’s no better way to spend a night in with your friends than hotboxing your basement, ordering pizza and watching all of your favorite TV shows.
7. Pot can make your periods suck less.
When it comes to managing premenstrual symptoms, marijuana could be a natural alternative to Midol.
StudiesВ have found that THC is an analgesic and antinociceptive agent that can alleviate the pain of those killer cramps and pounding headache.
Plus, marijuana has also been found to have anti-inflammatory propertiesВ that can help with the bloating that occurs around that time of the month.
8. Getting high doesn’t give you a hangover.
A night of drinking beers with your BFFs will leave you feeling pretty shitty the next morning. However, unlike drinking, smoking weed doesn’t result in a deathly hangover.
So you can get lit with your squad and still feel pretty amazing the next day.
9. Marijuana makes food taste a million times better.
There’s nothing better than getting stoned and stuffing your face with an endless array of snacks. But have you ever wondered why marijuana makes food taste soВ magical?
A study published in Nature NeuroscienceВ found that, thanks to THC’s effect on the brain’s cannabinoid receptors,В food appears more appetizing as a result of a heightened sense of smell.
Therefore, it’s probably a good idea to stock up on bagel bites and Dino nuggets before you spark up.
10. Smoking a bowl can boost your energy.
There’s a stigma surroundingВ marijuana use that it makes you lazy. However, not all strains of cannabis turn you into a complete couch potato.
Research has supported a link between the brain’s CB-1 and CB-2 cannabinoid receptors and dopamine. Essentially, small doses of marijuana won’t hurt your efficiency level, and an increase in dopamine levels gives you the focus you need to get your shit done.
If you’re looking for a little pick-me-up, swap out your coffee and smoke a Sativa-dominant strain like Sour Diesel or Jack Herer, instead.
11. Smoking weed can help you fall asleep.
Everyone knows weed helps you unwind.
While there is considerable debate over the long-term effect marijuana has on sleep cycles, someВ feel that smoking a bowl before bedtime actsВ as aВ better sleep aid than other substances, like alcohol and certain sleeping-inducing medications.
(Unfortunately, though, it’s said that marijuana’sВ effectiveness as a sleep aid decreases with increased usage.)
12. Marijuana can also eliminate nightmares.
Marijuana is also known to disturb the sleep cycle and suppress REM sleep.
Since dreams occurring during this type of sleep, marijuana can be used to interrupt this REM sleep and eliminate your full capacity to dream, thus eliminating your nightmares.
13. Everyone respects someone who can roll a blunt that’s lit AF.
Every pothead knows rolling the perfect joint or blunt is basically a form of art.
Learning how to roll an impressiveВ blunt takes a lot of time and practice to master, so people will always respect a stoner who has decent rolling skills.
14. Smoking weed makes you worry less.
An article published in a 2010 Harvard Mental Health Letter also suggestedВ marijuana alleviated symptoms of anxiety when administered in small doses.
The article also mentionedВ that small doses of THC act as a sedative, decreasing symptoms of anxiety. So the next time you can’t stop worrying about something, break out the weed.
15. Ripping the bong can actually be good for your lungs.
A study published in theВ Journal of the American Medical Association indicated that marijuana smoke is not detrimental to your lungs.
In fact, past studiesВ found lighting up can briefly increaseВ your lung capacity in the short term. you know, from all that inhaling you’re doing.
As more statesВ join the movement to legalizeВ marijuana, smoking weed is becoming more mainstream than ever. Unfortunately, marijuana still tends toВ get a pretty bad rap. But if you ask me, there are all sorts of reasons why smoking weed is actuallyвЂ¦
How does cannabis get you high?
How do marijuana’s psychoactive properties work?
Have you ever looked at your hands? I mean really looked at your hands?
You might think you have, but as the above classic Doonesbury cartoon implies, people who are high on cannabis may perceive mundane objects to be far more fascinating than usual.
How is it that a plant that first emerged on what’s now the Tibetan Plateau can change humans’ perception of reality? The secret lies in a class of compounds called cannabinoids. While cannabis plants are known to produce at least 140 types of cannabinoids, there’s one that’s largely responsible for many of the effects of feeling high. It’s called tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC.
When a person smokes or inhales cannabis, THC “goes into your lungs and gets absorbed … into the blood,” according to Daniele Piomelli, a professor of anatomy & neurobiology, biological chemistry, and pharmacology at the University of California, Irvine School of Medicine. Edibles take slightly longer trip through the liver, where enzymes transform THC into a different compound that takes a bit longer to have an effect on people’s perception of reality.
THC that’s inhaled “reaches pretty high levels fairly quickly,” Piomelli told Live Science. Within 20 minutes, the circulatory system is carrying molecules of THC to every tissue in the body, including the brain, where it can alter neural chemistry.
“From the lungs, it’s a pretty straight shot to the brain,” according to Kelly Drew, a professor of chemistry and biochemistry at the University of Alaska Fairbanks.
The THC molecules that pass the blood-brain barrier will find that they fit snugly into receptors that ordinarily receive compounds called endocannabinoids, which the body produces itself. These receptors are part of the endocannabinoid system, which is involved in several functions, including stress, food intake, metabolism and pain, according to Piomelli, who also directs the Center for the Study of Cannabis at UC Irvine.
“The endocannabinoid system is the most pervasive, diffused and important modulatory system in the brain because it controls the release of pretty much every neurotransmitter,” Piomelli said. Neurotransmitters are molecules that brain cells, or neurons, use to communicate with each other. One neuron sends a message to the next by releasing neurotransmitters, such as dopamine or serotonin, into an infinitesimal gap that separates one neuron from the next. The gap is called the synapse.
The neuron on the receiving end of the synapse is called the postsynaptic neuron, and it “decides whether to fire based on the input it receives,” Drew told Live Science. These neural signals cascade through intricate circuits of neural connections that function on a tremendous scale; there are about 85 billion neurons in the brain and as many as 100 trillion connections among them.
The presynaptic neuron sends neurotransmitters across the synapse to the postsynaptic neuron, Piomelli said. But the presynaptic neuron can also receive information. When a postsynaptic neuron has fired, it can send a message across the synapse that says, “the neuron I come from has been activated,” stop sending neurotransmitters, Piomelli said. It sends this “stop” message in the form of endocannabinoids that bind to a receptor called cannabinoid 1 (CB1).
“Like a sledgehammer”
When THC enters the brain, the molecules diffuse into the synapses where they “activate CB1 receptors,” Drew said. THC doesn’t cause the most extreme possible response like some synthetic cannabinoids such as K2 or spice, but it does “turn up the volume” and increase the likelihood that the presynaptic neuron it affects will temporarily stop sending neurotransmitters, she said.
“The high is a very simple phenomenon, Piomelli said. “THC comes in like a sledgehammer,” flooding the endocannabinoid system with signals the postsynaptic neurons didn’t send. When presynaptic neurons across the brain get the memo to stop sending neurotransmitters, this alters the normal flow of information among neurons and results in a high.
Scientists have yet to decipher exactly what happens during this euphoria, however.
That’s because, in part, U.S. legal restrictions make it difficult to study cannabis. But from what researchers have gathered so far, THC appears to temporarily “unplug” the default mode network. This is the brain network that allows us to daydream and think about the past and future. When our brains are focused on a specific task, we quiet this network to let our executive function take control.
There’s evidence that THC has a significant effect on the network, but researchers aren’t quite sure how it happens. There are cannabinoid receptors all over the brain, including in “areas that constitute the key nodes of the [default mode network],” Piomelli said. It could be “that THC deactivates the [default mode network] by combining with those receptors,” but it’s also possible that THC quiets the network through an “indirect effect that involves cannabinoid receptors in other brain regions.”
Scientists are still working to find the mechanisms that result in a person feeling high, but there’s some reason to think this effect on the default mode network is a significant piece of the puzzle.
Unplugging the default mode network “takes us into a mental place where the function of the things we experience is less important than the things themselves: our hands are no longer just something we use for touching or grabbing, but something with inner existence and intrinsic value,” Piomelli said. Psychedelics, such as LSD or dried psilocybin-containing mushrooms, do the same thing.
However, people can experience highs differently. “The feeling of becoming fascinated by and ‘connected’ with ordinary things, things we see and use every day, is not universal but does happen, especially when high doses of THC-containing cannabis are used,” Piomelli said.
THC doesn’t just affect the default mode network. It may also, in the short-term, flood the brain with dopamine, the brain’s reward signal, according to a 2017 study in the journal Nature. (Long-term, it may blunt dopamine’s effects, the study found.) That, in part, may explain some of the euphoria associated with a high, and places cannabis in the company of other drugs that people use to feel pleasure.
“Every drug that has rewarding properties affects that system,” Drew said.
The effects of a high from cannabis that’s smoked or inhaled typically last for a few hours, though it can take edibles almost that long to start affecting users. And while cannabis isn’t the dangerous substance it was made out to be in the 20th century, using it comes with some risk. For one, while cannabis is legal for recreational and medical use in some states, it’s still illegal in many parts of the country.
It’s also important to bear in mind that cannabis is a potent pharmacological substance. Cannabis can cross the placenta, so pregnant people should avoid it. And “heavy use in the teenage years can be problematic,” Piomelli said. For instance, cannabis — and especially synthetic cannabinoids like spice — can exacerbate psychosis. “People who are at risk for that should not smoke it,” Drew said.
Finally, cannabis does affect the ability to drive, particularly in occasional users. Drew cautioned that people should not drive for three hours after smoking.
Eventually, the THC will leave the brain; the profusion of blood that brought THC into the brain will carry it to the liver, where it will be destroyed and expelled in urine.
And you’re not gonna believe this, but your hands — they were the same the whole time.
Originally published on Live Science.
IMHO, drugs which do not easily cause overdose deaths (like THC, LSD etc) should/must be legally treated same as alcohol (which is really just another kind of drug (which do not easily cause overdose deaths))!
IMHO, just like prohibition of alcohol had caused so much crime in the past (& that is why it had been forced to be repealed later), prohibition of other similar drugs causing so much easily preventable crime today!
We need to take lesson from our past.
It gives people relief without vice.
This is precisely why it has been vilified for so long. You cannot have such things. Fun, pleasure and relief without vice?
That is blasphemy of the highest order for the “divinely” inspired. In their distorted concept of “dealing with life”, you have to tough it out. Anything which circumvents such rigors in life is sinful.
It reminds one of the famous counter-culture response: “Reality is for people who cannot deal with drugs.”
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Here’s how cannabis jumbles up typical brain processing.