Why does Cannabis make us laugh?

Sister Vee

Is the EC system responsible for human laughter?

One of the 5 simple questions which science still cannot answer is “Why do humans laugh?” because very little is known about how the brain produces laughter. If you look on the net you will find some studies where thousands of people have been studied and it turns out that laughter actually has nothing to do with humour. It seems reasonable that the main reason there are not many studies on laughter is probably because laughter is not really a medical problem so people don’t go to the doctor if they are laughing and feeling great about life although certain brain damage conditions and certain forms of epilepsy can cause uncontrollable laughter and smiling sometimes even Parkinson’s and certain forms of schizophrenia. Even though the frontal lobe of our brain controls our emotional responses scientists admit that different parts of the brain are involved in laughter so they really just don’t know exactly why we laugh but they do know that there is no exclusive ‘laugh centre’ of the brain. So yes laughter is common but because of lack of understanding remains one of the most mysterious and puzzling of human behaviour.

Laughing is not something we actually decide to do it happens unconsciously just like sneezing hence the expression “that’s nothing to sneeze at” which actually means that is nothing to laugh at. Some researchers claim that when we laugh we actually want to sneeze but this is not always possible and people cannot laugh and sneeze at the same time but this still doesn’t tell us exactly why we laugh and apparently it seems to take a lot of practice to make ourselves laugh convincingly. We can consciously mimic laughter like ‘Ha Haha!’ and produce a fake laugh but we cannot consciously produce laughter.

Laughter also gives us a powerful insight into our unconscious because it literally just bubbles up from inside of our cores under certain circumstances. There are even people who are not able to laugh out loud and this condition is called Aphonogelia which a very rare neurological condition. And it is a known fact that certain anti-depressants can cause what is known as ‘emotional blunting’ by suppressing some people’s ability to laugh and cry and this is one of the reasons why these drugs also bring on suicidal thoughts in patients. So clearly the natural high achieved from laughing is much safer than any chemical high. We also use laughter as a message we send out to other people because we generally do not laugh when we are alone…except if you are like me and you have 5 grandchildren who keep me in giggles.

Our brains make us laugh without us asking it to so it’s great to know that laughter is at least still for free, contagious and thoroughly healthy for our bodies and our relationships with other humans. Everyone in the world understands laughter which makes it part of the universal human vocabulary which doesn’t require to be learnt because all humans are born with the capacity to laugh. As babies we laugh long before we speak. It is a form of communication to bond with parents and caregivers and even babies who are born blind and deaf are still able to laugh. Laughter definitely seems to be universal and it seems obvious that the same things crack us all up and it is not uncommon for a group of people who speak completely different languages to find the same thing amusing and laugh at it together. It is fact that we have been laughing for millions of years before speaking and ii have seen many documentaries focusing on the ancient Bushmen people of Southern Africa and you could say that laughter was their main form of communication and from there small words were created over time. So definitely laughter can be considered an ancient and primitive form of communication. Laughter being non-verbal involves emotional expression through sounds and yes some people myself included make some really odd sounds which in fairness sound more like animal calls than anything close to our normal speech. People who study laughter are known as Gelotologists in the field of study known as Gelotology. Some of these researchers justify that the reason we laugh is to do with evolution because before we could speak laughter was a simpler form of communication but still this does not explain exactly why we do it.

Cannabis is now famous for uplifting the mood and everyone knows that Cannabis makes us laugh but why? Is it possible that the answer to the question as to why exactly humans laugh lies with Cannabis and our EC systems? We know that inside of our brains we have a substance which completely imitates the activities of the plant derived THC this substance is known as Anandamide which means “the bliss molecule” and is the human version of THC. The first reason why Cannabis makes people laugh is because it is our natural THC Anandamide which naturally controls the production and release of our feel good hormones Serotonin and Dopamine as well as the endorphins and oxytocin which is known as the ‘love hormone’. These are the hormones which activate the laugh mechanism in different parts of the brain.

Dopamine deficiency is an actual condition which ii refer to as ‘laughter deprivation’ and ii find it really interesting that scientists make statements that we can boost our dopamine levels simply by choosing healthy foods like avocado, dark chocolate, green tea, turmeric and black pepper. All of these plants contain various Cannabinoids also found in the Cannabis plant and all which also interact with our THC receptors. Cannabis and laughter both together also stimulate the production of endorphins which is another group of hormones which flood our whole body with a feeling of lightness and general wellness. Endorphins activate our opiate receptors and offer pain relief so yes laughter is literally a pain killer because just like Cannabis it reduces our perception of the pain. Endorphins also tune into the immune system so by laughing we release these hormones and are able to recover from disease and allow the body to resist infections. Our EC systems and Cannabis controls and stimulates the release of these hormones. Here again we can see the link between the regulatory role of our EC system over our hormonal system and the vital chemicals from the Cannabis plant we require for ultimate health.

The second reason why Cannabis can make us laugh is because of the fact that Cannabis is a vasodilator it automatically increases blood flow to the areas of the brain concerned with emotions and expression. We know that there is a link between laughter and healthy functioning of our blood vessels because laughter itself also acts as a vasodilator which helps protect us against strokes and heart attacks. So both laughter and Cannabis act as vasodilators. It is also interesting that when people have strokes no matter how damaged the brain is the person is still able to laugh.

In my opinion laughter is an element of consciousness and also an aspect of our personalities and ii find it interesting that scientists are still not really able to explain the human personality and neither can they explain why we laugh. The main reason for this is that scientists have never really looked at things like the EC system because they have never studied Cannabis before. With evidence like this it seems certain that our natural THC also controls our laughter and is actually responsible for our personalities because our EC system and Cannabis controls our DNA. Over the years ii have often said in jest that without Cannabis a lot of people would not even have a personality and now we are actually looking at scientific breakthroughs in this field of study. Right now at Hebrew University Professor Mechoulam is working towards proving that our Endocannabinoids are also responsible for the perfection of the human personality. These studies will no doubt prove that people with healthy and positive personalities also have healthy natural Endocannabinoid levels and further ii believe that it will prove that all of this is genetic and that Cannabis through its regulation of our EC and hormonal systems can contribute to human personality development and some of us even believe that this is also what will encourage and promote human greatness.

When Cannabis is consumed THC literally tickles the brain in a way which causes amusement and then laughter. Just by virtue of the fact that Cannabis naturally makes you feel better people will automatically be more prone to laughing. When our bodies become stressed or diseased our natural THC becomes depleted and the Cannabinoid receptors become blocked. This is why we need to supplement our EC system to continue functioning at optimum levels with the chemicals such as THC found in the Cannabis plant. Is it possible that the actual reason why we laugh is not to only make ourselves feel better but to actually inspire positive feelings in other people and in so doing we are actually able to heal one another? We only have this one chance at life so surely we deserve to have a bit of laugh and to experience our own version of happiness? In our pursuit of happiness we must be careful not to succumb to ‘destination addiction’ where we see this idea that happiness is a destination and can only be found in the next place, the next job or the next partner and so on. Until we give up this notion that happiness is somewhere else it will definitely never be where we are.
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