As marijuana use moves closer and closer to country-wide legalization, there has been much talk as to whether or not the plant is actually beneficial to the consumer. Cannabis users claim that the benefits are endless, while those in opposition will argue that it is nothing more than a harmful "gateway drug". While we can base opinions on whatever belief systems we possess, the truth is, there is actually scientific evidence to support the fact that smoking pot can actually enhance your overall experience.
Aside from marijuana being prescribed for issues like chronic pain and glaucoma, it also proves to be an efficient tool to improve one's state of mind. I am sure you have heard that marijuana serves as a helpful tool to put the mind at ease. Well, recent research confirms that this state of zen is not a figment of one's imagination.
How Dopamine Affects The Mind
By classification, marijuana is considered to be an "upper" as it acts as a stimulant.
The plant contains a chemical compound called tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC, which elevates the body's levels of dopamine. Dopamine is commonly credited for causing the consumer to experience a "high" feeling. Furthermore, it is actually a molecule that is released in response to the pleasure you experience while doing things that make you happy such as having sex, eating, or using drugs. For good reason, dopamine has been nicknamed "the body's reward system" as it actively reduces stress levels and is even use to treat various levels of depression.
It is no secret that smoking cannabis will undoubtedly create a euphoric feeling due to the release a dopamine, but it can also improve your overall health. In fact, low dopamine levels within the body have been known to cause chronic fatigue, drastic mood swings, depressive episodes, Parkinson's disease, and even drug addiction.
Why Our Bodies React So Well With THC
To the surprise of many, the human brain actually contains receptors for THC. One of the many beauties of the human body is that it naturally contains an endocannabinoid called anandamide which is a neurotransmitter produced within the brain that binds to the THC receptors. Anandamide, like THC, is known to produce feelings of joy and happiness - this could be why it is commonly referred to as the "bliss hormone". Could this mean that our body is naturally attracted to the feeling that is caused by smoking pot?
So, despite the thoughts of the many skeptics, marijuana does actually make you happier. Though there is much research in the works to further prove its many virtues, pot smokers can continue to rely on cannabis to improve their quality of life.