Weed makes everything funny, or at least that's what it feels like when you're high. Mundane, everyday things suddenly take on a sidesplittingly hilarious aspect that only someone as high as you would understand. To the outside world, laughing at seemingly un-amusing things may be weird. And in all fairness, drug-induced laughter is an admittedly odd side effect. But that doesn't mean it's a bad one! If anything, cannabis' ability to make you laugh is one of the least daunting drug effects of all time.
As benign as cannabis-induced laughter is, the question remains: why does weed make you laugh? The answer isn't as straightforward as you may think! Laughter is complex to begin with, and with so little research available on the effects of weed, all we can do is connect the dots.
Why Do We Laugh?
To find the connection between weed and laughter, you first need a basic understanding of why people laugh. Though laughter may feel easy when you're doing it, the science is actually quite complex. Research shows that laughter, as multifaceted as it is, primarily serves as a universal social cue to help people bond. To keep things easy, here's a quick list of the most important laughter facts:
- Everyone Laughs: Laughter is the same no matter where you are, which is amazing if you think about it! Everyone understands what a laugh conveys, implying that laughter is innate rather than learned behavior.
- People Laugh To Bond: When's the last time you laughed with someone you hate? You probably can't remember, which is pretty understandable since mankind uses laughter to bond in social situations. If you don't like a person, you are less likely to want to laugh with them. Simple!
- Laughter is Spontaneous and Contagious: A lot like yawning, laughter is both spontaneous and contagious. Of course, you can always try to stifle a giggle to hide your weed high, but sometimes it just slips. This happens especially often when other people are laughing, thanks to the contagious nature of laughter.
What Connects Weed and Laughter?
No solid research on the connection between weed and laughter exists, but somehow everyone can agree that consuming cannabis (the kind with THC) makes you laugh. But why does weed make you laugh? Such a common side effect seems like it should be simple to unravel, but with weed and laughter, there are too many variables for a quick answer. Most stoners who have experience with this phenomenon probably couldn't begin to tell you why, and that's because weed doesn't make you laugh directly. Rather, cannabis consumption creates the perfect environment for laughter to occur. So instead of causing laughter, weed just promotes it!
Most things in life can be attributed to the brain: emotions, personality, the ability to get high, and whatever makes us laugh, to name only a few. The fact that weed and laughter are both connected to the brain isn't all that surprising though, since (as we just said) mostly everything you do involves gray matter. The neurological connection between weed and laughter is not direct but instead created through a series of side effects.
Cannabis consumption is linked to releasing dopamine, elevating euphoria, and providing general mood improvement, all of which are perfect for promoting laughter. What people find funny is subjective, but mood sure isn't! While no one knows 100 percent why weed makes you laugh, it's safe to assume that the euphoric dopamine rush contributes to the overall effect.
Cannabis culture is inherently social: people smoke together, share products together, and bask in the glow of their high (you guessed it) together! When you consider the most common platform for laughter, you may realize it's very similar to that of social cannabis consumption. You laugh with people you're close to, people you're getting to know, or just anyone you may subconsciously want to bond with. When stoners experience heightened laughter while high, it is often due (in part) to the people they are with! And since laughter is contagious, you're more likely to laugh if the people around you are laughing as well.
The Combined Effect
When you combine the euphoric, dopamine-fueled reaction your brain has to cannabis with a social situation like smoking weed, laughter is basically inevitable. Your mood is elevated, you like who you're with, and the laughter should flow. And even if nothing is even remotely funny, you may still want to laugh just because you can!
Asking why cannabis makes you laugh is almost like asking why alcohol causes you to make bad decisions – neither substance makes you do anything, but they might give you a push in the right direction. Weed has no proven direct control over the part of your brain that causes uncontrollable laughter. Instead, cannabis creates the perfect environment for laughing. And as far as side effects from drugs go, weed-induced laughter is possibly the best!