Why Cannabis Makes You Feel Good
It is well known that cannabis instills overflowing pleasures in those who consume it, but what is it that causes those feelings of contentment?
Through research, it has been shown that it’s all about dopamine - marijuana provokes a steady flow of dopamine creation, which grants several helpful benefits. And luckily, it has a powerful connection with the active ingredients in cannabis.
What Dopamine Does
The brain makes certain chemicals that are designed to keep the mind functioning smoothly. This vital category of molecules plays countless important roles for mental health, and they have been formally dubbed as neurotransmitters. These chemicals are agents of communication, and their job is to send information to other parts of the brain.
Dopamine is perhaps the most essential neurotransmitter the brain has. It is the sole source for most sensations of pleasure. In fact, dopamine dictates a wide range of emotional responses. These primarily include complex feelings of accomplishment. The cheerful chemicals are densely stored in the deep recesses of the brain. This region is scientifically called the nucleus accumbens, but it is better known as the mind’s central reward station.
Dopamine influences biology on many layers through a psychological system of reward-based reinforcement. Behaviors affected by the delivery routes of this common chemical include learning, hunger, sleep, mood, focus, mobility and sex.
Marijuana Boosts Dopamine Levels
Dopamine rates are heavily boosted by recreational marijuana usage. Surprisingly, cannabis is not the only agent that can contribute to higher neurotransmitter activities. In fact, most drug that are taken for hedonistic purposes provide an immediate dopamine rush. A similar positive state of mind is also regularly attained through MDMA, alcohol, cocaine and caffeine. However, cannabis does things a little bit differently.
How Marijuana Changes Dopamine
While all drugs activate dopamine increases, marijuana stands out for its original approach to the mind. Somehow, cannabinoids in marijuana automatically target GABA, which is another key neurotransmitter in mental processes. Typically, GABA limits the quantity of dopamine being released at any given moment. When these blockades are cut off from fulfilling their duty, their signals are never sent to cease dopamine flow. Thus, the calming chemical is continuously released until marijuana is no longer present.
One special trait about cannabis is that it mimics atoms that occur in any healthy brain. Humans are equipped to produce endocannabinoids, and this common chemical appears in the brain on its own accord to trigger dopamine. Cannabinoids are merely copies of these molecules. Receptors for these compounds directly promote health by encouraging the pursuit of rewards. Research has revealed that mammals without cannabinoid sensors are prone to health risks.
In nature, cannabinoids are meant to boost motivation by only allowing dopamine to be enjoyed in times of achievement or fulfillment. Adding these useful agents from an outside source builds a state of permanent happiness without requiring circumstantial changes.
Cannabis is distinguished from other substances in that it does not facilitate permanent shifts in dopamine production; however, there is some evidence that shows low dopamine levels during early stages of quitting marijuana. Withdrawal from cannabis can push dopamine levels below the limits of well-being.
Overall, habitual cannabis users may report lower dopamine levels than the general population. This figure may be derived from smokers that are merely medicating prior dopamine issues. For example, ADHD sufferers commonly employ drugs to heighten their dopamine rates. Several studies show that this is a promising approach.