Why Does Weed Make You High?: Debunking Common Myths

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Weed, cannabis, pot, marijuana; it’s all the same thing. But do you know how it actually works?

As cannabis legalization is increasingly considered and implemented, we’re talking about using weed more than ever.

But not many of us are talking about what weed actually is, what it does and how it works.

If you’ve found yourself asking, “Why does weed make you high?”, I’m here to help. Here’s a simple explanation of how it all works.

How Your Brain Works

Our brains are full of neurons; nearly 100billion of them. They send information around the brain and the nervous system.

Neurotransmitters

The information is sent by chemicals called neurotransmitters. Neuron 1 will release a neurotransmitter, which will attach onto neuron 2. This changes the electrical charge of neuron 2, getting it excited or slowing it down.

There is a special kind of neurotransmitter in our brains called cannabinoid. Usually, if a neuron has just released cannabinoid, it becomes temporarily unresponsive. This prevents the brain and body from becoming overwhelmed.

Anandamide

Anandamide is a type of cannabinoid, which is a type of neurotransmitter that sends signals in the brain. It occurs naturally in the brain and is known to produce happiness. It also affects the memory, pain, and appetite, as well as reducing anxiety and depression.  

Anandamide is an essential part of living a happy and healthy lifestyle.

Why Weed Can Make You Feel Happy And High

So why does weed make you high?

Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) is a cannabinoid found in weed. It looks just like the anandamide that’s already in your brain.

When you ingest weed, this THC goes straight to your brain and latches onto the part of a neuron that accepts anandamide– called CB1 receptors. Your neurons get excited, thinking that there is more anandamide in your system.

Remember when we said that neurons become unresponsive for a little while after they’ve released a cannabinoid? THC prevents that, so neurons also continue to fire.  

All of this stimulates the part of your brain that is associated with pleasure, making you feel good and relaxed. It also affects your perception of pain, your appetite, and many other bodily functions.

If you’re in the Denver area and would like to experience a high, you can visit your dispensary and legally purchase some weed.

Why Weed Can Make You Feel Anxious

But if you have too much anandamide in the brain, it can get overwhelmed and create feelings of anxiety.

One way that this can happen is if you ingest weed that has a high proportion of THC. This will cause the brain to think it has a lot of anandamide in there. If it gets too much, you could start to feel anxious.

Another cause could be your levels of fatty acid amide hydrolase (FAAH). This is a natural molecule in your body that works to deactivate anandamide. So, if you naturally have less FAAH in your body, you already have higher levels of anandamide.

This means that when you ingest weed – therefore THC – your brain thinks it’s got even more anandamide. Your neurons can get overwhelmed more quickly, leading to anxiety.

The Medical Benefits Of CBD In Weed

CBD is another cannabinoid in weed, but it will not get you high.

Unlike THC, it doesn’t latch onto the CB1 receptors in your brain, so your body doesn’t confuse it with anandamide.

CBD does have similar physical benefits, such as pain relief and muscle relaxation.

CBD is being used in medical cannabis; the weed that people are using for medicinal reasons.

Again, if you’d like to try for yourself, Denver’s leading dispensary offers weed for medical and recreational use.

So, Why Does Weed Make You High?

Your brain mistakes weed for its own feel-good chemicals. That’s why weed makes you feel high.

Weed also has a number of physical side effects, which the medical community is trying to harness without the ‘buzz’ associated with the drug.

It’s important to remember to use any form of weed responsibly, as part of a healthy lifestyle.

Looking for ways to become healthier and happier? Read my top tips here.