5 Ways Weed Can Boost Your Mood

Happy woman vaping outside at pool party with friends in Santa Ana

Happy woman vaping outside at pool party with friends in Santa Ana

It is no secret that cannabis makes you feel good. We have seen this depicted all over various forms of media for several decades. From every classic stoner movie featuring Seth Rogen’s infectious laugh to images of hippies sitting on the lawns of sprawling amphitheaters enjoying music, weed is shown as boosting the mood of everyone who partakes.

So what is the science behind cannabis that helps create these feelings of euphoria? Is it dopamine, or something else entirely? Can it really boost our moods, or is that just a myth? Let’s take a closer look! 

 

Dopamine Debunked

For the past forty years, addiction scientists have collectively embraced one theory, and that’s the dopamine theory of addiction. This cites that all addictive substances and activities, across the spectrum (food, sex, substances), flood the limbic brain with a chemical called ‘dopamine’. Dopamine is one of the chemicals in our brains that plays a significant role in how we feel pleasure.

Because smoking weed is a pleasurable activity for many, it can contribute to the release of dopamine in some way. This would be similar to doing anything else you might enjoy, such as working out or watching your favorite sitcom. 

Stimulants like cocaine or amphetamines do, in fact, trigger a flood of dopamine. Chronic or prolonged use of these substances can lead to the body’s inability to make its own dopamine, leading to addiction as well as other various mental health concerns. 

However, this is not the same at all with cannabis.

 

The Bliss Molecule

Over thirty years ago, Dr. Rephael Mechoulam discovered a neurotransmitter within the brain called anandamide. This was also the very same doctor who first identified and synthesized THC. Appearing to produce a heightened sense of joy and happiness, anandamide has often been dubbed the ‘bliss molecule’. 

Because it helps us feel pleasure, anandamide is often confused for or compared to dopamine. However, anandamide is responsible for more than just the bliss we feel in our bodies. This chemical also plays some serious roles in major bodily processes such as memory, motivation, pain, appetite, and even fertility. But because of its participation in the process of neurogenesis, which is the formation of new cells, anandamide is also an anti-anxiety and antidepressant agent. 

Since THC and anandamide share similar properties, consuming cannabis can produce similar effects. Whenever you consume or ingest cannabis by smoking or vaping, it only takes a few moments for the THC to hit your brain and begin lighting up your brain’s neurons. Fitting together like a lock and key, a neurotransmitter binds to the correct receptor and signals your body to respond. With THC, it creates a sense of bliss. Chocolate, yoga, and running also are notable influences of anandamide, although they tend to be a little less powerful. 

 

Woman relaxing and smoking weed outside
 

How does cannabis help?

Now that you know the science behind THC and cannabis, let’s take a closer look at exactly how cannabis can improve mood and mental health. 

  1. Reduced anxiety: Anxiety is something that affects millions of Americans in varying degrees, and it causes our brain’s neurotransmitters to become overactive and fire off at inappropriate and inconvenient times. Cannabis can provide some relief for anxiety, as many of the chemical compounds present in cannabis have been proven to reduce the symptoms, both mentally and physically. CBD can work with the cannabinoid receptors in our brain to slow this process and leave us feeling calm and level-headed.
     
  2. Mood stabilizer: As we learned above, cannabis can help us feel heightened states of bliss and lightheartedness. However, studies have shown that it can do more than just temporarily boost moods, it can also help minimize mood swings and bring about overall mood stability. Cannabis can aid in the regulation of our brain’s neurotransmitters that can help us get better control of our emotions.
     
  3. Fights depression: Since cannabis boosts anandamide in our brains, it can also help to combat depression. Remember, anandamide isn’t just about bliss: it also aids with memory, motivation, fighting chronic pain, and more. When some of these issues are remedied, the better we feel, allowing us to better handle new, unideal situations as they pop up.
     
  4. Improved sleep: If there is one thing that can really eat away at a person’s mental health, it’s prolonged or chronic lack of sleep. Even just one night of poor rest can negatively influence your performance the next two days of school or work. Sleep is vital to the body, and without it, even basic tasks feel nearly impossible to complete.  
     
    Luckily, cannabis is a great solution for those who have difficulties sleeping, as it contains the properties necessary to relax the brain and muscles. If your anxiety is what keeps you up at night, this can also help twofold.
     
  5. Positive outlook: With all of the above concerns being addressed, it’s easy to see why cannabis has a positive influence over a broad spectrum of mental health issues. If your anxiety is reduced, your mood is stabilized, and your sleep is better, it would be difficult not to have a sunny disposition. 

 

Here to Help

If you are an individual who struggles with some of the issues above and you want to find out more about which products can help you, be sure to pop into your local weed dispensary in Santa Ana or one of our many other locations. 

Here at From The Earth, our staff is highly trained and extremely knowledgeable. We are ready to assist all varieties of customers in finding which products will suit their needs. Don’t be afraid to ask questions – we are here to help! Our goal is to create a laid-back and judgment-free environment that anyone can feel comfortable in.

If you are someone who prefers to shop online, be sure to check out our expansive online store! We also offer curbside pick up or even fast and free delivery. You don’t have to stay anxious or feel stuck in a rut with your mood. An all-natural aid is waiting at your local weed dispensary in Santa Ana!

What You Need to Know About The Entourage Effect

Couple sitting at the beach with their dog smoking weed and having fun

Couple sitting at the beach with their dog smoking weed and having fun

 

Have you heard people talk about the “entourage effect” but still are not sure what they are even talking about? 

Cannabis is made up of a variety of different compounds that play a unique role in determining the plant’s effects. Your experience of the plant is unique to you. How cannabis impacts our mood, appetite, relief levels, and more, rely heavily on your body chemistry and how it interacts with the various chemical compounds in the plant. THC and CBD are the most abundant compounds found in cannabis, though both interact with different receptors in the brain and body.

 

What is the Entourage Effect

The entourage effect is a mechanism that suggests the compounds in cannabis, such as cannabinoids, terpenes, & flavonoids, work together synergistically to provide a unique set of effects and benefits. When different combinations of these compounds are ingested, their behavior may change producing a range of benefits from pain relief to improved mood or sleep.

Still unclear about how it works? Think of how you act when you are in a professional setting versus how you act among friends. Your personality and demeanor change based on your environment.? 

A study done in 2010 gave cancer patients two different cannabis extracts. One group was given an extract that was purely THC. The other group was given an extract that was equal parts THC and CBD. The group with THC and CBD combo reported having less pain. This would seem to be obvious to us because we know CBD to be a pain-relieving compound. And because that compound was in their extract, the entourage effect proved its point. The existence of a compound can greatly affect the way each compound reacts together. 

That said, though THC and CBD are the main compounds found in cannabis that we are all familiar with, there are many other compounds that play different roles as well like CBN, CBC, and CBG, not to mention terpenes. Terpenes are what produces an aromatic compound that gives cannabis its unique aromas and flavors. Terpenes are some of the most abundant compounds in nature and are also found in things like lavender, eucalyptus, and oranges.

 
Close up of person smoking weed and blowing smoke

How Cannabinoids and Terpenes Work Together

Though more research is still needed in this area, some researchers have theorized that terpenes play a significant role in how we are affected by cannabis. Mainly, that with the addition of a terpene with a specific compound, we can receive different benefits. 

To dig a little deeper, let’s discuss a few examples. 

Let’s look into the cannabis strain Grape Ape. It is an indica strain with 17 percent THC and its main terpene is myrcene, the most abundant terpene found in cannabis. Grape Ape is known for its relaxing properties which also give a mood boost to make you feel happy (due to THC), but can also make you tired (thanks, myrcene.)

With hundreds of different terpenes present in cannabis, research suggests that the presence of these compounds plays a key role in their effects. Here are a few other ways terpenes affect us. 

 

  • Myrcene, which we mentioned above, tends to give a musky, herbal aroma. This terpene is known for its sedative and relaxing properties and helps with inflammation and is an anti-bacterial.
  • The terpene linalool has floral, citrusy aromas and, similar to myrcene, is known for its calming and sedative properties. Linalool is known for aiding in depression, anxiety, stress, and insomnia. 
  • Pinene has a sweet, pine smell and has memory retention and alertness effects. It’s typically used for helping with asthma and inflammation.

 

What Cannabis Products Produce The Entourage Effects?

Now that you know a little bit more about the entourage effect and what it means, how do you go to a cannabis dispensary and pick out something that will give you these effects, or how do you steer clear of them?

Consuming cannabis flower is the best choice if you are looking to benefit from the entourage effect. There are also some cannabis extracts that are formulated to provide you with a variety of cannabinoids and terpenes. Look for the products labeled as “full-spectrum”. 

Full-spectrum cannabis extracts contain a rich diversity of terpenes, cannabinoids including THC, THCa, CBD, CBN, and other botanical compounds. Similar to a flower, a full-spectrum product takes into account how the entourage effect plays a role in the product’s effects.  

A broad-spectrum extract includes compounds like terpenes, and other botanical compounds like CBD, CBN, CBG, and CBC but do not contain THC. The presence of THC being the key difference between broad-spectrum and full spectrum. 

An isolate is exactly as it sounds. It’s an isolated compound, like a product only containing CBD. Though there are many who will say that there are less benefits when consuming an isolate or broad-spectrum extract, there are plenty of people who prefer them or are the only things they can access legally. Knowing exactly what you are looking for and what you are putting into your body is important. 

 

A few isolate products you could pick up from your nearby From The Earth cannabis dispensary are:

 

When it comes to knowing what you want out of your cannabis experience there is a lot to take into account. If you are looking for something that gives you a full spectrum of effects, finding a full spectrum formulation will cause you to experience cannabis’s entourage effect. . But if you live in a state where THC is not legal or are not looking for a non-psychoactive experience, an isolate might be more your speed

Talk with your local budtender at From The Earth cannabis dispensary and find the perfect cannabis products you are looking for, no matter what experience you are looking to have.

 

(877) 278-1016