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Perhaps one of the most pervasive stoner stereotypes out there is the the "Mellow Hippie" trope. It's one that has been played out in movies, in books, and if we're honest, in real life as well.
The Mellow Hippie concept is one that has become as much a part of pop culture as the association between cannabis use and crazy Burning Man fans. However, unlike the many different myths about cannabis, there's actually a lot of fact behind this trope.
If it seems like a lot of potheads don't give a flying fuck about all the small stuff most others panic over, it's because it's true. The science behind smoking weed definitely suggests that calming down and having a healthy amount of apathy could be linked to their cannabis habit.
So if you need a little less anxiety in your life, pick up a joint. The facts below show that there's some serious reason to believe that weed might be the cure you need—and that there really might be something to the concept of lighting a joint to stop giving a fuck.
Let's take a look at the main reactive ingredients of cannabis.
So, let's take a deeper look into the science behind smoking weed. Cannabis literally has hundreds of different compounds that give weed the "feel good" high that it's become so famous for.
Smoking weed and ingesting cannabis is natural. We even have a built-in part of our brain to process cannabis called the endocannabinoid system to help our brains register the effects it has.
THC, cannabidiol, terpenes, and other compounds all will influence the way you feel while you're on pot. Some compounds are more uplifting, others are more calming, and some tend to offer an interesting mix of the two.
THC is known for improving your overall mood and lifting energy levels.
We can't really talk about the science behind smoking weed without mentioning THC, also known tetrahydrocannabinol. THC is an organic chemical that has the ability to trigger the reward centers in our brains.
The reward centers in our brains are the same parts that "light up" when we eat good food, have sex, or even buy something that we really enjoy on sale. When we are happy or feel rewarded, we are less likely to feel worried or anxious.
Partly as a result of THC's mood-boosting ability, people tend to be more relaxed when they smoke weed.
With THC, there tends to be a tendency to get giddy or paranoid when you smoke too much.
Though we all know that THC is a major mood-booster, that's not the only thing that the science behind smoking weed has taught us. It's also taught us that too much of a good thing, or even just not having the right body chemistry, can cause THC to make you a bit of a mess.
With some smokers, too much THC ingestion can cause extreme giddiness and giggles. Incidentally, this can lead you to stop caring about a lot of things, too.
With other people, though, too much THC can cause paranoia or even hallucinations. This can make smoking weed a pretty scary experience. Thankfully, knowing your limit and getting strains that are high in other cannabinoids can help curb this from happening.
It is worth pointing out that the vast majority of people will not get anxious when they smoke weed in moderate amounts.
The science behind smoking weed still adheres to the basic rules of toxicology, and that means that the dose you take will determine the effect you get. In low to moderate doses, THC will make the vast majority of people feel lively and calm—but not apathetic.
In large doses? Well, you might get anxious and paranoid, but you probably won't die. After all, weed has the lowest overdose rates of all illegal drugs.
The compound that's most commonly associated with calm to the point of apathy is cannabidiol.
Cannabidiol, also known as CBD, is the second most abundant category of cannabinoids in marijuana, and unlike THC, it's legal. Along with being found in weed, this active ingredient is also found in hemp and can be extracted fairly easily.
Studies have repeatedly shown that cannabidiol use has been linked to decreased anxiety, lower inflammation, and a better night's sleep. It's known for relieving muscle tension and also curbing panic attacks, too.
This little fact goes beyond the science behind smoking weed, though, as you don't need to light up to enjoy CBD's effects. It's often consumed as a cold-pressed oil for the same reasons.
That's why many people have been using hemp oil, like the stuff from Glory Standard, to treat anxiety, because it has real benefits.
CBD oil does have some side effects that can increase a person's ability to stop caring.
A lot of people who take high doses of CBD-rich cannabis strains notice that their mellowness starts to evolve into something else—apathy. This is a known and documented side effect of cannabidiol, and is often accompanied by a lower sex drive and drowsiness.
If you've been wondering if the science behind smoking weed will actually prove that marijuana's linked to apathy, you're correct. It's a real side effect of having too much CBD, and there is some slight evidence suggesting it can become one of the more long-term effects if you don't use in moderation.
Terpenes are another piece to the cannabis puzzle.
One of the newest compound categories to be mentioned when discussing cannabis and its ability to get people to stay calm regardless of what happens is cannabis terpenes.
Terpenes are the "fragrance oils" in your cannabis that tend to give it that skunky odor that causes stoners to shell out money on smell-proof bags. Like CBD and THC, terpenes will bind to your brain's receptors.
Unlike CBD and THC, terpenes are a massive category of compounds. Some may calm you down, others may enhance your body's ability to react to THC, while even more may have a completely different outcome.
The full science behind smoking weed is not fully known, and scientists are still uncovering the effects of all the terpenes in weed today. However, it's safe to say that at least a handful will have calming properties.
Overall, smoking weed can allow you to calm down, stop sweating the small stuff, and maybe even get a bit apathetic.
Science itself has backed weed's ability to help people calm down and reduce anxiety. This is not even a question at this point. Lighting up to make your cares go away is a science-backed thing.
Though we might hate a lot of anti-cannabis propaganda out there, it's hard to deny that there is some hard science behind smoking weed and its link to apathy. However...
Though the science behind smoking weed does show a link between cannabis and apathy, it's not as bad as you think.
Sure, there's scientific evidence that smoking weed can make you apathetic, but that's not necessarily a bad thing in small doses. Sometimes, you need to stop caring in order to be healthy. Does marijuana help with that? Of course.
But, there's apathy and apathy. The bad type of apathy is what people want to avoid, but there's really not much to worry about that part. Bad legislation, a loss of jobs, and social issues cause a lot more apathy than cannabis ever could.
The conclusion is that yes, weed can make you care less.
The science behind smoking weed shows that, yes, you can give fewer fucks by lighting up a joint. There are also positives though, juicing cannabis has many health benefits for example. Drinking cannabis tea leaves also has many benefits, like helping to prevent Alzheimer's. Overall, cannabis has a lot of different compounds that make you care less happen, but as long as you use it in moderation, you should be alright.