Recent studies show that simply loving one another can give us a natural high, the same type of high that one would get from smoking marijuana.
A new study, performed by researchers at the University of California, found that oxytocin aka the “love hormone” is able to produce pleasure by encouraging the brain’s cannabinoid neurotransmitters. The study suggests that when anandamide and oxytocin mix together, you reach the same level of happiness as you would from smoking weed. So, just why do us humans enjoy each other’s company so much? This study explains the answer from a neurobiologist’s point of view.
Discovering the connection
Researchers at the University of California first discovered the connection between oxytocin and anandamide, aka the “bliss” molecule, when they experimented with mice. They concentrated on mice that were left alone and also mice that were allowed to “socialize“. In their findings, they proved that oxytocin encourages the forming of anandamide. This causes others to want to socially interact by connecting with the same receptor that exists in marijuana.
The center of focus for the study was autism, which causes a lack of interest in social activity. The results of the experiment suggests that by blocking the deterioration of anandamide and increasing oxytocin, those with autism could interact with others more easily. This prediction also led to the creation of the oxytocin nasal spray. In a recent study done in Australia, children ages 3 to 8 saw enormous amounts of improvement in their social activity within five weeks of using the spray. This discovery alone shows that the effects of the love hormone truly make a difference.
The cuddle chemical
Women are known for having higher levels of oxytocin, which why people seem to blame them for being more attracted to men after sex than the man is to the woman. Another study actually discovered that the cuddle chemical oxytocin keeps a man dedicated to one person.
After one little spray of the love stuff, people involved in the study looked through pictures of their partners and discovered that they were more attracted to them than before. While this may be used as a tool to stay in the lovey-dovey stage of a relationship, classic communication should always be number one in maintaining a bound.
Benefits that just keep on coming
Oxytocin doesn’t just stop there, it was found that it is capable of increasing self-esteem as well as self–control. To top it off, it can even reduce the habit to munch on your favorite snack. The benefits of oxytocin seem to keep on coming as more and more experiments are conducted. It helps those with Autism to be more socially interactive, it makes you want to cuddle, you become more attracted to your partner, and it helps you put the bag of chips down. Sounds to me that oxytocin could help us all be a little more cheerful. Whether you are getting high off weed or high off love, add some happiness to your life and enjoy the benefits.
What do you think the new study? Do you agree that people can benefit just as much from a natural high as they do from smoking weed? Let us know on social media or in the comments section below.