Cannabis and Serotonin

How Medical Marijuana Affects Serotonin Levels

Serotonin is well-known amongst a growing number of citizens, due to being responsible for one thing – ‘happiness’. The nicknamed ‘happy chemical’ is notable in self-care worlds, with a plethora of people seeking to increase their inner-levels of the compound, for outer-happiness.

Beyond elevating your mood, the body’s levels of serotonin can cause a number of common conditions. Which is where cannabis can help. By cannabis interacting with our body’s endocannabinoid system and regulating overall ‘homeostasis’, it has an effect and influence on important receptors – like, serotonin.

Hence, why so many smoke sessions end with giggling fits, and euphoric good feels. So, here we went behind the scenes on serotonin and medical marijuana to see just how the two interact. Keep on reading, to see what we found out. 

Serotonin 101

Weed and Serotonin

Serotonin is a chemical nerve that is naturally produced by the body. The compound works as a neurotransmitter that sends messages throughout the body. Similar to the receptors and neurotransmitters that our body’s endocannabinoid system regulates for optimal health and balance. 

What’s surprising about serotonin is about 90% of the body’s amount is actually found in the digestive tract. So, in addition to the compound being able to make us feel ‘happy’, it also keeps our digestive processing running smoothly. For its mood effects, those occur in the brain.

Serotonin helps to strengthen connections between the cells, for ideal or optimal communication. This can affect a number of everyday functions, and their optimal function. Like sleeping, appetite, and mood, of course. 

What Conditions are Connected to Serotonin 

Science is proving that off-balance or depleted serotonin levels are the cause of many common conditions. Most notable is the fact that low serotonin levels can offset anxiety and depression symptoms. Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors or SSRI’s often recommends or prescribed to treat the following conditions – 

  • Social anxiety disorder
  • Panic Disorders
  • OCD or obsessive-compulsive disorder
  • PTSD or post-traumatic stress disorder
  • IBS or irritable bowel syndrom
  • Eating disorders

Outside of actual diagnoses, diminished levels of serotonin also add to everyday problems that many people face. Like – 

  • Weight gain
  • Fatigue
  • Weight gain
  • Constipation
  • Insomnia
  • Aggression
  • Irritability

Case in point – serotonin levels are highly beneficial to keep balanced, for overall health and happiness. So, now let’s explore how medical marijuana is proving to help. 

The Science Behind Marijuana & Serotonin 

There are a few studies that have been conducted that show the relationship between CBD, THC and levels of serotonin. So far, experts are aware that CBD and THC interact with the body’s CB1 receptors, found in the endocannabinoid system. These receptors are also found on serotonin neurons, and on neurons that inhibit serotonin levels naturally. Meaning, when cannabinoids like CBD and THC enter the system, they mutually enhance both. 

Cannabinoids are also linked to the primary serotonin receptor, 5-HT1A which is found in ample amounts in the brain. CBD is an agonist of 5-HT1A, so it can directly activate and influence it with its beneficial effects. Science is concluding that this strengthens the overall effect of the serotonin receptor, overall boosting its levels. 

The Best Strains for Uplifted Moods and Depression

THC and Serotonin

Now that we know how closely connected serotonin and feeling ‘happy’ are, it’s good to know that medical marijuana can increase the body’s overall levels. Not to mention, it explains why so many frequent users seem to be happier than most. Over the years, there’s a number of strains that have been found to boost euphoric good feels, more than others. While the exact science is still unknown, the ‘happier’ strains can have a few things in common, like cannabinoid combinations, or terpenes that help the uplifting of moods. 

Because CBD and THC can both stimulate and promote levels of serotonin, products or strains with a well-balanced ratio can be ideal. Research has also helped the community understand which terpenes, or scents that are more stress-relieving than others. Like, the following terpenes are responsible for elevating moods – 

  • Limonene – Lemon & citrus scented 
  • Terpinolene – Woody & herbal scented
  • Linalool – Floral & lavender scented 

Now that you know a little more about what to search for – here are a few strains to start with, that are notorious with real-time users for enhancing good moods. 

  • Blue Lemon Blue Lemon is rich in THC, boosting levels up to 24%. The strain’s mild euphoria begins off the bat and slowly drifts into a calming yet energetic high. The Sativa dominant hybrid is not only euphoric but can boost levels of creativity, too. 
  • Gelato– Like a bowl of Italian ice cream, Gelato can soothe any upset mood. The well-balanced 50/50 hybrid is high in THC to uplift the spirits. Gelato eases everyday stresses, and anxieties to provide a dreamy euphoria. 
  • Strawberry Banana – Strawberry Banana is another well-balanced 50/50 hybrid that boasts mood-elevating effects. The strain is lower in THC, avoiding any paranoia that can arise, and will ease your mind with its relaxing benefits. It can enhance feelings of euphoria, and creativity as well. 
  • OG Kush – You can send your moods to other worlds, with the 50/50 hybrid, OG Kush. The strain is potent in THC, and has a way of stimulating the imagination and your creativity, to provide blissful, euphoric effects. 
  • Platinum Blackberry –  Platinum Blackberry packs a punch in THC, reaching up to 27% for some genetics. The indica dominant hybrid is said to put you into a trance of happiness, and tranquil relaxation. 

If you’re opposed to the traditional smoking method of cannabis, luckily the industry has advanced offering a wide-range of cannabis products that can influence serotonin. Because both CBD and THC can help boost serotonin overall, CBD dominant goods, edibles, or concentrates are effective, too. 

Boost Serotonin with Medical Marijuana 

For many long-time stoners, scientific research into their beloved plant is highly satisfying. Especially, when learning that those happy, euphoric feels are scientifically good for you.

After years and years of stigmas, associated with pot use – medical marijuana is working to improve its reputation. Luckily, a plethora of research is proving cannabis’ benefits for moods. Along with being able to provide an ideal balance of inner-compounds for overall happiness and well-being.

Use this list of recommended strains to try out the good feels for the first time, or to chase those elevated good feels. Check out MMJDirect’s full collection of premium cannabis products that can help any mood.