The concept of Love has always been something of a mystery. Poets and artists and writers and musicians and philosophers have all spent centuries trying to explain it in abstract terms; with the one unifying thought amongst their valiant attempts ostensibly being that the concept is free from thought, or at least logical thought. It is a feeling. An emotion. A twist, somewhere deep in your stomach or buried behind your eyes. It has never been something that is easily explained.
But now, scientists at The University of California Irvine - yes, Science is to follow - have discovered how the so called "Love Hormone” oxytocin boosts social interactions by making your bran release anandamide. There you are great thinkers of the past, the whole abstract notion of Love can be reduced to a chemical reaction in your brain.
Now, I confess I’m something of a Romantic (with a capital R), so I don’t want to reduce the notion to something so cold and sterile. I do, however, want to draw the similarities between what goes on in our brains when we feel something like Love, and also when we smoke marijuana. ‘Cos guess what, they’re quite similar!
The Researchers at The University of California Irvine found that the chemical reaction when the brain produces Anandamide actually stimulates cannabinoid receptors in exactly the same way that smoking cannabis does. Indeed, THC, CBD and other cannabinoids show some structural similarities to anandamide and also stimulate cannabinoid receptors. Stimulated by either endocannabinoids (produced from within the body) or phytocannabinoids (produced by cannabis), these receptors are responsible for the pain relieving effects of cannabis as well as a host of other medicinal benefits.
This discovery gives further backing to exploration of the idea that cannabis (as a buyable substitution to love) can go some way to treating social anxiety disorders.
Therefore, to paraphrase one of my favourite musicians and thinkings, all you need is love, but if you can’t find it weed can do a very similar job!