Five Scientific Benefits to Smoking Marijuana on Thanksgiving

November 24th 2015

Thanksgiving is a special occasion to spend time with family, eat good food, and express gratitude for the things that you have. But for some, the holiday is a stressful affair that involves hours of preparation, heated political debates over the dinner table, and a prolonged period of stomach pain following multiple servings of turkey.

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Well, if you happen to have access to a marijuana dispensary—and many adults in 23 states plus the District of Columbia do—then there might be a solution to all of your Thanksgiving troubles. Using cannabis on a holiday dedicated to eating and socializing can come with a range of research-backed benefits.

Here are five scientific reasons to get stoned this Thanksgiving.

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1. Marijuana stimulates appetite and makes food taste better.

It should come as no surprise that smoking weed can make you feel hungry, otherwise known as the "munchies." It's usually one of the first things that people notice when they try cannabis for the first time. Interestingly, a 2014 study found that the increased appetite you experience after smoking is actually related to the effect marijuana has on your sense of smell.

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That is, using cannabis makes your more sensitive to smell, and that can translate into acute hunger because smell and taste are closely related senses. So if you ate too many appetizers or just have a small appetite on Thanksgiving, getting stoned can help get your through desert without a hitch.

2. Marijuana can enhance social experiences.

A recent study from the University of California Irvine looked at the role of a "love hormone," oxytocin, and found that it "may enhance the pleasure of social interactions by stimulating production of marijuana-like neurotransmitters in the brain." Components of marijuana known as cannabinoids interact with the same parts of the brain that oxytocin does, meaning that using cannabis can improve interpersonal bonding.

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Many of us are preparing for a Thanksgiving dinner at a table full of politically, um, diverse relatives eager to share their opinion on the latest in current events. That can create tension on a holiday that's supposed to be about relaxation, thankfulness, and family togetherness. If everyone was stoned, the social experience could be better all around.

3. Marijuana can treat digestive disorders.

Let's face it: you're probably going to have a stomachache on Thanksgiving. Not only can THC, the main psychoactive component of marijuana, help treat stomachaches and digestive disorders such as inflammatory bowel disease, it can also also "protect the lining of the stomach and intestine from injury and accelerate healing from inflammation," a 2013 study published in the Journal of Physiology and Pharmacology concluded.

4. Marijuana is safer than alcohol.

There's nothing wrong with getting a little wine drunk for Thanksgiving dinner; it's one of the handful of times each year where it's pretty much expected that you will have a second or third glass. But holiday drinking always seem to get somewhat out of hand and then suddenly you find yourself awake on November 27 with a painful hangover.

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Unlike alcohol, there's no risk of a marijuana overdose. In fact, research has shown that marijuana can effectively treat the symptoms of an alcohol hangover.

5. Marijuana can reduce anxiety.

Working all day to prepare the turkey and host a Thanksgiving meal would cause a lot of people to stress out. And even if you weren't involved in the prep work, maybe the idea of being around family and having to entertain guests elicits social anxiety. Whatever reason you're freaking out on Thanksgiving, marijuana can be used as an effective treatment option for anxiety sufferers. Numerous studies have demonstrated that cannabinoids such as THC and CBD reduce anxiety, as ATTN: has previously reported.

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