Masturbating For Science: Orgasms Create Rush Of Marijuana Chemical

Just like cannabis, climaxing can alter the state of your reality.

Orgasms
Photo by monicore via Burst

There are people getting paid to masturbate for science. The bad news is it’s not you. The good news is they are helping us better understand the chemical and physiological avalanche that is the human orgasm. Bless them.

Despite what some guys would like you to think, the brain is the largest sex organ in the body. So, taking a closer look inside the brain is exactly what curious researchers are doing. While much scientific investigation into this question has examined the activity levels in specific areas of the brain, others seek to measure changes in chemical composition.

Researchers from Germany decided to examine the levels of certain endocannabinoids in blood plasma before and after subjects masturbated to orgasm. Endocannabinoids are chemical compounds that interact with receptors in cells that alter neurotransmitter release in the brain. The concentrations of several chemicals were measured in the blood plasma of human subjects before and after they masturbated to orgasm.

Brain scans using functional MRI’s (FMRI) have shown that during masturbation many areas of the brain are engaged. The hypothalamus becomes more active and amps up production of a powerful hormone called oxytocin that acts as a neurotransmitter. The chemical has also been implicated in maternal-infant bonding, empathy and generosity. The thalamus and the substantia nigra, an area densely populated with dopamine-producing neurons, are also highly engaged. Previous research out of Rutgers University has suggested that the orgasm creates a type of altered state of reality.

2-AG is the most abundant endocannabinoid in the human body. It is also present in mother’s milk and is believed to regulate appetite, our immune system and to manage pain. The German researchers found that masturbating to orgasm significantly increased the amount of the endocannabinoid 2-AG in blood plasma.

Our data indicate that the endocannabinoid 2-AG is involved in the human sexual response cycle and we hypothesize that 2-AG release plays a role in the rewarding consequences of sexual arousal and orgasm.

This sort of finding is of great interest to the pharmaceutical industry, that may see an opportunity to explore the ways a prescribed medicine could affect cannabinoid levels. Making people’s sexual lives richer is big business. The erectile dysfunction medicine market is predicted to be worth over $3 billion by 2020.

The chemistry of cannabis may have a role to play in yet another area of our personal health. There is much work still to be done. Follow up studies are bound to follow this line of questioning to explore how cannabis-based medicine may help improve peoples’ sex lives. So, for the good of our collective health, if a reputable team of scientists asks you to masturbate for money in a lab setting, do it for science.

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