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How Smoking Weed Keeps You Calm, According to Science

A new study shows that when faced with stressful situations, weed smokers fare better.

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How you respond to stress (if at all) when you're high is one thing, but research out of Washington State University shows that long-term pot smokers have less significant responses to stress than those who lay off it.

In the study, both daily or near-daily smokers and non-smokers were exposed to potentially stressful situations. The no-stress test involved asking participants to count from one to 25 with their hand in warm water—easy enough. But the stress test involved counting backward by 17 from 2043 with the subject's hand in freezing water. 

The pot smokers, by and large, experienced a very low difference of stress levels between the warm and cold water scenarios, whereas the non-smokers got significantly more stressed out when asked to do the freezing water high-stress task. 

The results bear the notion that long-term weed smoking can potentially raise resilience to stress. Whether or not that is a good thing is a different question. "An inability to mount a proper hormonal response to stress could also have detrimental effects that could potentially be harmful to the individual," Carrie Cuttler, clinical assistant professor of psychology at WSU said. 

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