We’ve all been through it! You take that very first bite and realize that the menu was not kidding when it said “really spicy.” And for as long as spicy foods have been around, bread, alcohol, and milk have been remedies for the burning pallet.
But recent studies have shown that there is a new remedy in town that’s both green and highly potent.
Cannabis can be added to the mix
A 2007 research study from UCSD’s Center for Medical Cannabis Research tested and implemented the use of cannabis in curbing the pain caused by capsaicin; the chemical responsible for that burning sensation in your mouth, every time you eat a hot pepper.
To test their hypothesis, they injected capsaicin into patients. This was done to simulate the pain associated with chemotherapy or HIV/AIDS. According to the data collected, they were able to deduce that cannabis produced a “significant” improvement in pain.
UCSD Health: “Subjects reported a decrease in pain at the medium dose, and there was also a significant correlation between plasma levels of THC, the active ingredient in cannabis, and decreased pain,” said Igor Grant, M.D., F.R.C.P.(C), professor and Executive Vice-Chair of the Department of Psychiatry, the director of the CMCR.
The research was poised to prove that cannabis could help patients with HIV or Cancer but also proved that the plant could also help relieve those suffering from excessive heat due to hot peppers.
Just like cannabis, spicy foods make you high
How you may ask?
Well, when your body experiences pain in an area such as the tongue, a message must be transferred to the brain in order to fight off the spiciness. One of these so called messages or neurotransmitters is known as Substance P, which conveys pain signals.
Once Substance P hits the brain, it releases a chemical called endorphin. Endorphins are our bodies’ best friend. When it comes to relieving pain, endorphins help block the nerve’s ability to transmit pain signals.
In consequence, the brain then releases dopamine, which is responsible for the sense of “reward and pleasure.”
So, essentially eating spicy foods gives you a sense of euphoria also some may say a “high”.