Recently we talked about the medical community's increasing recognition of nicotine as a potentially beneficial brain chemical, when removed from the toxins and carcinogens characteristic of smoking. Now, smokers and vapers alike can attest to the relaxation of their daily nicotine ritual, but have you ever stopped to wonder HOW and WHY nicotine makes you feel good? What's behind the nicotine "buzz"?
Researchers and clinicians have long since noted that at least 50 percent of smokers have mental health problems, ranging from mild anxiety or depression to severe schizophrenia. In fact, depressed people are twice as likely as non-depressed people to be smokers, and an estimated 75% of schizophrenic patients regularly smoke. While some of this can be attributed to a classic drive towards self-medication, as Dr. Ed Levin of Duke University points out, there are real and substantial ways in which nicotine really does make you feel good.
Duke researchers have identified a direct link between nicotine intake and an increased release of dopamine and serotonin in the brain. These two chemicals, known as neurotransmitters, are responsible for feelings of well-being and joy. People suffering from depression, anxiety, and even schizophrenia are often found to have imbalances or deficiencies in their levels of serotonin and dopamine. By increasing production and release of these chemicals in the brain, nicotine literallymakes you feel good. More than just a nicotine buzz, it's a rewiring of your brain chemistry.
And while some skeptics have tried to attribute this result to a pattern of addiction--nicotine users become dependent, thereby creating neurotransmitter deficiencies which are of course aided by consuming more nicotine--the research holds for non-smokers, as well. The Duke research clearly showed improvement in symptoms of depression among those who did not regularly use nicotine.
However, the hazards of smoking still remain. "I certainly recommend that people don't smoke," Dr. Levin cautioned.
We couldn't agree more! But why not experiment with nicotine the Highbrow way, using all-natural, American-made e cigarette liquids as a pick-me-up. With fantastic flavors like roasty toasty RY4, or sultry, smooth Cappuccino Diablo, it's a lot more fun that testing in a lab, and a lot more flavorful. And don't forget, we're always on hand to advise on flavor combinations, customizations and PG/VG levels. We just want you to be feeling groovy.