Unveiling the Power of the Placebo Effect: How Our Minds Shape Reality

The Placebo Effect: How Our Bodies Make Our Expectations A Reality

One of the most amazing things about our bodies is their ability to create a real effect from non-active medication. This is called 'the placebo effect'.

By J Gordon Curtis

Last Updated: March 06, 2023

What's the Placebo Effect: How the Mind Treats Itself

Placebo control methods β€” presenting non-active compounds to participants to contrast the one they're studying β€” are a big element of scientific research. Placebo effects are the real ways our body rises to meet our expectations from these fake drugs.

Measuring the effects of these benefits is still a critical part of scientific research with significant implications.

The Endocannabinoid System

Endogenous cannabinoids capable of altering any number of systems in the name of homeostasis.

Opiate Receptors

Opioids our body creates on its own, which can increase production when people expect similar experiences.

Hormonal Influences

Serotonin and dopamine are the most important of these and can cause elevations in mood and well-being.

Why Are Placebos Effective?

Complex interminglings of different systems within the body produce endogenous chemicals to create the effect we're expecting to receive. Elements of this relate to the endocannabinoid system, endogenous opioids, and hormones like dopamine and serotonin systems.

The Endocannabinoid System & the Placebo Effect

Within nearly every living animal exists an endogenous system responsible for creating and receiving cannabinoids. Some research suggests the same mechanisms by which cannabis can assist with pain.

Endogenous Opioids & the Placebo Effect

Though people most often consider medications when they think of opioids, we also...

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