Smoking pot and bracing for the munchies go hand in hand. In fact, if you want to have a great 420 time, it goes without saying that you need to ensure you’ve stocked up on snacks or that your fridge is well loaded. For most potheads, the munchies are just but a part of the whole experience. However, have you ever asked yourself just why the munchies occur? Whether they are linked to the Cannabis or are just our own imagination? Well, the answers are in. Read on to see the verdict.
Yes, the munchies are real!
First off, without getting too scholarly, the munchies have been proven to be real. The munchies are not some made up scheme by your pothead friends to raid your fridge. In a study conducted using mice, it was noted that after the mice were laced with THC from cannabis, they began to eat more than they did previously. The observation was that THC does meddle with appetite in a direct way. When the same THC was introduced into another set of mice whose parts of the brains responsible for triggering appetite were absent, the new batch of mice did not record any change in regards to eating patterns. This conclusively showed that THC not only affects one’s appetite, but that it does so by tweaking with one’s appetite receptors in the brain.
Increased alertness to smell
The same study also noted that apart from eating more, the ‘high’ mice were more alert to a sense of smell. They could smell farther away and in stronger levels. This meant that their increased appetite could be linked to their new smell super powers. So even if one consumes pot and is not necessarily hungry, they’ll still be attracted to food, thanks to a heightened affinity for aromas. This doesn’t guarantee that you’ll eat more, but it does raise the likelihood significantly.
Digging further into the munchies phenomenon, a study by Yale students discovered exactly how consuming cannabis may be making you hungry all of a sudden. The students discovered that once THC is introduced into the brain, it tinkers with receptors in the hypothalamus which is located in the brain. More specifically, the THC meddles with nerve receptors called POMC, short for pro-opiomelanocortin. Yes, that is quite a mouthful there. Back to the munchies science – these receptors are tweaked to release endorphins and to thereby trigger feelings of hunger in the individual. And this will happen regardless of whether your stomach is full is not. Mind you, these receptors are the very same ones that signal to the brain when you’re hungry. So in a way, weed pulls some pretty impressive wizard tricks with your appetite to deliver the munchies.
So it’s all pretty squared away now. Cannabis tricks your brain into triggering sensations of hunger. Now you can munch away in peace knowing that its ‘normal’ as far as consuming pot is concerned. In related news, some scientists are trying to develop a munchies-free strain of marijuana. Will munchies, as we know them, come to be a thing of the past?