Why Does Weed Make You Hungry? The Science Behind The Munchies

Why Does Weed Make You Hungry?

The question is, ” Why does weed make you hungry ?” One of the more well-known side effects is an increased appetite or better known as “the munchies. Today we’ll be addressing that question head-on with a scientific explanation.

The Science behind the Munchies

It’s no secret that if you smoke a bowl, you will definitely get the munchies. In order to answer the question, “why does weed make you hungry?”, we will turn to a paper published in the Journal Nature Neuroscience by Tamas Hovath and his team.

In their study, they tested on mouse models to ascertain why cannabis make people hungry, even if they are full. What they discovered was that cannabis tricks the brain to think it’s hungry, in some cases, starving.

As mentioned in the article on PBS, Hovath explains…

“It’s like pressing a car’s brakes and accelerating instead,” Horvath said in a press release. “We were surprised to find that the neurons we thought were responsible for shutting down eating, were suddenly being activated and promoting hunger, even when you are full. It fools the brain’s central feeding system.”

Hovath discovered that THC flips the switch in the chemicals that tell us we’re full, and provokes them to think we’re hungry.

Are there Medical Advantages to this?

why does weed make you hungry

Quite often, one of the common things that happen when people fall ill, is the fact that they lose their appetite. Cannabis can be used to help stimulate the part of the brain responsible for hunger. For people that are recovering, having an appetite is very important.

Being able to eat helps provide your body with the fuel necessary to ensure that you recover fast. Seeing that this side-effect of cannabis might actually be a positive thing for anyone suffering a debilitating condition, it’s no wonder that cannabis is seen as an effective alternative medicine.

This is actually what Rick Simpson said when asked about the efficacy of cannabis in curing cancer. He said, one of the two things needed in the recovery process is eating and rest, cannabis does both of these [paraphrased].

Medical patients can attest to these two side-effects. When you smoke or vape cannabis. You’ll notice immediately that aside from the feeling of “high”, you feel also tired or hungry.

Why does smoking weed make you hungry?

why does weed make you hungry

Essentially, weed makes you hungry because the cannabinoids within cannabis mimic the cannabinoids in your body and trick the hormones (ghrelin) responsible for hunger to go into production.

As of now, we know that THC is the main catalyst in the equation (as it binds with the CB1 /glucose receptors along with anandamide) and eventually stimulating the hypothalamus in our brain to give us the sense of hunger — hence, the cravings for food. That being said, more studies need to be conducted to understand how other cannabinoids might play a role in the mechanics.

Final thoughts

The fact that cannabis induces rest and hunger is a point in favor of cannabis as a medicine. That being said, we hope that we effectively answered the question, “Why does weed make you hungry”.


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