Why Does Marijuana Give You the Munchies?

Why Does Marijuana Give You the Munchies?

Marijuana use brings along with it an interesting set of questions including one about munchies.

Yes, there are millions of people who mention the idea of wanting to pig out while smoking pot and that’s truly intriguing. Is this something that is simply a placebo of what’s to be expected or is there a hidden reason behind why people want to go out and snack?

This read is going to take a look into the idea and determine what is right and wrong in this situation.

Scientific Research on Marijuana and the Munchies

some marijuana joints ready to be smoked

Most people will talk about going through an entire box of cookies or grabbing a massive bag of chips to dig into while they are hungry. They even talk about things that are lying around in their pantry as something they do hope to enjoy from time to time. This is an important discussion to have because there is a reason people do this and it’s not as simple as being hungry.

Let’s take a look at some of the scientific research that has been done on the subject.

Experts have taken the time to dig into this and build scientific studies around the idea as a way to see where the connection is. Why are people smoking weed and looking to rush to their pantry as soon as possible?

The research done on this subject states there is a connection when it comes to your appetite, brain functionality, and the general feeling of hunger.

As the study went on, there was a desire to think about cannabinoids and what they were able to do to the human mind beyond what is commonly associated with the chemical.

The idea was to think about the use of marijuana and how it started to change the way a human brain responded.

Over time, they were able to understand the role of neurons named POMCs where most of the action was happening involving marijuana.

They stated the chemicals that were being ingested ended up leading to the feeling of hunger and as a result, people liked the idea of feasting on munchies even if they weren’t technically hungry biologically.

The neurons in the brain would start firing without organic stimulus because of the marijuana and that is where the munchies came into action.

The cannabinoids were acting as a switch where the POMCs would turn off and a person would feel as if their stomach was empty.

However, they also took the time to focus on the use of cannabinoids and their impact on mice (using an injection). With mice, this was not happening and their POMCs were not being turned off because they were being turned on instead!

The role of POMCs is to release a specific chemical named alpha-melanocyte, which is also known as alpha-MSH and looks to work on the feeling of hunger or fullness.

This meant when mice started to take the marijuana, they were feeling hungrier and hungrier as the chemical started to change into beta-endorphins. They were feeling hungrier as time went on and wanted to eat as much as possible.

Those neurons were doing the opposite of what they were meant to do.

a marijuana leaf american flag

This led them to think about the way human minds were functioning while using marijuana and how the brain circuitry was being changed on the substance. Was it something that was having a prolonged impact or was it more of a temporary thing?

The only way to find out was to run further tests as a way to determine what was going on and how it was impacting those taking marijuana on a daily basis. The tests showed POMCs could be turned off by making the mice artificially overeat as a way to get the desired reaction in their brains.

This is similar to a person taking time out of their day to smoke after a big lunch and/or dinner. When the mice were exposed to the cannabinoids, they didn’t want to eat a lot.

However, a similar group of mice that were already well-fed ended up wanting to eat even more than before.

They were looking to stuff their faces with as much food as possible.

Of course, the research illustrated the beauty of smoking, vaping (read our reviews), or eating marijuana and what it could do to the human mind in certain circumstances. There was a clear change in the way the human brain functioned as soon as the marijuana entered the system and started stimulating the neurons.

They also wanted to continue to think about these details and see if other neurons could be tweaked with the use of cannabinoids.

It’s important to note there is already a clear indicator of marijuana having an impact on the human mind because that is what it is supposed to do. It is supposed to make one feel calmer and be used for the “high” that comes along with it.

However, the research was hoping to dig into these details and truly look into the amount of impact and what parts of the brain were being affected the most.

Future Research

a gorilla gets ready to smoke a joint

The team is not only looking to stick to what it has managed to learn when it comes to POMCs but also wants to think about neurons across a broader spectrum of marijuana use.

They want to think about the role of cannabinoids on specific munchies and what a person sees or smells while they are high. Are there changes in their perceptions?

Does food start to taste better and that is the reason for them overeating or is it just a need to eat? In general, newer studies are showing there is a correlation between a heightened sense of improved taste in foods such as cookies, candy, and even chips.

In fact, it has more to do with how the body smells the food rather than how it even tastes!

Regardless, it is all about the neurons and what they are relaying to the rest of the body. The human mind is only going to react to those neurons and will use it as a guide even when marijuana is being used. The same applies to mice.

In the end, this concept of munchies is all about the physiological response to a stimulant such as marijuana. It is able to target the neurons in a unique way and that is what leads people to be more and more active in studying cannabinoids.

Over time, they are also going to think about understanding how to combat these feelings if a person doesn’t want to trigger the release of hunger-causing chemicals. Is there a way to do this? Is there a way to gain control over this action caused by cannabinoids?

Final Thoughts

medical marijuana research

There are a lot of additional questions that continue to pop up with time and that has a lot to do with the use of marijuana.

In fact, it becomes a doubly important question when it comes to medicinal uses where a patient may not want to overeat due to health reasons.

There is a lot of information coming out on a daily basis including the presence of anti-feeding chemicals remaining in the background while a person is high.

This is why a person is not going to become victim to the POMCs and will be able to get back on a regular diet as long as they are healthy before marijuana use.

These are the main reasons for wanting to find munchies as soon as the high starts to kick in with cannabinoids.