What Cannabis Does To Our Brains In The First Couple Of Hours
The cannabis plant contains over 60 types of cannabinoids, or chemical compounds that effect receptors inside the brain. THC is the chemical responsible for most of cannabis’s effects, including the feeling of being ‘high’ that so many of us are familiar with. THC is similar to another cannabanoid that our brain naturally produces called anandamide, which is responsible for regulating sleep, memory, appetite, and our mood.
Basically, the cannabinoids effects the brain by keeping our neurons firing, magnifying our thoughts and perception and keeping us focused on them until another thought takes us away. That’s the reason when you’re high, you should not drive a car or play sports that require alot of coordination such as tennis. Similar to alcohol, sugar, and caffeine, cannabinoids affect the levels of dopamine in our brain, resulting in a sense of relaxation and euphoria.
The effects will of course, depend on the amount of cannabis that you ingest, and how potent the plant. It is impossible to overdose on cannabis, but consuming too much can cause mildly uncomfortable, hallucinatory states.
Why Do We Get The Munchies?
THC interacts with receptors in our brain that regulate emotions, pain and our sense of smell and taste. It can also promote the release of the hormone ghrelin, which stimulates hunger.
The scientific mechanisms are complex. According to one animal study, by binding to receptors in the olfactory bulb in the brain, THC appears to enhance our sensitivity to smell, which would make aromas from food more potent and cause us to eat more.
Other research has revealed that neurons that normally turn off when eating actually stimulate more hunger when cannabis is used.
THC also increases the release of dopamine, which enhances the pleasure of eating. In addition to making food more enjoyable, dopamine — a brain chemical that helps to control the brain’s reward and pleasure centers — can lower inhibitions.