If you’ve ever smoked weed or eaten edibles, then you’ve probably encountered the munchies during some point. The munchies are some people’s favorite part of being high. Let’s face it, food just tastes better when you’re stoned. But what part of smoking weed actually causes the munchies? Read below to find out.
In simple terms, you can blame it on THC. Tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC is the main cannabanoid found in marijuana. THC is the component that’s responsible for making the user feel ‘high’ and it is also primarily responsible for the increase in food cravings people get after they’ve smoked.
The brain is divided into two parts. Some parts control our mood, and others control the appetite, causing us to start or stop eating. Anytime we consume a foreign substance, such as THC, it gets distributed everywhere throughout the brain. When THC enters the are of the brain that effects mood, it stimulates euphoria. And when THC reaches the area of the brain that influences appetite, it will stimulate you to eat.
Research involving cannabis has revealed that THC stimulates the endocannabinoid system, a complex area of the brain that regulates feeding behavior and energy balance.
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.
One study suggests that THC appears to enhance our sensitivity to smell which would make aromas from food more potent and cause us to eat more.
Further research has concluded that neurons that normally turn off when eating actually stimulate eating more when you smoke cannabis. The neurons that typically control our level of satiety can be usurped when marijuana is consumed.