Home » Why does cannabis make you hungry? There is a scientific explanation

Why does cannabis make you hungry? There is a scientific explanation

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Why does cannabis make you hungry?  There is a scientific explanation

Today is April 20th, known to cannabis users as ‘420’. For those who don’t know, the origin does not come from the number of the day and month, although it might seem so at first glance. But we will address this discussion at another time. What interests us today is to explain because you get hungry when you consume marijuana.

The effects of cannabis last a long time and this is a fact. But what are they? There are those who are gripped by paranoia, those who fall into a rather deep sleep and those who, among other things, are hungry. The “chemical hunger” is an expression often used to describe the voracity one feels after cannabis use. But labeling it this way is actually a pleonasm, since all physiological processes, including hunger itself, are governed by chemical reactions.

Looking deeper, the THC (tetrahydrocannabinol), the psychoactive component of marijuana, plays a key role. Originally it was thought that suppressed neuronal activity in the hypothalamus, the part of the brain that regulates hunger. More recent studies, however, have shown a completely different picture.

Although cannabis modifies the human epigenome, the hunger-related effect has a different origin. In the hypothalamus there are neurons called POMC or prohormones (inactive precursors of hormones) which are essential for balancing the sensation of satiety. Contrary to previous hypotheses, THC does not reduce but modifies the activity of these neurons. This does not lead to appetite suppression but stimulates the production of molecules that increase the desire to eat.

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This explains the assault on the refrigerator or the irresistible desire for substantial dishes such as a pan of aubergine parmigiana after smoking. Studies that have explored how the THC affects the neural circuits of eating behavior they open up new perspectives for research. They could, for example, lead to new therapies for treat eating disorders such as anorexia or obesity.

Be careful with consumption though: cannabis itself increases fungal infections!

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