The legalization of cannabis has been a hot topic among people for decades. Whether it be for medical purposes or recreational use, the legalization of marijuana is a controversial topic with many different sides.
Marijuana has been used as an alternative treatment for various ailments such as cancer, AIDS, glaucoma, and Alzheimer’s disease. It can also help relieve chronic pain and nausea from chemotherapy treatments or side effects from AIDS medication. But there is one very interesting effect of Marijuana that most people talk about very few know why it actually happens – Munchies.
If you are a smoker then you would have surely experienced munchies at least once. The uncontrollable hunger one gets after smoking weed is a common happening but the reason why it happens is not common knowledge. So let’s dive down into it and see why this happens.
Role of Hormones in Appetite Regulation
Hormones play a very important role in appetite regulation.
Serotonin is a neurotransmitter that helps with mood regulation. It also plays an important role in appetite and food intake. The level of serotonin is lower when we are hungry, triggering the release of another hormone called ghrelin which stimulates hunger and increases food intake.
Serotonin is produced by neurons in the brainstem and hypothalamus. It is also released from other sources such as platelets, nerve endings, and some cells within the stomach lining. When there are low levels of serotonin in our system, ghrelin levels increase which leads to increased food intake. Serotonin also regulates mood, sleep, and energy levels. When there is too much serotonin in our system, it can lead to anxiety and other mood disorders.
Effects of Marijuana on the Brain
Marijuana has many effects on the brain and body, including appetite stimulation, pain relief, and mood elevation. One of the most common effects of smoking marijuana is an increased appetite that lasts up to 24 hours after use. Marijuana has an appetite-stimulating effect that is thought to be due to it increasing the levels of the neurotransmitter anandamide in the brain.
The effect of Marijuana on the brain is such that it makes the user feel as if there is a dire need to eat or simply makes the user feel hungry. You may have had a full meal and you may be feeling full but you would still want to eat more. There have been many tests and surveys where people have admitted to overeating due to ‘munchies’. According to experts at purple penthouse there are certain strains that make you feel hungrier than others. Good strains to ‘wake and bake’ are Pineapple Express, Durban Poison, and so on.
Marijuana’s Effect on Neurotransmitters
Marijuana can affect the hypothalamus, which is responsible for controlling hunger hormones and regulating our appetite.
An endocannabinoid system is a group of neurotransmitters that are found in the brain and throughout the body. These neurotransmitters are made up of endocannabinoids and cannabinoid receptors. Endocannabinoids are chemicals that bind to cannabinoid receptors to produce different effects within the body. One type of endocannabinoid, anandamide, has been shown to have a significant effect on hunger hormone ghrelin levels in rats.
In conclusion, the reason why marijuana makes you hungry is that it’s a natural appetite stimulant. There are many benefits that come with using marijuana for medical purposes, but using it for recreational or medical purposes does make you hungrier than not using it at all.