Not much can be said with certainty about why, exactly, one might feel the munchies when under the influence of medical cannabis. The process is triggered by the interplay between the endogenous cannabinoids present in the body and the exogenous cannabinoids present in cannabis, such as tetrahydrocannabinol (THC).
Anybody who’s ever had the munchies can attest to the potency of the sensation, from the intense desires to the delicious tastes to the overwhelming fun of chomping on salty and sweet treats. Fortunately, as research on medical cannabis grows, we are learning more about the link between medicinal cannabis and hunger.
Typical Functioning of Hunger Signals
Despite the fact that hunger is felt in the stomach, it is ultimately managed by the brain. Your brain and body are connected by an elaborate network of chemical signals. The hypothalamus is the first point of action, since it controls the release of chemical signals in response to sensory inputs of smell, taste, and sight.
The chemicals in your brain are excited and activated by thinking about eating. The hypothalamus contains both neurones that stimulate appetite and those that dampen it.
Hormones produced during digestion have a role in the hunger process. Amino acids are released from proteins, fatty acids from fats, and glucose from carbs.
This mechanism controls hormone synthesis and signals fullness or hunger to the brain. Blood hormones ghrelin and leptin generate and inhibit hypothalamic neurones responsible for hunger signalling.
When your blood sugar dips, your body releases ghrelin, which stimulates neurones in the hypothalamus that cause hunger. Blood levels of leptin rise when you’re full, stimulating a neurone in the hypothalamus that inhibits appetite.
As a result, hunger is experienced when ghrelin levels are elevated, whereas fullness is signalling by leptin levels.
The Effects of Medical Canabis on Appetite
Due to its interaction with the body’s naturally operating hunger experience, medical canabis is able to effectively “hijack” your hunger feelings. Experiments with starved mice show that the endocannabinoid system enhances olfactory perception to promote food intake.
Exogenous cannabinoids, such as THC, can interact with our cannabinoid receptors and have a wide variety of effects, in addition to the ECS’s inherent impacts on the body’s natural processes.
Food smells and tastes better because THC connects with CB1 receptors in the brain’s olfactory bulb for appetite.
This was demonstrated in a mouse research by a group of neuroscientists led by Edgar Soria-Gómez and Giovanni Marsicano. Mice given THC showed significantly greater interest in fragrant banana and almond oils than control mice.
The researchers found that the mice’s olfactory bulbs generated endocannabinoids in response to fasting and hunger. As a result, the same biological processes that convince normally hungry mice to eat are also at work when THC is administered to mice.
Due to ECS’s preexisting role in the hunger process, THC is able to convincingly mimic the sensation of real hunger. In other words, there is no universal relationship between THC and hunger. Still, it activates the brain’s olfactory bulb and greatly enhances the pleasurable effects of consuming sweet and salty foods.
This is essential for clarity, as the identical experiment was performed using genetically modified mice devoid of cannabinoid receptors. They did not experience a rise in hunger or olfactory sensitivity after being administered THC.
Furthermore, THC blocks the brain’s reception of chemical signals indicating satiety. THC blocks the transmission of chemical signals from the hypothalamic pro-opiomelanocortin (POMC) neurones that tell the brain that the stomach is full. It’s already difficult to control your snacking habits when you’re high on THC because of the way it enhances your sense of smell and taste and decreases your sense of fullness.
Curbing Your Appetite While Using Medical Marijuana
While the underlying molecular pathways are extraordinarily complicated, it’s rather straightforward to state that smoking significantly increases the likelihood that you’ll have feelings of hunger. How hungry you are is proportional to how much THC you ingest. THC is a chemical con artist, fooling the brain into thinking that it is starving even when it is not.
THC is given to patients to make them hungrier so they can gain weight. Medical marijuana has been shown to aid those with eating issues and those undergoing chemotherapy by allowing them to eat more.
In spite of this, many patients who use medical marijuana are concerned about their weight because of their propensity to snack when under the influence. It’s a common misconception that consistent Medical Marijuana users gain weight because they’re always hungry.
Also, there is a wealth of information available from the authority that dissects and discusses the various hypotheses put out to explain why Medicinal Cannabis users have a lower obesity rate than the general population.
Because cannabinoids like CBD can aid in insulin regulation, this is a major factor. Medical marijuana appears to be an effective weight loss aid when compared to pharmaceutical and surgical options. It prevents users from developing obesity-related diseases and cuts down on drug overdose mortality.
Recipes for a Hungry Appetite
If you’re a regular user of medical cannabis and know that the munchies are coming, you can take steps to lessen your need for sugary and salty snacks. One strategy is to plan your meals around your smoking schedule, so that when you’re watching that third Domino’s advertisement and you have a yearning for pizza, you already have something nutritious and tasty ready to eat.
You can anticipate what sorts of nutritious foods you will want to keep on hand if you know your desires will revolve around sweet and salty flavours. Trail mix is fantastic since it combines tasty elements like sweet and salty with the benefit of avoiding highly processed ingredients. Due to the high content of satisfying fatty acids in nuts, they are excellent for putting an end to a snack attack.
Burrito bowls, rice bowls, and wraps are some more great premade snack alternatives. These recipes are extremely adaptable, making them suitable for a wide range of dietary preferences and restrictions.
Beautifully seasoned bean, rice, vegetable, and protein combinations are a healthy alternative to the processed, packaged junk food that can be found in any supermarket.
Regularly Asked Questions
For What Reason Does THC in Medical Marijuana Cause Appetite?
The primary cannabinoid in medical marijuana, THC, alters your perception of hunger by increasing your sense of smell and taste and decreasing your satiety.
Can Medical Marijuana Cannabinoid Products Suppress Hunger?
The CB1 receptor antagonist tetrahydrocannabivarin (THCV) in low dosages can suppress appetite and hunger. Similarly, CBD and CBG, as negative allosteric modulators of CB1 receptors, might reduce appetite to some degree. Limonene and humulene are two terpenes that have been shown to suppress hunger.
Is There Evidence That Long-Term Medical-Marijuana Use Contributes to Weight Gain?
An unmanageable relationship with food may lead to obesity, but a large body of evidence suggests that people who regularly use medicinal cannabis are significantly less likely to be overweight or develop diseases associated to fat.
We know you might be curios to find out more information and discuss medicinal cannabis uses, or where to get legal medicinal cannabis products in Australia, who is authorised to prescribe medicinal cannabis products to you, and we know lots of people are also worried about the use of medicinal cannabis.
For all these inquiries; including most medicinal cannabis products available on the market, prescribing medicinal cannabis, information about smoked cannabis, how to bring medicinal cannabis product on a travel, medical conditions that can be cured by medical cannabis products, recreational cannabis, other general use of cannabis, you should schedule a consultation session today with our experts at Chronic Therapy to get medical professionals advice about any of the above mentions.