Why Does Weed Make You Hungry?
If you've ever smoked cannabis, you may have noticed the intense hunger pangs that come along with it. Getting the munchies is such a common experience for those using weed for a whole array of reasons, but no one really understood why until scientists started looking at this reaction.
So, why does weed make you hungry? Is it a chemical change in the brain? Can it help certain people increase their appetites? Does everyone get the munchies?
Continue reading for everything you need to know about weed consumption and the resulting hunger pangs.
What Makes Human Beings Hungry?
When the stomach is empty, you start to get hungry. This is because the brain sends a signal alerting the body that you haven't eaten in a while. It works like clockwork as a means to make sure that your body is getting the nutrients that it needs to stay satisfied and healthy. The hypothalamus regulates a human's appetite and emotions.
There are two hormones (motilin and ghrelin) that activate the neurons in the body that alert us of our thirst and hunger. Both of these hormones cause us to report back to the hypothalamus in a way that makes us hungry. So, why does smoking weed make you hungry?
How Does Marijuana Amplify Hunger?
Why does weed make you hungry? Science says that the psychoactive side effect that comes from the THC in weed affects the human body's endocannabinoid receptors. The THC alters hypothalamic neurons, in turn, this alters the body's satiety levels. The THC mimics the ghrelin hormone that tells us when we are hungry.
This causes appetite stimulation making you hungrier than you would be if you hadn't smoked weed.
Studies showed that THC, when given to mice, flipped a switch in their hypothalamus alerting the brain to hunger, even when they weren't originally hungry. This method can be correlated to how the human hypothalamus reacts, though more research is needed for humans.
When consuming weed products, food tends to smell and taste better than when you're not using the cannabis. The THC in weed binds to the CB1 receptors in the brain.
The result is that it lights up the olfactory center making your senses seem that much stronger. When you eat a wholesome meal before smoking weed, you may help to dampen your perception to taste and smell enough that you don't feel like you are starving.
Who Can Benefit From Increasing Hunger?
Smoking weed is great for those with illnesses and medical conditions that cause them to lose weight and to have little to no appetite. Smoking weed has helped these individuals to gain back some of their appetite allowing them to actually eat food and gain back the weight that they have lost. The THC seems to act as a really powerful medicine for anti-nausea and anti-vomiting.
Cancer treatments make it so that some patients are extremely nauseous and have no appetite. Many have reported finding themselves unable to keep down food unless they are taking cannabis beforehand.
People with eating disorders can also benefit from smoking weed. When someone is struggling with anorexia, they have starved themselves to the point that their bodies are failing as there is no sustenance being ingested to keep them healthy. Smoking or ingesting marijuana can help them to feel hungry enough to eat as a way to gain weight and then to manage their weight.
Are There Ways to Prevent Weight Gain While Using Cannabis?
While some people use weed for the sole purpose of being able to eat, others fear gaining weight when using the drug for other health conditions like anxiety and depression. To curb the potential weight gain, users can plan ahead for the munchies.
Keeping healthy snacks that are low in carbs and sugar for when you feel the munchies coming around is an ideal way to do so. Some good healthy snack ideas would be popcorn, fruit, whole-grain crackers, veggies with hummus, or tortilla chips with salsa.
Another way to help stave off the munchies is to make sure to eat a well-balanced, filling meal before smoking. This way when you start feeling high, food smells and hunger pangs won't be as strong as they might be on an empty stomach. Smoking on an empty stomach may cause you to go a little overboard when enjoying a nice snack.
Does Cannabis Make Everyone Hungry?
Everybody reacts differently to different cannabis strains. Sativa strains are reported to get more of a euphoric effect when used to get high. Though Indica strain helps to relax users, munchies might hit harder when it is consumed. There are hybrid strains that combine both types for a blend of the two feelings. Either one might help to increase or decrease your appetite.
There are some strains of weed that are known for either increasing or decreasing appetite. It all depends on how much you take and how well it works for you. There are certain strains that are known for having the sole purpose of suppressing the body's hunger signal, while other strains may help to increase your appetite.
So, Why Does Weed Make You Hungry?
Cannabis has properties that cause your body to mimic feelings of hunger. Now that you know the answer to this burning question: Why does weed make you hungry? Planning for the munchies will help you to make better decisions when it comes to combating the munchies and the potential to gain weight from recreational cannabis.
Contact Origins Cannabis today with any questions you may have about weed consumption. We look forward to hearing from you.