People who eat marijuana edibles usually experience an increase in appetite. And while it’s been established that this not something that’s borne out of imagination or “high-ness” (though it indeed is a side effect of pot), most of us aren’t sure why this happens. Neuroscientists also seemed fascinated by this phenomenon and have done a few studies to try and find out why.
Marijuana Edibles and the Olfactory Bulb of the Brain
A study published in Nature Neuroscience back in 2014 first looked into the connection of weed and appetite. A team of European scientists used mice as test subjects because of their brains’ similarity to human brains. After the mice were injected with THC, their ability to smell food was heightened. This showed that THC may affect the olfactory bulb receptors of the brain, which are responsible for smell and taste.
During the test, the test subjects without THC first showed interest in scented oils, but slowly lost interest as they became used to the smell. Those injected with THC continually sniffed the oils, showing an increased smell sensitivity. One of the tests also showed that mice with THC also ate more compared to the non-THC mice. It’s safe to say that weed may increase appetite because it makes food smell and taste better.
Marijuana Edibles Makes the Brain Think It’s Hungry
Previous studies have already confirmed that edible marijuana products act on brain receptors in charge of pleasure, giving the feeling of a high. This happens because weed triggers the release of dopamine (a neurotransmitter) in the brain. Other research has also shown that THCinteracts with the hypothalamus receptors in the brain, which releases ghrelin, the hormone responsible for stimulating hunger.
By simultaneously manipulating the olfactory bulb and pathway, THC is able to trick the brain into thinking that it’s hungry. This happens because it mimics the sensations you feel when you’re hungry by manipulating proopiomelanocortin, or POMC. The POMC are neurons in the brain that tell the body that it’s full. Under THC, the POMC is not able to function and say that it is hungry. Because of this, the body feels hungry, along with having an enhanced sense of smell and taste. Aka… munchies.
Marijuana Edibles in Purposely Stimulating Appetite
The ability of weed edibles to stimulate appetite is not just a side effect; it can be a reason to use medical marijuana. Experiencing an increased appetite with marijuana will make sure you’re eating enough, especially during an illness. This is beneficial to cancer patients in particular because they can have some difficulty enjoying their meals after chemotherapy treatments. With a healthy appetite, cancer patients can enhance their nutrition and prevent weight loss.
If you’re interested in purchasing medical marijuana edibles online to increase your appetite and improve your appreciation for food, get in touch with a reputable weed dispensary in your area. They should be more than happy to assist you in choosing the best product that most suits your unique needs, preferences, and lifestyle.