Cannabis and food: Explaining the munchies!

Marijuana and food, it looks like the perfect combination! Come and understand our body’s reactions to the famous munchies!

Munchies over here, munch over here: a term so well known that it is even used by those who don’t even consume cannabis. The meaning of this slang is quite simple: it talks about the hunger we feel after consuming the herb or its derivatives. But what do you know about this mega ordinary feeling (aside from the fact that it makes us feel like cooking the weirdest mixes and eating a whole tub of ice cream)? The truth is: it is already an accepted and widespread fact that ganja increases appetite, but why? The answer, as for so many other life questions, is in science and in our body, full of mysteries that fascinate us so much!

The famous munchies are caused mainly by our endocannabinoid system – a neuromodulator system produced by our own body. They are substances very similar to the cannabinoids found in the plant, which help us to control internal functions when something is out of balance. Another cause is THC, a very well-known cannabinoid present in our beloved plant.

Want to understand better? 

Let’s go!

The endocannabinoid system and the munchies

Outdoor cannabis plant

Maybe you already know, maybe you don’t – the endocannabinoid system was discovered in 1990, at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem, by dr. Lumir Hanus, together with the American researcher dr. William Devane, while both explored the THC compound. With a lot of research, it was discovered that our body produces compounds similar to cannabis to contain internal problems. Too interesting, right?

And it doesn’t stop there: the wide presence of these endocannabinoid receptors in the human body and their interaction with hormones explains why the endocannabinoid system works as one of the main actors in vital functions, such as sleep, mood, appetite, stress, liver function, metabolism, chronic pain, skin, nerve function, and so many others.

So far, the most well-known endocannabinoids are: Anandamide (AEA) and 2-arachidonoylglycerol (2-AG). In addition to them, we have endocannabinoid receptors – proteins that enable the interaction of substances with the molecules present inside it, and can be found throughout the body. In fact, they are the most abundant neuromodulatory receptors in the body! The two best known are CB-1, found mainly in the central nervous system, and CB-2, found mainly in the peripheral nervous system and the immune system.

You can read even more about this mega interesting topic in our text on the endocannabinoid system!

Okay, but why do we feel hungry?

Everything happens in that very complex organ: our  brain. Our hunger is managed by a very specific region, the hypothalamus. Research shows that when we consume THC, it stimulates the endocannabinoid system right there, a complex and primitive area of the brain that regulates not only eating behavior, but also energy balance and emotions.

A healthy bowl

Cannabinoid type 1 receptors (CB-1) are especially responsible for this. A study with rats found that it is abundantly found in the axonal terminals of neurons. This abundance increases the pets’ olfactory capacity, making them even more hungry than normal. THC also has the power to suppress your appetite suppressants, making you eat and never feel satisfied.

We seem to have heard this story before, but with mice, right?

Basically, you are not hungry: THC plays a trick with your brain, smells seem way more wonderful than they normally are, and that makes your munchies alert beep!

Therefore, never go to the market stoned.

Seriously, don’t make that mistake!

Other interesting facts about the munchies

THC also increases the release of dopamine, the neuroreceptor increases the pleasure of eating. In addition to making the food tastier, the substance can decrease inhibitions. It is not for nothing that we love to do the best things in life stoned: eating, sleeping and having sex. The explanation is scientific, okay?

According to researchers on the subject, the euphoria we feel when we eat something delicious or enjoy the company of those we love involves the internal endocannabinoid system of our brain saying “thank you!”.

Medicinally, cannabis can be used in patients with eating disorders or other problems that affect appetite. This little plant is very wonderful and can help many people in many different ways!

Puffco by the river

How to avoid munchies?

  • If you want to circumvent the lara, you can:
  • Smoking after eating, to exercise your brain satiety center.
  • Do other things to distract yourself. Tricking your brain by exercising creativity, for example, is a good way to stay away from extra food.
  • Hide the goodies. A little drastic, but it can work!
  • Smoking strains with less THC, like ACDC and Power Plant.

About cannabis edibles

When you are going to enjoy the effects of cannabis through recipes, be very careful! It is possible to have the impulse to eat your own recipe as a munchies and overdosing. So, whenever you are making edibles, remember to cook extra, a recipe without any marijuana and another with, in addition, it is a good thing to have other lariquinhas around – for emergencies.

Did you like the idea of shaving cannabis? We wrote a text about how to cook the right way, and how to decarboxylate your cannabis!

It is worth remembering that eating this plant through food is also a strategy to reduce damage, after all, there is no process but you have to eat it right, see?

Did you like to know that? One thing that seems so simple is, in fact, super complex – and we love it about cannabis and its relationships with our body. Do you want to know anything else? Tell us in our comments.





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