Why Does Weed Make You Hungry?

Have you ever wondered why smoking weed or downing a cannabis-infused gummy leads you to gobble an entire bag of chips or a pint of ice cream? Although weed flower and THC concentrates have a strong history of making people ravenously hungry, researchers couldn’t explain the science behind the munchies until recently. Fortunately, this new scientific understanding is helping weed makers produce products that can limit the urge to snack.

Although cancer doctors prescribe medical marijuana to stimulate patients’ appetites, no one knew exactly why weed makes you hungry. Recently, scientists have discovered that cannabis tricks your brain into thinking you’re hungry even when you’re full. Neuroscientists have learned that THC (tetrahydrocannabinol), the chemical in cannabis that makes you high, also triggers food cravings.

THC stimulates a complex part of the brain that regulates emotions and appetite. The same chemical that enhances your mood after smoking pot or consuming a THC-edible also promotes the release of a hormone that stimulates your hunger center. This leads to cravings that often result in the munchies.

How Cannabis Interacts with Your Brain

After you inhale weed flower or consume an edible or capsule, THC races into your bloodstream. Smoking or vaping generally produces a quicker high than edibles, which can take up to an hour to reach your brain. Once THC reaches your brain, it binds with your natural cannabinoid receptors, which triggers the physical experience of getting high.

Cannabinoid receptors make up the endocannabinoid (EC) system, which operates in several parts of the brain and body. The EC system is a unique communication system that regulates many functions, including mood, movement, and hunger. Your body produces natural cannabinoids that keep the EC system running smoothly.

THC also is a cannabinoid, but one that isn’t produced naturally by your body. When THC enters the bloodstream, it overwhelms the EC system. THC interferes with your natural cannabinoids, preventing them from helping the EC system communicate smoothly between brain neurons.

Cannabinoid receptors are located throughout your brain and body, so when THC floods the EC system, it can cause an intense body and brain high. Scientists have discovered that THC also scrambles a set of brain neurons—called POMCs— responsible for regulating appetite. THC causes POMCs to release a chemical that stimulates your appetite and promotes the munchies.

Weed makers increasingly rely on scientific research to breed strains heavy in the cannabinoid THCV (tetrahydrocannabivarin) that helps suppress the munchies. THCV, also known as skinny pot, blocks the compound that stimulates appetite. Cheeba’s online marijuana dispensary details the benefits and risks for its products, including impact on your appetite. 

Whether you want to increase or suppress your appetite, Cheeba’s will help you find the perfect product and deliver it directly to your home.