Picture this: You’ve just had a solid smoke sesh and all of a sudden… your stomach starts growling louder than the bass in your speakers. Before you know it, you’re on a mission to devour everything in your fridge! Sound familiar? You’re not alone, my fellow cannabis enthusiast. The munchies plague us all at some point during our stoner adventures. But why is that? Let’s “weed” out the facts and dive into the “high-ly” scientific explanation of why we get the munchies! But first, let’s look at the basics.
What is THC?
THC is a cannabinoid, which is a class of chemical compounds found in cannabis. Over 100 different cannabinoids can be found in cannabis, however, THC is the only psychoactive one that is psychoactive. It’s one of the most abundant cannabinoids found in marijuana and interacts with the endocannabinoid system in our bodies.
Essentially, the endocannabinoid system is responsible for regulating a range of processes in our bodies, including mood, appetite, and sleep. When THC is introduced to the body, it binds to cannabinoid receptors located throughout the brain and nervous system. These receptors are part of the endocannabinoid system and control the release of neurotransmitters responsible for various physical and mental functions.
The science behind the munchies
First things first, let’s break down the science behind getting high. When we smoke weed, THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) binds to the receptors in our brain responsible for regulating appetite, aka the hypothalamus. This causes an increase in production of a hormone called ghrelin, which is known to stimulate hunger. So basically, THC is tricking our brains into thinking we’re starving even when we just ate a burger the size of our face.
Although, it’s not just the hormonal imbalance at play. When we’re high, our senses are heightened, including our sense of taste and smell. Suddenly, the thought of a plain and dry cracker turns into a mouthwatering masterpiece, smothered in peanut butter and topped with a sprinkle of cinnamon. Our taste buds become our best friends, and we’re on a mission to indulge in all the flavours the world has to offer!
On top of that, when we smoke, we’re also slowing down our metabolism, making it harder for our bodies to burn calories. So even if we do end up polishing off a large pizza by ourselves, we’re not burning it off as quickly as if we were sober.
The science behind munchies
Now, let’s dive a bit deeper into the science behind the process. As THC binds to the cannabinoid receptors in our brain, it triggers the release of dopamine – the chemical responsible for making us feel good. This causes a euphoric sensation, which in turn causes a craving for food. This process is similar to what happens when we indulge in other pleasurable activities such as sex or listening to music.
Another interesting thing to note is that different strains of weed can produce different effects on our appetite. CBD, the non-psychoactive component found in cannabis, has actually been shown to suppress appetite, making it a good option for those looking to avoid the munchies. Conversely, strains high in THC such as OG Kush and Sour Diesel tend to trigger hunger more than other strains.
But it’s not just the strain of weed that influences our munchies. Our personal surroundings and emotional state can also impact our cravings. Have you ever found yourself munching endlessly when you’re feeling down or stressed? That’s because cortisol, the hormone responsible for stress, can also trigger hunger. Additionally, being in a comfortable and relaxed environment can also increase our appetite.
Essentially, the munchies are a fascinating phenomenon fueled by the intricate interaction of hormones, brain receptors, and environmental factors. The science behind the munchies is complex, but one thing is for sure – we all experience cravings for delicious food when we’re high. But let’s not forget, the joy of satisfying those munchies with good company and laughter is a special part of the stoner experience. So let’s light up, embrace the munchies and satisfy our taste buds with some snacks. After all, it’s all just stoney science!