Most people who have ever tried cannabis have experienced the munchies at some time or another. This is when the user of the drug gets a feeling of increased appetite (usually craving sweet foods such as chocolate or ice cream) following cannabis intoxication. This feeling has been discussed for many years but it has only recently been subject to scientific research.

The studies that have been conducted indicated that participants gained weight and experienced an increased appetite whilst taking part in the research. This effect on appetite and resulting impact on weight suggested there were potential therapeutic uses for the drug. Cannabis (as well as synthetic products designed to mimic its effects) has since been successfully used to control wasting in patients with HIV and cancer, as well as to decrease appetite and weight in obese patients.

Why does cannabis have this effect on appetite? For a long time it was believed to be due to a lowering of blood sugar levels, making the user crave sweet foods so as to retain the appropriate balance. This has now been disproved. We now know that it all has to do with cannabinoid receptors in our bodies. Receptors basically react to certain stimuli and then produce certain results. The best known cannabinoid is THC but more important from the body’s standpoint are the endogenous cannabinoids (those that exist inside us). Also known as endocannabinoids, they work like neurotransmitters and are produced as part of the built-in apparatus that informs the brain that it’s time to eat.

The particular receptor linked to cannabis use and appetite regulation is termed CB1. To date the CB1 receptor has been found to be active in several areas of the body known to stimulate eating behaviour, particularly the hypothalamus, and the region of the brain that plays a pivotal role in appetite regulation.

So put really basically, when you puff on a bong or light up a joint, you’re replicating an effect the body produces for itself, only much more intensely. Cannabis hits the receptor sites and makes them work overtime, making the user feel as though it is time to indulge in something tasty!

Remember: if you do not want any negative consequences, do not use the drug and, no matter how many times you have used a substance, never be blas?/p>

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