If you enjoy smoking cannabis, then you must be familiar with the munchies you get after smoking cannabis. Cannabis has gained a lot of popularity in recent years, thanks to its therapeutic and medical benefits. While many people use cannabis for recreational purposes, a lot of others use it for medical purposes to manage their condition.
The licensed medical marijuana doctors can provide an MMJ card to you for buying medical cannabis after your 420 evaluations. But whether you smoke cannabis for medical purposes or recreational purposes, you will have to deal with munchies.
I have many crazy stories to tell about me and my friends finding something to eat after smoking cannabis. But what are munchies? If you still are not familiar with the term “munchies” don’t worry, I will tell you. After smoking cannabis, you start feeling hungry.
This feeling of hunger is called the munchies. The munchies are an integral part of the overall cannabis experience and have some benefits as well. Yes, a “side effect” of smoking cannabis also has some medical benefits. It can stimulate your appetite and help people dealing with the loss of appetite. But the main question is, why does cannabis make you hungry in the first place? We are going to find out the answer to this question today. So, read along to learn about it.
Well, the simplest answer would be, your stomach is empty. But that is just too basic, and not really explains anything about the reason. So, let’s talk about science for a bit.
While scientists still do not have a complete explanation of what triggers the sense of hunger, research does tell something. The process of hunger is divided into two parts that depend upon the energy stored in the body.
If there is a decrease in energy, your GI will release ghrelin. It is a hormone that stimulates the hypothalamus in the brain and causes a sense of hunger. Ghrelin also impacts the ventral tegmental area (VTA) of the brain. The VTA promotes the release of dopamine, which is a feel-good neurotransmitter.
On the other hand, if there is an excess of energy stored in the body, the fat cells of your body will release leptin. Another hormone that stimulated the hypothalamus. But this time, leptin inhibits hunger. And it also has effects on the VTA and the release of dopamine.
Have you heard the term ‘anandamide’, also known as the “bliss molecule?” Anandamide also interacts with THC (tetrahydrocannabinol), a cannabinoid found in cannabis. Now, leptin also counteracts the effects of the bliss molecule. THC is the main cannabinoid found in cannabis responsible for causing the “high” associated with cannabis.
As I mentioned above, THC is the main compound in cannabis responsible for the high. Well, it is also responsible for the munchies. A study in 2014 showed the effects of cannabis on the human brain and appetite. Researchers found that THC can increase your sense of smell, taste, and increase your appetite. Another study at the Yale School of Medicine in 2015 found that THC can trick the brain of mice into believing that they are hungry even if they have eaten food.
In simple words, THC tricks the hypothalamus. When you consume THC, the neurons that tell the hypothalamus that you are hungry. These are the same neurons that are responsible for signaling to stop eating. But because of the effects of THC, they promote hunger in mice that are full.
As I mentioned above, THC also enhances your sense of smell. And you know, what smells good, tastes good as well. Now, this works in the favor of the munchies. With this increased ability to smell, your food tastes better, hence you want to eat more.
But how does this happen? When you eat food, the air usually passes through the nasal passages. When the air passes, the food scent also gets carried with it. This way you are able to grasp the complex flavors of food. THC is already tricking your body to believe that you are hungry, and it needs food for energy. This is how you end up eating more food.
When you consume cannabis, THC interacts with the CB1 receptors in your body. This is another way of THC increasing your hunger. Once THC binds with these receptors it enhances the sucrose taste but does not really affect the bitter or salty items. This is one of the reasons why stoners mostly get attracted to junk food high in sugar when they are high; because it just tastes so delicious! Now, CB1 receptors also promote the production of dopamine in a particular part of the hypothalamus.
In the beginning, I mentioned that the munchies can also help people suffering from the loss of appetite. People use cannabis for increasing their appetite. People suffering from conditions such as anorexia and wasting syndrome can use medical cannabis to stimulate their appetite.
Medical cannabis is also used by people dealing with cancer. A study in 2011 found that THC can help in increasing appetite in cancer patients.
There are a lot of cannabis strains, and every strain has different effects. While most of them cause the munchies, there are some that do not cause the craving for food. Here are some of the best cannabis strains that you can use if you are looking to increase your appetite.
There’s no way I’m starting my list with any other strain. This pure Indica strain is a cross between a Purple Afghani and the Hindu Kush. And just like many Kush strains, this one also comes with an earthy flavor and sweet undertones.
It produces a physically relaxing high, which makes it great for insomnia and pain. You will need to keep your snacks close to you when consuming this pure Indica strain because of the powerful munchies you get.
The name says it all, Monster Cookies is a great choice for you to stimulate your appetite. This strain provides relaxation and produces sleepy effects over time.
Monster Cookies hails from the Girl Scout Cookies tribe provides a similar euphoria. You can also get a couch-locked if you consume a little extra of this amazing cannabis strain.
You must have heard the name of this strain. Tahoe OG Kush or Tahoe OG is a phenotype of OG Kush. It has an earthy and citrus aroma, the same as its ancestor. This strain produces a strong high that will bring laziness with it. You will enjoy the cerebral kick that will take to you the land of Euphoria.
If you are planning to consume this strain, I would suggest collecting midnight snacks with you before you start. As it can make you lazy, you should consider it consuming late in the evening, before bed.