Munchies is a term that is very familiar among people who consume cannabis—and even to those who do not. This slang means the hunger that you feel after consuming marijuana or its derivatives. Even though we all know that cannabis can increase appetite, many do not really know why this happens. The well-known munchies are mainly caused by the endocannabinoid system of the body. These substances are similar to cannabinoids found in weed that help you control internal functions if something is out of balance.
The Munchies and the Endocannabinoid System
The endocannabinoid system was first discovered in 1990 and was found that our body produces compounds that are similar to cannabis in order to contain internal problems. Also, the wide presence of these endocannabinoid receptors in the body is one of the main factors in important bodily functions like sleep, appetite, mood, liver function, metabolism, stress, skin, nerve function, chronic pain and many others. The two best known endocannabinoids are CB-1, mainly found in the nervous system, and CB-2, mainly found in the immune system and peripheral nervous system.
Hunger is managed by a very specific region in the brain called the hypothalamus. According to research, when we consume THC, the endocannabinoid system is stimulated. This is a primitive yet complex area of the brain that regulates eating behavior, emotions and balance. The CB-1 or cannabinoid type 1 receptors are responsible for this. A study has found that it is found abundantly in the axonal terminals of neurons. Because of this abundance, the olfactory capacity is increased, making you more hungry than usual.
THC can also suppress appetite suppressants, so you eat and never feel satisfied. So, basically, you are not hungry. THC simply plays a trick with your brain, making smells seem more wonderful than they usually are, so your munchies alert beep. This is why it is highly advised that you never go to the market if you have consumed cannabis.
Other interesting Facts about the Munchies
THC also increases dopamine release, the neuroreceptor that increases the pleasure of eating. Aside from making the food tastier, it can also decrease inhibitions. Researchers have noted that the euphoria we feel when we eat something delicious or enjoy the company of the people we love involves the internal endocannabinoid system of the brain that says “thank you.” Medically, marijuana can be used among patients with problems that affect appetite like eating disorders. This wonderful plant can help people in many ways.
If you want to avoid the munchies, you can use cannabis after eating so you exercise your brain satiety center. It also helps to do other things to distract yourself. Try tricking your brain by exercising creativity so you can stay away from eating. Another trick you can try is to hide all your food; this might be a little drastic but it can work. You can also smoke cannabis strains that contain less THC.
What You Should Know about Cannabis Edibles
If you want to enjoy the benefits of marijuana through recipes, be extra careful. There is a possibility that you will have the impulse to eat your edibles as the munchies start and you risk overdosing. So when you are making edibles, cook an extra one that has no marijuana in it. Also, it helps to have larijuinhas around for emergencies. Still, taking in this plant through food can be a great strategy to reduce damage, since there is no process but you have to eat it right. Make sure that you talk to a health care professional if you plan on consuming marijuana.