We all know that smoking weed and getting the munchies go hand in hand.
And we all get those cravings...
You know the ones I'm talking about:
Harold & Kumar Go to White Castle
But were you aware there is actual scientific proof that allows us to understand why you will traipse for miles in the middle of the night, in search of a burger while stoned?
In this article we are going to discuss that question that you will have pondered over at least a few hundred times.
Why do we wanna eat an entire family feast after toking on the devils lettuce?
So if you’re reading this, for sure you’re now reminiscing on some of the best moments of your life; moments when you were high, and raiding the kitchen cupboards or hitting up the seven eleven for a mountain of snacks you would normally never buy.
As a smoker you should always have a well-stocked fridge. But not a fridge with cheese and milk!
For professional smokers we are talking whole jars of chocolate spread and tubs of Ben and Jerry’s!
For sure you’ve indulged in an entire family sized bag of chips at least once, or found yourself almost falling into your chest freezer in search of something to munch on until the nearest shop opens.
So, exactly how does cannabis affect our brain’s circuitry, and why do you get the munchies when you smoke weed?
A neurobiology professor at Yale, Tomas Horvath has been kind enough to research this topic for us, coming up with the answers we have been looking for. He joined forces with a Marco Koch from Leipzig University, to discover just what cannabinoids do to our brain.
Brain function changes when we smoke. Now let’s look at what exactly happens. It really is fascinating stuff!
These two professors were so kind as to discover a set of neurons in the hypothalamus that are responsible for the good old munchies. Known as POMCs, these are the dudes responsible for our ever-expanding waistlines. Tests were carried out on animals, which just like humans got the munchies. You may be against animal testing, but you have got to see the funny side to stoned laboratory rats!
Rats on Drugs
Basically what happens is that when we are exposed to cannabinoids, our POMC’s stop working.
These dudes are supposed to tell us we are full, but they forget to do their job until we sober up! With our neurons so doped up that they forget to tell us we have just ate a whole bag of chips, off we go to the kitchen to see what else is left in the cupboard.
Now if you are a bit squeamish, or an animal activist, skip this paragraph! When the mice in the lab were injected directly with cannabinoids, not only did the POMCs go into overdrive; they started releasing a totally different chemical. Instead of alpha-melanocyte, beta-endorphins were released.
Now these are the real reason you get craving when you pick up a smoke!
You could look at it in a different way. Whilst stoned, your POMCs become defective. They are supposed to tell you that you are full, but instead they are telling you to eat more and more. Damn pesky POMCs have a lot to answer for!
More tests were carried out with different sets of mice, where the POMCs were artificially shut off in mice that had already eaten. Under these circumstances, the mice didn’t show any signs of being hungry at all.
But when cannabis was responsible for the shutdown of the POMCs, you cannot even start to imagine what the professors were met by. Let’s imagine you have a clip of a mouse eating a piece of cheese. Now put that on repeat and up the reproduction speed of the video. These mice severely gorged themselves until there were ready to pop!
So, there you have it. Now you know the answer to your question why do you get the munchies when you smoke weed.
More importantly, you can now see that there is absolutely nothing you can do about it asides emptying the fridge and hiding your house keys!
Marijuana is designed to alter the brain processes. Otherwise we wouldn’t get stoned! More research is currently being carried out by professors to understand more about just what happens inside our brains when we get stoned.
I'm heating up a whole pepper steak pie meant to be eaten by 4 right now...
What's your go-to munchy?