The Science Behind Your Munchies
One of the initial things that will come up when discussing cannabis use is its ability to make everything begin to sound delicious. This phenomenon is commonly referred to as 'the munchies' and is generally considered one of the positives for those who indulge. It has even seen medicinal use for those experiencing conditions or undergoing treatments that impact their appetites, such as chemotherapy. What has been something of a mystery to scientists; however, is exactly what it is about THC, the active ingredient in marijuana causes these effects.
The Smell Connection
The University of Bordeaux conducted a research project on the subject under the guidance of Giovanni Marsicano. In this study, mice were given THC and their brains monitored to observe how it behaved. They discovered that THC would make its way into the olfactory bulb of the brain, the part that manages smell. This boosted the ability of the mice to smell, and their appetite increased accordingly. This link between smell and taste may mean that this enhances the taste of food, leading those affected to consume more of it.
Within the hypothalamus of our brain is found a set of neurons known as proopiomelanocortin neurons or POMCs. These neurons are responsible for the governing of our appetite, lighting up when we've had enough food resulting in a feeling of fullness. The original hypothesis was that THC essentially shut these down. A study revealed that while this was close to what was happening, this wasn't actually an accurate assessment of their behavior. Instead, it changes what kind of chemicals are released. This new type of chemical, beta-endorphins, actually promotes cravings and boosts the appetite. This means that it doesn't just prevent us from feeling full; it actually makes us hungrier!
Further research has revealed that THC enhances our ability to thoroughly enjoy eating and other activities. This is due to the action of THC on the nucleus accumbens region of the brain and the resultant boost in dopamine production. Dopamine is a chemical in our body that boost pleasure and can make eating that much more enjoyable as a result. Our bodies always produce dopamine when we're eating things we enjoy, THC just ramps up how much is present.
How To Make The Most Of Your Munchies
So we mentioned that one of the things marijuana does is enhance your desire for craveable foods. Craveable foods are often high in carbohydrates, salts, fats, and/or sugars. This is a perfect opportunity for you to indulge in your favorite snacks, but you can also make healthy choices that will sate these cravings. While Dorito Chicken Tenders, rich flavorful brownies, and a bag of Funyuns may sound fantastic, they're not great choices if you're trying to eat healthier. Thankfully salted nuts, rich hummus with whole-grain crackers, and peanut butter sandwiches can meet those same points just as well. In fact, you may discover that these healthier choices actually hit the spot better than the 'junk'!
Dime Bags is always looking to make life a little more enjoyable and a little more satisfying. Learning to understand the science behind your favorite herb and having a way to pack the best snacks with you to your favorite smoking ground go hand in hand in reaching this goal.
We’re also excited to launch a Munchies patch pack! Although these cute little patches are sold individually, we’re debuting these six food-related patches today. Be sure to check them out and pick out your favorite munchie.