We have talked about cannabis and the munchies before. Munchies is the term used to refer to the ferocious surge of appetite you get after smoking pot.
So, yes, using cannabis does give you the munchies. And there is a scientific explanation to this. Or let’s say scientific reasons, because we can name a few.
Tetrahydrocannabinol or THC, which is the main psychoactive ingredient in cannabis and the one that creates the high. It is also the compound that stimulates the appetite.
According to a study conducted by a team of neuroscientists from the University of Bordeaux and published in 2014 in Nature Neuroscience, THC fits into receptors that are found in the olfactory bulb of mouse brains. THC heightens their sensitivity to the smell of food and this, in turn, gives them the urge to eat more.
Another study also found that THC interacts with receptors found in the region of the brain called nucleus accumbens, releasing dopamine and activating the sensation of pleasure that you get from eating while you are high.
Yet another study explained that cannabinoids hyperactivate the brain circuits that are responsible for indicating that we are full. Because of this hyperactivation, it signals that you are starving instead of signaling that you are full. After they are exposed to cannabinoids, the brain circuits switch from releasing hormones that suppress appetite to ones that increase it instead.
So, yes, there are several scientific reasons that explain the munchies with using weed. Tying all these different explanations together, though, are these facts:
- They refer to the brain’s mechanisms that respond to hunger and stimulate appetite.
- They refer to THC’s ability to manipulate specific responses that have to do with our sense of smell and our appetite.
How about CBD? Does it create the munchies, too?
But now that we have talked about mainly THC causing the munchies, it makes sense to ask whether CBD has the same effect.
The simple answer is NO, CBD does not cause the munchies and the insatiable craving for junk and fatty food. While CBD can boost your appetite, it does so in a different way if it is added to food and drinks or if it is taken as medication.
For one, CBD helps relieve nausea and calms your nervous system and your digestive tract. And when you don’t feel nauseated, you get to eat and appreciate food more.
Moreover, CBD has been used to relieve pain, and the less pain you feel, the more you would want to eat.