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Why Marijuana Makes You So Hungry: How A Hormone And Better Sense Of Smell Give You The Munchies

Even if you’ve never smoked weed, you know about “The Munchies,” which is basically the ravenous appetite following a round of puff, puff, pass. In AsapTHOUGHT’s video, “Why Do You Get The Munchies,” hosts Greg Brown and Mitch Moffit break down this annoying problem.

ReadWhy We Get Angry When We're Hungry: The Science Behind 'Hangry,' And Best Foods To Beat It

In a study conducted by the Yale School of Medicine, researchers got a bunch of mice stoned before studying their brains. They found that neurons in the hypothalamus called POMCs are to blame for that uncontrollable Taco Bell craving post-marijuana. Usually these neurons control hunger, so scientists thought marijuana would decrease activity in this area because more activity makes you feel full. Turns out the opposite happens. After smoking pot, action in POMCs actually rev up, but a different chemical that promotes hunger is released. Getting high is like flipping on the hunger switch in your brain.

"It's like pressing a car's brakes and accelerating instead," lead author Tamas Horvath explains in a statement. "We were surprised to find that the neurons we thought were responsible for shutting down eating, were suddenly being activated and promoting hunger, even when you are full. It fools the brain's central feeding system."

Pot also produces more ghrelin, a hormone that makes you hungry. So, the more ghrelin you have, the heartier your appetite.

ReadRectal Medical Marijuana Is Effective, Safer Than Smoking, But Weed Suppository Won't Be Widely Available

And you know how when you’re high that 3 a.m. drive-thru burrito tastes like the best Mexican delicacy you’ve ever had? You can blame the THC. Greg and Mitch explain that when researchers gave sober mice almond and banana oils they were only mildly interested. Stoned mice, however, kept sniffing away, indicating an increased sense of smell. They also consumed much more oil. According to Smithsonian magazine, the research team believes that marijuana heightens your sense of taste and smell, further contributing to that munchie fest.

For more about why you get the munchies, check out Greg and Mitch’s video:

See Also:

Why Synthetic Cannabinoids Are A Dangerous Marijuana Alternative

Medical Cannabis 2016: New Benefits Of Medicinal Marijuana

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