We wouldn’t be surprised if you’ve had some crazy cravings or thought of weird concoctions followed by some pretty epic meals after a smoke session...but why exactly does weed make you hungry? There has to be an explanation why we get the munchies from smoking weed, what exactly goes on chemically inside our bodies to make us crave strange combinations of food. Before we jump into it, we’ve gotta understand the natural feeling of being hungry without being influenced by weed.
Why We Feel Hungry
When our stomachs are empty, our brains signal that we are hungry. The emptier our stomachs are, the bigger the signals to eat something. Our bodies are trying its best not to run out of stored energy (calories) to function and survive. As our energy stores decrease, your stomach will begin to produce ghrelin, a hormone that releases other hormones to signal to the brain hunger, to motivate you to consume more calories for the body. After we have a nice full meal, the process cycles until we are hungry again.
The Endocannabinoid System
Believe it or not, our bodies produce cannabinoids naturally...yup! In fact, there is a whole system devoted to use the cannabinoids we create. These cannabinoids are actually technically called endocannabinoids since they’re produced in our human body. Before we get too excited, unfortunately, our bodies do not produce enough cannabinoids to give us a high, but it can influence your mood. The endocannabinoid system helps control several things, including your appetite. After your body starts to become low on stored energy, it releases endocannabinoids that sends messages to your brain and throughout your body to stimulate a particular reaction such as euphoria, hunger, and pain relief.
How Does Weed Make Us Hungry
The cannabinoids found in weed in addition to the cannabinoids we produce in our body = a ton of cannabinoids sent to the brain. First, the extra kick of cannabinoids may trigger a stronger sense of smell which makes you more susceptible to noticing food smells. Your heightened sense of smell also increases saliva production and will affect the taste of food because taste sensations are heavily influenced by smell. The additional cannabinoids also increases a craving for sucrose - sugary foods. Sugar, a carbohydrate begins to be a little more enticing than normal...hence the junk food. During your smoke session, the extra cannabinoids introduced to your brain will also cause more production of ghrelin, which signals to your brain your body is low on calories and you need more. This may deceptively make us think we are hungrier than we really are, even if we just ate before the smoke session.
Helping Cancer Patients with Medicinal Marijuana
Medical marijuana has been widely used to help cancer patients with loss of appetite from chemotherapy treatments. Many cancer patients have had positive effects from utilizing medical marijuana to help gain their appetite back, adding the nutrients necessary to help the body recover and have the strength to fight cancer.
Knowing our bodies naturally produce cannabinoids, introducing a bunch of cannabinoids from smoking will definitely create more hunger hormones to signal to our brains we are hungry, while enhancing the smell and taste of food whether or not we are actually hungry. Hey, we are in no way complaining...there have been some awesome food creations that were thought up after a great smoke session. There have been a number of benefits for increasing appetite, including helping cancer patients. Why not add in marijuana in food too while we’re at it? We’ve got you covered! If you’re looking for some great cannabis-infused foods, check out our blog on 10 Best Cannabis-Infused Foods to get your brain churning on some great ideas.