Why You Get the Munchies When You’re High

Everybody knows what the munchies are, and anybody who has smoked pot knows that the struggle is real. It’s an insatiable hunger that never seems to be tamed. As a stoner, you have your regular stash that you pick up from the store, and nothing else really works but your tried-n-true choices. Cancer patients often use medicinal marijuana to help calm their nausea and give them back their appetite.

Have you ever wondered why you get the munchies or why your munchies are never satisfied? And why is the food so much better when you’re stoned?

THC (Tetrahydrocannabinol) is the main active ingredient in marijuana and when you smoke, the chemical reaches the brain at a quick rate. To your brain, THC resembles the natural transmitting neurons, called cannabinoids, which your brain emits to process information. These neurons are located in the part of the brain that help regulate the body’s normal functions, and will normally send out a chemical signal to let your brain know when you are full. The Yale University School of Medicine conducted a study on a group of mice and found that the natural cannabinoids in THC interfered with their body’s neurons causing them (the neurons) to act erratic. Adversely, they are being activated to promote hunger, even when you aren’t really hungry. The neurological effect that the THC had on the mice is what researchers believe is happening in humans as well. The researchers say this is why you get the munchies. The same lab also discovered another side effect of the cannabinoids being tampered with; you think your food smells and tastes more amazing than usual (not that your cooking isn’t amazing when you’re sober!) Another fact that every pot smoker knows from experience; you will also be inclined to eat things that you might not normally eat, whether you’re just craving something normal, like pickles, or something outrageous, like a lasagna made out of fried chicken, mashed potatoes, and bacon. Researchers also attribute this to the rogue cannabinoids. If you’ve ever seen Epic Meal Time, I assume that’s what every stoner’s food dreams consist of.

In English Please?

The authors of the study claim to have unintentionally stumbled upon finding this possible reason as to why your stomach is always growling when you smoke. To put it simply, the hormones that are released in your brain when you smoke pot would normally act as an appetite suppressant. However, the THC in the marijuana causes your endorphins to kick in, which adversely acts as a stimulant for your appetite. Your system gets confused, which why you get the munchies.

Of course, there is always more research being done in this field

This is especially true now that many states are contemplating the legalization of marijuana. It’ll be interesting to see what more we discover about the plant.


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