The Munchies According to Science

Most of us are familiar with the phenomenon colloquially known as “the munchies.” It’s the driving force behind that insatiable urge to tear through an entire box of Oreos, the year old freezer burnt dish you’ve been avoiding and that peanut brittle Grandma sent you over the holidays. Without a doubt, marijuana makes food taste so much better.

But that’s not just our lit brains talking. As it turns out, neuroscientists have been particularly interested in this cannabis phenomenon for some time — taking the study of “the munchies” into the lab. Their findings have led to some interesting exploration of how cannabis affects the brain’s hunger circuitry and how this can actually be good for some individuals suffering from diseases like cancer, Cachexia and HIV-associated wasting syndrome. 

This visual from Marijuana Doctors takes a look at four different studies conducted from neuroscience teams around the world that discuss cannabis and the munchies. These studies cover the following:

●      How marijuana changes the function of neurons in your brain

●      Why THC makes food smell and taste better

●      How THC promotes the release of dopamine — our feel good hormone

●      And what goes on in the gut that allows THC to stimulate hunger

While most recreational users don’t need a neuroscientist to tell them that marijuana is the driving force behind “the munchies,” the findings are especially interesting and helpful for some medicinal consumers. Studies like these are milestones for cannabis not only because they uncover useful medical benefits, but because they can help re-shape the public’s perception of cannabis.

Graphic is attributed to Marijuana Doctors.

science studies that explain the munchies