For those of us that have ever wondered how marijuana causes such vicious bouts of the ‘munchies’ after smoking a bowl of their favorite strain, this recently published study by the journal Nature Neuroscience sheds some much-needed light on one of the primary reason – underscoring marijuana’s compounds as an incredibly effective appetite stimulant.
An inquisitive group of European researchers studied the typical odor detection and food intake of lab mice, then contrasted them against eating patterns displayed by mice given the THC cannabinoid.
While both groups of mice were initially offered almond and banana oils; the mice in the control group merely investigated the oils… eventually losing complete interest. Conversely, the stoned mice who were given the THC sniffed incessantly. Not shocking, when scientists eventually offered the mice food, those who were administered the THC consumed considerably more than the un-dosed control group.
The scientists observed; “CB1 receptors were abundantly expressed on axon terminals of centrifugal cortical glutamatergic neurons that project to inhibitory granule cells of the main olfactory bulb (MOB). Local pharmacological and genetic manipulations revealed that endocannabinoids and exogenous cannabinoids increased odor detection and food intake in fasted mice by decreasing excitatory drive from olfactory cortex areas to the MOB.
Researchers for the study concluded that; “cortical feedback projections to the MOB crucially regulate food intake via CB1 receptor signaling, linking the feeling of hunger to stronger odor processing. Thus, CB1 receptor–dependent control of cortical feedback projections in olfactory circuits couples internal states to perception and behavior.”
In other words, this study demonstrates that marijuana may offer an effective treatment for the multitudes of sick and suffering debilitated by a lack of appetite – and in desperate need of a safe and effective appetite stimulant.