You just finished smoking a fatty. 20 minutes go by and suddenly, you stand up from the couch, head straight for the pantry, and grab an open bag of Doritos. Then you remember that you have a large slice of leftover cheesecake from your Aunt Wilma’s Sunday brunch sitting in the fridge. You grab that too. But should you eat something healthy to banish the junk food guilt you’re feeling? You open the crisper and grab a handful of baby carrots.

Ahhh…the munchies. 

If you’ve smoked, vaped, or ingested cannabis, you’ve probably been hit by the overpowering urge to eat everything in your cupboards.

But why does marijuana conspire to increase our waistline?

What causes the munchies?

The Science Behind the Munchies

It has to do with the interaction between the cannabinoid, tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC, and your endocannabinoid system

The endocannabinoid system is responsible for maintaining balance in your body. The system’s receptors are found throughout your body and help to regulate everything: sleep, mood, inflammation, reproduction, and appetite. 

When you partake in marijuana, the THC binds to endocannabinoid receptors in the olfactory bulb in your brain. The receptors get triggered and your sense of smell and taste is heightened. This, in turn, increases your appetite.

Hence, why you stop whatever you’re doing and head straight to your kitchen.

Woman eating because she has the munchies

Getting the Munchies can be a Good Thing

You pack on a few pounds because of the munchies phenomenon. We’ve all been there. But it’s actually a good thing for people who have appetite concerns.

For example, decreased appetite is a common side effect of chemotherapy treatment. However, research shows that cannabis can increase appetite and sense of taste in cancer patients.

Not only that, cannabis can help treat nausea and vomiting that many chemo patients go through. This, in turn, prevents something called, Cachexia. It’s a wasting disorder of extreme muscle weight loss and can happen when you have cancer or a chronic condition.

The Bottom Line

“The munchies” happen when THC binds to endocannabinoid receptors in your brain, triggering an increase in your appetite. And causing you to head straight to the nearest cupboard for those cookies.

But the munchies have therapeutic benefits for those who don’t have a desire to eat or may need to go up in weight. 

If you’re looking to increase your appetite for medical reasons but you’re not sure which strain of cannabis to buy, reach out to our Comfort Tree experts for recommendations:  +1.226.568.2711, comforttreehealing@gmail.com