What is the chemical hunger? Effects, mechanisms and suggestions

What is the chemical hunger?

The so-called chemical hunger or “munchies” is a sudden attack of insatiable and irrepressible appetite.

It is not physiological, but induced and resulting from the intake of certain triggering substances, for this reason it is called “chemical” hunger.

This is a very well known and common effect especially in the segment of the population that uses marijuana, and for this is also called “cannabis munchies” or “munchies effect” (effect snack).

Smoking cannabis (or derivatives) leads to craving for food very substantial and high-calorie, without being able to control themselves on quantity, even if on a full stomach and if lunch or dinner was a lot abundant.

Effect of the munchies

The feeling of appetite is also emphasized by an increased perception of aromas, as well as greater pleasure at the act of the tasting.

The rising the munchies can occur from half an hour to two hours after taking of the substance, with various nuances based on factors, such as: dose, type cannabis, THC content, habit, build, metabolism, age, gender.

The methods of intake are also crucial: in fact, by inhaling the fumes / vapors, there is a much faster, but also less lasting effect, with a consequent and timely perception of hunger. In case of ingestion, on the other hand, since it has a much slower and longer lasting effect, the appetite often occurs at the next meal, although obviously much more consistent.

Effects of cbd on the munchies

The marijuana light or cannabis light results in a much reduced munchies compared to cannabis with a high THC content (tetrahydrocannabinol), this is because CBD (cannabidiol) antagonizes some molecular targets, necessary to develop the typical sense of appetite.

Mechanism of action of the “munchies”

The & nbsp; THC, psychotropic substance of marijuana, is also the main culprit of the increase in the desire for food.

The brain is divided into regions; some areas control moods, while others they affect our appetite. These areas of our brain can induce us to eat more or to stop eating.

The system endocannabinoid is very archaic and complex, which is why it manages to modulate neuronal parts with very different functions.

As the research of the Neurocentre Magendie of Bordeaux, binding to the & nbsp; receptors & nbsp; CB1 (type 1 cannabinoids) of the olfactory bulb in the brain, THC appears improve our sensitivity to food aromas, making them more powerful and attractive. It also increases the production of dopamine, which triggers a pleasure greater following the perception of tastes, thus inducing us to eat of more

According to i researchers of the & nbsp; Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics , tetrahydrocannabinol also interacts with other hormones responsible for the sense of hunger, such as ghrelin, which it is normally generated in response to substances similar to those found in cannabis, but naturally produced by our body, they said “Endocannabinoids”.

Other research, from the university “Yale School of Medicine” of New Haven Connecticut, they also revealed how THC “tricks” the & nbsp; neurons & nbsp; of the & nbsp; proopiomelanocortin (Pomc), which under normal conditions induce a sense of satiety, stimulating, instead, to eat more when consuming marijuana.

CBD, on the other hand, blocks CB1 receptors, limiting the sense of hunger triggered by THC, which is still present, even if in small quantities, in light cannabis products.

Does the munchies make you fat?

Increasing the release of dopamine, involved in the reward and pleasure centers of the brain, a hardly controllable hunger is unleashed and this can lead to overweight and obesity problems.

It’s a myth unfounded the fact that binging during the munchies prevents assimilation of ingested nutrients.

A study published by the scientific journal “The American Journal of Medicine” suggests that cannabis consumption increases cellular metabolism, energy expenditure and insulin function, also preventing diabetes. However, this would be true in the case of a healthy and balanced diet, but it would not be enough to compensate for the high caloric intake resulting from such severe hunger pangs.

Therapeutic uses

As THC solicits nutritional receptors & nbsp; and causes us to eat more, different industries they mobilized to investigate the mechanism of action and find drugs able to block it, in order to then use them in the control of obesity.

However, the ability to stimulate hunger is very valuable, as different diseases cause an extreme loss of appetite, which reduces the quality of life and slows down the recovery.

The increase in appetite can be therapeutic in cases of people suffering from diseases, especially chronic, such as: ulcerative colitis, senile degeneration, anorexia, HIV and AIDS, some heart diseases, metabolic disorders, cancer and related adverse effects of radio / chemo-therapeutic treatments (nausea, vomiting, general malaise).

Tips from the editor

Know how resisting the munchies, allows to stem the unwanted effects, starting with the possible weight gain.

Go to smoking on a full stomach does not eliminate the problem of hunger chemistry, even if it partially reduces it or, at least, leads to ingesting one however less food than on an empty stomach.

It’s important divert attention from food, through & nbsp; alternative activities & nbsp; in able to positively occupy the mind, so as to reap all the benefits of the recreational effect, avoiding the binges that our body does not have need.

Carrying out physical activity, before or after taking cannabis, not only allows you to compensate for the calories consumed in case you succumb to the munchies, but, by resisting it, it would also take advantage of the positive effect of cannabinoids on cellular metabolism.

Follow a complete, varied and healthy diet throughout the day, inclusive of any snacks, it is certainly important in controlling glycemic peaks and the consequent feeling of hunger.

Whether to ingest food should prove to be an irresistible need, it is better to limit the effects negative effects on our body by opting for light snacks based on food mainly healthy (raw fruits and vegetables, proteins, fibers, carbohydrates slow-digesting complexes), compared to the so-called “junk food”, foods junk (high calories, sugars, saturated / hydrogenated fats, carbohydrates simple / refined).

Also chewing very slowly helps to ration the quantities of food better assumed, as hunger gradually diminishes over time.

Strive to drinking a large amount of water can help curb appetite, since gives an immediate feeling of fullness in the stomach, e it also prevents the typical dry mouth caused by THC.

That’s a lot It is important to learn to & nbsp; dominate the impulses that the brain emits in following the intake of cannabis: the munchies are not real and not represents an objective need, therefore & nbsp; controlling it can preserve the physical without compromising health.