Reverse Engineering the Marijuana 'Munchies': What Causes Binge Eating?
Category: Culture | Posted on Tue, July, 5th 2011 by THCFinder
The "munchies" may be triggered not only by marijuana hitting the brain, but by its effects on the gut, according to new research that suggests intriguing possibilities for the development of new drugs to fight obesity.
Studying the digestive tract of rats, researchers led by Daniele Piomelli, professor of pharmacology at the University of California, Irvine, teased out why that first bite of fatty food spurs increased craving. The taste of fatty food hitting the tongue sets off a cascade of cellular effects
Initially, it sends a message to the brain.
The brain then sends a message to the gut, where intestinal receptors are stimulated to produce endocannaboinoids.
In turn, these chemicals affect hunger and satiety and ramp up your appetite for even more fat-laden foods. That's why you can't eat just one French fry.
The intestinal receptors, known as CB1 receptors, are the same type of receptors that interact in the brain with THC, the main active ingredient in cannabis. That helps explain why marijuana use notoriously triggers the "munchies:" a desire to eat high-fat and/or sweet foods. But, until now, scientists had thought all the action was in the brain.
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