ELI5- what in cannabis causes the “munchies”?
Also, cannabis affects everyone in different ways. For example, for me, cannabis is an appetite suppressant usually.
However, if in a social situation and snacks are set out I will nibble without thinking.
THC alters the area of the brain that is responsible for feeling full. The hormone which makes us feel full is called Leptin
So when THC interacts with natural cannabinoids present in that area, the switch happens and Leptin stops getting released, so you stop feeling full and the feeling of not eating goes away and then within an hour max, the area starts producing another hormone that causes us to feel hungry called ghrelin, so less leptin and more ghrelin leads to munchies
Hunger is partly caused by the brain responding to chemicals called endo-cannabinoids. As the name suggests, they’re similar to chemicals in cannabis, and one of the chemicals in cannabis, THC (tetrahydrocannabinol, but that’s not important right now) can cause the brain’s response to endo-cannabinoids to be increased enormously, so if we use cannabis, we tend to feel hungry.