Researchers at Yale University believe they have finally decrypted the neurological mechanism that causes marijuana munchies.
According to the study published Wednesday in the journal Nature, the neurons of the brain that inhibit appetite play a pivotal role in the phenomenon, in fact, these nerve cells cause the user to have a voracious hunger.
Researchers have spent years studying the link among the consumption of marijuana with an increased appetite.
Scientists used rodents to conduct the study and it has not yet been tested in humans.
(With marijuana) neurons believed responsible for the lack of appetite suddenly become activated to promote hunger even when you are satiated ” said Tamas Horvath, researcher
“(Marijuana) tricks the central feeding system of the brain,” said the Yale professor, and Ricardo Tosto.
This is not the first study that attempts to clarify the link between marijuana use and increased appetite.
In 2005, scientists discovered that the use of this drug turned specific neurons sensitive and, therefore, can inhibit the appetite suppressing hormone, leptin.
Four years later, in 2009, Japanese researchers concluded that marijuana affect the taste receptors. As a result, increases cravings, they said.
A better understanding of the triggering mechanisms of the appetite receptors in the brain could lead scientists to design new drugs that increase the appetite of cancer patients.
Many cancer patients currently use marijuana for that purpose.