It seems that scientists have unlocked the secrets of how marijuana causes the munchies. This research could lead to the development of new drugs for the treatment of obesity. According to the article:
The researchers concentrated on the lateral hypothalamus (LH) of the brain, known to be a center of control of food intake. Their studies involved detailed electrophysiological measurements of the effects of specific neurons that they had identified in previous studies as being important in endocannabinoid signaling.
Their studies revealed that activation of CB1 receptors, as by endocannabinoid molecules, induced these neurons to be rendered more excitable by a mechanism called “depolarization-induced suppression of inhibition” (DSI).
What’s more, they found that leptin inhibits DSI. However, they found that leptin did not interfere with the CB1 receptors themselves. Rather, leptin “short-circuits” the endocannabinoid effects by inhibiting pore-like channels in the neurons that regulate the flow of calcium into the neurons. Such calcium is necessary for the synthesis of endocannabinoids.
Perhaps growers could take a cue from the beer industry and use this research to develop a kind of ‘munchie free’ marijuana for health conscious stoners. After all there is a limit to how many Pringles you can work off playing hacky sack.