Brain centre for the ‘munchies’ found
Scientists have found the part of the brain that makes cannabis users crave pizza, chocolate and chips.
Evidence that the squirrels on crack like their pot too?
Dr Paul Mallet and his team injected THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) into a specific region of the brain, known to control feeding behaviour, called the paraventricular hypothalamic nucleus (PVN) — and gave the lab rats the munchies.
The brain has long been known to have a cannabinoid system involving receptors that react with both THC and a naturally occurring substance called anandamide.
Mallet and team are part of a research effort focused on trying to understand the reason why the brain has evolved this system.
- “It’s very unlikely we evolved a brain cannabinoid system so that we can get stoned at parties.”
The discovery of the part of the brain that creates the ‘munchies’ could help to develop pharmaceuticals for anorexia or obesity, with minimal side-effects.
Photo from scary squirrel world.