Experts at Washington State University (WSU) are closer to understanding why smoking pot causes growing appetites.
In a recent study shared at the Society for the Study of Ingestive Behavior, WSU researchers found out how cannabis triggered hunger hormones in rats.
“We all know cannabis use affects appetite, but until recently we’ve actually understood very little about how or why,” said lead researcher Jon Davis, Ph.D., in a press release. “By studying exposure to cannabis plant matter, the most widely consumed form, we’re finding genetic and physiological events in the body that allow cannabis to turn eating behavior on or off.”
Using a vapor exposure system designed to imitate how humans consume marijuana, researchers found that a small cannabis dose causes a surge in ghrelin, a hormone that informs the brain of hunger sensations.
“We found that cannabis exposure caused more frequent, small meals,” Davis said. “But there’s a delay before it takes effect.”
Experts are optimistic that their findings could help create treatments for symptoms of anorexia induced by illnesses such as cancer and…