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Loss of Appetite


During dramatic changes in taste that accompany some diseases, many patients take advantage of appetite-stimulating effects of cannabis. How exactly does it work?

Scientists from Yale University have recently discovered a neurological mechanism which causes the “sweet-tooth”, i.e. the inexplicable urge to eat, which has led generations of cannabis users to binge on sweets and fried salty snacks. The fact that the taste-enhancing effects of cannabis are governed by the same neurons which normally suppress the appetite came as a surprise for the researchers – prior to the study, most scientists were convinced of the opposite.


Other findings

Results of research published in medical journal Cell Press in 2005 showed that introducing THC into the neurological system made neurons more excitable. This is probably the reason behind THC stimulating one’s appetite. In addition to this, the research also showed that THC reduced the effects of leptin, which is a hormone suppressing the appetite.

The new study from Yale University shows that THC blocks the activity of neurons which suppress the appetite. Contrary to the previous belief, the stimulation of appetite after administering cannabis occurs because particular neurons slow down, and sometimes even stop transmitting signals of the patient’s satiety.

A research paper published in the scientific journal Science Daily reads: “As we observed how the brain’s taste center reacts to cannabis, we were able to determine what causes the feeling of hunger and how this exact mechanism which usually serves to stop the intake of food now encourages it.”

Each new piece of information about cannabinoids and appetite enables scientists to understand the influence of cannabis on brain, while also providing them with a highly effective tool to deal with the loss of appetite.

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