Let's dive into the sensory explosion that occurs when cannabis meets cuisine and explore why certain foods are particularly irresistible.
Enhancing the Senses
When you smoke medical cannabis, THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) activates your brain's endocannabinoid system, particularly impacting the CB1 receptors. This interaction enhances your sense of smell, which is directly linked to your sense of taste. A study conducted in 2014 found that stimulating the brain's CB1 receptors enhances your sense of smell, making you more attuned to food's flavours, aromas, and textures. This heightened sense makes you hungrier and causes you to pay more attention to what you're eating, potentially leading to a more pleasurable dining experience.
Amplifying Pleasure from Certain Foods
Another study from Italy revealed that THC could increase the pleasure derived from eating high-calorie and sugary foods. However, it does not enhance the taste or your desire for foods you dislike. This could explain why you might reach for a bag of chips or a slice of cake rather than a salad when medicated. THC activates the brain's reward centres, making sugary and fatty foods taste more appealing and satisfying.
The Munchies Phenomenon
The 'munchies' are a well-known side effect of medical cannabis use. When consuming cannabis, THC stimulates the release of hormones that induce hunger. The types of foods craved during munchies are often sweet and high in fat, as the brain's reward centre responds strongly to these types of foods, leading to a sense of pleasure and satisfaction.
Foods That Boost the Cannabis High