The uncontrollable urge to eat after using marijuana, often referred to as a case of the “munchies,” has recently been explored in depth by researchers at Yale School of Medicine. Their findings, published in the journal Nature, explain that the desire to eat is controlled by neurons in the brain that usually suppress the appetite. Instead of suppressing the appetite though, these mechanisms become the driver for food cravings when marijuana activates them. Lead author Tamas Horvath explains:

“By observing how the appetite center of the brain responds to marijuana, we were able to see what drives the hunger brought about by cannabis and how that same mechanism that normally turns off feeding becomes a driver of eating. It’s like pressing a car’s brakes and accelerating instead. We were surprised to find that the neurons we thought were responsible for shutting down eating, were suddenly being activated and promoting hunger, even when you are full. It fools the brain’s central feeding system.”

Click here to read the full report for Medical News Today.