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Machinery Of The 'Marijuana Munchies'
Science Daily ^ | December 26, 2005

Posted on 12/27/2005 7:26:46 AM PST by billorites

Marijuana--or more specifically its active ingredient, tetrahydrocannabinol--has a well-documented tendency to stimulate hunger. And while scientists have traced this property to cannabinoid receptors in the brain, they have had little understanding of the neural circuitry underlying this effect.

Understanding this circuitry has important practical implications because blocking the cannabinoid receptor, CB1, offers a promising approach to treating obesity. One such compound, rimonabant (trade name AcompliaTM) is already undergoing clinical testing.

In an article in the December 22, 2005, issue of Neuron, Young-Hwan Jo and colleagues report how the circuitry of CB1 is integrated with signaling by the appetite-suppressing hormone leptin. The CB1 receptor is normally triggered by natural regulatory molecules, called endocannabinoids.

In their studies, the researchers concentrated on the lateral hypothalamus (LH) of the brain, known to be a center of control of food intake. Their studies involved detailed electrophysiological measurements of the effects of specific neurons that they had identified in previous studies as being important in endocannabinoid signaling.

Their studies revealed that activation of CB1 receptors, as by endocannabinoid molecules, induced these neurons to be rendered more excitable by a mechanism called "depolarization-induced suppression of inhibition" (DSI).

What's more, they found that leptin inhibits DSI. However, they found that leptin did not interfere with the CB1 receptors themselves. Rather, leptin "short-circuits" the endocannabinoid effects by inhibiting pore-like channels in the neurons that regulate the flow of calcium into the neurons. Such calcium is necessary for the synthesis of endocannabinoids.

In further studies of mice genetically altered to be leptin deficient, the researchers found the DSI to be more prolonged than in normal mice. Thus, they said, the findings "implicate this mechanism for leptin receptor/endocannabinoid signaling in contributing to the maintenance of weight balance...." The researchers also included that "upregulation of endocannabinoid signaling in the LH may explain, at least in part, the increased body weight consistent with a prior report of elevated endocannabinoids" in such leptin-deficient mice.

The researchers concluded that their findings "are consistent with the hypothesis that the integration of endocannabinoid and leptin signaling regulates the excitability of neurons on appetite-related circuits."

They also wrote that "the cellular mechanisms of recently developed antiobesity drugs, such as rimonabant, may include decreased endocannabinoid signaling and hence decreased excitability of LH circuits related to appetite, even in the context of leptin insufficiency or resistance."


TOPICS: Heated Discussion
KEYWORDS: marijuana; medicalmarijuana; potheads; wodlist
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1 posted on 12/27/2005 7:26:47 AM PST by billorites
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To: billorites

I think they're barking up the wrong tree.

Psychedelic drugs, besides making colors seem brighter and prettier, also make food taste much better.


2 posted on 12/27/2005 7:29:23 AM PST by proxy_user
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To: martin_fierro; Fierce Allegiance; TheBigB; Constitution Day

We now live in a world without eternal mysteries.


3 posted on 12/27/2005 7:29:23 AM PST by Tijeras_Slim ("We're a meat-based society.")
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To: billorites

Did the subs we ordered get here? Check the trash can.


4 posted on 12/27/2005 7:31:00 AM PST by AppyPappy (If you aren't part of the solution, there is good money to be made prolonging the problem.)
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To: billorites
Will someone please pass the cheese puffs??
5 posted on 12/27/2005 7:32:41 AM PST by LIConFem (A fronte praecipitium, a tergo lupi.)
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To: billorites

This is an important study. The munchies are a real phenomenon from marijuana. Stimulation of appetite would be a real help in many medical conditions, where malnutrition caused by a lack of appetite makes the condition worse.

Any of you who have elderly parents or grandparents know that it's tough to get them to eat properly or enough. A medication that stimulated the appetite would be a real boon to these folks and others who have diminished or non-existant appetites.

But, jokes about the munchies are also appropriate.


6 posted on 12/27/2005 7:36:45 AM PST by MineralMan (godless atheist)
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To: MineralMan
A medication that stimulated the appetite would be a real boon to these folks and others who have diminished or non-existant appetites.

That medication already exists: it's called marijuana. (And if used from a vaporizer rather than smoked it doesn't have the ill effects of smoking.)

7 posted on 12/27/2005 7:41:46 AM PST by Know your rights (The modern enlightened liberal doesn't care what you believe as long as you don't really believe it.)
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To: MineralMan

You make great points. But I'll bet the focus of any research will be on appetite suppression, not stimulation. That is because there is a HUGE market out there for an anti-obesity miracle drug.


8 posted on 12/27/2005 7:42:02 AM PST by generally
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To: Know your rights
And if used from a vaporizer rather than smoked it doesn't have the ill effects of smoking.

How the heck does this work?

9 posted on 12/27/2005 7:42:40 AM PST by rhombus
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To: billorites
Just can't wait for the Liberaltarians to chime in with justifications for pot use.
10 posted on 12/27/2005 7:43:34 AM PST by Clint N. Suhks (If you don't like Jesus, you can go to hell.)
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To: billorites
Marijuana--or more specifically its active ingredient, tetrahydrocannabinol

A common misconception. Marijuana has many active ingredients ... which is why the Canadian-approved medicine Sativex uses the whole plant rather than extracting a subset of its active ingredients.

11 posted on 12/27/2005 7:43:43 AM PST by Know your rights (The modern enlightened liberal doesn't care what you believe as long as you don't really believe it.)
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To: proxy_user

>>>Psychedelic drugs, besides making colors seem brighter and prettier, also make food taste much better. >>>

I don't think Marijuana is a "Psychedelic" drug.


12 posted on 12/27/2005 7:44:57 AM PST by sandbar
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To: rhombus
How the heck does this work?

http://www.maps.org/mmj/vaporizer.html

13 posted on 12/27/2005 7:46:03 AM PST by Know your rights (The modern enlightened liberal doesn't care what you believe as long as you don't really believe it.)
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To: sandbar

Depends. Sativa is more psyche than indica. Most of what is sold today is an indica hybrid. Back in the sixties, however...


14 posted on 12/27/2005 7:46:10 AM PST by proxy_user
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To: Know your rights

>>>That medication already exists: it's called marijuana. >>>

Brilliant, and accurate. If people would get over the stigma of marijuana and all the propaganda of the early 20th century we could move on from the garbage and actually start using it for good. Whiskey, honey and lemon can do wonders for a chest cold, but that doesn't mean that drinking a fifth of whiskey a day is a good thing. Why can't people understand there is a medicinal value to something just because others abuse it? Hell, I know people that abuse cough syrup, that shouldn't be illegal.


15 posted on 12/27/2005 7:47:27 AM PST by sandbar
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To: Clint N. Suhks
Just can't wait for the Liberaltarians to chime in with justifications for pot use.

In a free society nobody needs to "justify" any non-rights-violating act.

16 posted on 12/27/2005 7:48:40 AM PST by Know your rights (The modern enlightened liberal doesn't care what you believe as long as you don't really believe it.)
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To: Know your rights

A close friend of mine, who has anorexia severe enough to inhibit her reproductive organs, would benefit enormously from an appetite-stimulating drug that didn't carry the deleterious effects that pure marijuana has.


17 posted on 12/27/2005 7:50:48 AM PST by Little Pig (Is it time for "Cowboys and Muslims" yet?)
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To: MineralMan

Already exists. Called Marinol. Here's the product info:


Product Information

MARINOL® is a unique prescription medicine that relieves multiple symptoms. The United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved MARINOL® to treat nausea and vomiting associated with cancer chemotherapy in patients who have failed to respond adequately to conventional treatments.

The FDA also approved MARINOL® to treat appetite loss associated with weight loss in people with AIDS. Health care professionals may prescribe MARINOL® to help stimulate an HIV/AIDS patient’s appetite so he or she will want to eat again.

MARINOL® is a synthetic version of a naturally occurring compound known as delta-9-THC. Delta-9-THC stimulates appetite and reduces nausea and vomiting by binding to special receptors found in the nervous system.


MARINOL® is contraindicated in any patient who has a history of hypersensitivity to any cannabinoid or sesame oil.

Patients should be warned not to drive, operate machinery, or engage in hazardous activity until they establish they can tolerate MARINOL® and perform such tasks safely.

A cannabinoid dose-related “high” (easy laughing, elation and heightened awareness) has been reported by patients receiving MARINOL® in both the antiemetic (24%) and the lower dose appetite stimulant clinical trials (8%). Other frequently reported adverse events in MARINOL® clinical trials included abdominal pain, nausea, vomiting, dizziness, euphoria, paranoid reaction, somnolence, and thinking abnormal.


18 posted on 12/27/2005 7:51:07 AM PST by Pharmboy (The stone age didn't end because they ran out of stones.)
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To: Clint N. Suhks
Just can't wait for the Liberaltarians to chime in with justifications for pot use.

I'll give you a Libertarian justification for smoking: if I smoke it, it's none of your business. How's that?

19 posted on 12/27/2005 7:52:59 AM PST by numberonepal (Don't Even Think About Treading On Me)
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To: Know your rights

>>>In a free society nobody needs to "justify" any non-rights-violating act.>>>

I get so sick of people dismissing the medicinal uses of marijuana. My mother, a Christian and Sunday School teacher, used marijuana in her last months with cancer. With abdominal cancer, nausea is a bigger problem than pain and she was getting dehydrated and couldn't even keep water or popsicles down. They said the dehydration would kill her before the cancer and she didn't want to think of months in a hospital hooked up to IV's, wanted to be at home. I mentioned to her that people with cancer don't smoke cause it's a party, they smoke because it helps. So she agreed and then she thanked God he put it on this earth for her use. It didn't save her life, but it sure helped her tolerate her time here and didn't force her to go into a coma (to help with the nausea, which was the other alternative, because the nausea medicines are so strong nad knock you out) so she could spend time with me and her grandkids and husband. Some people are so stupid and selfish about denying others their RIGHT to use a substance grown freely, that they would rather see a grandmother lose precious moments with loved ones being in a 'LEGAL' coma from 'LEGAL' DRUGS rather than use what God gave us.

This is a touchy subject for me, can you tell?


20 posted on 12/27/2005 7:54:18 AM PST by sandbar
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To: MineralMan
This is an important study. The munchies are a real phenomenon from marijuana. Stimulation of appetite would be a real help in many medical conditions, where malnutrition caused by a lack of appetite makes the condition worse.

Um...I think something in the OTHER direction is needed. Suppression of the appetite.

21 posted on 12/27/2005 7:56:26 AM PST by PJ-Comix (Join the DUmmie FUnnies PING List for the FUNNIEST Blog on the Web)
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To: numberonepal
if I smoke it, it's none of your business. How's that?

Hehehe...as he says while still living in his parent's basement watching reruns of Gilligan's Island.

22 posted on 12/27/2005 7:58:17 AM PST by Clint N. Suhks (If you don't like Jesus, you can go to hell.)
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To: PJ-Comix

"Um...I think something in the OTHER direction is needed. Suppression of the appetite."

That is needed, too. However, there are a lot of people for whom stimulation of the appetite is very important. Cancer patients, the elderly, and more. It's not a zero-sum thing.


23 posted on 12/27/2005 7:59:11 AM PST by MineralMan (godless atheist)
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To: Tijeras_Slim
We now live in a world without eternal mysteries.

Mysteries are like onions with no center. Peal away one layer, and there's a deeper layer below it.

But meanwhile, we've learned something useful.

24 posted on 12/27/2005 7:59:13 AM PST by El Gato
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To: El Gato
Mysteries are like onions with no center.

Mmmmm...onions...

25 posted on 12/27/2005 8:01:03 AM PST by Tijeras_Slim ("We're a meat-based society.")
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To: Clint N. Suhks; numberonepal
if I smoke it, it's none of your business. How's that?

Hehehe...as he says while still living in his parent's basement watching reruns of Gilligan's Island.

SOME pot smokers end up that way ... as do some boozers. How are any of them your or government's business?

26 posted on 12/27/2005 8:01:22 AM PST by Know your rights (The modern enlightened liberal doesn't care what you believe as long as you don't really believe it.)
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To: Know your rights
In a free society nobody needs to "justify" any non-rights-violating act.

Yet more Liberaltarian palaver...the 10th amendment trumps the 9th.

27 posted on 12/27/2005 8:02:17 AM PST by Clint N. Suhks (If you don't like Jesus, you can go to hell.)
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To: Know your rights

"That medication already exists: it's called marijuana. (And if used from a vaporizer rather than smoked it doesn't have the ill effects of smoking.)"

You're correct, of course, but it's currently illegal. Aside from that, try convincing my 85 year old father-in-law to use marijuana in any form. It won't work. He'll take a pill though, if it's prescribed by his doctor.

It would be nice to have available. He doesn't eat much, and has little appetite. That's interfering with a couple of his medical conditions. I can make food he'll eat, but I can't do it all the time.

This would be a real boon. Yes, I know that marijuana should be legalized or somehow be legal to use. That's not going to help my FIL, though. It's not a zero-sum game, and my FIL doesn't have years to wait.


28 posted on 12/27/2005 8:03:22 AM PST by MineralMan (godless atheist)
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To: Pharmboy
Marinol is a pill, so is hard for some nauseous patients to keep down, and is slow-onset and therefore hard to titrate (that is, take just enough to counter current symptoms).
29 posted on 12/27/2005 8:03:30 AM PST by Know your rights (The modern enlightened liberal doesn't care what you believe as long as you don't really believe it.)
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To: Know your rights
How are any of them your or government's business

When you grow up and have kids you might understand.

30 posted on 12/27/2005 8:04:05 AM PST by Clint N. Suhks (If you don't like Jesus, you can go to hell.)
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To: Clint N. Suhks
In a free society nobody needs to "justify" any non-rights-violating act.

Yet more Liberaltarian palaver...the 10th amendment trumps the 9th.

I didn't say a word about any amendment. But since you raise the subject: are you ascribing to me the view that "the 10th amendment trumps the 9th"? If so, you're wrong. Or are you stating your own view? If so, please explain; neither the plain language of those amendments, nor any reading I'm aware of, supports your claim.

31 posted on 12/27/2005 8:06:54 AM PST by Know your rights (The modern enlightened liberal doesn't care what you believe as long as you don't really believe it.)
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To: Know your rights

Understood...does not work for everyone for nausea (works best as preventative there), but we were discussing appetite enhancement where oral forms work well.


32 posted on 12/27/2005 8:08:59 AM PST by Pharmboy (The stone age didn't end because they ran out of stones.)
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To: Clint N. Suhks
When you grow up and have kids you might understand.

I have kids, and I don't want government raising them, thanks. I see no reason to believe that restricting the rights of adults protects my kids ... and even if I did, as a conservative I wouldn't force other adults to shoulder MY parenting burden.

33 posted on 12/27/2005 8:09:31 AM PST by Know your rights (The modern enlightened liberal doesn't care what you believe as long as you don't really believe it.)
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To: Tijeras_Slim

Stop bogarting the doritos!;)


34 posted on 12/27/2005 8:09:46 AM PST by TXBSAFH ("I would rather be a free man in my grave then living as a puppet or a slave." - Jimmy Cliff)
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To: MineralMan
I know that marijuana should be legalized or somehow be legal to use. That's not going to help my FIL, though.

I certainly don't think your FIL should have to wait for marijuana legalization. I also don't think that anyone who wants marijuana-related medicines available should support the War On Drugs, whose current party line is that marijuana has no medicinal value. (Not saying you do support it.)

35 posted on 12/27/2005 8:12:31 AM PST by Know your rights (The modern enlightened liberal doesn't care what you believe as long as you don't really believe it.)
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To: Clint N. Suhks; Know your rights
When you grow up and have kids you might understand.

I'm grown up and have kids and grandkids but I still don't understand.

36 posted on 12/27/2005 8:14:50 AM PST by houeto (Mr. President, close our borders now!)
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To: Know your rights
SOME pot smokers end up that way ... as do some boozers. How are any of them your or government's business?

When they become violent and hurt others, not just themselves.

37 posted on 12/27/2005 8:15:19 AM PST by elbucko
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To: rhombus
In layman's terms, a good vaporizer heats the herb to a specific temperature where the THC is vaporized and released but the plant does not burn.

Since there is no harsh smoke, it should feel like inhaling air.
38 posted on 12/27/2005 8:15:19 AM PST by varyouga (I no longer fear death. I only fear the day when the DUmmies take over.)
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To: elbucko
When they become violent and hurt others, not just themselves.

Hurting others is already against the law, and marijuana ... unlike the legal drug alcohol ... does not increase violence. No support there for anti-marijuana laws.

39 posted on 12/27/2005 8:17:07 AM PST by Know your rights (The modern enlightened liberal doesn't care what you believe as long as you don't really believe it.)
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To: Know your rights
nor any reading I'm aware of, supports your claim

Then you need to read more. States have the right to make laws for the society they want to maintain, you're welcome to lobby your fellow citizens to elect representatives to make laws you'd like instead of whining about. Using your silly scenario comparing legal behavior "alcohol use" with illegal behavior "pot use" is sophistic. Why not legalize all drugs and compare alcohol with morphine?

Grow up, get a job and move out of your parent's basement. No wonder Liberaltarians are only the irrelevant 2% of the electorate.

40 posted on 12/27/2005 8:18:01 AM PST by Clint N. Suhks (If you don't like Jesus, you can go to hell.)
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Comment #41 Removed by Moderator

To: Know your rights

"I certainly don't think your FIL should have to wait for marijuana legalization."

My FIL would not use marijuana in any form, if that's what it was called. He'll take a pill, prescribed by his doctor, but his principles won't let him use marijuana.

Lots of people feel that way. So, you can wait until it's legalized, if ever. I'll be glad if this research leads to something he can take without the euphoric effects of grass.

And lest you think I'm opposed to marijuana legalization, I can tell you that I am not. I stopped smoking it back in 1974, but I have no real problem with it, when used by adults, any more than I oppose the use of alcohol by adults.


42 posted on 12/27/2005 8:19:03 AM PST by MineralMan (godless atheist)
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To: Know your rights
I have kids,

That's too bad for them.

43 posted on 12/27/2005 8:19:33 AM PST by Clint N. Suhks (If you don't like Jesus, you can go to hell.)
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To: Pharmboy

So if they have Marinol, and Marinol is ok, why is Marijuana not ok? Oh wait, I forgot. The drug companies can't make a fortune (and therefore taxes from the drug companies) off of something that can be grown for free.


44 posted on 12/27/2005 8:19:55 AM PST by sandbar
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To: elbucko
"When they become violent and hurt others, not just themselves."

Oh, Common. Do you really believe that "Reefer Madness" nonsense. How many violent stoners do you know of? I knew several violent alcoholics and cokeheads but never stoners.

45 posted on 12/27/2005 8:21:08 AM PST by varyouga (I no longer fear death. I only fear the day when the DUmmies take over.)
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To: MineralMan

>>>This would be a real boon. Yes, I know that marijuana should be legalized or somehow be legal to use. That's not going to help my FIL, though. It's not a zero-sum game, and my FIL doesn't have years to wait.>>>

That sounds like it's your FIL's problem. Noone can help he has a stigma against something. And your FIL's hang up shouldn't affect everyone else.


46 posted on 12/27/2005 8:21:44 AM PST by sandbar
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To: varyouga
How many violent stoners do you know of?

The only violent stoners that I've ever seen were drunk!

47 posted on 12/27/2005 8:22:51 AM PST by houeto (Mr. President, close our borders now!)
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To: billorites

Now if they can figure out why DORITOES are the munchie of choice then we can save the world!


48 posted on 12/27/2005 8:23:55 AM PST by NormB (Yes, but watch your cookies!!)
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To: varyouga
a good vaporizer heats the herb to a specific temperature where the THC is vaporized and released but the plant does not burn.

So the remaining herb is "de-THC'ed"? How effective is the vaporizing process in removing all the THC?

49 posted on 12/27/2005 8:23:55 AM PST by rhombus
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Comment #50 Removed by Moderator


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