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It is a well documented fact that cannabis use often triggers an appetite for those consuming it. However, until a new study out of Washington State University, very little was known about how or why it does. 

Jon Davis, Ph.D, researcher in the Department of Integrative Physiology and Neurosciences at Washington University, used a new procedure to dose lab rats with cannabis vapor to identify how the drug triggers hunger hormones. The researchers found that the cannabis dose triggered a ghrelin (the hormone that triggers hunger) surge, even if the rat had just eaten. When a counteractive drug was given, the ghrelin surge was prevented and the cannabis no longer triggered eating. They also found that in a small region of the hypothalamus responsible for sensing ghrelin, cannabis changed the genetic activity of brain cells. 

The findings are significant because it gives drug makers a better understanding of how cannabis works on hunger, and may eventually be able to isolate the effect without the broader effects. Such treatments could be used in patients suffering from chronic illnesses such as cancer, HIV/ AIDS, heart disease, and others. 

Source: https://www.news-medical.net/news/20180717/Animal-studies-reveal-brain-changes-responsible-for-appetite-effects-of-cannabis.aspx


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