Cannabinoid cravings

Cannabinoid cravings


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Study shows: Cannabinoids trigger cravings
25.02.2015

Certain nerve cells, which are normally designed to reduce appetite, can have the opposite effect, influenced by cannabinoids, and thus trigger cravings.

Cannabinoids are found in the hemp plant and are biochemical messengers that transmit stimuli between nerve cells. So that your message can be read in the stimulus-receiving cell, it has a kind of receiving device, the so-called cannabinoid receptors. Marijuana consumers are known to develop cravings. The effect occurs even when your stomach is well filled. With the cannabinoid 1 receptor, the receptor responsible for the appetite-stimulating effect is known.

In the hypothalamic area of ​​the brain there is a group of specialized nerve cells that becomes active after a meal and triggers a feeling of satiety. These are so-called pro-opiomelancortin-containing nerve cells or POMC neurons for short. They reduce appetite by releasing a certain hormone.

The scientists suspected that the saturated mice that continued to eat after cannabinoid injections would switch off the appetite-suppressing POMC neurons. Surprisingly, however, they found that the POMC neurons were by no means switched off, but on the contrary, actually fueled hunger that was actually activated. The cannabinoids reversed the POMC neurons and caused them to release the hungry hormone beta-endorphin as a messenger. Your results could be important for obesity research. You can find the study here. (pm)

Image: NicoLeHe / pixelio.de

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