People usually eat marijuana

"Fressflash" puzzle solved after smoking weed

Stoners know the effect: although they are full, they suddenly get cravings after a joint. In a study by Yale University in the USA, the mechanism on which the “eating flash” is based was clarified.

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Suddenly craving for hamburgers with fries? Quite a few stoners got their pelvis in the "Fressflash" with fast food, even though they were full beforehand. A study led by Tamas Horvath from Yale University in Connecticut has now clarified why this is so in an experiment with mice.

Horvath and his team were able to show that the cravings for smoking weed are triggered by certain neurons that normally convey the feeling of being full. This could be demonstrated in mice that were treated with a synthetic cannabis active ingredient. It has long been known that cannabinoid receptors in the body are involved in controlling the feeling of hunger. But no one knew how until now.

Center of satiety is deceived

A special group of nerve cells in the hypothalamus called POMC neurons normally make us feel full and make us stop eating. The research team has now found that POMC neurons, under the influence of cannabis, stimulate the appetite instead of dampening it.

“It's like stepping on the brakes in the car and accelerating instead,” explains Horvath. “We were surprised to find that neurons, which we thought were reducing food intake, were suddenly activated and caused hunger, even when one was full.” Cannabis deceived the satiety center in the brain, so to speak.

Even if the experiments were carried out on mice, the results can in principle be transferred to humans. "The machinery in the hypothalamus that regulates hunger and appetite works in principle in mammals and most fish in the same way," Tamas Horvath told Zeit Online.


  • Yale University press release (02/18/2015)
  • Zeit Online (02/18/2015)
  • Koch, M., Varela, L., Kim. JG, Kim, JD, Hernández-Nuño, F., Simonds, SE, Castorena, CM, Vianna, CR, Elmquist, JK, Morozov, YM, Rakic, P., Bechmann, I., Cowley, MA, Szigeti-Buck , K., Dietrich, MO, Gao, X.-B., Diano, S. & Horvath, TL (2015). Hypothalamic POMC neurons promote cannabinoid-induced feeding. Nature, doi: 10.1038 / nature14260.