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Worms Experience The 'Munchies' After Cannabis Consumption
A new scientific study has proven that it isn’t only humans who experience hunger pangs after consuming cannabis. It was recently been proven by a study led by the Neuroscience Institute at the University of Oregon that when C. Elegans, non-parasitic organisms, are soaked in cannabis, they end up with same strong appetite for food. The experiment was published in the journal of Current Biology, highlighting how worms displayed a strong preference for high-calorie food, just like human preference for junk food, after consuming cannabis. The investigation was carried out through the measuring of the swallowing rates of the worms being studied, and Professor Shawn Lockery, who was leading the study, concluded that cannabinoids were increasing the amount of bacteria blend consumed. Cannabinoids act by binding to cannabinoid receptors in the brain and other parts of the body, which are the same receptors that normally respond to related molecules that are present within the body, known as endocannabinoids. The study did not highlight whether the worms experienced the same high state as humans when exposed to THC, but it did point to the same effects on appetite, suggesting that cannabis interferes with an important mechanism that regulates appetite. THC triggers appetite whether hungry or not, encouraging hungry stoners to engage in ‘hedonic feeding’, also known as the munchies. The experiment done on worms reflects the ‘On Being Stoned’ study led by Charles Tart in 1971, and was based round the monitoring of 150 marijuana users’ appetites and their cravings for sweet treats after being exposed to the drug. Instead of being drawn to the taste of the foods, the worms were drawn to the bacteria present on such. Furthermore, the results were made clear through the genetic engineering of the C.Elegans to show the certain neurons and muscles glowing fluorescent green when responding to the cannabinoid. The study highlights how worms could now be used in the testing and screening of drugs for human use. As a research organism, C.Elegans are inexpensive and are an ideal lab animal for studying nerve cells. The results will be amusing for the general public who were celebrating 4/20 earlier this week, a festival dedicated to the recreational drug. Edited by Aminat Akintobi
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