Although the link between sleep patterns and unhealthy food cravings has been studied before, this new study published in eLife, has gone further. Researchers have now found similarities between effects on the brain when a person is sleep deprived, and when a person has consumed Cannabis.
It turns out that when you don’t get as much sleep as you need, two important reactions take place in your body. The first, is an increase in a chemical compound known as 2-oleoylglycerol, or (2-OG). This compound is modulated by the Endocannabinoid System (ECS) – the same system which interacts with the cannabinoids found in Cannabis.
This chemical has been seen to have an effect on appetite, by transforming a feeling of fullness, to a feeling of hunger. When the relationship between cannabis and appetite were discovered, many hoped for the development of new drugs. Cannabis has been considered for improving appetite in patients suffering from AIDS, or Cancer.
Despite being known to improve appetite in many cases, Cannabis users are less likely to be obese than non-users. However, the reason for this still isn’t clear.