“The Munchies” are a known side effect of consuming tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). But when people think of THC, what they’re typically referring to is Delta-9 THC. But its Delta-8 counterpart may also have its own appetite-stimulating properties.
There’s been a lot of buzz around Delta-8 THC. In particular, the cannabinoid is known for its less potent “high” when consumed, as compared to Delta-9. And like Delta-9 THC, the less potent Delta-8 also stimulates the appetite. 
Delta-8 is more widely available as demand continues to ramp up. Since it can be derived from hemp, it’s considered legal on a federal level and can be easily accessed in various shops across the US, as well as online.
Why Does Delta-8 Stimulate the Appetite?
Delta-8 THC has physiological effects on the body when consumed, which can lead to a strong desire to eat. Studies suggest that this phenomenon is associated with the way the cannabinoid interacts with the endocannabinoid system in the body.
In particular, Delta-8 THC interacts with the CB1 receptors of the endocannabinoid system, which causes a myriad of reactions, one of which is an increase in appetite.  These CB1 receptors have been shown to be important regulators of appetite, which is why cannabinoids from the cannabis plant can lead to feelings of hunger and cravings.
“The Munchies” might just be a side effect of consuming THC, but it may also have its place in the world of medicine. More specifically, THC may be an effective supplement for cancer patients suffering loss of appetite following cancer treatments.  THC may also have other uses for cancer patients, including alleviating pain and relieving nausea.
More research is needed on the role that the CB1 receptors — and Delta-8 THC — play as a factor in how hunger is experienced to provide consumers with the appropriate strain for stimulating appetite.
Image source: NickyPe via Pixabay
1- Avraham, Y, et al, “Very low doses of delta 8-THC increase food consumption and alter neurotransmitter levels following weight loss“, Pharmacol. Biochem. Behav., April 2004, Vol. 77(4):675-84.
2- Thapa, D, et al, “The Cannabinoids Δ 8 THC, CBD, and HU-308 Act via Distinct Receptors to Reduce Corneal Pain and Inflammation“, Cannabis Cannabinoid Res., February 2018, Vol. 3(1):11-20.
3- Dariš, B, et al, “Cannabinoids in cancer treatment: Therapeutic potential and legislation“, Bosn J