by Noah Schlottman '16
It is something that has, most likely, perplexed humanity for thousands of years (1). It is something that has probably confused recreational users, the shamans who were its prescribers, and maybe even Shakespeare (2). Certainly there are Brown students who have pondered time and again, perhaps at various times throughout this university’s 250 years: Why does marijuana give you the munchies?
Though we haven’t figured out the full answer yet, a group of researchers at the University of Bordeaux conducted a study that gives us some insight into why, indeed, marijuana makes people hungry (3).
Tetrahydrocannabinol (commonly known as THC) is the “active ingredient” in cannabis. It mimics the activity of chemicals called cannabinoids that are naturally produced by our brains. These chemicals fit into receptors in the endocannabinoid system, which is involved in controlling mood, memory, pain, and—most importantly in this case—appetite. An ingenious experimental design allowed them to focus on certain cannabinoid receptors in mice’s olfactory bulbs, a part of the brain involved in odor perception.
By Haily Tran '16
For Brown students, fall usually means two things: lots of midterms and lots of pumpkins.
While the classic pumpkin spice latte provides both caffeine and that warm, fuzzy fall feeling of “everything is going to be all right” during those miserable all-nighters in the library, it leaves out a little known stress-reducing agent found in this special member of the squash family.