Monday, November 23, 2009

Television as Food for Thought

Tonight was the all star television-at-work lineup of Intervention, Hoarders, and The Botany of Desire. The first two featured cats in one way or another; in fact, on Hoarders they found seventy-six hoarded cats in a woman's home, only forty-one of which were living. Later, when they were cleaning out her garage, they found many more kitten carcasses and even a full-grown cat that appeared to be petrified in a reclined position. So. WOW. The third show was by far the most intellectually stimulating, and it reminded me that I need to share my theory of why people who smoke pot get the munchies.

The basic premise is thus: THC (the part of pot that makes you feel high) is taken up by brain receptors that are designed to receive a substance called anandamide (meaning bliss) that the body produces naturally. Anandamide is found to be related to the ability to forget things effectively, and it is also what is released that causes what is referred to as the runner's high. I'm sure it varies from runner to runner, but the only time I've ever felt a true runner's high (and it is markedly different from the experience of enjoyment when I'm simply having a really good run) has been when I have been exerting myself quite enthusiastically. Most notably, it's shown up during the longest runs I've done. For instance, when I've trained for the Pikes Peak Marathon, once the long runs on consecutive days hit at least twenty miles for one run, I can almost surely count on a runner's high the day of the second long run. It is my theory that when the receptors pick up anandamide, it also signals to the brain that there has been great exertion, and thus there will be the need for food, and a lot of it. It would make sense, then, that when the same state is introduced artificially through THC, the brain would receive the same signals and result in the feeling of hunger. I know that after the second long run, I am often so hungry that I can eat through plates of food and still feel hungry, only to finally be satisfied by something completely random, such as jelly beans and pretzels. Together. So tell me, smokers of the ganja, is this the kind of hunger you feel? Could my theory be correct?

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