Most people will drink alcohol on New Year’s Eve, but those who do something else may wonder where those marijuana munchies come from. People who smoke pot almost always raid the refrigerator afterwards, but what is it about marijuana that causes them to do this?

It turns out that it’s all about having a sweet tooth: Researchers have discovered that cannabis acts directly on the tongue’s taste buds to enhance sweet taste. Biologist Robert Margolskee says, “Our taste cells may be more involved in regulating our appetites than we had previously known. Better understanding of the driving forces for eating and overeating could lead to interventions to stem the burgeoning rise in obesity and related diseases.”

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