Researchers at Yale University have figured out why you can eat an entire bag of dinosaur chicken nuggets when you're high. Science has previously proven that marijuana causes the munchies, but no one had been able to explain why exactly this happens. 

"Everyone knows that if you smoke dope after Thanksgiving dinner you will still go back and eat—sometimes much more," said Tamas Horvath, a professor of neurobiology at Yale who's obviously gotten high on Thanksgiving. "We were interested to find out why."

The answer lies within a set of neurons called POMCs that play a central role in inhibiting hunger. Horvath hypothesized that marijuana causes POMCs to shut down, but research showed they actually become more active. 

From the Los Angeles Times:

Further study revealed that cannibinoids, the active agent in marijuana, can change what kind of chemical the POMC neurons release. When a mouse is drug-free, its POMCs release MSH, a chemical that suppresses appetite. But when you give the same mouse marijuana, its POMCs start to release the opioid beta-endorphin, which promotes hunger.

What you need to do now is memorize that passage. If you can recite it next time you're getting high with your friends you'll look like the smartest person in the rotation. Someone might even be impressed enough to pay for your munchies. 

[via LA Times]