Ever wonder why you crave chocolate?
Researchers think that chocolate activates the chemical in our body called opiates which makes us feel happy. They found three substances, in chocolate, that are the same as what marijuana does. There is a chemical in marijuana called THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) that when hooked to the receptors in our body make us feel "high".
The question is does chocolate affect your brain the same way marijuana does? They have found chemicals in that act the same way as THC. There is a compound in chocolate called anandamide, which your brain already produces. It doesn't make you as happy as marijuana because the compound breaks down quickly and doesn't stay in your body long enough to affect you. The difference between marijuana and chocolate is that chocolate only activates anandamide, but marijuana activates receptors all around your body. Thats why it affects your body much more. For chocolate to affect your body as severe as marijuana a 130 pound person would have to eat 25 pounds of chocolate at one time! Also, not all the compounds actually make it all the way to your brain. Although chocolate does not affect you as severely as marijuana it will make you feel a little happier than usual. This is not the only explanation for the affects of chocolate.
The " Love-Drug" Theory
There is a drug called phenylethylamine that is related to amphetamines. This drug causes your blood pressure and blood sugar level, to rise and alerts you. It is called the "love-drug" because it makes your pulse go faster like when you're in love. There is also a little caffeine in chocolate that may also make your heart beat faster, but for you to get as much caffeine as a cup of coffee you would have to eat 12 chocolate bars! Researchers are still working hard to find the real reason for the affects of chocolate so grab a candy bar and enjoy!