The munchies. We’ve all experienced the seemingly inevitable fridge raid after a glorious smoke session. While this burst of hunger can make for some creative culinary adventures where food never tasted so good, sometimes we just want to get stoned without eating an entire family-sized bag of chips in one sitting. It can be discouraging when we tell ourselves that we’re not going to give in only to find ourselves knee deep in a pint of ice cream fifteen minutes later. We have some good news for those who wish to be free of cannabis induced snacking.
What causes the munchies?
The legalization of marijuana around the world has led to more scientific research to answer questions around cannabis. There are a few different studies that have sought to discover what is responsible for the insatiable hunger that comes along with the consumption of THC. After all, it would be easier to avoid the munchies if we know what caused them in the first place. A 2015 study looked at how our CB1 receptors influence food intake. CB1 receptors are the endocannabinoid receptors in our brains that THC binds to. This is what causes the psychoactive properties associated with cannabis.
According to the study, Hypothalamic pro-opiomelanocortin neurons (POMC) promote the feeling of being full. The activation PMOC by THC on the CB1 receptors promoted increased appetite through a series of chemical reactions in the brain’s hypothalamus. There’s more to the need to feed after smoking.
A different study led by Edgar Soria-Gómez looked at the influence of cannabis on the olfactory system. The study found that cannabis increased odor detection in mice by decreasing excitatory synapse in the main olfactory bulb. This pretty much means that THC gives us the munchies by disrupting the feeling of being satiated and makes everything smell better. All this biology may seem intimidating, but there are ways to outsmart our own brains!
Stop the munchies before they start
The best way to beat the munchies is to avoid them all together. While these suggestions are useful, some may require a little bit of planning.
Get out of the house
It might seem trivial, but you can’t raid the fridge if you aren’t around food. The distraction of the stoner adventure will take your mind off the desire to stuff your face. Here are some ideas for things to do.
- Go for a hike. Get some fresh air and take in the beauty that nature has to offer. It’s a healthy and free activity that will burn a few calories for when you do decide to chow down. Hiking doesn’t have to be out in nature, urban hiking can be just as much fun. Just be mindful of rules while hiking in the state and federal parks.
- Visit a museum. This is one of our favorite ways to get out of the house. Science museums often have interactive exhibits, and you could learn some mind-blowing stuff. Don’t even get us started on art museums! Art museums can be like a playground for stoners. You’ll be so engulfed in the experience that you won’t have time to think about the munchies. The Denver Museum of Nature & Science is a great place to visit!
- Get creative. Go somewhere and no crafts or paint. Many of the worlds greatest artists used cannabis to enhance the creative process. Going to a painting class is a great way to keep your mind away from snack mode. There are several Puff Pass & Paint classes all over Denver – check out their site!
Try different strains
When aiming to enjoy a munchie-free smoking experience, CBD is your friend and ally. CBD binds to the same receptors as THC, but in a different way. The presence of CBD can mediate the effects of THC including the munchies. Remedy and Cannatonic Sour Tsunami are CBD-dominant strains that will help alleviate the desire to eat after smoking.
Recent studies show that THCV (Tetrahydrocannabivarin) is an appetite suppressant. Next time you’re at a Buddy Boy Brands location, reach for high THCV strains such as Durban Poison or Platinum Girl Scout Cookies.
Embrace the munchies in a healthy way
Hey man, if you can’t beat them, join them. Let present you do future you a favor and plan ahead for your munchie experience. Prepare to have the munchies and set aside healthy options that are portioned out. Another way to work around the munchies is to smoke around meal times. You can indulge in the THC induced feeding without overdoing it on the calories.
What to do when you already have the munchies
You’ve done it again, you’ve found yourself with the urge to eat all of the food in the kitchen. Luckily there are things that you can do to keep the munchie monster at bay.
Much like we talked about avoiding the munchies, distraction can be a powerful tool to keep yourself from snacking.
- Go for a walk
- Do some art
- Clean the house
- Start a fun project
Drink some tea
- Green tea has antioxidants that fight hunger hormones.
- Peppermint tea suppresses hunger and settles the stomach.
- Chocolate tea is a great option if you’re craving chocolate but don’t want to go on a candy binge.
Brush your teeth
Much like drinking peppermint tea, brushing your teeth can leave a minty fresh taste in your mouth that will suppress hunger temporarily.
Exercise releases endorphins which will give you a little but of an energy boost. It will keep your mind off the desire to stuff your face, and by the time you’re done you might not have the munchies anymore. If you still have the munchies after working out, you will have burned enough calories that snacking will be a necessity.
Wait 15 minutes
When all else fails, just give yourself some time. I know 15 minutes can seem like forever, but you can get through it. If you wait a little bit and you’re not that hungry, it’s easier to avoid the munchies. If you wait and still need to feed, chances are that you’re legitimately hungry.
Munchies or not, cannabis can be a great addition to someone’s life. Feel free to ask your budtender about how they avoid the munchies or any strains that they carry that are less food driven. As always, happy smoking and please consume responsibly.