Munchies…considered by most as the gift and the curse of cannabis. A gift in the sense that when you’re experiencing them, chances are that you’re high as hell (assuming that was the goal) and a curse in the sense that you’re going to regret the sleeve of Oreos and leftover wings you just plowed through. We’ve all been there, talking yourself out of the cupboard, deleting the UberEats app until you’re sober again, or trying to convince yourself that broccoli will fill the void in your stomach. That’s why we decided to put together a guide to communicating with your stomach while high.
It is doubtful that you came here looking for a neurobiology lesson but understanding what actually causes munchies is key in winning the war. According to research published by Nature Neuroscience, THC is the culprit behind munchies (go figure!). More specifically, how THC interacts with the olfactory bulb in our brains. Researchers found that one of the underlying causes of the munchies is simply because THC, in essence, boosts our ability to smell and taste.
Other studies, like this one published in the Journal of Neuropharmacology, also points to THC’s role in the area of the brain called the nucleus accumbens. In short, activation of this region results in dopamine being released, and we all know how nice that makes us feel. It seems that our brains associate this with the same dopamine release that we get from eating tasty foods. As the human relationship with dopamine goes, give us a little bit and we only crave more. Hence our brain telling us to “eat!” Additionally, in a paper published by the Journal of Biological Chemistry, researchers point to THC’s relationship with the hypothalamus (another region of our brain). It appears that when THC reaches the hypothalamus, it activates ghrelin to be released. Ghrelin is a hormone responsible for triggering hunger.
Now that you’ve got a PhD in munchie science, let’s look at the thing you probably came here for, tips to curb your hunger!
…said no stoner ever, but if you’re reading this, you’ve probably come to realize that your munchies are getting out of control. First and foremost, try eating a healthy and filling meal prior to sparking your bud. If you’re one of those people who frequently skips meals with the mindset of “oh, I’ll just make it up later”, your body is not going to like you. Not only is this not advisable for stoners and non-stoners alike, but it is setting yourself up for disaster as well.
Even if you’ve got the regularly scheduled meals down to a science, but your pantry is filled with junk food, where do you think you’ll end up before you finish that first bowl? We’re not saying you have to become a health nut and completely rid your life of sweets (what sort of sadistic advice article do you think this is?), we’re just saying that if junk food is more accessible, you’ll likely find yourself filling your pockets with candy to take back to the couch where you’ll spend the rest of the day playing video games.
“It’s cool…I’ve got self-control”…famous last words of someone who packed on 10lbs because of the munchies. Look, we get it, we’ve got “self-control” too, as long as we’re not on our third dab and second blunt of the evening. It is easy to purchase a jumbo box of candy bars with the mindset that you’ll ration them out over the course of a few weeks, but how often does it play out like that? If you’ve just got to have your sweets (no judgement here!), but you’ve also just got to have your weed, maybe it is time to invest in one of those timed lock-boxes to preemptively stow your snacks until the bud wears off and the hunger beast within you has subsided. There are a few of these that are even targeted towards stoners, so rest assured, you’re not the only one fighting the good fight.
We hate to sound like a nagging parent or nosey co-worker, but we’ve got science backing this. It is estimated that over 70% of Americans do not get enough water each day as it is, so unless you’re the exception to the statistic and fall into the slim margin of those who are fully hydrated, you probably want to increase that water intake.
If you’re one of those who say, “but I don’t feel thirsty”….well, just don’t be one of those people. That’s because when we feel thirsty, our bodies are already in a state of dehydration. Ideally, you should never feel thirsty before hydrating. When it comes to hunger and hydration, studies show that our bodies have a difficult time distinguishing between being thirsty and hungry. More often than not, our brain interprets this mixed signal as hunger instead of thirst. See where this narrative is going? Just give it a shot the next time you’re about to cram that pizza in your mouth. Simply have a glass of cold water, wait 15 minutes, and see how you feel. Worst case, you’ll alleviate your cottonmouth before you curse this tip and go back to devouring your pizza.
Everyone wants to talk about stress-eating, but nobody ever mentions bored-eating. That pint of ice cream in the freezer sounds a hell of a lot more interesting than watching the rest of a football game when your team is down 40 points. We’re all guilty of eating out of boredom from time to time, but there are countless activities that are healthier and equally unproductive as eating until it hurts. We’re not going to play scout leader and tell you ways to distract yourself outside of the kitchen, but facts are facts, nobody ever packed on 10lbs from rubbing two sticks together to make a fire. Get outside and walk off those munchies!
Time for a new Strain
You’ve read enough of Twisted Bee cannabis strain review articles by now to know some bud is more likely to cause munchies than others. Talk to your budtender and ask which strains they have in stock with higher THCV or CBD concentrations. These cannabinoids aren’t intoxicating so you’ll want to make sure your selection still has a moderate amount of THC, but they’re known to help curb appetites, especially THCV.
We’re not trying to create some new diet trend for stoners. We get high and stuff our faces from time to time just like you. What we are trying to do is simply break some of the remaining stoner stereotypes that still exist. Just like people used to think that someone couldn’t enjoy weed and hold down a job, there are people who think weed will just result in getting you fat. Sure, munchies don’t help in the weight department, but like most recreational things out there, moderation is key!