Smoking weed leaves most people vulnerable to the munchies. This shouldn’t surprise you. Marijuana is known to improve hunger in medical patients with appetite problems and to enhance the senses of smell and taste.
A little science first
Weed is a brain teaser. According to Rebecca Anderson writing for PBS’s Newshour, “Our brains produce their own cannabinoids, lipids that help our appetite, mood, memory, and pain reception. Tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC, produced in the marijuana latches on to cannabinoid receptors in our brain, mimicking the same chemicals.”
Weed is a gut teaser. Maia Szalavitz reported in Time on research at UC-Irvine: “The taste of fatty food hitting the tongue sets off a cascade of cellular effects. Initially, it sends a message to the brain. The brain then sends a message to the gut, where intestinal receptors are stimulated to produce endocannabinoids. In turn, these chemicals affect hunger and satiety and ramp up your appetite for even more fat-laden foods. That’s why you can’t eat just one French-fry.”
Still, whether it’s the science or the tradition, smoking weed leaves most people with the munchies.
The usual options are not healthy choices: Cheetos, pizza, burger sliders, ice cream, nachos, and more. But, it doesn’t have to be this way. You do not see many fat potheads.
- Don’t smoke. That’s a no brainer, but if you distribute or stagger the smoking, you also spread the risk of eating too much.
- Set yourself up. If you plan your day, you can put some thought into it. For example, you could schedule a yoga session or a fitness workout before you smoke. Any concerted activity will get your positive juices flowing.
- Wet yourself. You can drink volumes of water for two reasons. One, the water fills you up. Two, most people do not hydrate enough anyway, and the hydration will help with the dry mouth and dry eyes later.
- Get off the couch. You can’t get couch-locked if you are not on the couch. Smoke in the fresh air where you have the chance to stretch your legs.
- Eat first. Eating your fill of a healthy meal before smoking works specially well when the smoking finishes a social event. You might even plan a menu that complements the aromas and tastes of your favorite strain.
- Pick healthy munchies. This is not a contradiction in terms. If you choose healthy and nutritious snacks, place them where you can’t avoid them or make a nice presentation for guests. You can prepare a tray of chips and guacamole, pita and humus, celery, carrots, and other crudités.
- Fruit it up. If you want sweets, you can do some chocolate. But, you can also opt for cherries and blueberries or apples and pears.
- Clean up. You can spend time after smoking by brushing your teeth, using mouthwash, or chewing gum to change the chemistry on your taste buds.
- Put it away. All you should do is hide the munchies. In fact, it’s even smarter not to buy them. And, you can make better decisions with yoga, meditation, and tai-chi that can make you forget where your munchies are.
- Change habits. If you are couch-locked into your smoking habit, you probably don’t give much thought to appetite issues. If you’re not locked, you can make healthy decisions in which your smoking has its place.
How to stop the munchies? It’s up to you. There are so many better choices than Krispy Kreme, Dominoes, and White Castle.
It could be in your strains.
Some strains are engineered to improve appetite, but others have been bred to suppress it. For example, you should avoid Indica-dominated strains in favor of high CBD (cannabinoid) and THVC (tetrahydrocannabivarin) content.
Richard Gray, science correspondent for The Telegraph reported on research testing on marijuana effects on “patients suffering from ‘metabolic syndrome’, where diabetes, high blood pressure and obesity combine to increase the risk of heart disease and stroke.” And, more research is exploring the weed advantage in treating these conditions.
Here are five “skinny pot” strains:
- XJ-13: This breed is a blend of Jack Herer and G13 Haze. Allbud puts the content at THC: 22%, CBD: 1%, CBN: 1%. It will hit you fast and mellow you out with creative chattiness and pleasant sweet taste.
- Harlequin: At 7% CBD, Harlequin’s ancestry is three Sativa strains. A dense cloud of incense barely hides scents of pineapple, melon, and tropical fruit. Its low THC reduces the high, but it leaves you well able to function at work. Its real value lies in medical applications for anxiety, stress, depression, and chronic pain.
- Blue Dream: Allbud’s trials put Blue Dream at THC: 17% - 24%, CBD: 2%, CBN: 1% for a potent cerebral high. Users say they feel motivated and creative, warm and numb. Tasting of sweet blueberries, it fights depression, chronic pain, and sleep disorders. Blue Dream remains hugely popular everywhere you can get it, perhaps because it is a morning treat and social smoke.
- Cannatonic: This high CBD option has become increasingly popular. It relaxes the entire body but leaves the brain bright and alert. The CBD:THC ratio of 2:1 reduces the high and the munchie cravings. The earthy and pine aroma treats depression, migraines, muscle spasms, and more.
- Moby Dick: This vanilla and eucalyptus treat is a Sativa-high hybrid. There’s a quick rush of cerebral energy, and it doesn’t let go for an hour. Then, it leaves a you relaxed and potentially sleepy, but it won’t lever you hungry.
Reaching for the munchies is mostly a matter of personal discipline. But, it helps to understand your position. For instance, if you get the biochemistry here, you have some idea of the cause.
That should help you resist the temptation, but if it doesn’t, you have at least the 10 options reviewed here. Give it some thought!