For many blazers, the munchies have become a predictable and anticipated side effect of sparking up some righteous reefer.
Every toker from North to South can agree that most cannabis strains have a strong likelihood of inducing a severe case of the munchies that only becomes more and more apparent until a sweet spot is reached.
That said, what exactly are the munchies, how does it work, and what does it make you do? To answer your questions, we’ve created a quick guide on the basics surrounding the munchies and what you should do when you undoubtedly encounter them.
So, without further ado, let’s get started!
What are the Munchies?
The “munchies” is a common side effect of weed that sparks a ravenous hunger in the user.
Since weed is known to amplify the flavours and textures of food, the munchies can cause people to go wild on a series of food rampages that may leave them in a significant calorie surplus.
If you know anything about weed or the munchies, you’ve probably already seen some of the memes of stereotypical stoners couch-locked and chowing down on copious amounts of junk food.
That is just one example of what a case of the munchies can do to you.
Why Does Weed Cause the Munchies?
As it turns out, the crazy amount of hunger that the munchies incite results from your hormones and one of the main hormones associated with hunger is called ghrelin.
When your stomach is empty or you miss a meal, your body releases this hormone to indicate that it’s time to fuel up. When we smoke weed and ingest THC, we receive a massive spike in ghrelin, charging our appetites for food frenzy.
This sensation, coupled with the enhanced taste and textures of food while high, can cause the munchies to create a dangerous feedback loop where we are urged to eat and gravitate towards junk foods, which cause a greater than average spike in our dopamine levels.
However, ghrelin isn’t the only thing THC affects. The psychoactive cannabinoid is also known to inhibit the effects of POMC neurons. These neurons are the key indicators that tell us to stop eating when we are full.
By blocking these neurons, the munchies can cause us to eat more even when we are fully satisfied. In other words, it’s the bad influence that tells us to channel our inner Augustus Gloop from Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and literally – and figuratively – feed our inner glutton.
Weed also intensifies the pleasure sensation of eating tasty foods, particularly carbohydrate-dense ones, so it is natural for someone high to reach for so-called “comfort foods” to maximize their pleasure.
While this might make you feel great in the short term, this behaviour has the potential to lead to problems in the future, especially if you’re binging on the regular.
Things like weight gain, insulin resistance, and even diseases like diabetes can creep up without you even knowing it.
5 Helpful Tips for Surviving the Munchies
As we just outlined above, while treating yourself to some tasty treats can be a permitted indulgence, if you’re doing it all the time, it could lead to some adverse consequences.
That said, there is hope! Here are some of our favourite tips for surviving the munchies.
Surround Yourself with Healthy Food
Will power is for fools. If you want to survive a case of the munchies without being a glutton and downing your whole week’s worth of pizza and ice cream, then you best prepare for it.
When you fall into a case of the munchies, it is as if the intensity of your cravings reaches a level where it’s damn near impossible to resist.
So, in order to work smart against the munchies rather than working hard against them, the best option is to limit the amount of harmful or unhealthy foods in your house or immediate vicinity.
Stocking your fridge with healthy snacks will help to completely remove the option of eating junk food and force you to reach for the healthier option.
Try to Control the Munchies
Although this may be hard depending on your personal hunger levels or the strain of weed you smoked, it’s a good idea to try and control your appetite as best as you can.
Although this might not always be successful, limiting the amount of food around you always helps more than trying to resist the temptations in front of you.
Distract Yourself with Other Things
While you’re high, everything is amplified in terms of entertainment. Even watching paint dry could be fun after you’ve taken a few puffs.
That said, in order to keep your mind off the munchies and eating in general, whether you’re high or not, you can find other things to keep you occupied.
Watch a movie, play some video games, go on a walk, hang out with friends or even workout. Anything that will demand your full attention will surely help you keep your mind off of the food and, in turn, help you consume less of it.
Take it Easy on the Edibles
Cannabis-infused edibles tend to produce some of the longest-lasting effects among all other cannabis-related products.
Your average high from weed edibles is set to last anywhere between 3 to 8 hours, depending on how strong of a dose you took. Since the munchies kick in while you’re high, you’ll have to deal with the munchies for much longer while you’re baked on edibles.
An easy fix for this would be to try alternative methods of consuming cannabis like smoking or vaping or even microdosing the edibles themselves.
Drink Some Water First
While it is true that the munchies may turn your stomach into a bottomless pit, you don’t always have to hold back while you’re high. In fact, being high actually can make a ton of different foods a lot more palatable and can even enhance certain textures.
If you’re rewarding yourself for a job well done or a milestone reached, it’s important to celebrate every once in a while. From time to time, let loose and have some of that junk food while you’re high. Just make sure to drink a ton of water first.
This act will fill you up and hydrate you enough so that you don’t overindulge. By drinking water at the start of your high or even before lighting up, you’ll be killing two birds with one stone by also providing some relief to the inevitable cottonmouth.
The Dosage Factor
Perhaps the most significant element that influences your likelihood of developing the munchies is paying close attention to how much THC you are ingesting. In other words, the higher the dose, the more likely you are to experience and succumb to the munchies.
This factor, in particular, is where many users fall victim to the delayed onset of the effects of edibles. The classic “I’m not feeling it yet, I’ll have a little more” has been the downfall of many tokers in more ways than one, with the munchies being one of the better outcomes of this common mistake and greening out being the worst.
One of the easiest ways to ensure you receive an accurate THC dose every time is by using tinctures. These products allow tokers to have a reliable method for accurately measuring and administering THC and CBD without going overboard.
If you or a fellow blazer is faced with the scenario of ingesting too much THC, an effective method to curb the adverse side effects is a CBD tincture. CBD possesses properties that counteract and inhibit the effects of THC, providing helpful soothing relief.
The Munchies – Food for Thought
The munchies are an integral part of the cannabis high. While some health-conscious people may shy away from weed because it may cause them to binge on junk food, that doesn’t always have to be the case.
As we’ve outlined today, users can take multiple preventative measures to ensure that calorie consumption stays within an acceptable range and that the high itself will not throw their fitness goals off balance.
Ultimately, although it takes a strong will to resist eating junk food while high, the better option is to remove it from the equation, so there is nothing to resist.
As always, happy toking!