Does All Weed Give You the Munchies?
Weed is notorious for increasing cravings and appetite – especially for carb-laden, salty, sweet and crunchy foods, but does all weed give you the munchies? In a nutshell, strains high in THC tend to increase food cravings and hunger. There are, however, marijuana strains that don’t result in an intense desire to eat. So, put down that bowl of chips and dip, hide the jelly beans and read on if you’d like to know how to curb those after-cannabis cravings.
Why THC Gives You the Munchies
Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) is the psychoactive cannabinoid in marijuana. Scientists are beginning to see the connection between THC and the “munchies”. Tamas Horvath, a neurobiologist at Yale, and co-author of the study “Hypothalamic POMC neurons promote cannabinoid-induced feeding” found that THC activates neurons in the hypothalamus that were previously thought to suppress appetite and reverses their effects, resulting in a feeling of hunger. Other studies have shown that THC also increases the release of dopamine, which can increase the feeling of pleasure from eating. To put the icing on the cake (that you’d eat when high), THC may also supercharge our ability to smell.
Weed Strains that Produce Less of a Desire to Eat
While more studies are needed to make any definitive claims about cannabinoids’ effects on appetite, weed strains lower in THC and higher in CBD will likely not result in cravings as intense as those experienced after consuming weed with high levels of THC.
So, if you want to use cannabis for its relaxing effects, choose weed strains with low THC and high CBD. While there is no science on the effects of CBD on appetite, many cannabis consumers report that they don’t get the munchies as much when they consume cannabis products and strains high in CBD.
How Not to Gain Weight Because of Munchies
One way to control weight gain that may be caused by munchies, is choosing low-carb foods that still satiate the desire for crunchy-sweet-or-salty goodness. For this, we can tear a page from the ketogenic diet snack book. The “keto” diet is a low carb, high protein, high “good fat” diet that has helped many people loose weight. While we won’t go into details, the keto diet is all about reducing carbs. You can learn about it here. While we don’t advocate any diets (we’re not doctors), keto or “keto-ish” snacks can satisfy cravings without the carbs, refined flour, sugar or high-fructose corn syrup found in many of your favourite snacks.
Here are some ideas. While not all of them are strictly “keto”snacks, they’re much better choices than the usual store-bought snacks and candy.
- Pork rinds.
Crunchy, salty, tasty, low-carb, high protein, pork rinds are a popular keto snack. If you want some sweetness with your saltiness, a few drops of maple syrup cranks the satisfaction up to 11. While maple syrup isn’t keto, you don’t need much to satisfy your craving for sweetness. Maple syrup contains a LOT of sugar so go easy.
- Celery and dip, peanut butter or cheese.
Celery has the crunchiness you may desire when high. It also contains few calories, no sugar and is a great peanut butter, dip or cheese delivery device.
- Keto oven-baked cheese chips and dip.
Oven-baked cheese chips are exactly as described. Grate some cheese, place small mounds on parchment, oven bake until golden brown. Let cool and serve with dip.
- Popcorn with grated cheese.
While not keto, popcorn is low carb if you don’t strap on a feeding bucket. A typical microwave popcorn has about 30 grams of carbs for every 5 cups of popped kernels. If you can limit your intake to a cup, you’re only consuming 6 grams of carbs. Cheese isn’t necessary, but you can make a shoe taste great if it’s slathered in melted cheese.
- Apples and cheese.
- Kale chips.
Some of you may be thinking “blech” right now. Don’t knock it ‘til you try it. Kale chips are crunchy. I’ve tried salt ‘n vinegar kale chips that were very tasty!
Not only do I crave sweetness after smoking weed, my cravings also demand crunch and coldness. Watermelon is my go-to munchy satisfier. Watermelon is about 90% water and is relatively low in sugar and carbs (about 11 grams per cup). Because watermelon is so water laden, it also fills you up.
Top Shelf Express is a great place to buy weed online in Canada, but we’re not doctors. This article should not be construed as medical advice.