What we call the munchies, the enhanced appetite, is sometimes the best and most pleasing side effect of smoking cannabis. But only when it doesn’t become a recurring issue for a regular cannabis smoker watching calories and trying to take off some extra pounds. So how do you deal with them? Marijuana is an appetite stimulant, and if you find that it negatively impacts you, you must find a way to control and prevent munchies, and below are tips to help.
Why Does Marijuana Give You Munchies?
Before we head to the ways of dealing with munchies, you might first want to know the reason behind marijuana-induced hunger and why suddenly your roommate’s leftover lasagna is suddenly so tasty.
First, don’t worry. Most consumers have experienced munchies at some point, and that’s among the most common side effects of marijuana, so if you suddenly feel like starving after smoking cannabis, it’s not unusual.
Munchies will attack once cannabinoids are absorbed in the bloodstream and interact with the endocannabinoid (ECS) receptors in the brain and body. That’s why you suddenly feel hungry. However, not all cannabis plants induce hunger. Hemp, for instance, doesn’t cause munchies, and that’s because the primary reason behind marijuana’s appetite-stimulating effects is THC – the psychoactive cannabinoid.
THC’s interaction with CB1 receptors in the endocannabinoid system (ECS) is the reason for sudden munchie attacks. According to one study in mice by a team of European neuroscientists, THC fits into the brain’s olfactory bulb’s receptors and significantly increases animals’ ability to smell food. The stronger odor processing explains why everything tastes so great after smoking cannabis – you can smell and taste food more acutely. So, it’s like listening to music on a high-quality speaker when you suddenly hear individual parts and instruments in the song – if you are a music lover, you’ll want to hear more, and the same goes for munchies and food.
Although common, not all cannabis consumers get munchies, especially regular heavy users. Those who generally respond to hunger episodes, start by eating everything in sight, with a craving for unhealthy snacks or fast food foods, delivered straight to their door. However, when you don’t take control of regular munchies, it can become a significant issue and the reason for undesired weight gain.
If this is you, you might want to find a way out of munchie attacks, and here are some tips to help.
Smoke on a Full Stomach
One of the easiest ways not to overindulge in snacks and foods once the munchies strike is to eat a filling meal before smoking cannabis. Although you’ll still experience munchies on a full stomach, they might be less intense. Plus, you’ll know what you’re experiencing isn’t actual hunger, rather than cravings due to marijuana’s appetite-stimulating properties. Thus, you might be able to resist the munchie attacks.
Keep Unhealthy Food Away
One of the reasons you binge eat food after smoking is because you have a lot of it. If a bag of chips is right there in your pantry, then chances are, you’ll impulsively eat the whole bag. It doesn’t mean you need to toss away all the food, and that’s impossible, especially when you don’t live alone, but try to keep unhealthy food away from your home. If you want to keep the sweet snacks, for good reasons like your kids, or others in the home, put a lock on the pantry and give it to the non-stoner!!
Prepare Healthy Snacks
Regardless of what we say, when munchies strike, you might not remember most of the tips you’ve just read and will want to have a good meal after smoking. However, it’s not necessarily bad if you have a healthy meal or healthy snacks prepared beforehand. If all you can find at home is a salad, dried fruit, nuts, fresh fruits, and vegetables, or other healthy foods, there’ll be nothing to feel guilty about, and at the same time, you will provide your body with various nutrients and vitamins.
For many consumers, food tastes more flavorful, but other activities also became more amusing once high on cannabis. Therefore, rewatching some old films, playing games with friends, listening to music, or even doing crafts can help you pivot your brain from hunger and distract yourself so that you forget about your munchies and resist the urge to eat.
Switch Between Strains
Not all cannabis strains provide the same effects, and while one can induce an incredible hunger, others might not cause the same irresistible munchies. These varying effects are due to THC and CBD concentrations in different strains. Experimenting with different strains can help you determine which ones are better to avoid if munchies have become your reoccurring problem.
Usually higher the THC content, the stronger the munchies are, so if you want to avoid overeating after smoking, try cannabis strains with lower THC amounts.
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