If you’ve consumed cannabis, you’ve possibly experienced ‘the munchies’ before.
The term “munchies” goes as far back as the early 1970’s. North Americans in particular often use this term to explain their experience with food cravings after cannabis consumption.
When the cannabis effects start to slowly kick in, some may start to feel an intense urge to indulge in large amounts of food, usually gravitating towards foods that contain high amounts of sugar and salt.
The munchies is one of the most talked about cannabis side effects, and although many think that it’s a myth, cannabis really does increase your appetite.
Why Does Weed Make Me Hungry?
The two most common and active components in cannabis are cannabidiol (CBD) and tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). As THC is the main psychoactive component that is linked to most cannabis side effects, it is ultimately the main culprit behind having the munchies.
It turns out that as the cannabinoids found in cannabis bind to receptors within the body, they trigger the endocannabinoid system in the brain that influences the hypothalamus, which controls eating and metabolism.
Consumption can also spike the levels of a hormone called ghrelin, which can further stimulate hunger, appetite and eating pleasures.
To many, the munchies can be viewed as a downfall of cannabis, as it can make you feel hungry – even when you are not.
Can The Munchies Be A Good Thing?
For some, the munchies can be very beneficial. This especially applies to those who suffer with medical conditions and may need extra assistance with increasing their appetite.
Two major medical conditions that are known to cause a loss in appetite are AIDS and cancer.
Those suffering with AIDS can develop AIDS wasting syndrome which causes the individual to lose an excessive amount of weight, involuntarily.
Cancer treatments are known to cause nausea, vomiting, dull appetite, and lessened sense of taste, etc. This can result into extreme weight loss and fatigue within a short period of time.
Cannabis can be a great source to help aid those suffering from these and other conditions, as it can increase appetite, making food taste and smell better.
Ways to Control the Munchies
The munchies can be viewed as a negative side effect to cannabis due to creating spikes in hunger that can make you overindulge on food, even if you just ate and did not feel hungry prior to consumption. As a result, some cannabis users may experience unwanted weight gain.
Here are some mindful ways to help combat and lessen the munchies:
Eating well throughout the day, and giving your body whole, nutritious foods that are high in fiber and protein will help keep you satisfied and feeling full for longer.
Processed foods that are high in salt, sugar and fats should be avoided, as they will not only make you hungrier faster, but will continue to make you crave even more processed foods.
Sometimes being dehydrated can make your body think that you are hungry. Thus, staying hydrated is key. Drinking plenty of water will keep you feeling more full and can decrease the amount of food that you consume when the munchies start to kick in.
Keeping your fridge and pantry filled with cleaner food and snack options can help tremendously when you start to feel hungry from the munchies. This can help eliminate any temptations or desires to consume foods that contain high amounts of sugar and salt.
If you have ever experienced the munchies, then you are familiar with the feeling of intense hunger that can make you want to indulge in everything you have in the fridge and pantry.
Whether you need the assistance of cannabis to help increase your appetite, or you enjoy the high sensation but hate over eating, everyone will have a different experience with cannabis and the munchies.
Developing a better understanding of the munchies will help you find a proper balance for your cannabis lifestyle.