The “Munchies” is a common and well-known effect associated with consuming marijuana. For many users, this is an added benefit to smoking marijuana, especially for those suffering from a loss of appetite, eating disorder or going through chemotherapy. For recreational users, while extremely enjoyable, the munchies can result in an unwanted increase in the scale. But what is it about the cannabis plant that causes users to want to rip into every chip bag or box of cookies?
The term “the munchies” is said to have been coined in a famous study about being stoned by Charles T Tart in 1971, in which observations were made about the mental state of 150 marijuana users. More recently, a 2015 study discovered that THC is able to turn on neurons in the brain – including those which signify hunger.
The term “the munchies” is said to have been coined in a famous study about being stoned by Charles T Tart in 1971…
The Role of THC & CBD
As both the THC and CBD compounds are able to communicate with cannabinoid receptors throughout the body, they are able to trigger the release of neurotransmitters. This means the release of dopamine, which is most popularly known as the “pleasure hormone”. This is partly why food smells and tastes so much better when you are stoned.
A 2014 study also found that due to how THC fits into the CB1 cannabinoid receptor in the brain, it can promote odor detection and result in an increased food intake.
In addition, THC has a profound effect on the hypothalamus, which triggers the release of the hormone “ghrelin”, which stimulates hunger. The hypothalamus is also home to POMC neurons who also play a role in hunger as well as arousal. According to research by the Yale University of Medicine, POMC neurons determine if you are hungry as well as how much to eat, but when cannabis is introduced to these neurons, they fire more rapidly. This is why a person who is full after two slices of pizza is able to down an entire pie when stoned.
It appears that the more frequent users, and those who take in heavier dosages, don’t experience the munchies to the same extreme (if at all) when compared to newbies or recreational users. This is likely due to the fact that their bodies have adjusted to taking in THC, and an even larger dose would be required to get those same effects.
Stopping the Munchies
Unless you are a heavy user or medical patient, odds are you will experience the munchies when consuming cannabis – which may or may not be to your liking.
If not, there are a few things you can do to stop yourself before you devour the entire kitchen:
- Implement a proper meal schedule: If you light up post-lunch or post-dinner and remain fairly satiated throughout the day, you are less likely to give into the munchies.
- Keep yourself busy: Distraction is the king for stopping the munchies. Playing a game with friends or online, watching a stand-up comedy show or going for a walk can be great tools for delaying the munchies.
- Brush your teeth: You might be surprised (or not) to find how cravings drop after you brush your teeth. That fresh minty taste can be a great deterrent for another peanut butter cup or second bowl of ice cream!
- Switch strains: Unfortunately with THC comes the munchies. You can mitigate this by choosing Sativa’s over Indica’s or looking for higher CBD content (which means giving up some of the psychoactive effects as well).
- Get rid of temptation: This is two-fold. You can get rid of all the temptation, but unfortunately ordering pizza is a click away! Your best bet is to remove the unhealthy foods from your fridge and pantry and instead stock up on healthy options. You might be surprised at how amazing watermelon or grapes can be when you’re high! They are just as satisfying to eat, but aren’t as bad for your waistline (and health) as a bag of chips or entire pepperoni pizza.
Choosing the Right Strains
Whether you are looking for the appetite-inducing effects from cannabis, or want to avoid the munchies, there are several strains that can do the trick!
If you suffer from a lack of appetite whether due to a mental or medical condition, there are several strains that can assist with this:
- Purple Kush is a potent 100% Indica rated one of the “Top 10 Most Powerful Strains in the World”. With an average THC level of 22% and a sweet yet earthy grape flavor and taste, this strain has an uplifting high for mind, body – and appetite!
- Quantum Kush is another powerful strain. Sativa-dominant and THC levels around 27%, the effects are sure to banish appetite loss and nausea, along with pain or fatigue.
- Skywalker OG is a powerful Indica-dominant hybrid with 20-25% THC. This strain results in heavy sedation and euphoric head high along with a mean case of the munchies.
Find more appetite-inducing strains in the online cannabis dispensary shop at Fair Canna Care. Click here to browse strains suitable for improving loss of appetite or even browse strains to manage nausea and appetite or digestive issues caused by chemotherapy. It is to buy cannabis online and get back on track today!
Manage The Munchies
If you are a recreational user who would rather not experience the munchies, there are cannabis strains to do just that! These strains are known to have higher levels of THCV.
THCV is a cannabinoid, just like THC or CBD, but that produces different effects. In fact, even experienced users may not be familiar with THCV! Instead of increasing hunger hormones, THCV actually suppresses appetite. THCV also has an energizing effect, so is often found in African Sativa’s, or Sativa-dominant strains.
Some strains found to be high in THCV include:
- Durban Poison contains an between 0.2 to 1.8% THCV and results in an upbeat high to keep you out of the kitchen and focused on what matters.
- Doug’s Varin is a Sativa with an impressive 5:4 THC to THCV ratio with average THC levels of 19% and THCV levels around 15%.
- Cherry Pie is thought to exhibit high THCV content due to its genetic relation to Durban Poison. In addition, this strain has long-lasting effects resulting in an uplifted mood, relaxed body and focused mind.
Regardless of your feelings about “the munchies”, it is hard to argue with their inevitable occurrence. After all, marijuana is a gateway drug… to the fridge.