The Science of Munchies

May 18, 2023
Have you ever experienced a sudden urge to snack after smoking cannabis? A sudden increase in appetite after a smoke session, also known as munchies, is something most cannabis enthusiasts have faced at some point. But why does this happen? Let’s take a better look into the science of munchies and what’s it all about.

What are Munchies?

If you’ve ever smoked or ingested cannabis, chances are you’ve experienced the munchies. It’s the intense craving for food that accompanies the use of marijuana. There is no strict definition of munchies, but according to the urban dictionary, it’s described as “A odd feeling in your stomach after smoking marijuana. You aren’t ACTUALLY hungry, it’s just really hard to stop eating.”

Now what does the science have to say? One study found that THC interacts with the brain’s natural endocannabinoid system, which controls emotions, memory, pain sensitivity, and appetite. THC mimics the activity of the brain’s own cannabinoids, leading to altered appetite. Eating causes the release of dopamine, the same as smoking cannabis. When combined, these effects are enhanced causing an increased sensation of pleasure.

The munchies are known to make you crave sweet, salty, or fatty foods. Some people even experience a heightened sense of taste and smell, making food even more appealing. It’s no secret that the munchies caused by cannabis consumption often lead to cravings for unhealthy foods like pizza, Doritos, and doughnuts, while healthier options are often overlooked. This is the main issue with munchies, if it happens daily it could lead to weight gain. So, if you’re planning on getting high, make sure you have some healthy snacks on hand. Munchies can be a fun experience, but taking care of your health should be prioritized.

Can You Gain Weight From Consuming Cannabis

Can You Gain Weight

Some might consider these cravings a negative side effect of cannabis, however, it’s not all black and white. Munchies you get from cannabis can be beneficial, especially for those undergoing chemotherapy or other medical treatments where they can experience a loss of appetite. Medical cannabis can counteract these effects, allowing people to take care of their bodies and be able to eat once again instead of being nauseous by the thought of food.

The research on this topic is limited and inconsistent. Some cross-sectional observational studies have linked cannabis with higher fat mass, while others have associated it with a smaller waist, lower BMI, and lower rates of obesity. However, it should be noted that self-reported use, which was the basis for these studies, is not entirely reliable.

In the end, it depends on how you manage to control the munchies and what food you choose to eat. If you get high and smack 3 bags of Doritos of course you will put on some weight. On the other hand, if you plan ahead and create some tasty, healthy snacks you can manage your weight easily.

How to Control the Munchies

Cannabis Table Arrangement

Weed can be a powerful appetite stimulant, and many people simply lose control when they feel the munchies. This usually ends up with poor food choices and overeating. If you are at least a little concerned about your health and wellness you should incorporate some of these strategies to control the munchies.

1. Plan Ahead

To make sure you won’t stuff yourself with junk food, the best practice is to plan ahead and have some healthy snacks on hand. This doesn’t necessarily mean you should eat bland and boring food, you can make a tasty fruit salad or a dark chocolate with a couple of mixed nuts. Also avoid keeping unhealthy snacks in your home, since if that’s not something you have on hand, you’ll be more likely to reach for healthy alternatives.

2. Stay Hydrated

It’s no secret that you should always drink water, especially while you’re stoned. Often, people mistake thirst for hunger, leading them to snack unnecessarily, and when munchies hit, this just might happen. By staying hydrated you can have better control over munchies and prevent overeating.

3. Strain Selection

Finally, consider the strain of cannabis you’re using. Some strains are known for causing more intense munchies than others. If you’re looking to avoid the munchies altogether, consider choosing a strain with a lower THC content. A strain with lower THC content doesn’t necessarily mean it’s inferior, but it may offer a more controllable high, which can affect munchies as well.

The Final Word

To conclude this discussion on “munchies,” it’s worth noting that its underlying mechanism isn’t overly complicated; THC affects the endocannabinoid system in the brain and prompts heightened appetite levels. Nonetheless, by employing proactive measures such as being strategic about food selection or remaining mindful of hydration levels while consuming cannabis – controlling munchies becomes well within reach! When choosing which strain to enjoy next time round – consider opting for those less associated with snack cravings to further aid healthy habits. Happy snacking!

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