The ‘munchies’ is one of the best-known side effects of marijuana. Often, it is associated with the stereotypical stoner lifestyle.
If you have an appetite disorder or want to gain weight, eating an entire pizza in a sitting isn’t necessarily a bad thing. However, if your goal is to lose weight, you may end up feeling guilty.
According to recent CDC figures, approximately 36% of American adults are obese. Therefore, getting high and eating everything in sight isn’t ideal if you are in this bracket. That said, marijuana users are, on average, less likely to be overweight. Nonetheless, there are a lot of positives associated with eating healthily as often as possible.
When you use certain marijuana strains, it becomes challenging to ward off those pangs of hunger. The usual result is that you eat everything in sight. One way to avoid gorging on junk food is to steer clear of cannabis. That’s probably not an option if you’re reading this! Therefore, we would like to give you tips on how not to get the munchies while high.
One of the key takeaways is to stock your cupboards and refrigerator with healthy foods. However, there are other instrumental pieces of advice contained in this guide. And if you want to indulge, check out our best munchies to eat while high guide.
How to Not Get the Munchies When High: Our Top 10 Tips and Tricks
Have you ever wondered why you feel hungry after using cannabis? If so, you can learn all about it in our scientific look into the munchies article. Now, let’s take a look at some cool ways to avoid raiding your kitchen for junk food when high.
1. Eat Well Throughout the Day
It seems like the most obvious tip ever. Yet many cannabis users admit that they often fail to eat properly in the lead up to the main event. First and foremost, make sure you know the approximate time of your smoking session. For most users, it is likely in the evening after work. However, there are plenty of breakfast and afternoon smokers!
Let’s say you are a ‘typical’ evening user. This makes it easy to schedule a list of healthy meals throughout the day. Here is a sample:
- Breakfast: Oatmeal and fruit, water, and a cup of coffee.
- Lunch: Scrambled eggs on wholemeal toast with mixed peppers.
- Dinner: Sweet and sour chicken or beef vegetable stir fry with brown rice.
- Snacks: Cottage cheese, or fruit, or a handful of nuts or a protein shake.
The above is only a guideline, and probably far too healthy for most people! The point is, you have eaten three or four times already during the day. Other great options include buckwheat or quinoa. These foods release their energy more slowly than refined carbohydrates like white rice or pasta. Therefore, they keep you satisfied for longer. By the time you have your smoke, you may feel full enough to avoid going crazy on junk food.
2. Stay Hydrated
As a general rule, we are supposed to consume around two liters of water a day on average. One survey found that almost 80% of working Americans say they don’t drink enough water. It is unusual since it is a widely available resource that is cheap and relatively plentiful. Indeed, we tend to waste an extraordinary amount of H2O while failing to drink enough of it.
Did you know that sometimes, you believe you are hungry when your body is craving water?
Also, that thirst sensation you feel happens when you are already dehydrated. A study by Chang at al., published in Annals of Family Medicine in July 2016, looked at the link between inadequate hydration and obesity. The researchers found that not drinking enough water was linked with an increase in body mass index (BMI) levels.
If you feel the munchies coming on, try drinking liquid (preferably water) first to see what happens. You may discover that your seemingly unstoppable urge to eat everything in sight has been alleviated a little. Remaining hydrated can also combat side effects of marijuana consumption, such as dry eyes, cottonmouth, and dizziness.
3. Keep Your Cupboards & Refrigerator Filled with Clean Food
Tip #9 advocates making healthier choices, but you should also make sure you resist temptation by eliminating it. You can’t eat ice cream, chocolate, and Cheez Wiz if there is none in your house! We’re not necessarily telling you to throw your junk food in the bin! Instead, make sure you don’t buy it in the first place.
At this point, your biggest enemy is the Internet and your phone. The incredible array of delivery options at your disposal make ‘eating clean’ while high a challenge. Your best bet is to stay away from your phone and computer. Chill out and watch TV or listen to great music instead.
4. Distract Yourself
If you spend too long focusing on how hungry you feel, you’ll inevitably crack. Before you know it, an entire cheesecake has disappeared from your fridge! A better alternative is to distract yourself by using any means possible. This could include completing household chores or taking a bath.
Another good idea is to go outside and explore. Nature is incredible anyway, but you gain a greater appreciation of it when stoned. You could also go and meet a friend. Please note that driving while under the influence of cannabis is illegal in all states. There are also places where you can get arrested for being high. Therefore, if you go out, be careful!
5. Freshen Up
If you are the kind of person that can’t stop at one chocolate chip cookie, there is a way to counteract this behavior. Brushing your teeth or using mouthwash can prevent you from overdoing it with junk food. Have you ever eaten or drunk something after using toothpaste? It tastes weird and generally awful.
There is a neat scientific explanation for this sensation. Proteins cover your tongue and act as food particle receptors. These particles send a message to the brain when they come in contact with drinks or food. This message evokes one of the famous five taste senses: Saltiness, Sourness, Sweetness, Umami (Savory), and Bitterness.
Your toothpaste releases sodium lauryl sulfate (SLS) when you brush your teeth. This foaming agent interferes with proteins that line the membranes for your mouth’s taste cells. As a result, your tongue struggles to taste sweet flavors and replaces them with a nasty bitter sensation. SLS also destroys phospholipids, which act as a bitterness suppressant.
So, if you brush your teeth and then try to eat those cookies, they will taste awful, and you’ll have no desire to demolish the whole pack.
6. Retrain Your Brain
Human brains are wired to enjoy eating. The desire to find and consume food is necessary for the species to survive. When you eat, your brain releases dopamine, the primary neurotransmitter involved in the reward response. When you eat high energy foods such as sugar and fat, your brain releases even more dopamine. You receive an elevated sense of reward as a result.
Dopamine release is what makes sweet, high-fat foods so moreish.
This is also why you tend to reach for these unhealthy snacks when stoned. However, if you can resist these foods for a sustained period, you can retrain your brain to stop craving them so strongly. It is a process that’s far from easy. It will also take a lot of willpower and time. However, it is entirely possible.
7. Get a Good Night’s Sleep
Your appetite is controlled in part by two hormones, ghrelin, and leptin. Ghrelin is responsible for making you hungry, whereas leptin lets you know when you have eaten enough.
Research has shown that not getting sufficient sleep can increase ghrelin while decreasing leptin. As a result, you are likely to eat more than average during the day.
A study by Taheri et al., published in PLOS in December 2004, found that regularly sleeping for less than 7–8 hours a night could cause significant increases in BMI. Surely, this is a further incentive to put a stop to late-night munchies and go to bed early instead?
8. Use Different Marijuana Strains
Did you know that specific cannabis strains are more likely to cause the munchies than others? Don’t believe the assertion that indica strains increase hunger more than sativas. In reality, it is all about the cannabinoid content. Cannabis with a high level of THC, but lower amounts of other compounds, are more likely to cause you to become Fridge Raider. Here are a few of the strains that will probably spike your appetite:
- Royal Cookies
- Critical Kush
- Purple Queen
- Amnesia Haze
- Sour Diesel
If you want to keep your appetite in check, look for strains with high levels of CBD and THCV.
Though it is very similar to THC molecularly, THCV doesn’t cause intoxication and seems to suppress hunger. The main issue is the relative lack of the cannabinoid in most strains. The likes of Durban Poison and Jack the Ripper are an excellent place to start, however.
As for CBD, it is also non-intoxicating. Classic high-CBD strains include Cannatonic and Harlequin. Consider choosing one of these options and see if it causes you to empty the cupboards.
9. Make Healthier Choices
If you simply can’t avoid eating while stoned, there is another way to turn things to your advantage. Rather than eating bags of Cheetos, a liter of ice cream and a pizza, choose healthier options. It is that simple. Consider the following food choices:
- Vegetable sticks dipped in hummus or popcorn. This should satisfy your need for a ‘crunch.’
- Fruit such as bananas, apples, pears, grapes, or strawberries. You can satiate your sweet tooth in this fashion.
- A small handful of nuts. This is for those who adore savory foods while high.
If you’re feeling more adventurous, here are some recipes for healthy munchies to try. However, make sure you prepare these before getting high, or you might become too relaxed to bother.
10. Get Your Exercise in Early – No Excuses!
Some people enjoy using cannabis before they workout. In many cases, it improves the experience and can push someone into completing exercise they wanted to avoid earlier. Indeed, we have a guide on the best cannabis strains for a workout that outlines this phenomenon in greater detail.
As a result, you have a couple of options. Exercise before you start smoking weed. At least you will ‘earn’ those additional calories you plan to eat later. You can also have marijuana and then exercise. As you’ll see if you click on the link above, the outcome may surprise you.
It is also a good idea to begin exercising once you get an attack of the munchies. You will keep them at bay for a while.
After completing your workout, eat a protein bar, or consume a protein shake. You may discover that your urge for Oreos isn’t as strong as it was before. Moreover, when you begin training your brain to associate the munchies with exercise, you forge a healthier link.
How to Not Get the Munchies When High: The Bottom Line
If you are a regular cannabis user, you may find that completely avoiding the munchies is impossible. Indeed, it is OK to surrender just a little. As long as you control the level of junk food you buy, you can treat yourself to a sensible amount of chips and chocolate.
However, you need to know when to say ‘enough,’ and that’s hard when you are stoned! As a result, we recommend following the tips outlined above. Hopefully, they will prove useful. Let us know how you get on in the comments section below.