What causes the munchies?

February 7, 2023

It’s happened to all of us. You have an enjoyable session and are in bliss. Then the thought of some delicious food creeps into your brain. Then that seems to be all you can think about. THE MUNCHIES have arrived! Anyone who has ever consumed cannabis before has at some point experienced the ever famous munchies. Once we’re high, nothing sounds better than a delicious smorgasbord of snacks or take out that will fulfill our desire for something delicious. This benefit has been quintessential in medical assistance to cancer or chemo treatment, but not always a welcomed side effect for the casual smoker. While common, what actually causes the munchies?

The short of it is the Ghrelin hormone, which controls appetite and feeding schedule, is stimulated outside of normal hunger patterns. Ghrelin is primarily found in the stomach, but is also present in small quantities in the pancreas and brain. Normally, this hormone is suppressed once the stomach is full. When using cannabis, the hormone is released into the system, causing a false sense of hunger. While it was first thought that THC is responsible for the release of Ghrelin, it has now being suspected that terpenes are the ones that cause hunger. One thing is for sure-not everyone will be effected by the munchies the same way. Some can consume cannabis and clear out their cabinets snacking, while others don’t feel a bit of hunger. This has led a lot of researchers to believe the response has more to do with each humans physiology and genetic makeup than the strain being used. Is there any way to avoid the munchies? Turns out there are a few things you can do to help yourself to not overdo it.

  • Choose a different strain. Strains that feature a higher CBD content tend to not cause hunger cravings like some others can.
  • Time your sessions differently. If you can, try to adjust the timing of your sessions to coincide with normal eating times. This way you will be satisfying your cravings while not adding an extra meal or calories.
  • Choose healthier options for snacking. Listen, we KNOW veggies and hummus doesn’t compare to chips and dip, but sometimes these little changes can help us avoid over doing it with too many unhealthy snacks. Veggies also contain TONS of fiber that take longer to digest which helps to keep you feeling fuller longer. There are plenty of other smarter options besides veggies, too!
  • Get stoned outside of your home where you have access to all your snacks. Smoking at a friends or before going out will limit your options for snacking.
  • Keep your mind focused on another activity. Try a task that will keep your mind busy and not give it a chance to register the false hunger pangs. Playing a game, doing something crafty, or even just getting outside can distract you enough to not think about snacking.
  • Hydrate. It’s always good to keep on top of staying hydrated, but filling up on water and liquids can help provide the feeling of fullness.

While the munchies seem to be something that is par for the course with cannabis, we just need to keep in mind that there are ways to keep yourself in check and not go overboard. We’ve all been there where we just over did it with the food. There is no need to deprive yourself of enjoying some good food, just make sure you’re making good choices. If you’re looking for some inspiration on some new recipes to try, check out our past recipe blogs!

Must be 21+. Please consume responsibly.