For any regular smoker, this will be an all-too-familiar situation. About 10 minutes after you’ve smoked a joint, taken a bong hit, or vaped some dry herb, you start to feel completely ravenous. Let’s call this insatiable hunger what it is… the munchies.
If you smoke or vape weed regularly you may be looking to get your munchies under control. Though we all love a snack binge from time to time, some people won’t want their excessive munching to become a daily occurrence.
Whether you’re partial to a pizza or have a craving for candy, we’ve compiled a complete guide to avoiding the munchies, including our nine top tips and some handy FAQs.
Why Does Smoking Weed Make You Hungry?
Because THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) is a psychoactive ingredient, weed can confuse the signals that your brain receives. A recent study by Yale University has found that cannabinoids interact with the neurons in your brain that control your appetite.
Put simply, this can make you feel hungry, even if you’re not.
Regardless of how much you’ve already eaten, once the munchies hit you may find it nearly impossible to stop snacking. You’ll probably find yourself craving sugary treats and salty snacks.
Why Would You Want to Stop the Munchies?
For a lot of us, enjoying the post-smoke munchies is a part of the experience. Getting high can increase the enjoyment you get out of your food, and it’s an effective appetite stimulant for medical cannabis consumers.
For some recreational consumers, though, regular snacking may be an annoyance. Whether you’re trying to lose weight, cut back on your takeaway spending or stick to balanced meals, you might want to avoid the munchies from becoming a daily habit.
When you’re snacking while high, it can be impossible to know where to draw the line. Having one cookie can easily turn into a mega snack session, which could leave you feeling sluggish and sleepy.
Whatever your reason for putting a stop to excessive snacking, read on for all the must-know info for how to control the munchies.
Avoiding the Munchies: 9 Tips and Tricks
Whether you’re trying to avoid weight gain or save money, we’ve compiled the most effective tricks for minimizing the munchies after you smoke. If you want to take control of your appetite while consuming cannabis, here are our top tips:
1) Stay Hydrated
Though this might seem like common sense, you’d be surprised by how many of us are regularly dehydrated. An adult should drink between two and three liters of water every day, yet most of us fail to meet this average requirement.
If you’re thirsty, your body can perceive it as hunger. When you feel the munchies coming, make sure to drink water (or another liquid) before reaching for a snack; this may satisfy your appetite while also minimizing other undesirable side effects, like dry mouth, fatigue and dizziness.
2) Try to Get Better Sleep
Studies have indicated a correlation between chronic under-sleeping and a high BMI. Sleep deprivation can increase your appetite, as your body produces more ghrelin – the hormone that tells your brain that you’re hungry – when you’re tired.
Getting a regular eight hours of sleep will improve your appetite regulation. If your sleeping pattern is irregular or unfulfilling, going to sleep a little earlier is a great way of putting an end to those late-night munchies.
3) Distract Yourself from Food
If you sit and let your mind wander, it may be difficult to ignore how hungry you feel. This is all the more true if you know you’ve got tasty snacks in the house or junk food that can be delivered at the press of a button!
To avoid turning into a munchie monster, it’s a good idea to distract yourself from thinking about junk food. The best distraction will be different for everyone – while some people can get immersed in a video game, others might prefer to watch their favorite TV show or go for a refreshing walk.
4) Brush Your Teeth after Snacking
If you find it hard to resist the call of munching on cookies after enjoying one or two, gargling some mouthwash or brushing your teeth can help.
Though it may seem like a lot of effort, it will help to combat any marijuana-induced lethargy. You’ll be left feeling fresh, and the desire to snack should be dampened by the lingering minty taste in your mouth.
5) Eat Well Before Consuming Cannabis
To minimize your post-smoke snacking, be sure to eat a filling meal before getting high. Though you might still have a hankering for a sweet treat after smoking, your munchies should be less intense. Try to eat a filling meal containing carbohydrates, which release energy slowly.
If you’re already peckish before you light up, smoking will significantly increase your appetite, and you’ll end up eating more than your body needs. On the other hand, if your stomach is already satisfied, the munchies won’t hit you quite so dramatically.
6) Have Healthy Snacks Ready
If post-smoke snacking is inevitable, supplying your kitchen with healthy foods is a sure-fire way to ensure you eat healthier.
While they might not be as tempting as junk food like ice cream or pizza, pieces of fruit or veggies are great, healthy options. Fruit will provide your taste buds with that much-needed sugar hit, while vegetables with hummus will give a satisfying crunch for when you’ve got a craving for chips.
Similarly, you might want to think ahead by cooking a little extra food when making your meals. Store the leftovers in your fridge, ready to return to later when you’re in need of a snack.
7) Line up the Munchies with Your Meal Times
If you’d rather embrace the appetite-stimulating effects of your bud, you can fit your smoking or vaping into your existing meal schedule.
Whether you prefer to smoke in the morning or the afternoon, consider prepping a balanced meal before you light up. Then, after you’ve consumed your marijuana, you can tuck into your breakfast, lunch or dinner to satisfy your munchies.
You’ll likely enjoy your food even more too!
8) Try Out Different Strains
Every strain produces different side effects, so while some strains will result in intense munchies, others – particularly those high in THCV and CBD – won’t make you hungry at all.
To minimize your post-smoke appetite, consider trying out a different strain. To determine the best bet for minimizing your munchies, it’s a good idea to consult your dispensary or conduct strain research online.
9) Exercise Beforehand
If you’re concerned about the health implications of your inevitable munchies, consider exercising before you get high. This could mean anything from hitting the gym to having a solo yoga session; it depends on what you enjoy.
Not only will you sleep better, but you’ll balance your appetite with a healthy level of physical exertion. In addition, the endorphins released by exercise will also contribute to an even more euphoric high!
Exercising can also be a good distraction once the munchies set in. Going on a brisk walk or gentle jog may help you feel more in-tune with your body and help to fight the urge to snack excessively.
Which healthy snacks can help with the munchies?
When it comes to post-smoke snacks, everyone’s got their personal favorite.
If you’ve got a sweet tooth, fruit can help to satisfy your sugar craving. Consider buying some strawberries, grapes or a juicy apple to snack on after smoking.
If you’d prefer a savory treat, a chopped-up carrot or bell pepper provides the perfect crunch. You can pair it with some low-fat hummus for a filling and flavor-packed snack.
Does everyone get the munchies when they consume weed?
Since the effects of cannabis vary from person to person, some people will experience more intense munchies than others. Some people won’t notice any change in appetite, while others will be hit with a major case of the munchies.
Similarly, some strains will make you hungrier than others, so there’s no hard and fast rule.
What does the munchies feel like?
While regular hunger sneaks up on you gradually, the munchies feel like a far more sudden spike in your appetite. You may feel ravenous – like you need to eat something now.
Once you eat, your food will probably taste even better than usual, and this can make it hard to stop eating. You may find yourself demolishing an entire tub of ice cream or an entire pizza without even realizing it!
Let’s be honest – if you smoke regularly, getting a case of the munchies from time to time is pretty unavoidable. But luckily, if the munchies are interfering with your lifestyle, you can get your habits under control by following some of our simple tips.
There are a few straightforward ways to do this; it’s all about thinking ahead to avoid getting caught out by your appetite. Prepare to say goodbye to sneaky midnight munching and hello to a healthier eating pattern!
Establish Healthier Snacking Habits
To prevent the munchies from impacting your health, ensure you’ve always got healthy snacks on hand, whether that’s granola, vegetable sticks, fruit, or a protein bar.
If ordering junk food is an all-too-regular occurrence for you, consider deleting the delivery apps from your phone to avoid the temptation of a late-night burger or burrito.
To use the munchies to your advantage, you can line up your smoking or vaping with your mealtimes. Lighting up just before breakfast, lunch, or dinner will maximize the enjoyment you get out of your meals while minimizing the additional snacks you consume.
Fight the Urge to Snack
If you’d prefer to avoid snacking while high, there are a few effective distraction methods you can try. From gaming or reading to exercise, distracting yourself is a great way of breaking out of the snack cycle. Try out some different activities until you find the one that works best.
To lessen the intensity of your munchies, you may also consider switching to a strain that’s lower in THC. Strains like Durban Poison, Remedy and Sour Tsunami have been reported to be less likely to make you peckish, so opt for these next time you’re at your local dispensary.
Whether you want to establish earlier mealtimes or swap out the crisps for carrot sticks, be sure to follow the tips and tricks above. From playing retro board games to getting out in nature, there’s lots of alternatives to snacking after you’ve smoked or vaped.