Not getting the munchies after smoking weed is like not exhaling after you inhale. It’s just not natural. Eating a ton of food after smoking weed is a visual that has been associated with cannabis for a long time and a stereotype that is 100% founded in reality. While some strains actually have appetite curbing properties, the majority will increase your hunger considerably.
It is this property that makes it incredibly useful when treating the side effects of chemotherapy. Often intense nausea and a loss of appetite accompany chemotherapy treatment. One of the longest uses of cannabis in modern medicine, THC helps restore appetite and calm nausea, allowing patients to get nutrition into their bodies without feeling as unwell.
Throughout the last 50 years, the food associated with the common cannabis user’s munchies was junk food. Full of sugar, unhealthy fats, and processed ingredients; munchies got a real bad reputation over time and there has not been a lot done to change that. There are many reasons as to why, the biggest being, candy and chips taste good. A simple concept, sure, but can you argue with it?
Not only that, but there’s a reason these items are found at every local convenience store. They are very easy to buy and consume and are quite cheap compared to a pre-prepared fruit salad or a smoothie. It plays into that part of cannabis that encourages inactivity. It’s so much easier to order a pizza and buy some cookies than to make a meal and have to clean the dishes after.
I say this, by the way, as someone who has deplorable eating habits. Like, friends have looked me in the eyes with concern as they try to explain that candy is supposed to be a ‘treat’ and ‘not actually part of your daily diet’. It is because of this concern that I started to try and find healthier alternatives.
There are a lot of very informative documentaries on the dangers of sugar. I mean, I haven’t watched any, as I am too afraid of what I will learn, but from what I gather sugar is… not…great.
I found that the pursuit of a healthier munchie can play into another, more positive aspect of being a cannabis consumer. Cannabis encourages creativity and can sometimes give you the inspiration needed to pursue a new task. Harvest and cultivate that part of your high. It can serve you so well. Take is as a challenge, like a game or a puzzle, and try and come up with refreshing, new and most importantly healthy (or at least not horribly unhealthy) munchy options.
What are the munchies?
How THC stimulates appetite is actually very interesting.
When you’re hungry, your empty stomach releases ghrelin, a type of hormone that stimulates appetite. This chemical travels to your brain to tell it if your body needs food. The brain, in turn, sends its own signals that you need to start eating. To further whet your appetite, the scent of food becomes sharper and the taste becomes richer. When your stomach is finally full, it will then stop the release of ghrelin and you will feel satiated.
What THC manages to do is override this “command” when it binds to the cannabinoid receptor type 1, a receptor responsible for appetite. THC’s activation of the receptor increases ghrelin production which, in turn, increases your appetite, despite your stomach being full. This effect is what you can thank for the much loved/ hated munchies.
For those suffering from appetite loss due to medical reasons, they can benefit greatly from cannabis’ appetite-inducing effects. By stimulating their appetite enough to eat, their bodies will receive the nutrition they need to help fight disease and illness. This mechanism benefits those suffering from cancer, HIV and AIDS.
Top Three HEALTHY Snacks for When the Munchies Hit
Fruits are rich in antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals. These help combat disease and, at the same time, keep our body healthy and nourished. Some fruits like bananas are also rich in fiber, which is important in the digestion process.
Fresh fruits are delicious, but you can make them even more refreshing by freezing them! Biting into a nice frozen fruit can be like eating a cold candy, but unlike candies that are rich in unnatural sugars and additives, fruits are naturally sweet and very nutritious.
So before smoking a joint tonight, try to prep a few fruits you want to freeze. Some of the best frozen fruits are grapes, blackberries, pineapples, blueberries, strawberries, cranberries, and cherries, all of which taste AMAZING when frozen.
The first step is to wash them and drain the excess water. Next, peel the fruits that need peeling and cut them into small cubes. Last, store them in a Ziploc bag and freeze overnight.
By the time the munchies hit you, they’re good and deliciously frozen. The coldness of the frozen fruits will also help relieve some of the cottonmouth feeling associated with cannabis use. Just give them a second or two to thaw if thoroughly frozen as you don’t want to chip a tooth or give yourself brain freeze just for a frozen solid grape.
Vegetables and Dip
Why stop with the sweet stuff? Everyone knows that a complete munchie platter needs both savory and sweet to balance each other out. Does that mean potato chips with your frozen food? No! Or at least not all the time…
Similar to fruits, veggies are also rich in antioxidants, as well as vitamins and minerals. They are also rich in fiber which aids in good digestion.
For a dip, you can easily whip up a cup of mayo and half a cup of sour cream. Add dried parsley, dill weed, rosemary, tarragon, garlic powder, and/or chives to tailor it to your specific preference. Experiment and have fun with it!
Mix everything in a bowl and add salt and pepper to taste.
The best veggies that go well with dip are broccoli, red and green bell pepper, carrot, celery, cucumber, lettuce, asparagus, sugar snap peas, mini potatoes, cherry tomatoes, cauliflower, and green beans. Wash the veggies thoroughly!
What better way to cure your cottonmouth than a tall cold glass of fruit smoothie! It’s refreshing, it’s delicious, and it’s so nutritious.
Try making it even healthier and add some veggies to your smoothie.
One of our favourite recipes requires one medium-sized banana, a medium-sized mango, ginger (about two inches), half a cup each of baby kale and/or baby spinach leaves and cold water. If you want to make it extra special, you can use coconut water instead.
Wash the fruits and veggies first before slicing them into small cubes. Once done, place all your ingredients into your blender and blend them until smooth. Pour into a tall glass and add honey to taste. You can even add a few slices of strawberries for garnish. If you keep the skins on the mango, some swear that the myrcene will work with the THC in your system to create an entourage effect; meaning you’ll feel extra funky all because of a healthy drink!
You can also try adding hemp hearts to your smoothie. Not only do they enhance the texture and taste, but they are incredibly good for you as well!
If you have some extra smoothie left, you can make smoothie cubes. Just pour the mixture into your ice cube tray and freeze overnight. Your smoothie cubes will go very well with your frozen fruits.
Try Infusing Your Healthy Munchies with Cannabis Oil
If you’re taking cannabis oil and are not too fond of the way it tastes, then you can try infusing your snacks with it. For example, you can add a dropper of your cannabis oil into your dip or smoothie. This way, you get the best of both worlds. A lovely refreshing snack and your daily cannabis oil dosage!
Just don’t forget to keep them in a safe place though, and always make sure that you label them properly. You don’t want your kids or unsuspecting friends/ co-workers eating your cannabis-infused snacks.
Strains Known for Their Munchie Inducing Abilities
For the Indica lovers, this classic Kush will put you deep into the couch with a lap full of snacks!
Girl Scout Cookies
It’s not necessary to eat cookies while you smoke this strain, but it’s not a horrible idea. Just remember to try and find healthier options if possible.
This gassy Sativa is known to put for its euphoric effects as well as its ability to make almost any food seem appealing!
Why not combine the best of both worlds and treat yourself to some medicated fruit snacks!
Cannabis increases appetite and can benefit people dealing with appetite loss. By stimulating their appetite and pacifying their nausea, they can enjoy food better, ensuring they are receiving the nutrition they need to stay healthy.
It should go without saying that while fruits are considerably healthier than candy containing processed sugars and additives, they can still contain a lot of sugar. Ultimately if you’re after something sweet and you want sugar, fruit is always the better option over candy. That said, try and find alternatives that contain lower amounts of sugar to be sure you’re getting the most out of your food.
This also should not serve as a blog to make you feel guilty about your eating habits or anything like that. As I stated, I eat A LOT of junk food and if you saw some of my grocery lists you would wonder why I ever thought I was qualified to write this blog in the first place. Life is not about punishing yourself or living to someone else’s standards. Do what you like and makes you happy as long as it does not negatively affect anybody else. That said, if you do want to treat your body better, and eat healthier, there are always options. You don’t have to completely change your diet and you shouldn’t if you don’t want to. Just try and seize opportunities to make positive choices for you and your body and you’ll be thankful when you do,
If you’re planning on chowing down on healthy munchies, it’s best that you prepare your snacks ahead of time. That way, when the munchies hit, you’ll have them ready to eat! So take a pass on the junk food next time and try some frozen grapes or cauliflower and dip. You’ll be surprised how refreshing it is and you won’t feel guilty about going to town on an entire bag of grapes!