Get some sour cream and onion chips with some dip, man, some beef jerky, some peanut butter. Get some Haagen-Dazs ice cream bars, a whole lot, make sure chocolate, gotta have chocolate, man. Some popcorn, red popcorn, graham crackers, graham crackers with marshmallows, the little marshmallows and little chocolate bars and we can make s’mores, man. Also, celery, grape jelly, Cap’n Crunch with the little Crunch berries, pizzas. We need two big pizzas, man, everything on ’em, with water, whole lotta water, and Funyons.Brian, Half Baked
The urgent feeling, typically following a smoke sesh, that you need to shove snacks into your face hole immediately.
The munchies are a very real thing. If you’ve ever consumed cannabis and later been met with the undeniable urge to snack, congrats you’ve met the munchies!
But, what exactly are the munchies? Scientifically speaking?
It’s simple really. Marijuana’s main active ingredient, tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), stimulates appetite. To get even more science-y, THC partially binds to (and activates) cannabinoid receptor type 1 (CB1). CB1 is found in:
- The basal gangalia where it can elevate eating pleasure.
- The hypothalamus and rhombencephalon sections of the brain that help regulate food intake.
- The limbic forebrain where it can enhance the tastiness of food.
Isn’t science rad?
Benefits of The Munchies
One might think that a case of the munchies is a negative effect. After all, the gremlin in your stomach might tell you, not-so-subtly, to eat everything in sight which could be problematic. However, there are a couple of benefits of the munchies that far outweigh the cons.
People struggling with illnesses, such as cancer or HIV, may have decreased appetites due to treatment side-effects or the complexity of their illness. Weight loss and lack of nutrients in these cases can be deadly. By using cannabis, these patients may see an increase in their appetites thus encouraging more food intake.
Increased Palatability of Food
For the pickiest of eaters, cannabis may help make previously unpalatable foods taste better. Be brave with your munchies and try something healthy that you might typically turn your nose up at – you might be surprised to learn you now love brussels sprouts or beets!
Avoiding the Munchies
If you’re just not into the whole idea of feeding your stomach gremlin, there are a few tips you can take to avoid that ravenous urge.
Be Mindful of Terpenes
We introduced you to terpenes awhile back. If you need a crash course, check out our blog: Terpenes 102. When choosing your next cannabis adventure, we recommend avoiding the following terpenes as they can activate the gremlin:
If you’re not sure which terpenes are in your favorite strains or you would like a walk through of which products to avoid, just ask a Budtender.
You’re going to have to play a mind game…with yourself. Staying busy by going for a walk, immersing yourself in a project, or heading down to your local library will help keep you distracted and less likely to gorge. (Unless your chosen path includes walking by fast food restaurants or grocery stores.)
Go to A Friend’s House
Smoking with a friend is always a good idea – there’s nothing quite like getting a case of the giggles with a buddy. At your friend’s house you’ll likely have less access to your favorite munchie foods. (Unless they’re THAT friend that always has the best snacks. Maybe choose a friend’s house that is more prone to keeping healthy snacks on hand.)
Obscure Flavor Combos That Hit Right
What’s a blog about munchies without mentioning our favorite obscure flavor combos to try on your next high.
- Peanut butter and cheese
- Sour cream and onion chips dipped in ketchup
- A date stuffed with peanut butter, dipped in chocolate, and frozen. (You’ll thank us for this one.)
- French fries dipped in a milkshake
- Watermelon and salt
- Jam on a fried egg sandwich
- Popcorn with nutritional yeast (aka “Nooch”)
Whether you’re a fan of the munchies or not, any Budtender worth their salt should be able to help you navigate the wonderful world of cannabis and make sure you get a product that suits your needs. Before your next adventure, we hope you’ll stop by Trove and let us recommend a product or two for you.