Marijuana and the munchies are basically two peas in a pod. Munchies are inextricably linked to popular notions of “getting high” (followed by binge-snacking). In all fairness, certain cannabis strains do cause excessive hunger.
First, let’s look at why.
The THC in cannabis is primarily responsible for those intense hunger cravings. A 2014 study showed that THC targets the olfactory circuitry in the brain and enhances your sense of taste, smell and appetite.
THC essentially tricks your brain into thinking you’re super hungry. It does this by binding to receptors in the brain and influencing two hunger-related hormones, ghrelin and leptin. Rather than producing the chemical that signals fullness, your neurons tell your brain that you need all the food.
Cannabis strains that (almost) always induce munchies:
- Jack Herer
- Critical Kush
- Afghan Kush
If you embrace the stoner snack attack that accompanies a high, here’s a list of our favourite food groups to satiate those munchies (along with lighter alternatives).
There is nothing quite like a slice (or ten) of ‘zza to curb your weed-induced cravings. This is largely attributed to the trifecta of cheese (fat), tomato sauce (sweet) and toppings (filling and hearty). On those lighter nights, try making your own cauliflower pizza crust. It’s a project, but well worth the investment of time and energy. Pile it with veggie toppings and sneak more nutrients into your munchies. Win win.
Creamy, velvety, delicious. The perfect sweet companion to savoury foods. Whether it’s a pint of Ben & Jerry’s or a frozen sandwich, ice cream is always high on the munchies list. For some digestive ease, coconut ice cream is a sweet dairy-free alternative to cow’s milk. Generally, coconut ice cream is also lower in added sugar (or made with unrefined sweeteners such as agave syrup). All the good stuff, without the tummy ache. Ever tried making your own banana ice cream? YUM.
When it comes to munchies and potato chips, the slogan ‘betcha can’t eat just one’ is fairly apt. The combination of crunchy carbs and salt is a recipe for binge-munching. Nowadays, we have endless options – from all the classic chip flavours, to artisanal bean and sprouted quinoa crisps. If you have some prep time on your hands, try making your own flax seed crackers or oven-baked potato chips.
We all know chocolate is the feel-good treat (thanks to its high content of anandamide, a cannabinoid coined as the brain’s ‘bliss molecule’). Even if you don’t have a double boiler, you can make your own decadent chocolate recipes at home – like this yummy freezer fudge.
For extra antioxidants, choose a higher percentage of cacao content (at least 70%) in your chocolate bar. Any excuse to binge on chocolate, right?
High or not, tacos are truly the tastiest. Check out these easy and mouth-watering jackfruit tacos. Enough said.
A tub of cookie dough doesn’t last long – especially when you’re baked. But a pound of raw egg and flour generally doesn’t sit well. This vegan cookie dough for one will satisfy the munchies and your sweet tooth. Better yet, try making it with chickpeas for some extra plant protein. Who says munchies
can’t be healthy?
Mac & Cheese
When getting high, Kraft Dinner is arguably the best thing to have stocked in your pantry. It also tastes like your favourite childhood memories. If you’regoing to splurge like an adult, treat yourself to Annie’s gourmet mac & cheese. Worth it.
While the munchies can easily spiral into a calorie coma, staying hydrated will help support digestion and make the next day a little less brain-foggy. Also, being proactive by prepping your own snacks could prevent ordering an entire Chinese food menu (with one set of chopsticks).