There is no doubt that smoking weed can give you the munchies. When I first started using medicinal marijuana for my rheumatoid arthritis I put on a few pounds as I found myself planning what I was going to eat next as I was already eating something. The munchies are a real thing. Everything tastes better when you are high. I even found myself liking foods I normally never dug before. Flavours were more euphoric. If it’s sweet, fatty and salty, I want it. That’s because of what THC does to the brain.
A lot of patients with different conditions use medicinal cannabis to combat symptoms and side effects that cause us to not be very hungry…But sometimes the cannabis works too good. You might not necessarily be able to avoid the munchies and being less active with illness can cause weight gain.
THC is responsible for the “high” many people experience when using cannabis. But it’s also primarily responsible for the increase in food cravings people get when taking the drug. The brain is divided into regions: Some areas control our moods, whereas others influence our appetite, causing us to eat or stop eating. Anytime we consume a drug, it gets distributed everywhere, so when THC enters the parts of the brain that affect mood, it stimulates euphoria.
According to research THC stimulates the endocannabinoid system, a complex area of the brain that regulates feeding behavior and energy balance. THC interacts with receptors in our brain that regulate emotions, pain and our sense of smell and taste. It can also promote the release of the hormone ghrelin, which stimulates hunger. THC appears to enhance our sensitivity to smell, which would make aromas from food more potent and cause us to eat more.
So what can you do about this? you can choose to avoid weed all together or if you want to have it as a regular part into your daily life but worry about extra weight gain then try this:
Sativa during the day will give you more energy and keep you from couch lock. Many people only smoke cannabis at night because of how sleepy it makes them. If you want to use it in the day but tiredness is a concern, try sativa or a sativa dominant hybrid. Go for indica or an indica dominant hybrid at night.
Make sure your house is full of healthy ingredients. Great foods to have around the house are vegetables and fruit, hummus, popcorn and nuts or lean proteins. If you are going to indulge then do it in moderation. Avoid sugar, fried foods, saturated fats and processed foods. Drink water, tea or coffee without heavy creams or sugars, avoid soda and alcoholic beverages. Having prechopped vegetables or doing meal preparing helps me have quick and easy healthy options to grab instead of processed food which is also easy to just grab and eat but not might give me much nutritional benefits and just added calories.
Make sure you are getting enough physical activity if you want to keep those extra calories off. Recommended 30 minutes of physical activity daily will help along with eating healthy foods. If you live with chronic pain regular physical activity might be beneficial to your pain as well. It is important to focus on the selfcare your body needs.