Ahhh, the munchies. If you’ve experimented with cannabis, then you may have experienced the overwhelming desire to eat … a lot. You may not even feel hungry, but the effect of certain strains can send you running to the pantry or to the phone to order pizza. Why do you eat when you’re high, and how can you satisfy your cravings while still eating healthy?

The Munchies According to Science

What causes food cravings?In laboratory studies involving mice, THC was found to fit into receptors in the olfactory bulb of the brain, which increased the mice’s ability to smell food and prompted them to eat more. According to a study highlighted in Smithsonian Magazine, “A big part of the reason why you might eat more food after using marijuana, the research indicates, is simply that you can smell and taste it more acutely.” The acute smell and taste of food carries with it an intense sensation that adds to the experience, but it could lead to regret — and a stomachache — once the effect wears off. And if you make a habit out of eating lots of food each time you have the munchies, it could lead to weight gain and long-term health issues.

Make a Munchie Plan

If you know you’re likely to experience the munchies, make a plan for them. According to the Dietary Guidelines for Americans, added sugar intake shouldn’t exceed 10% of your daily calories. Know how many calories are healthy for you to consume in a day and eat lighter meals before and after you indulge — and indulge in moderation. If you want to know how to stop binge eating when high, try keeping snack foods out of sight if you know you’re going to overeat. If you can’t see them, you’re less likely to reach for them.

How to Stop Sugar Cravings Instantly

If you ask yourself, “What are good snacks for munchies?” or wonder what is the best food to eat when stoned, just find satisfying swaps. Love salty snacks? Stock up on low-calorie popcorn or roasted vegetable chips. Craving sweets? Try a cup of vegan ice cream or frozen yogurt topped with fresh berries. Want some crunch? Dip some carrots in a low-calorie version of your favorite dressing. Wash it all down with flavored sparkling water for a zero-calorie thirst quencher.

Distract Yourself with Other Activities

If you want to know how to stop the munchies, grab a glass (or two) of water, which can quiet hunger pangs and cravings. Then head outside for a walk. The fresh air coupled with the sounds and sights you find out of the house can be a healthy distraction from your food cravings. If you’d rather stay inside, consider a creative activity like coloring, doodling, or playing music. Concentrating on an action can distract you from snack time — or make you forget about it altogether.

Need more tips? Our budtenders are happy to answer any of your questions and share their advice on all things cannabis. Stop in to learn more — we can’t wait to see you!