You may be a #cleaneating champ on any given day, but while you’re high, no pizza slice is safe. Why is that? Well, science has proven that THC leads to increased appetite after consumption, and it’s all because of the chemicals that we humans share with the marijuana plant and how they interact in our bods.
In marijuana, the chemical compounds cannabinoids are the part that pack its medicinal magic. In our body, they’re called endocannabinoids, and they’re responsible in part for sending our brains hunger or full cues. When you smoke, the THC in pot has the effect of stimulating your endocannabinoids to trigger the release of hormones that make you feel hunger, even if you’re not, at all. And, chances are, you will simply not make friends with salad at this time. When your body thinks it’s super hungry, it wants nutrient-dense food to give you a sustainable boost of energy. Blame it on survival of the fittest.
On top of this, studies have shown that the endocannabinoid system (in mice, at least), is linked to smell. So, as the state of being high is one of heightened sensory awareness, meaning we smell and taste more, when we smell something amaze, we basically start salivating. Marijuana could even enhance our experience of seeing and hearing, so if we’re watching a Red Lobster commercial or start talking about McFlurry’s, it’s all over.
OR IS IT? Here’s the thing: if you’re trying to be healthy and are worried about an uncontrollable need for noms after smoking, you don’t have to stop your weed habit – just be mindful of when and where you smoke. Sabrina Ramkellawan, VP, of Clinical Affairs at TerrAscend recommends, “to help curb the hunger, I suggest drinking water prior to cannabis use which can also help with dry mouth after use as well. In addition, have healthy snacks available and enjoy.”
Stock your kitchen with snacks you like and aren’t bad for you and munch out without totally shaming yourself for it (which is, ultimately, the most unhealthy thing you can do). Or smoke around meal time, or before going for a walk or a bike ride, to keep your mind occupied until you feel a little less high and / more confident about your self-control.
And when you want to munch, do it right! That is, don’t trek somewhere for takeout and make some last-minute decision; be prepared. These munchies-sating snacks are as easy to make as they are delicious (though, you might want to save them for a cheat day). Just munch like you mean it, and support yourself in doing so.