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How to stop the munchies when you’re high

January 24, 2017
Whether you roll or bowl, many of us look forward to enjoying cannabis regularly. Yet while smoking is known to be a relaxing activity, one side effect can be stressful: getting the munchies.

Why Does Cannabis Make You Hungry?

Cannabis has been shown to muddle the signals in your brain so you think you’re hungry instead of full. And while many people, such as cancer patients, specifically search out hunger-inducing strains for their medicinal value, those of us who have made resolutions to eat healthier or get in shape may not be so enthusiastic about chowing down on six servings of nachos.

Although they’re something we laugh about, the munchies can lose a bit of their entertainment value when they become a constant post-toke habit that messes with your lifestyle goals. Extra calories can mean weight gain, and, if you’re raiding the pantry at night, they can also lead to heartburn, indigestion, and interrupted sleep.

So, how to stop them? The following eight tricks can help you avoid the munchies or minimize their effects so you can continue enjoying your cannabis consumption to the fullest and combat this common problem.

1. Be Regimented with Meals Prior to Lighting Up

This goes for anyone struck with the late-night munchies, whether or not they’re cannabis-induced. If you’re not on a solid mealtime schedule, you’ll likely find yourself feeling peckish prior to bedtime. Add a bit of cannabis on top of that, and, well…you know the rest.

Set up a schedule to include breakfast, lunch and dinner times, as well as snacks to keep you satisfied between meals, and stick to it. If you’re sated after these meals and snacks, you’ll be way less likely to give in to the munchie madness.

If you’re consuming infused edibles as part of your meal, make sure you aren’t going overboard. Perhaps skip the brownie or sweet treat and try using cannabis coconut oil or other cooking oil in a healthier dish instead. There are many options out there that won’t pack on the extra calories.

2. Keep Yourself Busy

Focused on the game
It’s totally normal to let your mind wander while you’re high, but if you start thinking about food, turn your brain onto something else. Train yourself to pivot to another activity when the thought of a snack comes to mind. Seriously, it can be anything: play video games, kick it with Bob Ross, or dream up your ultimate cannabis clubhouse. These or any other favorite go-to activity will work, so long as it’s safe to do while under the influence.

3. Get the Taste Out of Your Mouth

When you’re high, you may find yourself appreciating toothpaste and mouthwash for more reasons than one. Not only will you enjoy the minty freshness, it can help you forget the thought of having another mouth-watering peanut butter cookie, and if you do reach for the jar, you’ll find that non-minty flavors taste bad when mixed in with your fresh breath.

Happily, brushing your teeth falls into the aforementioned category of safe activities to do while high — two birds, one stone.

4. Try a Different Strain

Marijuana

Whether or not you get the munchies depends in large part on the type of cannabis you’re consuming. If you find yourself unable to control your taste buds after toking, sample a new strain or two in order to find one that better suits your non-snacking goal. Specifically, strains high in CBD and THCV are great for this – check out our list of 10 munchie-banishing strain suggestions, or ask your budtender to help you find something similar.

5. Rid Yourself of Temptation…

Some of us feel that no matter how we try, we just can’t seem to stop snacking while high. If you know you’re going to binge, get rid of everything that you’ll regret eating. Don’t bring any junk food into the house, delete the pizza man’s number…do whatever it takes to keep those regrettable post-cannabis meals away from yourself.

6. …And Prepare for Inevitable Snacking

Take out food

You can make this an even more successful switch-up by having healthy snacks and foods on hand for when you’re raiding the kitchen cupboards. You’ll be surprised how many easy, tasty options there are for healthy snacks — seriously. In fact, you probably won’t even miss yesterday’s Chinese food or the microwaveable corn dogs once you try a tropical yogurt parfait, for example.

7. Exercise Beforehand to Make Up for Vegging

Here’s another way to prep in advance for your inevitable munchies: get a workout in before you smoke or vape. Find an activity you enjoy, whether it’s running, cycling, lifting weights, or doing yoga. Then, do it and burn enough calories to justify a few snacky morsels later.

8. Use the Munchies to Your Advantage

Spring Frittata

Finally, if you can’t beat your munchies, make them work for you. Perhaps you’re not a big fan of leafy greens like spinach or kale that are known to be excellent for your health. Wait ’til you’ve taken a few bong hits, them whip up, say, a sautéed spinach frittata. You’ll find it to be way more delicious while elevated, and your body will be thankful for the addition of leafy greens to your diet.

In the end, it’s all about knowing yourself and your preferences, so give each of the above methods a shot to determine which proves most helpful. Do what you can and, most importantly, don’t stress out about it too much: that kind of defeats the purpose of cannabis, after all.

Cori Keating's Bio Image

Cori Keating

Cori Keating is a health & wellness writer. She enjoys a good read, a long hike, and writing for her blog Why So Well (whysowell.com).

View Cori Keating's articles

  • FloydienSlipped

    Nothing like just doing yoga while waiting for the effects and have it kick in right when you’re at the cool down phase!

  • Peter Lemonjello

    The munchies is half the fun. I have come up with some gnarly snacks when having a bad munchies attack. I’ll make something awesome like a peanut butter and Jelly sandwich with whipped cream and bananas.

  • Dean_the_Human

    If I’m not seriously questioning my culinary decisions the next day, it wasn’t a good high.

  • Rafael Juarez

    This is one of my biggest problems. I eat healthy but after smoking I have nothing ready to eat that’s healthy so I eat the snacks like chips, left overs my mom cooks and is not healthy lol. I guess I should have healthy stuff to eat not just my meals.

  • Virginia Lee Huntsinger

    yeah the munchies are something serious…despite their name. i’m almost positive I used to have some form of compulsive eating disorder in high school, before i ever smoked. now dealing with the munchies is just as tough….that self-control kills the high….

  • Great suggestions! I was expecting a relatively useless article like most others but you really surprised me with good content and creative ideas. Thanks!

  • John Grams

    If you can mentally overcome cannabis induced munchies you can overcome anything in life. #strugglesreal

  • I McKenney

    What is this article’s publish date? Did I not see it? Never mind, I see it.

  • NancyJoe

    I have to push back on 7. Unless you’re Michael Phelps you aren’t going to exercise away a good bout of binge eating. A snack bag of chips, maybe. Exercise is great for many things but weight loss isn’t one of them. Now going to the gym to distract you from the urge to eat? that makes sense, but not to the point of driving up hunger.

  • Brandon Heller

    Good recommendations. I’m an intermittent faster. I smoke to relieve severe chronic pain, anxiety and depression. I plan my dinner ahead of time so that I can eat about 1/2 to 1 hour after smoking. If I have to smoke early in the day I use a strain that doesn’t give me the munchies or try to get by with CBD which I always have loaded into my vape pen. If I do get a strain that causes severe munchies outside of my 6 hour eating window I have sugar free candies and in a pinch, ricola cough drops. I don’t smoke high THC strains till evening and use it as a reward once my work is done for the day. << That's my exercise plan. You should see how much I can get done in that last half hour. I had type 2 diabetes from living with chronic pain for so long. I've lost a lot of weight and am no longer on metformin. I gave up on opiates decades ago, because it was too hard to keep an uninterrupted supply and I could see it was a dead end. I use all of these methods.