“There’s weed that don’t make you hungry? For real? Honey, this changes everything.”
That was my Lyft driver’s response when I told her not all cannabis makes your gullet an insatiable black hole. Most cannabis consumers–especially first-time experimenters–have only tried high-THC strains, so it’s no wonder that the dispelling of this common misconception comes to the surprise of many who have long associated cannabis with the inevitable “munchies” syndrome.
The munchies can be a beautiful thing, and I’m not just talking about the pure ecstasy that comes with dual-wielding a fried chicken leg and an ice cream sandwich once in a while. That appetite stimulation is life-changing for patients dealing with cancer, depression, and other gastrointestinal/appetite disorders. But not everyone wants uncontrollable food lust, and some will actively avoid cannabis because of this one side effect–particularly those struggling with pre-existing eating and weight issues.
For those of you interested in reaping the myriad of benefits cannabis has to offer without the unbridled gluttony, we hope you find this list helpful.
If you’ve ever tried a high-CBD strain before, you’ve probably noticed that they don’t summon the munchies monster like THC-rich varieties. A Yale study published last year found that THC – the same chemical responsible for cannabis’ euphoric high–stimulated a group of nerve cells in the hypothalamus, the area of the brain that governs instincts like hunger and arousal.
While less is known about CBD’s influence on appetite, we do know that this non-intoxicating constituent counteracts many effects of THC and researchers have even eyed CBD as an anti-obesity treatment based on its activity in the brain. Our own anecdotal evidence leads us to recommend high-CBD, low-THC strains for the best “munchie-less” experience, but a strain with equal parts CBD and THC can also induce less hunger with the added benefit of mild euphoria.
Harle-Tsu is hybrid cross between two high-CBD parents, Harlequin and Sour Tsunami (which are also worth looking into for minimal munchies strains). Harle-Tsu typically expresses a high-CBD profile with very little THC, making it a perfect choice for anyone who wants the relaxing and therapeutic effects of cannabis minus the euphoria or paranoia.
The remedy for your over-excited appetite is this cross between Cannatonic and Afghan Skunk. With a THC content that rarely squeaks past 1%, Remedy delivers mental tranquility and physical relief without the psychoactive burden. This strain is perfect for the patient needing to curb pain, anxiety, tension, headaches, or insomnia, but doesn’t want to interrupt their day with hourly snack breaks.
Sweet and earthy in flavor, Canna-Tsu provides a boost to both mood and focus. Though this strain may calm upset tummies, you shouldn’t feel any extra rumblings of hunger.
For uncompromised energy and clarity, we recommend the low-munchies strain MediHaze. This one can sometimes exhibit equal levels of THC and CBD, but compared to high-THC, low-CBD strains, MediHaze is much better for keeping the appetite at bay.
Similar to the widely coveted ACDC hybrid, Cannatonic is a high-CBD strain that relaxes the body while leaving the mind free to focus. On average, Cannatonic has a 2:1 ratio of CBD:THC, meaning you probably won’t feel much in the way of a high or hunger.
By now, you’re familiar with THC and CBD. But you may not be familiar with the less ubiquitous THCV, a less common cannabinoid that may suppress appetite (although more research is needed). Notable amounts of THCV are best achieved through extraction. That means if you’re on the hunt for THCV, you’ll likely want to look for concentrate products containing elevated levels of the cannabinoid. However, some strains have been found to contain slightly higher levels of THCV on average.
While high-CBD strains tend to induce little to no high, these strains are worth a shot if you like the euphoria associated with cannabis. Keep in mind, these still contain THC—so tread lightly with the dose to avoid munchies.
Said to contain elevated levels of THCV, Durban Poison is worth trying if you’re fighting an overactive appetite. Cherished for its active, upbeat high that can fuel productivity, this pure African sativa keeps you focused on what matters more than snacks.
Resist the call of the pizza with Power Plant, an electrifying strain that descends from African landrace sativas. Its spicy, peppery aroma perks up the senses, leaving you with inspiration and positivity instead of a demanding stomach.
Kill the temptation to order half Taco Bell’s menu with Jack the Ripper, a strain that carries a tantalizing lemon scent. This invigorating variety is sure to summon a talkative mood long before a talkative tum.
Another African sativa, Red Congolese focuses all of its psychoactive energy in the head, helping creativity and focus to thrive. Among the list of activities this sativa motivates, you’ll sooner find hiking, painting, and reading more appealing than eating the entire contents of your fridge.
As sweet and citrusy as this strain might taste, Moby Dick doesn’t coerce the appetite as much as other strains. Expect instead to feel your mood and energy elevate to a place in which it’s easy to feel satisfied whether or not you treated yourself to an entire cheesecake.