Many people, such as cancer patients, use marijuana precisely to increase their appetites and gain weight. Other folks need to control their marijuana munchies to maintain or lose weight. The Munchies is one of the most famous and often reported effects of cannabis.
Why does cannabis cause increased appetite?
This has to do with how the human brain reacts to the consumption of Cannabis, setting off a chain reaction that leads to an urgent desire for food. There is actually a specific cannabinoid receptor that increases hunger.
Basically, there is a hunger switch in our brains that is triggered when we ingest THC (tetrahydrocannabinol), the substance that is responsible for the euphoric effect of the plant. This happens whether we smoke a joint, use a vaporizer, or eat some food that contains THC.
What is interesting is that marijuana actually stimulates a very specific receptor in a group of neurons that are typically in charge of limiting our appetite. But, when the CB1 receptors are stimulated by THC, the neurons work in the opposite way and increase our appetite. In addition, after Cannabis use our blood-sugar levels drop, and that also causes an increased appetite.
What if I need to lose weight?
Now, if you are trying to lose weight, as I am, this effect of cannabis can be a problem.
Here are some ideas of how you can control yourself when you have the munchies:
- Add some honey and lemon to a pitcher of warm water. Adding ginger, or mint can make the cocktail even more tasty. Can drink warm or iced.
- If you absolutely have to eat something other than a regular meal, try to replace junk food with healthier alternatives. Instead of fried chips try baked chips, popcorn, or rice crackers. Instead of candy, try fruit or lower calorie, natural yogurt.
- Brush your teeth right after smoking marijuana. This will reduce your appetite by leaving a taste of minty freshness in your mouth.