How To Avoid The Munchies When Dieting (Or Any Other Time)

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Avoid Munchies Cannabis


Everyone knows that smoking cannabis causes the munchies, right? Actually, not so fast. There is evidence that certain strains may not cause this effect. However, if you find that this urge just will not go away, there are multiple strategies to help you conquer the urge to snack.

Got the munchies? Don’t feel embarrassed. It happens to the best of us.

But how to stop that ravenous hunger? Even worse, is there a way to force our first choices away from junk food?

New scientific research can shed some light onto this, and the results are pretty convincing. Turns out that cannabis can literally switch circuits in your brain. This includes the ones that have to do with the “feed” impulse, a reaction created when the hypothalamus in the brain is exposed to THC.

The endocannabinoid system of the body is, in fact, responsible for metabolic regulation, covering functions including pain, emotion, immune response and memory. More importantly, it also regulates appetite.

That means that a “feed response” is literally “hard-wired” into the human body.

Initially, the connection between appetite and cannabis was observed in a medical setting. There, it was considered a positive attribute. AIDS patients, wasting away from the disease, developed an appetite after smoking cannabis and so did chemo patients. The question was why?

The phenom is also seen, of course, in “regular” smokers. Think of the stereotypical stoner that was a fat couch potato, surrounded by junk food. Does this mean then that weight gain is always associated with cannabis use? And in every situation?

Actually, not nearly. As compelling as this explanation is, not everyone gets the munchies. Even better news? There are ways to combat this phenom.

CHOOSE THE RIGHT STRAIN

There is significant evidence that certain chemicals in cannabis mitigate the munchies. The reason for this is very simple; the cannabis plant contains many different cannabinoids. Though THC causes the hypothalamus to switch the “feed” instinct on and off, other cannabinoids can mitigate the impact of THC. Different strains of the plant hold different potencies of these cannabinoids. A combination of certain concentrations can cause certain effects.

On top of this, there is also now evidence that cannabinoids work together to create certain impact or mitigate THC itself. CBD, for example, is now known to have a mitigating impact on THC. So apparently does THCV.

It stands to reason, therefore, that strains that are high in both may in fact act in a different way. Including minimising the urge for a late night, calorie-heavy gorge.

Some of these “low munchie” strains include strains like Blue Dream. This is a very high THC (18%) sativa variety. Yoghurt sweet and lemony smell makes it a fave. It is also frequently used to treat chronic pain.

Cannabis Strains Munchies Diet

Durban Poison is another. It hails from South African. It is also a sativa cultivated by a Dutch breeder. The variety is also known as an energy boosting variety. Its uplifting impact is both highly mentally and physically stimulating. Power Plant is also another suggestion. This cross between Super Silver Haze, Bubblegum and Ruderalis creates a strong clear high.

One last option is Jack the Ripper. There are many strains to choose from under this variety. This popular sativa hybrid is easy to grow. It is also a fast bloomer.

HOW TO OVERCOME THE MUNCHIES

But what if your favourite strain still gives you the munchies?
What if every strain you try has the same unwanted effect?

Do not fear. There are many ways to distract your brain.

Remember, you know you don’t want to eat even if your brain is urging you too. You can conquer your own instincts. The trick is to make these an automatic habit.

GRAB A DRINK

It doesn’t seem to matter what kind of drink you go for. Cold, warm, fizzy or flat. It should at least take the edge of the hunger. Coffee seems to work particularly well and it also gives you a jolt of energy to move you on to another activity.

KEEP YOURSELF BUSY

There are many things that you can do to keep your head out of the refrigerator. You can sleep, meditate, go for a run, draw or paint. Try to stay away from activities that leave your eyes open, your body idle and your hands-free. Not thinking about how much you are eating is one of the biggest reasons the munchies can be so dangerous to waistlines.

LIMIT TEMPTATIONS

If you know you have urges when you smoke, take precautions beforehand. Rather than stocking up on unhealthy food, remember your instincts. If it’s not there, you won’t eat it.

BRUSH YOUR TEETH OR CHEW GUM

Another trick that requires foresight and planning is brushing your teeth. If this does not work, try some gum. At a minimum, it will keep your mouth distracted.

Brush teeth while high

MAKE HEALTHY DECISIONS ABOUT SNACKING

If you know you can’t control the gorging urge, try to only have healthy snacks on hand. Crisp, fresh veggies with satisfying dips can often do the trick. Hummus and salsa are two popular choices. Some of our other suggestions include popcorn, fruit, nuts and yogurt. 

KEEP SMOKING

To make this even more confusing, there is also another issue to consider. The munchies are predominantly a problem experienced by more casual smokers. Regular smokers, especially medical users, note that the munchies are a phenom that quickly wears off. This could be part of cannabis tolerance.

Regardless, know that the munchies are not unconquerable. You too can overcome them.

 

         
  Marguerite Arnold  

Written by: Marguerite Arnold
With years of writing experience under her belt, Marguerite dedicates her time to exploring the cannabis industry and the developments of the legalisation movement.

 
 
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