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learn | 07.18.2022

Why Does Smoking Weed Give You The Munchies?

We took a look at some of the research behind the munchies to see what’s going on in the brain.

The munchies are a weedsmoking staple.

In fact, it doesn’t matter if you smoke, vape, or eat edibles; cannabis makes you hungry.

This “side effect” helps many people with nausea and lack of appetite. Plus, there are certain strains and cannabinoids that increase or decrease appetite, depending on your needs.

But what causes this classic cannabis conundrum? Neuroscientists at Yale University think they’ve it figured out, so we looked at their research and some previous studies to see why weed makes us hungry.

What causes the munchies?

One group of people who can definitely benefit from the munchies are those who struggle with their appetite. This is especially true for cancer patients receiving chemotherapy and/or radiation.

Chemotherapy treatment makes individuals feel nauseous, and keeping down a meal can be extremely difficult.

In the early 90s, patients with HIV/AIDS, especially in California, also fought for their right to use medical cannabis for similar reasons.

Cannabis increases the appetites of those with HIV/AIDS and helps keep other symptoms at bay. These two groups of medical patients are one of the main reasons California passed the nation’s first medical cannabis law in 1996.

Now, over 20 years later, people with many different medical conditions are turning to cannabis to help increase their appetite, including:

  • Crohn’s Disease
  • Irritable Bowel Syndrome
  • Other gastrointestinal issues
  • Anxiety and Depression
  • Eating Disorders
  • Side effects from medications

Which Cannabis Strains Give You The Munchies?

Photo by Ron Lach

Most cannabis strains will give you the munchies, but if you’re specifically looking to increase your appetite, here are some strains to check out:

CBD For Appetite

THC may not be the only cannabinoid that causes the munchies.

CBD, the second most common cannabinoid in our favorite herb, has many of the same medical benefits as THC, without the psychoactive “high.”

Although the munchies are much less intense, many who use CBD oil daily describe an increase in appetite. In fact, many taking CBD for other reasons also report eating more, as well as sleeping better, and having an increased sense of “wellbeing.”

Many seniors are turning to CBD for this reason. It’s very common for seniors to lose their appetites with age, but some become dangerously thin because of it.

Plus, side effects from other medications can cause loss of appetite, as well as nausea and dizziness.

But taking CBD oil is helping many seniors eat a healthy amount without getting them high or really giving them the munchies. It simply kickstarts a healthy appetite without overeating.

Don’t Want To Get The Munchies After Smoking Weed?

That’s okay too. Although there is data to suggest that regular weed smokers are skinnier than their non-pot consuming counterparts, there are some things you can do to avoid stuffing your face with Doritos, chocolate, and sour patch kids (in that order).

For one, look for strains high in the cannabinoids THCV and THCVA. Popular in California and hailed as “skinny weed,” many people report that this psychoactive compound decreases appetite instead of increasing it. However, be careful if you’re prone to anxiety. While THCV can also be energizing, some people with anxiety disorders find THCV increases their anxiety rather than decreases it. However, if you’re looking for “skinny weed,” check out these strains:

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