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The Munchies: What Are They? Why Do They Occur? How to Manage Them?

25/01/2023
The Munchies What It Is Why It Occurs How to Manage It - Down To Earth

You’ve heard of “the munchies”, a term indicating an irrepressible and uncontrolled impulse linked to the use of cannabis and which causes an increase in appetite after consuming cannabis, even on a full stomach.

In this article, we’ll explore “the munchies” and how to manage them effectively.

What Are “The Munchies” And Why Using Cannabis Makes You Hungry?

The munchies is when, after consuming cannabis, you feel the urgent need to eat, usually comfort food or junk food.

If you’ve ever experienced the munchies, you’ll know just how strong the pull to eat is.

To fully understand the munchies, we need to understand the causes and symptoms. Yes, we’re getting (briefly) scientific!

The munchies are caused by THC. THC is one of the compounds present in cannabis that causes the “high” feeling. THC deceives the brain by altering the perception of the sense of hunger and also the sense of smell. This happens because THC stimulates neurons normally responsible for suppressing appetite.

An American study has identified the links between marijuana consumption and appetite: the neurons responsible for creating the prohormone pro-opiomelanocortin or POMC, stimulated by cannabinoids, arouse appetite in a person even if you’ve eaten and have the “full” feeling after a meal. In other words, THC “deceives” the brain into thinking you’re hungry.

When POMC neurons are activated by cannabinoids, they stop releasing the hormones which make you feel full, and which normally stop you feeling hungry.

The Munchies: When They Start, How Long They Last, And How to Manage Them

As a rule, the munchies tend happen between 30 minutes to about 2 hours after consuming cannabis.

Each person is different and the type of cannabis consumed also plays a role in how a person experiences the munchies. In fact, different types of cannabis, for example sativa dominant, indica dominant or a hybrid mix, contain different percentages of THC, which can lead to varying levels of hunger.

How you consume cannabis also affects how you experience the munchies. Vaping cannabis can increase THC ingestion by up to 46% more than smoking cannabis, which therefore would lead to more intense munchies.

The munchies caused by taking cannabis through CBD Skincare or edible products will be less intense than vaping or smoking, but can still happen.

Knowing how the munchies work will allow you to manage the effects.

The first thing you should do is ensure you have a good diet and eat regularly throughout the day. And don’t consume cannabis on an empty stomach!

If the munchies persist even with a full stomach, it’s important to try to distract attention from food in some way. Maybe a walk, a bike ride, reading or watching something.

Chewing gum can also help, with the chewing action often enough to deal with the feelings of hunger.

A further alternative may be to change the type of cannabis taken. To reduce the munchies, you could try cannabis with a higher concentration of CBD or THCV to THC, or try fixed dosage products such as edibles and CBD skin care products. A hemp skincare product, for example CBD skin serum, will probably provide you with all the benefits you want without munchies in most cases.

Final Thoughts

Whilst you might get the munchies, it’s important to know it’s not actually real – the body isn’t hungry, the brain has just been “tricked” by the THC into thinking the body needs food.

By trying some of the strategies mentioned above, you can manage the munchies effectively.

Remember, you should consult your doctor before using any CBD products including edibles and CBD skin care products, especially if you have any medical conditions or take medication.

At Down To Earth, we sell the only premium CBD products. All our products are tested by independent labs to ensure their quality and purity. You can find these independent lab reports on our website.

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