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THC Explained: What Causes The Munchies?

As cannabis connoisseurs and aficionados, we’re all pretty familiar with the munchies. That insatiable hunger kicks in after a good sesh and by the time it hits you you’ve already been melting into the couch for an hour or two— and who really wants to get up to prepare a meal after that?


However, ordering takeout can get pretty expensive. And after eating so many sour gummy worms and Hot Cheetos, those kinda stop doing it for ya too. Below we’ve listed some of the best foods to have on hand for when the munchies hit, as well as some cold hard facts to back them up.

Why do we get the munchies?

As an educational weed delivery service in Washington DC, we love diving into the sciencey side of weed. The munchies are one of the most common side effects when it comes to smoking cannabis, and it’s been studied pretty extensively. For example, cannabis’ unique ability to trigger an appetite is one of the reasons it’s used extensively in medical marijuana patients.


But it’s a little more than that. Have you ever noticed that most things just kinda taste better when you smoke weed? Turns out that’s not hearsay in the slightest. A european study on rats found that THC slides into the receptors in our brain's olfactory bulb, which increases our ability to smell and taste things more acutely.


Further, previous research also found that THC affects another part of the brain called the nucleus accumbens, which triggers the release of dopamine and that pleasurable feeling. When you eat while high, it releases more dopamine than it normally does.


Other studies found that THC also interferes with similar receptors in the hypothalamus portion of the brain, which releases ghrelin, also known as the hormone that makes you feel hungry. THC makes the body feel physically starved of food.


So to recap, THC makes food smell and taste better and also physically makes you feel hungry. It can also make eating more pleasurable and stimulate an appetite, making the munchies almost a guarantee.


Which strains are more likely to cause the munchies?

If you struggle with a lack of appetite or you’re just looking to get that stomach ready for a feast, you’ll find that indica strains are better for giving you a case of the munchies. However, if you want to avoid a case of the munchies, look for strains that are high in THC-v. This version of THC tends to be more cerebral in nature and less physical.


5 of the Best Foods for Combatting the Munchies

Feeling hungry yet? Here’s a list of our top 5 favorite foods to keep on hand for when the munchies hit. Remember to also stay hydrated, and drink something sugary and sweet to combat that cottonmouth.


1. Mangos or other citrus fruits

Citrus is delicious on its own, but did you know that vitamin C amplifies a cannabis high? Vitamin C helps speed up the process that THC hits your bloodstream, causing your high to feel more intense at first. Further, terpenes found in mangos and citrus fruits are also abundant in cannabis strains. Terpenes like myrcene and limonene can boost the effects of THC and make your high last longer and feel stronger. Best of all, all you need is the juice. Mango, orange, and peach juice, or lemonade can kill cottonmouth while also boosting your high.


2. Crunchy vegetables and leafy greens

Outside of a satisfying crunch that gives your mouth something to enjoy, there are several benefits to munching on carrots, celery, and leafy greens when you’re high. For one thing, the terpene content can amplify your high in the same way citrus will. Additionally, these veggies can help clear your blood and get good oxygen through the body. They’re a healthier alternative to processed fatty foods with a satisfying crunch, like chips or pretzels.


3. Breakfast Cereal

A stoner staple includes breakfast cereals. They’re sweet and tasty and they also offer that satisfying crunch. If you go with a healthy breakfast cereal that includes dried fruits you’ll find yourself enjoying vitamins and minerals that can help amplify your high as well as a good dose of terpenes that can boost the effects of THC thanks to the entourage effect. Anything that includes yogurt, fruit, or nuts can help boost your high thanks to the way our body breaks down these simple sugars and proteins.


4. Chocolate

If you’re the type to get a sweet tooth after smoking, you’ll be pleased to find chocolate on this list. Chocolates contain anandamide, the feel-good chemical in the brain that THC naturally mimics. In chocolate, it makes the natural anandamide in the brain hang out for longer, which is why one study found that letting the chocolate melt in your mouth provides a sharp increase in brain activity and heart rate matching a passionate kiss, though lasting up to 4 times longer. If you go with dark chocolate, you’ll also enjoy some extra antioxidants.


5. Pizza You can’t beat a good ol’ pizza when you’re enjoying the herb. Humans are naturally drawn to fatty, sweet, and complex foods thanks to our brain chemistry, and a pizza offers all three. Sweet sauce, fatty cheese, and rich meat. Each of these toppings contains glutamate which is an amino acid that triggers our pleasure centers and is the reason our mouths water in anticipation of a good bite of food.


Ultimately, if you’re looking for some healthier munchies that can improve the effects of your favorite cannabis strains, be sure to try these top 5 recommended foods for when the munchies hit. Don’t get us wrong though— sometimes chips, cookies, and candy blatantly sound better. Go with your gut, stay hydrated, and enjoy yourselves. If you want to learn more about cannabis, how it affects our bodies, and how you can enjoy it in your daily life, be sure to start your order online with Flower Avenue.

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