• J. L. Campbell

Why Does Marijuana Give Us the Munchies?


If you are a Missouri resident with a medical card, you might find yourself living out that old cliché of being high and getting “the munchies.” A powerful increase in appetite is one of the most commonly known side effects of cannabis use. Why does this happen? This surge in hunger is caused by the body’s chemical response to THC.


By the way, if you don’t have a Missouri medical marijuana card yet, relief isn’t far away. Our team of physicians are available to take you through a quick and easy evaluation to see if you qualify. To schedule an appointment, CLICK HERE, or give us a call at (877) 303-3117.


So, what exactly is THC?

THC, or tetrahydrocannabinol, is the psychoactive ingredient in marijuana, or the part that is responsible for the “high” that most people experience when consuming cannabis.


How does THC cause the munchies?

When THC enters a person’s system, it travels throughout the body, eventually interacting with brain receptors. When it reaches the part of the brain that affects appetite, the stimuli often causes a desire to eat. Smithsonian Magazine goes into detail, citing a scientific study indicating that THC mimics the natural effects that occur when we’re deprived of food. So, even if you have already eaten, your brain may feel like you’ve skipped a meal.


Cannabis also increases our response to smell.

In 2014 Nature Neuroscience published a study that discovered marijuana also affects us by “binding to receptors in the olfactory bulb of the brain.” This basically means we become hypersensitive to scent. If you are already experiencing a desire to eat, and your sense of smell is enhanced, it may be difficult to resist walking past a restaurant or kitchen without sitting down to satisfy your cravings. Food simply smells better after partaking in medical marijuana.


Why can we eat so much after smoking marijuana?

We have neurons in our brain that tell us when we’re full. THC has the ability to bypass the part of our brain that normally tells us that we’re satisfied, sometimes causing us to eat more than we normally might.


How can I combat the munchies?

Two words: plan ahead. If you are among the many medical marijuana users who succumb to the munchies, planning ahead is a great way to make sure you don’t over-indulge.


Stock up.

Hit the grocery store on your way home from the dispensary and stock up on healthy foods and snacks so you can satiate your cravings while fueling your body. You know you’re going to want to eat, and having healthy options on-hand can help you avoid hitting the Taco Bell drive-thru and housing an entire party pack of tacos.


Make a reservation.

Another great option is to find a healthy restaurant and make a munchie date in advance. Most restaurants have nutrition information available. If it isn’t listed on their menu, give them a call or send a message so that you can make an informed decision before stepping into the restaurant. Once the smells from the kitchen hit your nose and the cravings ramp up, you’ll be able to stick to the game plan and enjoy a meal with no regrets.


Get out your slow cooker.

Speaking of your nose, make the most of the fact that you’re going to enjoy the aroma of delicious food. A great at-home option to take advantage of your heightened sense of smell is to start a healthy, aromatic slow cooker recipe before consuming medical marijuana. Get out your Crock Pot and make some magic. Then, when the munchies hit, you’ll have something delicious ready and waiting.


Hungry for relief?

If you’re ready to enjoy the benefits of medical marijuana, you’ll need a Missouri medical card. If you don’t have one yet, our doctors can help take you through a quick and easy evaluation process to see if you qualify. Just give us a call at (877) 303-3117 CLICK HERE to schedule an evaluation.




Doctors Who Care. Relief You Can Trust.

At Missouri Marijuana Card, our mission is helping everyone achieve wellness safely and conveniently through increased access to medical marijuana. Our focus on education, inclusion, and acceptance will reduce stigma for our patients by providing equal access to timely information and compassionate care.


Call us at (877) 303-3117, or simply book a medical marijuana evaluation to start getting relief you can trust today!


Check out Missouri Marijuana Card’s Blog to keep up to date on the latest medical marijuana news, tips, and information. Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram to join the medical marijuana conversation in Missouri.


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