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9 Proven Ways on How to Stop the Munchies | Tested Solutions

Thursday June 01, 2023
an individual having munchies sitting on the floor eating ice cream

Cannabis could save the world one day. It has so many positive attributes and brings so many people together – but there is that age old question – one pondered by ancient philosophers and partying college students alike…how does one go about avoiding the munchies?

Admittedly it may not be the deepest topic of discussion, but it’s one that has some serious science behind it to explain why your body wants to eat after using cannabis and how you can help control the munchies. Don’t worry, stopping munchies isn’t as tough as you might think and we have a great list of some pretty easy tips and tricks to stop you from consuming everything in the fridge.

two individuals looking at marijuana munchies on a table in a room filled with smoke

Why Does Cannabis Cause the Munchies? 

As far back as 300 B.C. we knew that using cannabis could promote a healthy appetite, especially for “sweet or savory food.” The secret lies within THC, or tetrahydrocannabinol, the cannabinoid that is most well known (and the one that causes that rumbly tumbly when using pot). THC binds with your cannabinoid receptor type 1 (CB1), a part of your endocannabinoid system, activating CB1 which in turn, increases your appetite.

According to Examine.com, CB1, that fun receptor, can be found in, 

“The basal ganglia, where it may enhance eating pleasure.

The limbic forebrain, where it may enhance food palatability.

The stomach and small intestine, which both regulate ghrelin (an appetite-stimulating hormone that speeds digestion).

The hypothalamus and rhombencephalon, two sections of the brain that help regulate food intake.”

They go on to say that THC can affect the appetite because, 

“It may decrease your levels of peptide tyrosine tyrosine (PYY), thus increasing your levels of ghrelin, thus increasing your appetite. 

THC activates the mTOR (mammalian target of rapamycin) pathway, thus increasing your levels of ghrelin, thus increasing your appetite.

It activates a subset of neurons called proopiomelanocortin neurons (POMCs). These neurons can suppress hunger (primary pathway) and/or increase appetite (secondary pathway), to various degrees.”

And honestly, isn’t that part of its power? Part of the reason that lawmakers have legalized cannabis for medical use? Because for patients that use cannabis as a way to stimulate their appetites in the wake of, or in healing from, cancer, chronic illness, and more – THC and CB1 working together is nothing short of real life magic. Those people don’t want to avoid the munchies. 

But you do want to stop munchies, don’t you? That’s why you’re here! So let’s get into it!

Does Sativa or Indica Make You Hungry?

Does sativa make you hungry? Short answer, yes!! Does indica make you hungry? Again, that’s a yes!! It’s just a “yes, yes, yes” all over from us. And it’s an easy answer to remember because if you are using cannabis that contains THC, you are activating your cannabinoid receptor type 1 and you are stimulating your appetite. Period. Don’t make it difficult, it really is that simple. 

And by the way, there is no scientifically measured data so far to show that a sativa or an indica is more likely to give you the munchies. Any evidence to suggest otherwise is anecdotal, or based on personal accounts, which doesn’t mean it isn’t true, just that it hasn’t been studied scientifically yet, which is an important part of proving something is a fact.

Do Edibles Make You Hungry?

what are edibles

Yes, edibles give you the munchies – IF you can stay awake long enough to get to the pantry. It takes edibles longer to kick in because unlike smoking, vaping, or using a tincture, edibles must first go through the digestion process and are absorbed into your system in a very different way than other methods. Once the THC in your edible binds with CB1, those receptors are activated and YOU get hungry.

Why Controlling Your Munchies Has It’s Benefits 

You are right to wonder how to control munchies, because giving into them every single time you use cannabis for fun isn’t the best idea. If you haven’t eaten, and then you use cannabis, it’s not so bad because when your appetite is stimulated, you’ll eat, no big deal. 

But what if you’ve already eaten? Will you still be hungry after smoking, even if you’re full? Sadly the answer is yes, even if you have a full belly of food, cannabis will still make you feel hungry. This can be a problem for folks with dietary restrictions and people trying to watch their weight for any number of reasons. 

9 Ways to Stop the Munchies 

There are several ways to stop the munchies and we chose our favorite 9 reasons to share with our favorite readers…that’s you! These are not the only ways to stop your cannabis induced hunger, but they’re a good start to stop munchies.

individual trying to stop having the munchies

1. Eat Before Using Cannabis

If you have willpower, this is the tip for you. Yes, THC will still activate your CB1, unleashing your appetite and making you want to munch. But at least if you’ve already eaten you KNOW you don’t NEED any additional food. When the hunger cues kick in, just tell yourself you’re good, think about the meal you just ate and how full you felt, and don’t give in. You’ve already eaten. End of discussion.

2. Drink Water Instead

Didn’t your mom ever tell you to have a glass of water instead when you begged for a snack before dinner? Drinking water helps subside hunger by filling your stomach with the calorie free liquid. It’s quickly processed, so it isn’t a long lasting solution, but it does work in the short term. Plus because water has no calories it wont work against your daily calorie count, if you’re into that sort of thing.

3. Have Healthy Snacks Around

eggs, tomatoes, grapefruit, cherries, salad

If you know that you’re going to eat, eat something that is low calorie, low in sugar, and maybe even good for you. If you’re putting in extra GOOD food it is better than if you’re adding extra BAD food to your body. Here are a few ideas for healthy snacks:

  • Fresh fruit like apples, pears, and oranges will make you feel full and are packed with vitamins and nutrients you need every day!
  • Fresh vegetables like celery, which is full of water, and carrots which are very filling.
  • Greek yogurt, which is full of protein and helps to boost your immune system. Make sure to keep an eye on the sugar content – the lower, the better. 
  • Crackers and peanut butter are healthiest for you if you’re eating whole grain crackers, but saltines will work in a pinch. The crackers are great for giving you an energy boost and the peanut butter is a boost for your immune system. 
  • Mixed nuts are full of antioxidants and are actually known for being a weight loss aid.

4. Chew Gum

Chewing gum may trick and distract your brain enough to forget that you are hungry. One study has shown chewing gum to be a great appetite suppressant, stating “Participants reported feeling more satisfied and resisted more decadent foods.” While another study showed it didn’t make a difference in stopping hunger at all. So, it doesn’t work for everyone, and doesn’t work every single time, but it’s worth a try if you’re trying different ways to stop the munchies.

5. Work Out Instead

individuals running on a bridge

Speaking of distractions, hop on that treadmill, get on that Peloton bike, pop in that old Jane Fonda aerobics tape (just kidding, sort of), or open that workout app on your phone, and get MOVING. Working out is a great way to avoid the munchies and get your essential movement in for the day.

Don’t go too hard if you haven’t eaten though, you don’t want to turn skipping the munchies into passing out because you haven’t eaten enough.

6. Play Video Games

Hear us out – it is really hard to eat when your hands are busy playing video games. It’s hard to smoke weed when you’re playing video games without a joint going out, stopping Call of Duty to pick up a sandwich is the last thing I’m going to do. Distractions, distractions, distractions, right? Keep that dang old brain off the thoughts of hunger.

7. Consume CBD instead of THC

cbd capsules laying out on a table

If you don’t consume THC, you won’t get the munchies. Makes sense, right? You can take a CBD tincture, take a CBD capsule, or you can smoke THC free weed, which can sometimes be easier to find in illegal states than in legal ones.

8. Go Outside

We can’t say this enough – distract yourself. Unless you’re smoking in order to eat, this is a mind over matter situation. If you can get your brain off of thoughts of hunger you can skip this chemically induced hunger pang. Going outside is a great way to not only make the most of your cannabis induced mindset, but it is a fantastic way to immerse your brain in pretty much anything you can get into. Go for a hike, head to your local lake, visit a park, walk your dog, go to the beach – or do it ALL.  It’s outside, it’s mostly free, and your imagination is your only limitation. What is not to like?

9. Alternatively, Embrace the Munchies

individual with the munchies eating a chip

Plan your big cheat and/or treat day around your cannabis use. And in case you need a few ideas

  • Movie theater nachos from Ricos are this writer’s favorite stoner snack. They cost less than $2.00, which is way less than they cost at the actual movie theater, and you can heat up the cheese or leave it cold and it’s equally as good. 
  • Leftovers in the fridge are quick, and free! Heat those babies up, or eat them cold, they’re YOUR leftovers, YOU choose your own adventure!
  • Chips. Simple. Easy. Salty….chips
  • Chocolate covered pretzels are a well kept secret, so don’t tell anyone, but you need to try these when you’re giving into the munchies. White chocolate, milk chocolate, or dark chocolate – your choice!


When you use cannabis, the THC within it will activate your cannabinoid receptor 1, leading to increased appetite. Giving into the munchies every time you consume cannabis is not a good idea and can ultimately lead to weight gain and other health issues related to consuming too much junk food in your overall diet. T

here are ways you can distract your brain or even choose healthy foods over your favorite high calorie, high sugar snacks. But don’t forget, every now and then, to treat yourself and enjoy the munchies now and then.

What are your best secrets and tips to not get the munchies? Email us or comment below and give us a heads up!

Pizza snacks like pizza rolls, pizza bagels, or pizza hot pockets are an easy go to snack that pops in the microwave or oven and pops right back out ready to munch.

Brittany Driver

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