There’s a good reason doctors prescribe medical marijuana to patients who need to eat more—it works. While the effects of cannabis vary from person to person and from strain to strain, most varieties kick in the munchies, the bottomless pit of hunger for snack food.
Researchers now know why this happens. In a study published in the journal Nature, scientists found that cannabis messes with the signals that report fullness. Instead of telling your body that you’re good—i.e., sated—the neurons say, Bring on the buffet, stimulating your appetite and cravings.
The good news: the munchies probably won’t lead to weight gain. The same research team found that the chemicals that encourage eating add up. Once the cannabis is out of your system, they suppress appetite until they’re back in balance.
Basically, we’re giving you permission to give in to your cannabis-induced munchies. Don’t worry, we’re not going to leave you salivating: here’s how to satiate your cravings.
Chips: Pringles, Old Dutch, Miss Vickie’s—whatever your allegiance, chips are addictive at the best of times and irresistible when you’re high. Plus, they go stale so quickly there’s no point in holding back.
Nachos: Satisfy the hunger—and your improved ability to focus—by nerding out on the ideal layering system with a pile of nachos. Turn the light on in the oven while they cook for some visual entertainment too.
Pizza: The perfect combination of gooey, moist, and bready. Best if frozen and ready to go, but DIY is another chance to dive deep on ideal ratios of toppings to cheese to tomato sauce.
Cereal: It’s fun to laugh when you’re high. Jerry Seinfeld is hilarious and a cereal aficionado. Coincidence? Fast, easy, and a great mix of crunch for texture and milk for easing dry mouth, cereal may be the perfect food. And it uses kitchen staples.
Ramen: Salty broth. Wormy noodles. Easy to cook. Enough said.
Ice cream: For those who crave sweetness, ice cream is impossible to beat. If we have to pick a brand, the eclectic flavours of Ben & Jerry’s seem to kill two cravings at once. Exhibit A: chocolate chip cookie dough flavour.
Cookies or brownies: Any cookie will do, but the soft and gooey centre and decadent chocolate of brownies rule this realm, and those “two-bite” bags at most grocery stores go down perfectly. (More like “one-bite,” amirite?)
Sandwiches: Bread + fillings = instant craving cure. The options are nearly endless, ranging from instant PB&J to panini patience. Our favourite is a simple grilled cheese.
Popcorn: The low-calorie, budget-friendly option—until you load it with truffle oil and parmesan cheese.
Leftovers: Another trait of getting high is becoming even lazier than normal. Often, even buttering a piece of bread can feel like a lot of work. Meanwhile, opening a container of last night’s pasta is nearly effortless. We know which one we’re reaching for.