If you consume cannabis, you’re probably quite familiar with the munchies. This well-known phenomenon happens just as you’re beginning to feel the benefits of cannabis such as pain relief, relaxation or mood elevation. Suddenly, you also notice another side effect—you’re ridiculously hungry.
Now, maybe you’ve already eaten, or maybe your hunger pangs are real. But either way, the pull to start snacking is huge. Your stomach rumbles, your mouth waters, and your mind starts making a list of all of the possible snack foods in a 10-mile radius.
When you do find something to snack on, the food tastes amazingly good. Maybe it's just a regular old bag of chips, but it tastes so much better than it ever has and you end up eating the whole bag. Sound familiar?
While not every type of cannabis induces the munchies, and not every person taking cannabis experiences them, over-snacking while consuming cannabis is a common problem. And many worry about how this excessive snacking may affect their health and waistlines.
So why not ditch the chips and stock your fridge with some healthy and easy-to-make snacks?
Here’s our list of tasty snacks that will tame the munchies without compromising your health.
Before we get to the recipes, we should mention the science behind the munchies. Now, you may think that the munchies means cannabis use will lead to weight gain. But the research actually shows the opposite. Cannabis can actually shift your metabolism to help you burn more of the calories you take in.
So even for those who increase their caloric intake, the metabolic changes seem to make up for the increase in calories. In fact, cannabis consumers weigh less on average than non-consumers do.
But this doesn’t mean you should gorge yourself on junk food. Your body still needs a healthy balance of fresh, nutrient-packed whole foods to be at its best. And weight gain isn’t the only issue with unhealthy foods. They can contribute to conditions like high blood pressure and acid reflux. So why not make the change to healthier options?
Here are my five favorite quick and healthy snacks when the munchies hit:
Sweet and salty is a commonly craved flavor combination, and these cravings only get stronger when cannabis is in the picture. Satisfy your instincts with this incredibly simple snack.
To make this snack, simply cut up an apple into slices and spread some almond butter on one side of each slice.
Want even more sweet and salty? You can add some salt or dark chocolate chips on top to bump up the flavor intensity. Your marijuana-boosted taste buds will thank you for this crave-worthy dish.
For something simple and savory, there are few snacks as satisfying and easy to pull off as hummus and veggies.
Hummus is easy to find premade in a variety of healthy flavors, so you can grab one that looks tasty and keep it in your fridge for when the munchies arrive.
You should also pick out your favorite veggies to dip in the hummus. To simplify, use veggies that are already in easy-to-dip sizes like baby carrots, cherry tomatoes, broccoli or pre-cut celery sticks. This way, you don’t have to do any prep work when you’re ready to snack.
Just dip your veggies in the hummus and enjoy.
Avocado toast is quite the trendy snack these days, but not without reason. This healthy dish is packed with beneficial fats, fiber and nutrients. And did I mention it’s delicious?
This spin on the classic is easy to make at home. All you need is a slice of healthy whole grain bread, a quarter of an avocado and a spoonful of your favorite salsa.
Just toast the bread, mash together the salsa and avocado, and spread the mixture on top of the toast.
When I get the munchies, the first snack food I think of is french fries—crispy on the outside, warm on the inside, and so perfectly sweet and salty. Of course, french fries aren’t the healthiest snack because of the oil they’re usually fried in. So, I tend to avoid running out for fast food when I get that french fry craving.
That’s why I love indulging in this alternative to the classic french fry: baked sweet potato fries.
While they taste even sweeter than white potatoes do, sweet potatoes are slightly lower in calories and carbohydrates than their counterparts are. And you can bake them with a healthy fat like olive oil.
It’s easy to find pre-cut frozen sweet potato fries in the frozen food aisle, but you can also cut up your own sweet potatoes into 1-inch wide wedges. Place your fries on a cookie sheet, brush with olive oil, and then season to your taste with salt and red chili pepper flakes. Cook at 425 degrees F for 20–25 minutes, flipping the fries half-way through.
When they’re finished, spritz them with some lime juice for extra flavor, and add more salt as needed.
Who needs fast-food french fries with this healthy and flavorful alternative?
While these salty and savory options are incredible, sometimes the munchies demand something sweet. And nothing quite satisfies a sweetness craving like fresh fruit can.
Stock your fridge with fresh berries like blueberries, blackberries or strawberries. I tend to go with whatever’s in season. Then pick out some yogurts that will go well with your fruit. Vanilla is always a good fit, but you can make up all kinds of fun combinations with the many yogurt varieties available.
Here are a few tasty combinations to try:
When the sweet cravings hit, you’ll be ready with a flavor combination that’s sure to satisfy your munchies. Just toss the fruit onto your yogurt and enjoy.
Photo credit: Lisa Fotios
If you’re new to cannabis and want to learn more, take a look at our Cannabis 101 index of articles. HelloMD can help you get your medical marijuana recommendation; it's 100% online, private and efficient.