Why do you get the munchies?

Upon finishing off the last of your joint and turning on your favourite show, you suddenly find yourself hungry… But you’ve already eaten, you think, puzzled. Then you remember the column you read on CanadianEvergreen.com and it all makes sense: it’s the munchies!

So, why do you get the munchies from smoking weed? THC, the psychoactive chemical in cannabis that gets you high, and other chemical compounds react with the endocannabinoid system in your brain. If the endocannabinoid system is a series of doors in your brain, consuming THC is like opening the one that results with you being stoned.

But it’s not just increased hunger that’s a side effect from marijuana. According to a study published in 2013, researchers believe that consuming THC also increases your sense of smell and taste. Their study suggests that THC interacts with ghrelin, a hormone that stimulates appetite. Although research is restricted, many users reported an increased sense of smell and even more reported an increased sense of taste, meaning those things you’re craving can be all the more enticing.

Of course, the munchies are different for everyone – it could be a craving for something sweet, something salty, a savoury meal or elaborate dessert, or maybe random ingredients hastily thrown together in a stoned stupor. But typically you’ll just crave your favourite foods … You’ll just have to try it out for yourself – oh no!

For those who prefer to limit their use to CBD, unfortunately, you won’t receive any of the same increased appetite. Another chemical compound in cannabis, CBD – or cannabidiol – doesn’t get you high (unlike THC).

CBD is widely touted for its therapeutic effects, including as a treatment for anxiety, chronic pain, depression, and more. It would be fantastic if it also helped with appetite, but sadly that’s not the case.

What to munch?

While the roots of the term “munchies” reach back at least several decades, the options of what to munch have reached new heights in recent years.

READ MORE: Where does the word munchies come from?

The B.C.-based convenience store and head shop A Little More is perfectly positioned next to their dispensary, A Little Bud, in both White Rock and their new location in Duncan, on Vancouver Island, and is filled with hard-to-find drinks and unique snacks from around the world, including the US, the UK and Asia.

Other stores, such as Vancouver’s Lucky’s Bodega, specialize in exotic snacks, offering products that are typically only sold in foreign markets, or are just plain old hard to find. And yes, their East Vancouver store is also located next to a dispensary.

Beyond the bricks-and-mortar shops, inspired entrepreneurs have taken their exotic munchies businesses online and to social media, such as Mr. Snacks Packs. Seen on instagram @Mr.SnacksPacks or at mrsnackspack.ca, munching stoners and treat lovers alike can order treats like Rap Snacks, from the US market, white peach Fanta from the Japanese market, just about every flavour of Oreo on the market anywhere, and everything in between!