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Cannabis-associated munchies can be a problem. You sit down to smoke a pre-roll and relax, and before you know it, you’re chowing down sugar filled donuts, deep-fried chicken, and ice cream. For sure, cannabis can be a great way to stimulate eating in those who have lost their appetite because of a medical condition (like cancer), but for others who would like to stay out of the cookie jar, getting the munchies is a problem.

Is there anything that can be done about it? Let’s take a look at some of your options.

Choose High CBD Strains

The main reason cannabis is associated with the munchies is that historically most people smoked high-THC varieties which stimulated the appetite. For those of you who don’t know, THC is the compound in some types of cannabis which produces the traditional “high” associated with marijuana consumption. It’s the main psychoactive ingredient, and what is believed to lead to feelings of hunger and a desire to overeat while stoned.

The science behind THC backs up these claims. Recently, researchers from Yale found that THC was involved in stimulating hunger signals in the hypothalamus, the small, peanut-shaped region at the base of the brain responsible for appetite. THC artificially stimulated hunger pathways, convincing people that they were hungry when they weren’t.

If you want to avoid the munchies, use high-CBD strains, a variety that we stock at Planet 13, the biggest dispensary in Vegas. Strains with a high ratio of CBD to THC appear to help people avoid the munchies while deriving all of the usual benefits from the cannabis experience, including feelings of relaxation, happiness, and focus.

Eat On A Schedule

Our bodies have powerful internal clocks (sometimes called the Circadian rhythm) that help us decide when to eat and sleep. Modern life, however, has a habit of mucking with this carefully calibrated system, making us feel hungry and sleepy at times of the day we shouldn’t.

Some researchers think that the munchies might be caused by the fact that people are not eating at times of day that they should. Rather than being regimented with meal times, eating at 7 am, 1 pm and 6 pm, people skip meals, eat late, and generally leave their bodies wondering when the next inflow of calories will come. Add high-THC cannabis to the mix, and you’ve got a recipe for overeating and getting the munchies at times of day you shouldn’t. Not eating at 6pm and then smoking cannabis at 8pm is bound to lead to midnight snacking.

The advice? Stick with rigorous mealtimes, get your hypothalamus used to getting calories at certain times of day, and reserve your late nights for smoking, not stuffing your face.

Switch To Healthy Foods

At Planet 13, we’re all about living a healthy lifestyle. For many, it’s all too easy to reach for an unhealthy snack, like a bag of chips, ice cream, or leftover pizza. These unhealthy foods are lying around, just waiting to be eaten.

So what can you do about it? Knowing that you might get the munchies when using cannabis, you should prepare ahead of time. Get rid of your unhealthy sugary snacks and replace them natural sugary snacks. Whole plant foods are the way to go: bean burritos, bowls of chopped tropical fruit, and homemade hummus with veggies are all ideal.

Brush Your Teeth

Brushing your teeth not only helps to remove the taste of cannabis, but it also reduces your appetite by signaling to your brain that you are experiencing flavor sensations. The taste of mint in your mouth discourages you from eating savory items, potentially keeping you on the straight and narrow.

Try To Focus Your Mind On Something Else

Granted, being more focused might not be the first thing you think of when you get high, but thinking about something other than food is a good idea if you want to avoid overeating. Instead of just smoking cannabis and waiting for something to happen, try doing something active at the same time, like exercise, video games or playing a game with friends.