No More Munchies: This Cannabinoid Can Help With Weight Loss

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It’s a classic effect of smoking pot: the raging craving for savory, salty, and sweet snacks that everyone knows as the munchies. Arguably, this universal need to feed is one of the most enjoyable benefits of being stoned. Smokers are as particular about curating a perfect collection of snack foods as they are about getting the best kush. The only problem – those extra pounds that squish above your waistband don’t go away when your high does.

But, don’t throw your bong away just yet. As if you would. Despite having a reputation for making you hungry, certain strains of cannabis can actually suppress your appetite and help with weight loss.

Why do I get the munchies after smoking?

Burger and Fries

There is extensive research on why marijuana’s active ingredient, THC, stimulates appetite. When you smoke or ingest weed, the THC binds to the CB1 and CB2 receptors in the part of the brain responsible for regulating emotions, pain, and the senses of smell and taste. In other words, smoking weed enhances your sensitivity to smell, making those gooey, cheesy pizza rolls a lot more potent and appealing. THC also releases a flood of dopamine, which makes eating even more enjoyable – a perfect recipe for a night on the couch with a bag of chips.

How cannabis can help with weight loss

Given that the active ingredient in marijuana is responsible for causing food cravings, it seems backwards that smoking a particular strain could help quell them. Enter THCV and humulene.

THCV,  or tetrahydrocannabivarin, is a cannabinoid with a mellower psychoactive effect than its cousin, THC. It’s an antagonist of the body’s CB1 and CB2 receptors, which means it blocks THC and the subsequent munchies. THCV also shows promising medical potential for weight loss by limiting the feel-good sensation you experience when eating comfort foods. Unfortunately, THCV is only produced in small quantities in the cannabis plant. Steer your search towards African Sativas, which have the highest potency of THCV. In particular, Doug’s Varin, Pineapple Purps, and Durban Poison have a higher concentration of THCV.

Humulene, a terpene also found in hops, works in a similar way to THCV to suppress the appetite. Whether you’re looking to drop a few pounds or just curb those inevitable cravings for crappy food when you’re baked, selecting a strain high in humulene can be an effective way to beat the bulge. Common strains high in humulene include Greenhouse Cheese, The Church, and Super Lemon Haze.

About Author

Kate Kasbee is a health and wellness writer based in Chicago. She is the content creator, recipe developer and content strategist for the site Well Vegan and co-authored her first book "Frugal Vegan: Affordable, Easy and Delicious Vegan Cooking." Beyond health and wellness, Kate is an experienced travel and real estate writer, serving as a contributor to publications such as "Travel in Style" and "The Los Angeles Times Las Vegas Guide."

20 Comments

  1. Where do you get the products that I just read about, Whoppis bath soak, pot to Los Wright. All great advice but no information on where to get items.

  2. Super Lemon Haze made me hungry as heck. I’m not certain about the veracity of this article, more research is needed.

  3. truthtalk101 on

    Pseudo science and placebo affect at work again… Sad to see so many shameless opportunist flood the scene.

    • References are given at the end of each section. They are peer-reviewed. I am not speaking to the veracity of them, just telling you where to find them.

  4. Sounds interesting. If it’s so, it should be of interest to the weight-loss industry.
    Seems doubtful that smoking/injesting certain strains of Marijuana would squelch one’s appetite, however certain strains seem to bring ON the munchies. May be worth a try

  5. Mark Salomon on

    Bunch of haters on here! What a terrible idea: try this strain and maybe it will help curb your munchies or… maybe you’ll just get high and happy and who really gives a shit? Lol geez people – where’s your “research” to prove otherwise. It’s friggin weed from crying out loud, she’s not asking you to go see her new band at some smelly club or anything

  6. Rochelle Yospe on

    Strains that are low in thc and high in thcv and most often used to treat epilepsy: White Widow, Girl Scout Cookies, OG Kush, Sour Diesel and there are several others high in Humulene. I’ve found there are a lot of strains that will suppress appetite. Do your homework and study the terpenes. Just remember breeders are interbreeding more strains all the time and in doing so many hybrids will have differing levels of terpenes, so you may have varied levels of appetite suppression or stimulation.
    Same goes for anything else you are medicating for: do your homework and study the terpenes and cannabinoids.

  7. I lost 40 pounds over 5 months because i was able to get a good strain this past summer. I lost about 2 lbs a week and it took little effort on my part. Id start my day off with a little one hitter and after that i didn’t even enjoy eating. Food didn’t look good and just wasn’t worth it. Even my favorite foods didn’t taste good. My stomach shrunk, from not eating much, to the point where i couldn’t eat much at all so i wasn’t ever hungry. I’d have to tell myself to eat.
    I’m now my high school weight and I’m in my forties. I have ran out of that stran a long time ago but it now seems like i have better control when i smoke other strans. Its almost a year later and i haven’t put anything back on. I didn’t know name of the stran because by the time i figured out what was causing my lack of hunger the guy who got it for me didn’t remember. He was low on stuff at the time and said it was something locally-grown.

    • TC I am going through the same thing! At first I thought it was weird I started not really thinking about munchies at all. I didn’t like the taste of some of them that I have always had on hand for when the munchies hit . I take one hit in the morning , one in the late afternoon and then I have a few hits at night . My stomach has shrunk a lot and now I have to remind myself to eat because I never feel that hungry . I am so glad this article was written because now I know I am on the right track . I feel so good I have lost 24 lbs . I don’t care what anyone says , this is a great article and people should just try it before putting it down!

  8. I have Durban Poison right now and it doesn’t make me have the munchies, so at least that part of this article IS true..

  9. I think that this is more about metabolism than it is about “the munchies”. I am disabled and started with MJ for my pain conditions about a year ago. I have not increased exercise (blown knees and badly healed spiral femur break) and I haven’t changed my diet, but I seem to have dropped about 20 lbs. Though many people use MJ to improve appetite, I think what Is happening is more of a normalization of several metabolic processes. Run a few searches, I think you’ll find that the most current research supports this theory.

  10. I was searching this topic because I do not get the munchies. Been dosing for weeks, daily, and my appetite is the same as if I were not using. It is awesome.

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