Wednesday January 23, 2019
By Erin Hiatt
Cannabis consumers and non-consumers alike are well aware that using marijuana is bound to increase your appetite, giving you what is popularly known as “the munchies.” But are there strains that could do the opposite and help to reduce appetite? To find the answer, let’s take a closer look into the world of cannabinoids and how they interact with the human body.
Are there Cannabis Strains that Curb the Munchies?
The body has its own endocannabinoid system, which interacts with the cannabinoids found in marijuana. When cannabis is consumed, it activates a receptor called CB1, which researchers believe is behind the munchies phenomenon.
Though research is scant, it is thought that strains high in THC are behind the activation of CB1, which stimulates appetite, while strains that contain balanced or larger amounts of CBD may counteract the mechanisms of CB1. So, while THC is getting busy activating CB1 receptors – and making you hungry – CBD, which triggers CB2 receptors, may inhibit the action of CB1, helping to tamp down the impulse to eat while high.
In addition to CBD, another cannabinoid thought to be useful for curbing appetite is THCV.
Very similar to its counterpart THC – the compound behind marijuana’s high – both THC and THCV interact with the same receptors. However, THCV acts as an antagonist of receptors CB1 and CB2, meaning it acts in the opposite way. So, if the interaction of THC on these receptors makes you hungry, THCV is acting to block the reward centers in the brain associated with the pleasure of eating food, making it less enjoyable, and therefore, less desirable. In fact, it may be why cannabis users, on average, are thinner than those that do not partake.
Top Strains for Appetite Suppression
THCV, in amounts large enough to make a difference in decreasing appetite, is rather tough to find. Though it is psychoactive like cannabis, the high is believed to have a more psychedelic feel and wear off much quicker, so it is often bred out of popular strains, many of which are bred for a potent high.
Current thought points to African sativas as the most likely to have higher amounts of THCV, and as the market for cannabis grows and more research is done, it is likely that finding THCV will be much easier to find in the near future. In the meanwhile, here are some strains that may be able to stave off the munchies:
Best Strains to Curb Appetite:
- Durban Poison is a South African sativa with sweet and spicy notes known for its clear-headed effect
- Super Silver Haze is thought to be the perfect sativa-leaning hybrid because of its balance of both mental and physical effects
- Green crack is an energizing, upbeat sativa-dominant hybrid with an earthy taste and citrusy scent
- ACDC is a strain low on THC and rich in CBD. With the sweet smell of lemongrass and cherries and a CBD/THC ratio of 30:1, this strain is good for those who want to avoid both the munchies and getting high
- Lemon G13 is heavy on the terpene limonene, making this sativa-leaning hybrid one of the most aromatic. Even though it offers a very cerebral high, it is also very energetic and uplifting
While these strains might help you avoid the munchies, relying on strains rich in CBD or THCV to manage weight is not a great idea. Getting around 30 minutes of moderate activity every day should do the trick, and it can be as simple as mowing the lawn, cleaning the house, or taking a walk around the block. For optimal functional fitness, combine this with strength training a couple of times a week, and take it easy on foods high in fat and sugar. These changes, combined with an appetite-suppressing strain to ease any post-exercise aches and pains, could add up to a healthy lifestyle that doesn’t include the munchies.
What are your favorite strains for appetite suppression? Share them in the comments below!