Many people around the world smoke weed for various reasons and it’s now legal in many places. Weed is the slang name for marijuana which is a plant that’s dried before being smoked. Weed is said to relax people, create a feeling of euphoria (a high) and it may ease pain…but does weed make you fat?
A medical study was carried out and reported that marijuana smokers consumed more calories than non smokers. The increased calorie intake was due to weed smokers wanting to snack after smoking. We’ll look at some of the reasons why smokers crave snacks and explore ways to avoid snacking on unhealthy foods.
Many people who smoke weed will get a craving for food after smoking and this is known as the munchies. Marijuana smokers often crave sweets, junk foods and unhealthy snacks. Smokers tend to grab the nearest thing to snack on instead of selecting healthy foods to satisfy their craving.
The munchies isn’t like normal eating and instead of eating a couple of biscuits from the packet you’re likely to eat them all. This type of binge eating isn’t healthy and it does lead to weight gain as well as other health problems. Consuming large amounts of snack foods such as potato chips, biscuits, chocolate or fast foods will pile on the pounds.
Why Do I Get the Munchies?
When you’ve eaten a meal or a snack your brain will tell you that you’re full and you won’t want to eat food. When you smoke weed your brain may be confused and it may tell you that you need to eat. You’re then likely to crave some food and grab a snack even though you don’t need it.
Marijuana contains tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) which latches onto receptors in the human brain that regulate mood and appetite. After smoking weed, the receptors that control appetite and normally tell you you’re full, will now tell you that you’re hungry. This then results in you eating more than you usually would because you’ve smoked a joint.
Below is a link to a short YouTube video that explains the effects of THC on the brain:
Some weed smokers say that they suffer from depression following the high they experience when smoking. If you’re feeling low you may comfort eat, and comfort eaters usually eat junk foods and sugary sweets. If you comfort eat to lift your mood you’re likely to gain weight.
Another reason why smokers get the munchies is that weed can make some foods smell and taste better. Foods you usually avoid may become a lot more appealing after smoking a joint. When your brain has told you that those salty potato chips are going to taste great you’re likely to open them and eat the lot.
How Do I Avoid Getting the Munchies?
If you get the munchies after smoking weed there are a few things that you can do to avoid eating unhealthy foods or snacks. Try to replace your unhealthy snacks with low-calorie foods such as fruit or carrot sticks. Other snacks such as nuts or seeds are also a good alternative to bags of potato chips and chocolate bars.
Another way to manage your junk food consumption is to not buy the junk food in the first place so that it’s not an option. If you don’t have any sweets or junk food in your home you won’t be able to eat them. If you do buy snacks try to look for things that are low calorie and sugar free.
You can also have something to eat before you smoke which may avoid you getting the munchies after smoking. If you have breakfast, lunch and dinner before you smoke weed you’re less likely to get the munchies. Eating well throughout the day should fill you up so you’re less hungry.
Drinking plenty of water or juice may also help to suppress your appetite before you smoke. If you’re hydrated before and during your smoking session it may help to suppress your appetite.
Another way to avoid raiding the fridge or cupboards after smoking weed is to keep yourself occupied. If you’re smoking weed with a group of friends you can play board games or video games to keep busy. If you’re smoking alone you can watch a movie or take up a hobby that distracts you from snacking.
You can also try chewing gum which may help to suppress your craving for food after you’ve smoked weed. Chewing a stick of gum makes you produce saliva which can trick you into thinking you’re eating. The gum also keeps your mouth moist and while you’re chewing a stick of gum you won’t eat.
Brushing your teeth is an effective way to avoid eating and it works for a lot of people. Most toothpastes have a minty flavor and this flavor affects the way most foods taste. You probably won’t enjoy the taste of food when your mouth is minty which may help you to avoid snacking.
Here’s an at-a-glance list of things to do which could help you avoid getting the munchies after smoking weed:
- Prepare some healthy snacks before you smoke weed.
- Don’t keep snacks or junk food at home.
- Eat breakfast lunch and dinner before smoking weed.
- Fill up on water or fresh juice.
- Keep yourself busy.
- Chew gum to suppress your appetite.
- Brush your teeth after smoking weed.
The Effects of Weed on the Metabolism
Some strains of marijuana may also lower your metabolism which means you’ll burn off less calories when working out. If your metabolism is slow you may put weight on and you’ll find it harder to lose body fat. No medical studies, however, have concluded that smoking weed slows down metabolism.
Weed and Exercise
We all know the importance of working out to stay in shape and to maintain a healthy bodyweight. If you smoke weed it may make you drowsy or lethargic and you may not feel like exercising. If you’re drowsy or very relaxed you’re more likely to want to chill out on the sofa rather than going to the gym.
Lack of exercise due to smoking weed could lead to a weight gain due to the fact you’re not burning off enough calories. In order to maintain healthy body weight you need to eat a balanced diet and do some exercise. If you’re putting too many calories into your body and not exercising you’ll gain weight.
The Last Word…
Smoking the actual weed substance isn’t going to make you fat as it’s not food and you’re not consuming any calories. Things such as age, gender and lifestyle may have some bearing on whether you gain weight after smoking weed. There are also many different strains of marijuana and they all have different effects on the brain’s receptors.
The way that smoking weed affects your brain may lead to a weight gain if you get the munchies and eat snacks. If you regularly smoke weed and snack on unhealthy foods you’ll probably gain weight. You’re also going to gain weight if you don’t feel like exercising due to lethargy after smoking a joint.