Ahh the munchies. The time in your high when your appetite skyrockets and you’re instantly craving something sweet, salty, or both! The craving can be sated with either snacks or a full meal, but you’d best believe when the munchies call, you’re going to answer! Yet what happens if you’re trying to be more health-conscious of what you eat? Portion control can be a tricky thing, especially when your brain is screaming for something to munch on. Add that with the enhanced sense of taste and smell, and you might not be able to hold yourself back from noshing on whatever lies in your fridge or cupboard.
In our previous article, we outlined several tasty foods that are sure to hit the spot whenever the cravings strike. This article will take a bit of a different approach to satisfying the munchies: health food options for munchies. If you’re looking to explore a healthier alternative to sugary sweets and fatty fried foods, you’ve come to the right place! Let’s first talk about why the munchies phenomenon occurs when you’re high and how to prepare for them.
What Causes The Munchies?
Cannabinoids, whether they be hemp- or marijuana-derived, react specifically to certain receptors in the human brain. The most famous reaction of all is the ravenous appetite that seemingly appears out of nowhere, lovingly dubbed as “the munchies.” The cannabinoid culprit responsible for the munchies is known as THC. As THC binds to the CB1 and CB2 receptors in the brain, it reduces the chemical production that is responsible for making you feel full while also increasing production of the hunger hormone. The ensuing result leaves you feeling ravenous, even if you’ve already eaten somewhat recently. THC also increases the pleasure of eating as your taste buds and sense of smell are exponentially enhanced.
While not everyone experiences the munchies, it’s better to assume that you might get the munchies rather than to mistakenly expect that you won’t. THC affects every user differently, depending on a variety of factors pertinent to the individual as well as to the product type of THC that is consumed. For those concerned with maintaining a healthy lifestyle or specifically avoiding certain foods, it’s important to consciously stock your pantry and fridge with foods that not only meet your criteria, but also taste good!
How To Prepare For The Munchies
When you start to feel the pangs of hunger during your high, you might be tempted to just grab whatever is closest to you. One of the side effects of cannabis-infused products is that you’ll feel extremely relaxed, meaning you won’t want to spend time prepping things to sate your cravings. That ill-fated decision to grab something quick and easy can include sugary sweets, salty indulgences, full-blown meals of comfort/junk foods. In addition to dealing with cannabinoid-induced munchies, you might feel bored, emotional, impatient, or want something to chew on while amusing yourself (i.e., reading, watching TV, browsing social media). Instead of reaching for the nearest bag of potato chips or candies, here’s a list of sweet and salty snacks that can satisfy your cravings without overdoing it in the calorie department.
Tortilla Chips and Guac
There are a variety of tortilla chips on the market that cater toward the health-conscious. Blue corn, grain-free, whole-grain, baked, low-sodium, and countless others offer smarter snacking options than the traditional tortilla chips from our childhood.
Guacamole is a tried-and-true comfort food that offers creamy deliciousness in every mouthful. Avocados are high in healthy fats, vitamins, and minerals, earning them a well-deserved spot on the superfood list. When mashed into a chunky paste and blended with spicy peppers, avocados transform into a delicious guacamole. Feel free to stock up on the store brand or make your own, although it’s recommended to do so before getting high. Both guac and tortilla chips form an iconic duo that will easily satisfy your craving for something salty and crunchy.
Tropical Fruit Salsa
If you’re not a big fan of guac, you can always opt for some salsa mixed with fresh fruit. Mango or pineapple salsa are simply orgasmic for those with a sweet tooth looking for a bit of spiciness. The savory flavor of the salsa pairs beautifully with the rolling topical flavor of fresh fruit, complete with the crunchiness of the tortilla ships. You can grab a jar at any natural food store (some grocery stores also carry this salsa option in the produce section) or opt to make it yourself via an online recipe. Whichever option you go for, be sure to refrigerate the salsa for several hours prior to getting high for an added chill that your taste buds are sure to love.
Veggies and Dips
Freshly sliced veggies like carrots, broccoli, celery, and bell peppers are a familiar item on health-conscious grocery lists. These garden goodies are great by themselves, but you may want a little oomph of flavor to go with them. Pair them with hummus or a low-calorie dipping sauce to get the kick of flavor you’re looking for. Many famous salad dressing brands feature powdered veggie mixes that simply require a container of sour cream to create. You can grab a low-fat or dairy-free option from your grocery store to whip up a batch of dip that can be store in the fridge for several days. You can also incorporate some whole-wheat pita strips or chips for a more filling snack, as they go exceptionally well with different flavors of hummus.
Welcome to the Dark Side…of Chocolate!
Chocolate is a weakness for many of us, as the velvet texture caresses our taste buds with its silky flavor. Yet the more common varieties of chocolate are packed with sugar and aren’t suitable for health-conscious consumers. If you simply must indulge in the sinful pleasure that is chocolate, try a 60% or higher level of dark chocolate (the higher levels of cacao offer antioxidants and minerals). You can break off a few squares at a time or melt the entire bar for a plethora of dipping options. Fruit, nuts, pretzels, coffee beans, and more are waiting to satisfy your sweet tooth. In addition to being a healthier alternative to milk chocolate, there are several studies that validate how dark chocolate can be good for your blood pressure, your brain, your glucose levels, your cholesterol, and others.
Winner Winner, Chicken Dinner
For those who made the mistake of not eating before consuming a psychoactive cannabinoid, these simple snacks may not be enough for your increased hunger levels. Baked chicken and steamed veggies will ensure you get all the protein you need. Consider adding in some brown rice for a more filling meal, but keep in mind that rice is usually broken down into carbohydrates that are usually saved as fat for future energy. If you’re not a fan of chicken, you can choose from salmon, tilapia, shrimp, and other seafood.
Make Use Of Your Air Fryer
The air fryer has become a staple in our kitchens ever since Covid-19 forced us into making more meals at home. Quite a few air fryer cookbooks are available at your disposal, either on the shelf or online. Try making crispy sweet potato fries or onion rings to deliver the fried foods you love, yet without all the excessive oil. The possibilities are endless when it comes to healthier fried foods, usually ready in minutes without a big mess to clean up. You can even use an air fryer to make a full meal like roasted chicken or baked veggies! If you’re brave enough to try using your air fryer while high, be sure you’re not as baked as the foods you’re making!
Get your grab bag of snacks ready with this mini list of snacks you’ll want to keep on hand for all your munchies cravings. It’s recommended to pour out portions of snacks into a large bowl to keep an eye on how much you’re consuming, but sometimes overflowing handfuls are easier to just grab and go.
- Yogurt-covered pretzels. You can’t go wrong with the creamy goodness of crunchy pretzels. Vanilla and strawberry yogurt are two popular options, but you might get lucky with exotic flavors like peanut butter or dark chocolate.
- Popcorn. A pinch of pink sea salt and a sprinkling of melted unsalted butter are all you need for a low-calorie snack. Add in a dusting of cinnamon sugar if you need a touch of sweetness.
- Ice cream. We’re not talking about the full-fat/full-sugar options here. Thanks to popular diets, you can get keto, low-carb, dairy-free, and sugar-free options in your local supermarket. Feel free to make fro-yo, sorbets, and homemade ice cream from popular food-processors and blenders too! Fold in fresh fruit for an even more flavorful scoop.
- Nut butters. Peanut butter used to be the only nutty spread available, but in today’s world, we’re all nuts for nuts here! Check out pecan, almond, cashew, hazelnut, and other natural nut butters that don’t come packed with sugars and saturated fats. Some health stores offer an in-house grinder that you can make your own nut butter from scratch.
When you first started reading this article, you probably didn’t think there were many healthier food options that would be able to satisfy your munchies. Hopefully you’ve been pleasantly surprised (and inspired!) to stock up on some of these low-calorie options that we’ve listed here today. Remember that just like the effects of psychoactive cannabinoids vary with the individual, so does each consumer’s caloric intake. There are scientific formulas and calculation methods to help you determine your specific calorie need, making it easy for you to figure out an exact number. Some of these listed foods may put you over your recommended calorie recommendations, but you can always tailor this list to meet your preferences.
It can be beneficial to prepare some of these snacks beforehand in meal prep containers, plastic baggies, and pre-measured quantities. You may benefit from eating fewer snacks before getting high, as it might be too tempting to hold off on shoveling food into your mouth once the munchies kick in. Remember that the munchies may not affect everyone, but it’s always a good idea to prepare mentally and physically for if and when they do. Do you have any snack suggestions for the munchies that weren’t included on this list? Feel free to share your low-calorie faves with the rest of us in the comments below!
We’re always excited to try new things here at Two Hawk Extracts and we can’t wait to see what our readers enjoy during their high. We also encourage you to browse our stunning collection of psychoactive cannabinoids that come in an array of edibles and inhalables. From popular cannabinoids like Delta-8 THC, Farm Bill Compliant Delta-9 THC to the lesser-known HHC and THC-O, we’re confident you’ll find a psychoactive cannabinoid that you’ll love. Be sure to check back soon for our next article, where we outline some of the scientific reasons for why cannabis users experience cotton mouth and how to prevent dry mouth when high. We look forward to seeing you there!