It’s a tale as old as time – cannabis and the munchies. Yep, THC isn’t a friend to anyone’s new jeans. Many of us accept this: hunger comes with the territory. After all, alcohol tends to make us hungry too; there’s a reason the local Taco Bell in college was only crowded at 2 a.m. right after the bars let out.

Still, the munchies that accompany marijuana are a bit different; they’re not so much a “I could eat” feeling but a “My god, I’m wasting away!” situation. There’s hunger, then there’s hemp hunger. The former leaves you looking in the refrigerator for a piece of string cheese. The latter leaves you looking at your dog and wondering if they’d taste like chicken.

But, while cannabis certainly induces the munchies, there are a few ways to keep it from dominating your diet. These tricks won’t quiet your hunger entirely, but hopefully they’ll tame the beast of the belly a little bit.

So, try the following:

Don’t use cannabis: Ha, ha….I’ll pause for your laughter.

Choose your strains wisely: Strains that are high in THC tend to provoke the most hunger pangs. So, opt for other types. There’s more on that below.

Practice smart eating: If your kitchen is filled with cookies and chocolate and the wedding cake for your cousin’s upcoming nuptials, you’re just asking for trouble. One way to thwart the munchies is to control the munchies available. Rid your home of fattening foods, potato chips, sugary foods, and anything else you could binge on (a jar of chocolate frosting or the whip cream you squirt into your mouth directly from the nozzle like a total bad ass). Then fill your pantry with healthy foods: fruits, nuts, vegetables, and yogurt. Sure, getting high and then eating an entire pizza is much more fun than getting high and then eating an entire rice cake, but doing that routinely isn’t good for anything, especially your arteries.

Distract yourself: Another way to avoid the munchies is to ignore them. You can acknowledge them – “What’s up, hunger? You’re looking ravishing.” – but then move onto something else. Go for a walk, play a video game, shoot some hoops, or take a hike and watch the sunset (if you find yourself foraging for food, at least give the squirrels a head’s up).

Whatever you do, make sure it’s something somewhat active that you enjoy

If it’s something that bores you, your hunger will intensify even more. Hence, playing “War” with a friend is good; sitting down to read “War and Peace” is probably not.

Drink a lot of water: Drinking water doesn’t get rid of hunger entirely, but it does contain it. Drinking coffee does this too – scientists believe the caffeine content suppresses the appetite for a little while. It won’t last long, but it’s worth a try during moments when you know your munchies are about to worsen: if you’re driving by a candy store, shoot some espresso first (and throw your wallet out the window).

Don’t go grocery shopping high: You’d be smart to never go to Target drunk (you go in for socks and somehow spend 500 dollars) and you’d be smart to never go grocery shopping high. Not only will you spend more money – I don’t know what quinoa is yet it sounds awesome. I’ll buy twelve pounds. – but you’ll also eat half of the items in your grocery cart before you’ve even paid. It turns out, management doesn’t like that.

Plug your nose: Research has found that THC acts on the brain’s olfactory bulb in mice. This dramatically enhances the ability of mice to smell food, Woman plugging her nose, no more munchiesleading them to eat more of it as well. The thought is that humans react the same way to THC: we’re following our noses, instead of our stomachs. Thus, plugging your nose with swim plugs could theoretically work. Or find a friend with a sinus infection, use their tissues, and hope that they’re contagious.

Eat mangoes: If you have to eat each time you smoke, you may as well eat something that helps your high. Whether or not mangoes do this is controversial – they do inflate the high for some while not doing much for others – but even if your high stays exactly the same, mangoes are nutrient dense and possess several health benefits.

Eat before you smoke: Maybe the easiest way to avoid the munchies is to eat before you smoke. Consuming cannabis on an empty stomach sets yourself up to eat everything in your freezer…including that orange thing in the glass jar that’s been there for two years. Eating before you smoke (or otherwise ingest) won’t erase the munchies entirely, but it will reduce them by eliminating actual hunger.

The Strains to Beat the Munchies

Most strains have the potential to cause the munchies, but some certainly do more than others. Some of the strains known to limit the amount of hunger they cause include:

Harlequin: Harlequin has low THC and high CBD, which means users don’t find themselves particularly stoned. It’s a strain most often used for pain relief and anti-inflammation. It doesn’t make users super hungry, but it can relieve nausea.

Durban Poison: Durban Poison offers a potent high that happens immediately. It’s a heady, buzzy high with little heaviness. It’s also conducive to socialization, but too much tends to cause paranoia. As for the munchies, they’re not particularly strong with this strain (usually), though you might eat everything in sight if your paranoia convinces you that the world will end at midnight. Heck, you’ve got to go out on top (on top = belly full of Pringles).

Happy Kush: Happy Kush is an indica hybrid with a THC content that’s a bit of a wildcard. Some users report that it stimulates their appetite a little bit, but this often accompanies a couchlock sleepiness. In other words, if you happen to get the munchies, you’ll be too lazy to get up and do anything about them.

Jenn Keeler

About the author: Jenn Keeler is a freelance writer and illustrator specializing in humorous lifestyle articles. She is one of the few people on earth actually using an English degree. Her heart belongs to the Denver Broncos and her husband. In that order.