Why do you get hungry after smoking weed? Why we get the munchies

Anyone who has ever smoked marijuana has experienced the 'munchies'. The munchies are the (according to people on the Internet) the reason that Shaggy from Scooby-Doo always just wanted to eat all the snacks. 

Munchies and the resultant eating generally leads to a lot of overeating. Is that good or bad? Let's find out.

The science behind munchies

The science behind munchies illustration on white background

It's simple chemistry. THC present in weed has been found to stimulate the body's endocannabinoid system, which is one of the most complex parts of your brain.

It is responsible for regulating stuff like hunger and maintaining adequate energy for the body. Some weed strains can even help you develop focus for studying or work. (Just make sure its legal in the state you are located in first)

Experiments on mice in this Yale University research showed that the mice dosed with THC continued to be hungry even when they were full.

Everyone feels hungry after consuming marijuana because of cannabinoid receptors known as CB1s. They are present in the part of the brain responsible for activating our sense of smell and taste; which in turn makes eating more pleasurable.

It also means that we simply eat more than we need to because the THC and CBD stimulates our appetite, making food taste much better.

This may also explain why we generally tend to prefer eating more sugary and more fatty food after getting high. Who hasn't gone through brownies or two packs of Doritos when they are fully lit?

One cool thing that the researchers from Yale University found was that THC uses neural receptors present in the brain which are meant to signal that he stomach is full.

This means that the same stuff which tells us we are full gets fooled by THC and tells us we need to eat more. Now that's trippy!

Now that we understand why pot makes you hungry, let's look at the possible health benefits and side effects.

How munchies are good for health: 

How munchies are good for health on white background illustration

It's simple to understand really. People suffering from and undergoing treatment for cancer or HIV can use THC to solve chronic appetite issues. Due to this, doctors have been prescribing more medical marijuana in recent years.

The great thing is that THC does more than get you hungry, it also has a therapeutic and pain-relieving effect due to its psychoactive effects.

All this research about weed's relationship with to hunger means is that increasingly, medical professionals are looking into how marijuana can be integrated further into the treatment cycle of those suffering from chronic illnesses. 

That's definitely a great positive to take home for those looking to gain weight but more research is needed to pinpoint how exactly this process takes place.  

Munchies are bad for health

Cons of getting munchies:

Because THC activates taste and smell in addition to getting you hungry, most people end up overloading on way too much unhealthy sugars and fats.

Its even worse if you are obese as dopamine is also released when consuming marijuana. This dopamine makes it almost impossible to resist from munching on a whole bunch of stuff that's unhealthy, like cookies, brownies or crisps.

The best way to deal with this, in our opinion is to basically have healthier stuff in the refrigerator. So if you want to lose weight but still get high, switch the chips with some fruit.

If you are already into edible, why not double down and work on your cooking and enjoy the munchies at the same time? You can make weed butter at home and combine it with food, helping you avoid processed snacks. Here how you can make your own cannabutter.   

Munching on fruits, milk or trail mix is also better for your body in comparison to packaged food that lacks nutritive quality. Its better for the environment as you save on your single plastic usage which helps reduce your carbon footprint while being totally and utterly blazed.

Takeaways from learning about munchies 
  • Neural receptors meant to indicate that you are full react with THC in  way that ends up making you hungrier.
  • As expected, weed affects your brain to make food smell and taste better. As a result you eat more.
  • People with chronic ailments or pain can benefit from the 'munchies effect'.
  • You can simply stock nutritious food in the kitchen as a healthier alternative to fast food.

Why people love to eat after smoking weed

Did we miss anything? What should we cover next? Let us know in the comments or You can also reach out to us directly.


If you just love munchies like us, why not learn how to make your own canna-butter, the magical ingredient that can mix food and weed in one tasty package.

Read this weed butter recipe we researched so you don't have to.

At AllinBud we sell beautiful handmade weed stashboxes; made by craftsmen with years of experience. Visit our store now.


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