We’ve all been there: we smoke our favorite strain and next thing we know, we suddenly want to eat everything in the fridge. This sensation, otherwise known as the “munchies”, is something many of us are familiar with but may not understand the why behind it. With Delta-8 being among the most talked-about products on the market, there are equally as many people curious about the side effects, with one of the most notable being the infamous “munchies.”
So, is it all in our heads or does Delta-8 actually make us hungry? Let’s take a look at why you may be experiencing cravings and how to handle them.
Does Delta-8 Make You Hungry?
As you may have guessed, Delta-8 can absolutely affect a person’s appetite. It’s important to note that the effects of Delta-8 can vary from person to person, so every person can have a unique experience. However, increased appetite is a commonly discussed side effect of consuming Delta-8.
To better understand why this happens, we have to take a look at the endocannabinoid system (ECS), the system that regulates and balances key bodily functions. This system is responsible for a range of functions, including memory, pain, sleep, the immune system, and even appetite.
When Delta-8 THC interacts with the ECS, it binds to the CB1 receptors, which are present in the brain and other parts of the body. When these receptors are activated, they can stimulate certain neurotransmitters that are involved in regulating appetite, resulting in, you guessed it: increased hunger after consuming Delta-8.
Research on Delta-8 and Appetite
Research on Delta-8 as an appetite stimulant is limited, with a few studies limited to the effects on mice. This study, for instance, investigated the effect of delta-8 on food consumption, cognitive function, and neurotransmitters in mice. The results concluded that,
Thus, delta(8)-THC (0.001 mg/kg) caused increased food consumption and tendency to improve cognitive function, without cannabimimetic side effects. Hence, a low dose of THC might be a potential therapeutic agent in the treatment of weight disorders.
While this study shows the potential of Delta-8’s appetite-stimulating effects, more studies are needed to better understand the connection between Delta-8 and increased appetite.
Additional Benefits of “Munchies”
Munchies are enjoyed by many cannabis users around the world. However, these effects could have benefits that go beyond a great-tasting snack.
Individuals who suffer from a lack of appetite due to illness or medical treatments could benefit from the appetite-stimulating effects of Delta-8. This is also true due to Delta-8’s ability to reduce nausea and vomiting, a factor that could affect a person’s appetite. As stated in this overview, “People use delta-8-THC for nausea and vomiting caused by cancer drug treatment, glaucoma, trouble sleeping, and many other conditions, but there is no good scientific evidence to support these uses.”
More research is required to understand how Delta-8 could be used by patients to help stimulate appetite, but its anti-nausea effects and connection to the ECS mean it shows great potential.
Tips for Controlling Appetite
And if your new appetite is getting in the way of your health goals, there are ways to better manage it.
- Eat a healthy meal before: If you follow your regular routine of eating 3 nutritional meals a day, you’ll be less likely to let your munchies control you. This doesn’t mean that you won’t get hungry and want a snack, but you’ll be able to manage your cravings better.
- Opt for a healthy snack: Find what healthy snacks you enjoy and make those your go-to when you feel Delta-8’s side effects kicking in.
- Experiment with different products/dosages: Your habits surrounding Delta-8, such as how you consume it and how much you consume, can play a big role in your experience. If you want to reduce your munchies, you can try different methods and timings. For instance, maybe you’ll have fewer cravings if you consume Delta-8 directly after a meal, or you could try saving your meal for afterwards. The results will vary from person to person.
While studies are limited, Delta-8’s interaction with the endocannabinoid system can lead to appetite-stimulating effects. More studies are required to better understand how this can help patients who lose their appetite due to illnesses or medical treatments.