It’s no secret that munchies are a thing when it comes to cannabis-infused products. Whether it be hemp-derived psychoactive cannabinoids like Delta-8 THC and HHC or actual marijuana, these compounds are known to make you crave a delicious treat (or several) at some point during your high. But these federally legal cannabinoids only contain 0.3% THC, which is coincidentally also the same THC content as CBD. So why do the munchies occur on psychoactive cannabinoids but not the non-psychoactive compounds like CBD, CBN, and so forth? We’ll be tackling that very question in the next few paragraphs! Keep reading to learn what makes CBD and other cannabinoids so different when it comes to feeling those cravings for something sweet, salty, or both!
What Are The Munchies?
You may be familiar with the term as you overhear cannabis users discussing what they wolfed down when they were high or as a conversation amongst fellow potheads as they discussed the effects they felt during their high. This endearing term was coined in reference to cannabis users feeling ravenously hungry, to the point where they consume anything and everything in their snack hoard. Yet the science behind the term is much more than simply feeling hungry.
Cannabis, specifically marijuana, contains high amounts of THC. THC effectively blocks the hormone responsible for making you feel full while simultaneously activating the hormone that causes you to feel hungry. The ensuing result can make you crave a variety of foods in order to satisfy the rumbling in your tummy, even if you recently ate a meal or snack prior to getting high. While not everyone experiences the munchies, as THC affects each individually differently, there’s a strong possibility you’ll feel minor hunger pangs while high.
Can CBD Give You The Munchies?
For those looking for the short and simple answer, no. CBD, short for cannabidiol, won’t make you ransack your fridge and cupboards looking for something to munch on. The reason why is a bit complicated, so let’s break down the basics of how CBD and THC interact within the body.
CBD is one of many compounds found in the hemp plant, and is also the most readily available. CBD does not elicit any psychoactive effects, whereas THC is known (and loved) for its powerful high. Both CBD and THC work naturally with your body’s endocannabinoid system (ECS) but in vastly different ways. Your body contains two main categories of receptors: CB1 and CB2. The psychoactive cannabinoid THC binds to your CB1 receptors, which in turn send signals to your brain to activate your hunger hormones, reduce uneasiness, and encourage a sense of euphoria and calm. This is why you’ll feel relaxed and drowsy, and you might start to feel a craving for tasty treats.
CBD, on the other hand, works solely with your CB2 receptors. These receptors are responsible for sending signals to your immune system. Your immune system is responsible for a plethora of defenses, but also works to reduce inflammation and stress within the body. This is why CBD is praised for its ability to help you relax and is often recommended as a sleep aid. Since the hunger hormones aren’t connected to the CB2 receptors, you won’t feel hungry simply because those hormones aren’t being activated.
But Doesn’t CBD Contain THC?
It’s true, CBD does contain trace amounts of THC, roughly 0.3% or less. Yet the amount of CBD greatly outnumbers the amount of THC, to the point where you won’t feel any of the same effects. The THC simply exists due to the naturally-occuring quantities that are already present in the hemp plant.
Psychoactive cannabinoids like Delta-8 THC, Farm Bill Compliant Delta-9 THC, HHC, and THC-O all undergo some form of processing in order to make the psychoactive cannabinoid the strongest cannabinoid found in the product, thus making it a “Delta-8 THC” or “THC-O” product. You may often encounter products that advertise multiple cannabinoids in the product, such as Delta-8 THC and CBD. These mixed cannabinoids are thought to produce what’s known as the “entourage effects,” a belief where multiple cannabinoids can deliver multiple benefits as opposed to just one single cannabinoid. This theory has not been scientifically proven but it is heavily embraced in the hemp community.
If you’re trying to avoid THC and other compounds completely, try looking for broad-spectrum CBD or CBD Isolate, where most of or all of the THC has been removed. This can help ensure that you won’t have any THC in your system, but keep in mind that even broad-spectrum CBD can have trace amounts of THC still floating around.
Now that we’ve nixed the possibility that you’ll get the munchies when using CBD, it’s important to note that you might still have some changes in your appetite. These changes aren’t quite what you’d expect, and are actually quite fascinating.
There are several studies proving CBD is effective in reducing nausea. As a direct result of not feeling nauseated, you may finally be able to enjoy your food as you consume it. For example, if nausea strikes when you’re nervous or stressed, you may not be able to keep your food down. CBD can help shut down the signal sent to your brain that’s responsible for making you feel like you’re about to throw up. With that signal essentially turned off, you may feel encouraged to eat a meal without the severe mental discomfort of “losing your lunch” once you’ve finished.
The absence of nausea can also encourage you to eat more frequently and actually look forward to scheduled meal times (i.e., breakfast, lunch, and dinner). As you build up confidence to eat more regularly, you may start to feel more “normal.” This newfound confidence may be greatly beneficial in reducing or eliminating the cycle of stress, nausea, and mealtime altogether. That’s a win in our book!
To summarize, CBD will not give you the munchies because of how the cannabinoid interacts with your ECS. The CB2 receptors do not control or interact with the hunger hormones and thus won’t cause you to feel hungry. However, you may notice a change in your appetite due to how well CBD works to fight against nausea. THC is the primary cannabinoid that causes you to feel hungry by controlling the hormones responsible for feeling full as well as feeling hungry. CBD does contain trace amounts of THC, but certain types of CBD like broad-spectrum or isolate won’t contain any THC at all. If you’re trying to avoid THC for any reason, it’s best to stick with these two types of CBD, especially isolate.
If you’re curious to experience the benefits of CBD but aren’t quite sure where to start, we here at Erth Wellness offer a wide variety of different CBD products in our catalog. Our softgels, CBD vape juice, topicals, pre-rolls, and tinctures are available in full-size or sample sizes. Each of our products have been thoroughly tested for purity and potency by third-party independent labs, the results of which are embedded in the product description and stamped on the product packaging in the form of a QR code. Regardless of how you choose to use CBD, you can rest assured that they are munchies-free and incredibly effective for a variety of uses. Be sure to check back frequently for upcoming topics on just how CBD can make a difference in your everyday life. As always, feel free to share your experiences in the comments below and reach out to us with any questions or concerns. We look forward to hearing from you!