Cooking with Cannabis: Curb Your Hunger with Cannabis Chili


This recipe for cannabis chili is spicy enough to warm you up, hardy enough to assist in regulating appetite, and may support you in meeting your health goals.

For medical patients and some recreational users, incorporating cannabis into your daily routine can have a significant and positive impact on overall health.

Since feeling full and cannabis use don’t always hand-in-hand, especially for new users, I thought it prudent to provide a few tips for keeping the munchies at bay.

Things to know before enjoying cannabis.

  • Know your dose. Follow the adage “start low and go slow.” Once you find your optimal dose, you will know what to expect when enjoying cannabis.

It’s the oversaturation of receptor cites in our endocannabinoid system that may lead to unwanted side effects, such as getting the munchies.

  • Know THC stimulates the secretion of ghrelin, the hunger hormone. Delta-9 tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) activates your hypothalamus which signals the secretion of ghrelin in the stomach. Ghrelin is an important hormone that lets you know when you’re hungry. Ghrelin has other functions including playing a role in energy homeostasis, cardioprotection, muscle atrophy, and bone metabolism.

My tip: have healthy snacks on hand to satisfy cravings produced from the ghrelin.

  • Know what food you have eaten that day (and the last few days). Sometimes it’s not the munchies. You may be experiencing hunger pangs from a nutrient deficiency of protein or vitamins.

It’s important to fuel your body, and this infused chili is packed with protein, vitamins, and minerals.

  • Know cannabis can make food more appealing. Using cannabis may increase feelings of being present, and heighten senses like sight, smell, and taste. Cannabis can make foods more appealing and might even make you a more adventurous eater.

Here’s what having this vegetarian cannabis chili regularly could do for you.

  • Lower body weight

While new users might report overeating, chronic cannabis users report a different experience. Often folks report cannabis helps them manage body weight. Interestingly, many studies support this, showing chronic users have an overall lower body weight and lower risk of obesity. (Of course, chronic use of cannabis carries its own health risks.)

  • Lower blood pressure

You’ve probably already heard beans are good for your heart. In fact, there’s a rhyme that goes something like that. Soluble dietary fiber, like the fiber found in beans, has been shown to lower blood pressure and reduce inflammation.

In 2017, scientists found a single dose of cannabidiol (CBD) reduces blood pressure in healthy individuals. While there are many anecdotal reports of cannabis users having lower blood pressure with chronic use, it’s important to consult with your physician before using cannabis to manage symptoms. Some symptoms show us there is a more serious condition that should be addressed.

  • Provides gastrointestinal support

Cannabis and beans both benefit the gut. Beans with their soluble dietary fiber, high nutrient content, and other non-digested compounds like phenolics, peptides and phytochemicals have been shown to improve gut health, reduce inflammation, and repair damage to the colon.

Numerous studies have been done on how cannabis supports the gastrointestinal tract. Cannabis treats gastrointestinal disorders by decreasing inflammation and balancing our endocannabinoid system by binding with cannabinoid receptor sites located in the GI tract.

  • Stimulates blood circulation and improves cholesterol

Depending on how many peppers you add to this recipe, you will be able to feel the capsicum in the peppers taking effect, warming your body by increasing blood flow to the tissues and stimulating circulation.

Poor blood circulation is linked to high cholesterol and hypertension. In fact, capsicum lowers the presence of cholesterol in plasma, leading to lower HDL. And maybe not so surprising, chronic cannabis users show having lower plasma HDL cholesterol compared with less frequent cannabis users and nonusers.

Editor’s Note: The following recipe is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or another qualified healthcare provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition or treatment and before undertaking a new health care regimen.

Cannabis Chili Recipe


  • Large stockpot


  • (5) jalapenos, seed or reduce amount for less heat
  • (3) serrano peppers, seed or leave out for less heat
  • (2) green bell peppers
  • (1) red bell pepper
  • (1) large yellow onion
  • (2) cans diced tomatoes
  • (1) can fire-roasted tomatoes or substitute additional can diced tomatoes
  • (2) cans diced green chilies
  • (1) can whole kernel corn, strained (optional)
  • (2) cans black beans, strained
  • (1) can kidney beans, strained
  • (1) 7 oz. can chipotle peppers with sauce
  • 3 oz. tomato paste or substitute ketchup
  • 2 T. olive oil
  • 2 T. adobo seasoning
  • 2 t. garlic
  • 2 t. salt
  • 1 t. cumin
  • ½ oz. cannabis tincture (see note) or substitute your perfect dose of homemade cannabis coconut oil

Note: Tincture potency varies greatly. For a milder experience, reduce the amount of tincture or try a CBD dominant tincture. Read the label for number of milligrams per ounce of tincture and use an amount that works for you and your guests. Using a half-ounce of tincture may be too much, or not enough. Use your best judgement, and always ask your guests what they are used to consuming.

Cannabis Chili Toppings, optional:

  • (1) medium onion, white or yellow, diced
  • Shredded cheddar, Swiss cheese, or other preferred cheese
  • Sour cream
  • Saltines or crusty bread


  • Chop vegetables coarsely and set aside. Pro-tip: when chopping spicy peppers, wear gloves.
  • Place large pot on stovetop over medium-high heat
  • Toss in chopped vegetables to brown slightly in olive oil
  • Reduce heat to medium
  • Add spices, adobo, cumin, garlic, salt
  • Add tomato paste or ketchup to pot
  • Remove chipotle peppers from can and diced
  • Add diced chipotle peppers and remaining sauce into the pot
  • Add cans of tomatoes and chilies
  • Drain and add cans of corn and beans
  • Stir ingredients and let simmer on the stovetop for hours allowing all the vegetables to dissolve into each other creating a beautiful melding of flavors. Stir occasionally during this process to prevent sticking to the bottom of the pan.
  • The chili is done when it looks done to you, approximately 2-3 hours
  • Just before the chili is done, add the cannabis tincture or infused coconut oil
  • Simmer for an additional 20 mins, stirring occasionally
  • Serves 10-12

This dish has a serving size indicated for a bowl of chili. Depending on the number of milligrams you use in your chili you may have more or less servings. The topic of dosing can be confusing because we each have a unique endocannabinoid system and unlike many medications that are affected by our weight, this one isn’t.

It’s a good idea to look at typical dispensary or over-the-counter dosing, which indicates 5mg THC and/or 15 mg CBD per serving is a good starting dose for many folks. New users may want to start with half of that dose. Experienced users and medical patients will likely be familiar with the right dose for the right occasion and will let you know what they are used to.

This recipe is the perfect blend of no-fuss and homemade cooking. The canned ingredients make preparing this chili quite easy and when it’s ready to eat, no one will question the work involved in this dreamy cannabis chili.

Heck, impress only yourself. Try making a batch of cannabis chili and freezing it in smaller serving-size containers as an easy dinner option on busy weeks. Depending on the amount of THC in a batch, it can make the perfect evening meal, leaving you primed for relaxation and a good night’s rest.


Kathryn Cannon is an experienced Plant Medicine Integration Specialist, Cannabis Coach, and community herbalist. She founded Terra Uma LLC to empower clients to optimize performance, mental health, and overall wellness with cannabis, and other plants and fungi. Kathryn is also the founder of a lifestyle medicine center and urban farm in Portland, Oregon, and a cannabis collective and coaching practice in Washington, DC.

This recipe was not written or edited by Hearst. The authors are solely responsible for the content.

Kathryn Cannon