Using cannabis while trying to lose weight can be a painful experience. Tormented by conflicting desires, you find yourself pacing to and from the refrigerator every time you take an edible, torn between a bad case of the munchies and an unwavering calorie limit. Some, battered by the emotional toll, will succumb to consuming an entire jar of Nutella in one sitting, completely unable to enjoy it because of the pangs of guilt.
But some things in life are simpler than they appear. Believe it or not, satisfying your munchies while staying healthy is one of those things.
We found healthy substitutes for your biggest stoner cravings. And the best part? They can enhance your high, too – meaning the high road just got a little higher.
For when you’re craving carbs
If you’re like Harold and Kumar, nothing hits the spot like five orders of fries (minimum) when you’re buzzed. Good news: we won’t take that from you.
Believe it or not, you don’t need to chuck French fries from your go-to munchies list to stay healthy. Just make sweet potato fries at home instead of resorting to fast food. Sweet potatoes are anti-inflammatory and loaded with iron, calcium, and vitamins E, B and C.
These vitamins boost serotonin production in your brain and, when paired with cannabis, that serotonin production enhances the euphoria many people experience on THC. Pair that with the health benefits of sweet potatoes eliminating your post-munchies regret, and you’re set for a guilt-free good time.
A quick google search yields dozens of easy, at-home sweet potato fry recipes – each, incidentally, with prep times of 30 minutes to an hour – just enough time for that edible to hit. For optimum health benefit, substitute butter with olive oil.
For when you need to crunch
Kit Kats and Oreos have that perfect mix of sweet and crunchy that always sounds like a good idea when you’re high, but what if we told you there was something sweet, crunchy, AND high enhancing?
Introducing: sweetened nuts.
Nuts have many nutritional benefits. They are packed with fiber, antioxidants, and healthy vitamins and minerals, and they may even have the power to protect your heart while helping you lose weight. They fill you up fast, too – one handful can help you avoid needless snacking throughout the day.
Nuts also contain a lot of unsaturated fats that help your body absorb THC faster. If you’re craving something sweet after popping an edible, try downing a handful of honey roasted peanuts or candied almonds instead of cookies – you may just feel the effects of cannabis quicker than you typically would.
Be sure to consume nuts in moderation, though, if you’re on a diet. Nuts – especially the sugary kinds – contain surprisingly high amounts of calories, even though they can help you lose weight by suppressing your appetite when eaten in small doses.
For when you want to chew
Skip the calories and cavities associated with chewy candies by substituting dried mangoes for things like Twizzlers and Sour Patch Kids. These sweet, chewy natural treats are rich with fiber, antioxidants, and vitamin C, and they’ll certainly satisfy your sweet tooth (especially when sugared.)
Plus, many cannabis users swear eating a mango before consuming cannabis increases the psychoactive effects of THC. Some cannabis clinicians believe this is because cannabis and mangoes both contain a terpene called “myrcene.” The theory is that, if you have myrcene in your system prior to consuming cannabis, it speeds up the time it takes for THC to pass through the blood-brain barrier and increases the cannabinoids in your CB1 receptors. Whatever the reason, mangoes are a go-to snack for many a cannabis enthusiast looking to intensify their high.
Yes, it’s possible to enhance your high, stay trim, and eat chocolate at the same time. And they said you couldn’t have it all.
While it’s probably not the best idea to down an entire chocolate Easter bunny, small portions of dark chocolate actually have great nutritional value. Bars containing 70 to 80 percent cocoa have high levels of magnesium, iron, and fiber and surprisingly low amounts of sugar. Plus, researchers believe dark chocolate may enhance brain function and even reduce your risk of heart disease.
What does this mean for your high? Actually, a lot. Chocolate has been rumored to enhance the effects of THC for a long time. Users report feeling that blissed-out, euphoric “mind high” for longer periods of time if they eat dark chocolate an hour or two before lighting up, and the fact that chocolate is an aphrodisiac certainly doesn’t hurt.
Though nothing is proven, researchers believe this might be because of chocolate’s ability to increase anandamide levels in the brain. Anandamine is a lipid that binds to cannabinoid receptors, generating a mental effect similar to the psychoactive effects of weed – so, when you eat chocolate, you’re actually getting a little buzz. Combine dark chocolate with the effects of THC, and you could increase the lifespan of your high while also making a healthy choice for your body.
Elissa Esher is Assistant Editor at GreenState. Her work has also appeared in The Boston Guardian, Brooklyn Paper, Religion Unplugged, and Iridescent Women. Send inquiries and tips to firstname.lastname@example.org.