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Dr. Lewis JasseyMedical Director - Pediatric Medicine
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Marijuana is an extraordinarily versatile plant, relieving stress, managing pain, stimulating creativity, and boosting mood. Among these benefits, one of cannabis’ most notable characteristics is appetite stimulation, aka “the munchies.”
The intense hunger pangs that cannabis causes are essential for medical marijuana users, like people with cancer undergoing chemotherapy. However, for most people, marijuana munchies often lead to overindulging in the nearest unhealthy snacks. Over time, increased appetites can significantly impact waistlines, leading to weight gain and health issues.
But not all popular cannabis strains trigger intense hunger. Some varieties even cause reduced hunger. The best weed strains for appetite suppression are those with low-to-moderate THC levels and high CBD and THCV levels, like Durban Poison and Sour Tsunami. The terpene humulene may also suppress appetite to some extent.
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Why Some Strains Make You Hungry
THC, marijuana’s primary psychoactive compound, is why some strains cause increased hunger. THC binds primarily with CB1 receptors in the body’s endocannabinoid system, which helps regulate bodily functions, including mood and appetite.
Endocannabinoid receptors exist in nearly every body system, but CB1 receptors primarily live in the brain and nervous system. By linking to these neurological receptors, THC helps the brain send a message to the body that it needs food. And research confirms this action.
THC’s appetite-stimulating aspect positively affects people with cancer or HIV, managing unwanted weight loss. It’s also helpful for people with eating disorders who need appetite stimulation as part of their treatment protocol.
However, cannabis users not dealing with unwanted weight loss, people at a higher risk for obesity, or those who want to maintain a healthy body weight might be interested in marijuana strains that lead to reduced appetite. The best weed strains for appetite suppression have lower doses of THC and higher doses of the cannabinoids CBD and THCV.
CBD is the second-most abundant cannabinoid in the cannabis plant after THC. Preliminary research suggests that CBD may offset the appetite-inducing effects of THC, helping to boost metabolism and promote weight loss. THCV is another cannabinoid that studies show increases satiety (fullness) and metabolism. This naturally occurring cannabinoid exhibits clinical potential for weight loss, obesity, and type 2 diabetes treatment.
Best Strains for Avoiding the Munchies
Most marijuana strains are hybrids that fall between two broad categories: indica and sativa. Traditionally, indica strains have higher THC levels and are associated with a body high that relaxes users. On the other hand, sativa strains are thought to cause more stimulating and energizing effects and may contain higher THCV levels along with energizing terpenes.
For this reason, the best weed strains for appetite suppression will typically be a sativa variety, although we ought to look at the chemotype of the plant (i.e., what cannabinoids and terpenes it contains) rather than using the “sativa” or “indica” designations, which can be inaccurate. High-CBD indica hybrid strains can work as well. The key is to look for strains with lower THC levels, high THCV content, and equal parts CBD to THC, often denoted by a “1:1” ratio.
Here are eight of the best strains for avoiding the munchies:
- Type: sativa
- THC: 13%-16%
- THCV: Nearly 1%
- CBD: Less than 2%
Durban Poison is an award-winning cannabis strain with comparatively high THCV and moderate THC content to aid appetite suppression. This variety is a pure sativa from South Africa with energizing and uplifting effects.
Users report that Durban Poison sharpens mental focus and sparks creativity while maintaining clear-headedness. The energy then spreads to the limbs, eliminating discomfort and infusing the body with calm strength. Durban poison typically works best for users who need to stay productive, making it a popular daytime strain that accompanies exercise and spending time outdoors.
Durban Poison’s flavor is earthy and sweet, with a pine scent.
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Jack The Ripper
- Type: sativa
- THC: 17%-22%
- CBD: Less than 1%
- THCV: Roughly 5%
Jack the Ripper probably has the highest amount of THCV available in the market, usually at about 5%, making it a certified fighter of the munchies.
This pure sativa strain provides an intense, long-lasting effect that is fun and energizing. The higher THC levels give users a happy rush, while the THCV makes them more mobile and vibrant while offsetting hunger. The resulting laser-sharp focus keeps users engaged in their surroundings and away from the snack drawer.
Jack the Ripper’s flavor is tangy, with a sweet lemony aftertaste and citrus aroma.
- Type: Hybrid
- THC: 4%-6%
- CBD: 13%-17%
This CBD-rich, low-THC strain kickstarted the CBD movement, becoming popular among users with low tolerance to THC. The effects are gentle, inducing mental clarity and melting physical tension. As a result, people select Cannatonic to help relieve various health conditions, such as migraines, anxiety, and any physical or muscular pain. This well-tolerated hybrid perfectly balances indica and sativa traits to bring a feel-good, munchie-free buzz that’s both relaxing and uplifting.
Cannatonic’s flavor and aroma blend mix earth and pine with refreshing citrus.
- Type: sativa
- THC: 19%
- CBD: 1%
- THCV: 25%-35%
Doug’s Varin is a rare sativa specially crafted to contain high amounts of THCV, with a THC-to-THCV ratio of about 1:1. Reportedly, the effect gives users a burst of energy while suppressing their appetite. As a result, Doug’s Varin is ideal to consume before an activity that requires focus, delivering clear-headed mental stimulation that doesn’t last long. This strain is perfect for anyone seeking short-term effects and extraordinarily high THCV content.
Doug’s Varin has a sweet lemony, pine-like flavor with an earthy herbal taste.
- Type: Hybrid
- THC: 3%-6%
- CBD: 6%-8.5%
Harlequin’s high CBD content and low THC levels might go beyond stopping the munchies and even subdue a user’s regular appetite. It’s a sativa strain with indica traits that provide clear-headed effects and the ability to relax without sedation or intoxication. Harlequin users say the strain delivers a light brain buzz while adding some pep. In addition, its high CBD levels make this strain effective for helping treat pain, anxiety, and inflammation symptoms.
Harlequin flavors range from earthy musk to sweet mango.
- Type: Hybrid
- THC: Less than 1%
- CBD: 16%-18%
The ACDC strain’s high CBD content makes it a favorite for medical marijuana patients, such as those dealing with epilepsy, nausea, psychological disorders, and chemotherapy side effects. The trace THC levels mean users can manage pain and relax while keeping the munchies away. In addition, it produces very low to no intoxicating effects, relieving tension and providing its user with a mellow, uplifted mood.
ACDC’s flavor is a little spicy with an overall sweet tang and a sweet earthy aroma, followed by hints of citrus.
- Type: Indica-dominant hybrid
- THC: 1%
- CBD: 13%
Sour Tsunami is one of the first strains explicitly bred to have high CBD content, creating a strong-smelling indica hybrid that excites the mind and soothes the body. Users find themselves lighter and more animated after consuming Sour Tsunami. Medical marijuana patients often choose this strain to counter pain, anxiety, and inflammation. The high CBD content means Sour Tsunami elevates the mood with fewer psychoactive effects that are associated with THC. It also works for everyday consumption without hindering weight loss efforts.
The Sour Tsunami strain has a distinctive citrus and pine flavor.
CBD Black Diesel
- Type: Hybrid
- THC: 8%
- CBD: 8%
CBD Black Diesel offers equal parts CBD and THC to deliver uplifting and relaxing effects. Users report it’s perfect for socializing or working productively throughout the day. Additionally, the high CBD content helps with therapeutic uses, nudging away anxious thoughts and dissolving tension.
People with pain-inducing diagnoses and nervous system disorders use CBD Black Diesel to find relief. The lack of appetite stimulation also makes it ideal for those looking to avoid overeating.
CBD Black Diesel’ ’s flavor is a mix of grapefruit with a touch of pine and sour tones.
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The Bottom Line
Many people turn to cannabis for its euphoric and relaxing effects, yet they don’t necessarily want the added appetite stimulation and potential weight gain caused by the munchies. The best weed strains for appetite suppression often have lower THC levels, equal parts CBD or higher, and relatively high THCV content. The presence of terpenes like humulene and limonene may also help reduce appetite.
Adults and medical marijuana patients looking to enjoy the cannabis plant without the added hunger pangs should check for energizing strains like CBD Black Diesel, Doug’s Varin, and Durban Poison.
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