All munchie jokes aside, the foods you choose to eat before or with your cannabis can impact your high.
Whether you’re smoking or using edibles or medicinal oil, what you eat has a direct effect on the way your body receives and processes the powerful phytochemicals in cannabis.
Pot As Appetite Stimulant
Since cannabis stimulates appetite, consumption of cannabis on a very empty stomach can amplify that light-headed need-to-eat-soon sensation quickly to the point of sometimes feeling unwell and faint. If the light-headed feeling is unpleasant for you, be sure to eat at least 30 minutes prior to ingestion.
If you are using cannabis to help you to eat when you are sick and have no appetite, then definitely use it on an empty stomach and have some of the cannabis-enhancing foods listed below on hand to help offset any faint feeling and extend the improved appetite.
It’s generally understood that not eating before smoking cannabis will also increase the high experienced, so it’s really all about the WHY for each individual.
High Fat Foods Increase CBD Absorption
Clinical studies show that eating foods high in fats actually increases the amount of cannabidiol (CBD) absorbed into the bloodstream, which is what you WANT, particularly if you are using cannabis for medical reasons.
You can read more here: https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2019/08/190813130426.htm
An additional benefit is the impact on your wallet. “Increases in the amount of the CBD dose being absorbed into the body can also lead to lower medication costs,” said Ilo Leppik, study co-author, a professor at the University of Minnesota College of Pharmacy.
Timing Your Dose & Digestion Perfectly
Your timing when it comes to consuming cannabis and eating food is paramount.
Eating before oral cannabis ingestion will slow its effects since the stomach is already busy with digestion.
Plus, THC remains in the bloodstream longer when taken after food than when taken on an empty stomach.
So, timing is everything: if you want to sleep quickly after a big meal, that gummy is not going to be able to be effective straight away.
Special Cannabis Enhancing Foods
There are a number of foods whose unique natural chemical compounds have been shown to enhance the effect of cannabis in the body, and so they make perfect munchie or beverage choices, before, during and after.
- Tea – the natural catechin helps to balance any possible feelings of anxiety of paranoia
- Coffee – the metabolites associated with caffeine are modulators of the endocannabinoid system
- Mango – high in a pain relieving, anti-inflammatory & mildly sedative terpene named myrcene
- Chocolate – contains a neurotransmitter & endocannabinoid known as anandamide
- Broccoli – loaded with a terpene known as beta caryophyllene which reduces pain & inflammation
- Sweet Potato – high in vitamin B and triggers the production of serotonin, the feel-good hormone
Foods to Mitigate “Too High”
It happens. A newbie to cannabis, or a newbie to a different strain or way of ingesting it sometimes can be overwhelmed and feel ‘too high”.
Thankfully, there are age-old ‘helpers’ out there if it happens to you or someone you love.
- Pine nuts – the terpene pinene helps to increase numbers of neurotransmitters critical for memory formation and may help dissipate mental fog.
- Lemons – The 10th century Persian doctor Al-Razi advised, “one should drink fresh water and ice or eat any acid fruits’ to avoid the ‘harms’ of ingesting cannabis seeds or hashish.”
The terpene, limonene, which makes lemons smell lemony helps mitigate any adverse effects of cannabis ingestion. Handy to know.
- Peppercorns – Pepper contains the terpene beta-caryophyllene, which may help increase a person’s clarity of thought and help reduce anxiety. Sniffing a few peppercorns might be enough to ease a high, or they can be used in tea with some lemon zest.
Whether you’re trying to optimize the cannabis high or to minimize it while you’re using cannabis to relieve pain or heal from illness, it helps to know how what we eat impacts the way our body reacts.
Marike van Breugel is a keen herbalist and the founder and owner of Pure Thai Natural, a Thai herbal business. She is continually fascinated by cannabis as a traditional medicine.