hamburger marijuana joint and french fries

Marijuana Strains for Appetite Control

By MK Thomson

November 1 2023

Marijuana has long been associated with a delectable phenomenon – the munchies. We’ve all seen hilarious scenes in movies, TV shows, and pop culture in general, of MJ users raiding the kitchen, but many of us have also learned firsthand just how much marijuana can bring on ravenous cravings (guilty, as charged). However, beyond the stoner stereotype, marijuana’s relationship with appetite is far more intricate – and surprising. In recent years, its role in stimulating the appetites of medical marijuana patients, especially those battling severe illnesses like cancer, is becoming more and more known. 

As our understanding of this wonder plant continues to evolve, we are discovering a myriad of potential uses, now including weight and appetite control.

hamburger marijuana joint and french fries

Why do we get the munchies in the first place?

Most of us are familiar with the increased craving we get when partaking in some strains and we’ve written about it before. But to recap, marijuana’s active compounds, including THC (tetrahydrocannabinol), interact with the endocannabinoid system within the human body. This complex and vital system plays a huge role in controlling different physiological functions, including appetite and the perception of taste. When THC interacts with the cannabinoid receptors, it can trigger the release of hormones related to hunger, leading to an increased desire to eat.

Additionally, marijuana has the well-known ability to enhance the sensory experience of eating, making food taste and smell more enticing. This shift in perception intensifies cravings for specific flavors and textures, contributing to the munchies. The release of dopamine, a neurotransmitter associated with reward and pleasure, is another factor in the mix. THC can stimulate the release of dopamine, leading to a pleasurable sensation. This heightened pleasure can make food appear even more appealing, often resulting in overeating during a “munchies” episode.

man eating food from the refrigerator

Furthermore, marijuana induces relaxation and an altered state of mind, which can reduce inhibitions and lead to impulsive eating. Surroundings and social settings can further influence food choices when using marijuana. All-in-all making a perfect storm for raiding the fridge and snack cabinet.

But wait, not all strains will necessarily increase your appetite. Yes, you hear that correctly – – some MJ strains may even help control appetite and control your cravings.

Sativa versus Indica and Your Appetite

Marijuana is often classified into two primary top-level strains: indica and sativa. Indica strains tend to have higher levels of THC and are best known for their ability to bring about a relaxing, body-centric high. On the other side, sativa strains are generally associated with more invigorating and stimulating effects, likely because they tend to have higher THCV levels and energizing terpenes – particularly limonene.

Sativa strains are also known for their ability to infuse users with energy and sharpen their focus. These qualities are beneficial for folks wanting to increase motivation and even physical activity (like when people light up before working out). So any appetite control could be considered a byproduct of these energizing qualities, rather than the strain itself.

On the flip side, indica strains are more commonly associated with relaxing (“in da couch”) and tranquilizing experiences. This calming effect is useful for combating stress-induced overeating or coping with sleep problems. It’s also been reported that indicas may also stimulate the appetite, making them a good choice for those needing to boost their appetite and eat more.

Marijuana strains for appetite control

Durban Poison contains a notable THCV content and a moderate THC level, making it a possible aid for appetite control. Originating from South Africa, this pure sativa strain is known for its energizing and mood-enhancing effects. Users love Durban Poison for its ability to help sharpen mental focus, spark creativity, and maintain a clear head. The strain’s benefits also extend to the physical body, helping to relieve discomfort and bringing about calm strength. With an earthy, sweet flavor and a piney aroma, DP is becoming more recognized as one of the best THCV strains for weight management.

Durban Poison is also one of the genetic parents of Girl Scout Cookies, both of which are becoming well-known for reducing both appetite and anxiety. With a Sativa-dominant THC level of 22% and THCV levels potentially reaching 1%, Durban Poison will keep you comfortably high while keeping those munchies tendencies at bay.

durban poison marijuana flower

Girl Scout Cookies is a hybrid strain that is high in THC and has traditionally been used to address anxiety and to help with depression. It’s also known for giving feelings of happiness, relaxation, and creativity, and well just general overall feelings of euphoria. Its citrusy flavor comes from the limonene terpene which, as we’re learning, is closely linked to reduced appetite. Couple all of this with GSC’s strain lineage rich in THCV (see above for one of its parents, Durban Poison), and Girl Scout Cookies becomes an ideal Indica-dominant strain for aiding in appetite suppression. Keep in mind that not all GSC strains are high in THCV, so be sure to look at the lable and/or speak with your budtender.

The strain is known for its sweet cookie taste along with fruity and spicy flavors, making it a worldwide popular strain. The high THC content of up to 24% guarantees an awesome buzz that will keep your motor running while keeping your thoughts off munching on unhealthy snacks. A good selection for a marijuana strain for appetite control.

girl scout cookie marijuana bud

Northern Lights, a renowned Indica strain, has been loved by many for decades for its relaxing and calming properties. It’s an excellent choice for inducing sleep, making it an effective remedy for those battling insomnia, a potential contributor to obesity. This strain instills a serene body with high and deep sedation, aiding those with sleep troubles. Accurate dosing of Northern Lights is key to achieving a full night’s rest. Its mood-enhancing and energy-boosting attributes have earned it a reputation as one of the top strains for weight loss.

northern lights marijuana bud

The wonder terpene for appetite control: limonene

Cannabis strains loaded with limonene terpenes have the ability to enhance metabolism and may also facilitate appetite control and possible weight loss. Strains such as Lemon Haze and Lemon Cookie OG are ideal for those looking for the motivation and energy to hit the gym. They offer a strong, fruity flavor with a potent aroma and a hint of lemon.

It’s important not to rely solely on the indica-sativa binary, which can be limiting and even misleading. Instead, dive a little more into the chemotype of the plant, examining the specific cannabinoids and terpenes within. The key is to stick to strains that are high in THCV, terpenes (particularly limonene), and the right THC: CBD ratio for the best marijuana strains for appetite control. And as always, lean on your favorite dispensary’s budtender for more advice.