Nothing is more beautiful than a full fridge when you have a case of the munchies.
But while it might feel tempting – even right – to inhale every snack in sight each time you’re high, you may actually be depriving yourself of the highest quality high by doing so.
How? Take it from the experts.
In 2015, a study published by the American Journal of Translational Research showed that pairing foods rich in Omega-3 fatty acids, certain types of terpenes, and/or cannabinoids with cannabis actually boosts THC absorption in the bloodstream. Since then, these kinds of foods have also been proven to enhance the effects of CBD, according to a study by the University of Minnesota.
What this means for you is simple – if you want to get the most out of your high (or CBD regimen,) it’s time start strategizing your munchies.
Always here to serve, we’ve done the grunt work for you. Here are the top 5 foods (and drink) to improve your high:
Among their many nutritional benefits, nuts contain high levels of healthy (i.e. unsaturated) fats. These fats help the body absorb more THC, faster, which significantly increases the intensity of your high, according to Clinical Nutritionist and Huffington Post Contributor Kelly Dorfman. Grab a handful of them after eating an edible, and you can speed up the time it takes THC (or CBD) to pass through the blood-brain barrier and start working its magic.
“CBD and THC compounds are fat-soluble, so fat is their medium,” Dorfman told GreenState. “If you consume them with foods that contain fat, they will absorb better – just like vitamin E generally absorbs better if it is taken in the oil form.”
For best results, Dorfman recommends sautéing your nuts in some good n’ fatty butter.
Eating nuts before consuming marijuana (which has been proven to slow the heart rate of some individuals) can also help those with cardiovascular issues do so more safely. According to the Harvard School for Public Health, walnuts are especially effective in decreasing inflammation associated with heart disease, reducing blood clot risk, and preventing erratic heart rhythms.
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2) Sweet Potatoes
These scrumptious roots are good for more than roasting in brown sugar on Thanksgiving. They’re packed with vitamins and minerals that boost your mood by increasing serotonin production in the brain. When these vitamins (especially vitamins E and B) and minerals interact with cannabinoids, they can heighten the euphoric effects of THC, producing a happy and alert high particularly beneficial to those using cannabis as a treatment for depression.
As with nuts, Clinical Nutritionist and Huffington Post Contributor Kelly Dorfman suggests lathering your sweet potato with some fatty acid-rich butter, making it easier for your body to absorb THC and, subsequently, making your sweet potato-infused high a little bit sweeter.
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Feeling tense? Take high tea.
Not only is the act of sipping tea soothing, but tea itself is full of antioxidants. When antioxidants attach to cannabinoids, they can enhance the sedating effects of THC, leaving you with an ultra-mellow high beneficial to those using marijuana for insomnia.
For maximum chill, medical cannabis experts recommend pouring a cup of herbal tea (ideally peppermint, chamomile, or lavender) just after a smoke, or mixing your herb and herbs together in a quality cannabis tea.
Clinical Nutritionist and Huffington Post Contributor Kelly Dorfman told Greenstate that some in the cannabis industry believe tea may also be able to increase the lifespan of your high, as well as strengthen the chemical compounds CBD and THC. While this theory has yet to prove this with certainty, the concept is nothing new. Cannabis tea has been used as a medicinal treatment in India for over 1,000 years, and is widely consumed there to this day to remedy fever, indigestion, and sunstroke. In Jamaica, it has even been used to cure asthma. If the healing properties of cannabis are, in fact, stronger in this form, cannabis tea might help medical marijuana patients experience stronger, faster relief.
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While there’s nothing proven, it’s virtually common knowledge in the cannabis world that eating a mango before consuming weed seems to increase the psychoactive effects of THC. Some cannabis doctors believe myrcene, a terpene found in mangoes, to be the reason for this. Since numerous studies have shown terpenes can effect on the way we experience marijuana, these doctors believe it’s possible that, if myrcene is in the body prior to consuming cannabis, it can quickly carry THC and CBD through the blood-brain barrier and increase the number of cannabinoids in your brain’s CB1 receptor.
Want to test this theory? Try eating a mango one to two hours before you take your next hit.
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Finally, try eating your greens before you smoke them. Broccoli contains a high amount of a natural cannabinoid called beta-caryophyllene, which interacts with the cannabinoid receptors in the brain. The result is a reduction in pain and inflammation, and many veggie-loving cannabis consumers say it can also produce an increased sense of calm when paired with THC.
While no explanation of this effect is proven, some experts believe the natural effects of beta-caryophyllene may grow stronger when working with the cannabinoids found in cannabis. If this theory is true, the sudden decrease in inflammation in the body would trigger a deep sense of relaxation – one that could be extremely beneficial for medical cannabis patients and those using marijuana for mental health.
You’ve probably noticed by now that each of these foods will affect your high in a different way. That’s why it’s important to know how your body responds to cannabis before getting fancy with your munchies. As a general rule, steer clear of mangoes if you tend to get anxious while high, and away from broccoli and tea if you tend to become too sedated.
Now, eat up.
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.