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Thanks so my fabulous intern, Laura, for writing this post!

Take it away, Laura. 

Why do I feel out of control around food when using cannabis?

First of all, you are not alone! 

Being high is a huge sensory experience, so it’s common for a lot of people to feel this way. Heightened sensations make certain feelings more pleasurable while high, and eating is definitely one of them! Whether it be the taste, texture, or overall enjoyment of food, it’s easy to get carried away and eat more than you intended while in this state. 

Certain habits may also contribute to this “out of control” feeling around food while high. Some people may use getting high as permission to eat their favorite foods. Maybe you designate eating these foods for only when you’re high, or maybe you restrict yourself earlier in the day to “save up” for indulging later. 

Restricting habits like these are notorious for causing binging later on. You should allow yourself to eat your favorite foods whether you’re using cannabis or not. Saving them strictly for when you’re high can put your body in a scarcity mindset, which will cause you to eat more than you intended because you are tricking your mind into thinking that these foods won’t be available later. Combining this with being in an altered state can make it very difficult to tune into hunger and fullness cues. 

How can I tune into my body’s hunger cues while high? 

Because being high is such an overall sensory experience, bodily sensations such as hunger can become difficult to recognize. There are however things you can do to check in with yourself in times like these.

If you find yourself having the munchies, a good tip is to pause and connect with your body. Are you consciously eating right now? Are you enjoying what you’re eating? Questions like these tend to help you recognize your hunger. Sometimes you may not even be enjoying the texture or taste of the food. Sometimes you’re unconsciously eating to distract from other things. 

If you find that after you ask yourself these things you’re still feeling hungry, you are allowed to keep eating! 

If not, other fun sensory experiences may be what you’re looking for! Things such as dancing, listening to music, massages and smelling aromas such as candles while high offer a similar pleasure as eating does in this heightened state.

Should I avoid eating if I feel hungry while high to try and prevent a binge?

No! 

Eating while high is a very pleasurable experience for a lot of people. If you enjoy eating while high, do it! What’s most important is to be mindful of how you’re feeling along the way. If you’re worried about feeling overfull after snacking, maybe opt for less energy dense foods such as popcorn or fruit. You could also plan to eat before you get high so you’re not in an ‘overly-hungry’ state when it’s harder to sense your fullness.

How can I show compassion to myself after binging while high?

Overeating can cause a lot of physical discomfort along with guilt. Rather than beating yourself up over it, it is far more rewarding to show yourself kindness. 

At times, discomfort from overeating can last hours. Something that may help is a hot bath. This is very soothing if you’re feeling bloated, and is overall relaxing if you’re stressing over a binge. Sipping on water can be quite soothing as well. 

One thing you absolutely should NOT do is restrict yourself the day after. This will only cause the cycle to repeat again. 

How can I navigate the social pressures of eating while high?

Say you’re using cannabis with a group of friends and they decide to indulge in some snacking. Maybe you’re not hungry or simply don’t enjoy eating while high. Despite this, you feel pressured to eat. What do you do?

First, it’s important to remember that you are an individual and you don’t have to do something just because everyone else is. It’s totally okay to be honest with your friends and tell them if you aren’t in the mood to eat. If they begin to pressure you more, it’s likely that they might be struggling with their relationship with food themselves. Someone secure in their relationship with food is not going to care if other people are eating with them or not.

Being an intuitive eater means eating in alignment with your body’s cues, not others. If people are upset with your decision to eat or not to eat, that has all to do with them, not you.

 

Want to learn more about navigating eating while high? Purchase the Cannabis and Intuitive Eating Workshop here. 

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