On how to avoid munchies while using marijuana

Ngaio Bealum is a Sacramento comedian, activist and marijuana expert. Email him questions at ask420@newsreview.com.

I’ve just started using cannabis for a spinal problem I’ve developed, and it’s at least as effective as ibuprofen for my pain. The only problem is it makes me so hungry that I end up eating everything and anything in the house that’s not tied down. Last evening, I smoked around 6 p.m., and then at 8 p.m. I ate pizza, ice cream, a hamburger, two Snickers bars—and the daily newspaper. Just kidding about the paper, but I would have tried it if I hadn’t had any food in the fridge. I can’t afford to gain any more weight, so is there any way to turn off this intense need for food after smoking? (By the way, I’m Hawaiian, and in the Hawaiian language the word for “marijuana” is paka lolo.)


Aloha. Yeah, the munchies can be pretty vicious. I used to eat a pint of Ben & Jerry’s ice cream almost every day.

Weed stimulates the hypothalamus. The hypothalamus is what sends hunger signals to the body. And while a stimulated hypothalamus is great for people suffering from cachexia (also known as wasting syndrome—I like big words), it may not be so great for people that don’t really need any extra calories.

There are a few solutions. Have a big glass of water; you probably don’t drink enough water, anyway. Chew gum. Stock up on healthy snacks. If you eat a giant salad (easy on the ranch dressing) or a whole bunch of crudités (a veggie plate—Big Words Bealum strikes again), you can have the munchies and be healthier at the same time. Experiment with crazy homemade salad dressings and dipping-sauce combinations.

Or, you could be like my boy, Todd. He figured that eating a bunch of food would lessen his high, so when he got the munchies, he wouldn’t eat until the weed had worn off. I wouldn’t do that, but he was always higher longer, if that makes sense.

I have a tiny little bonsai-sized female clone that is starting to bud. What can I do to ensure that I get a good harvest in October?


Give it love? I mean, it’s a plant. Keep the bugs away, make sure it gets good water and light, don’t overdose it with nutrients, and enjoy watching it grow. You say it’s a bonsai-sized plant, so don’t expect to get a huge yield. If you are looking to start a small grow with nice results, take a look at Ed Rosenthal’s book Marijuana Buds For Less. This book shows how to set up and harvest 8 ounces of medical-grade cannabis for about $100. That’s a good deal.

Any good festivals coming up?

—Peter Potparty

October is usually a slow time for festivals, what with the harvest and all, but there is the Marijuana Policy Project Bootleggers Ball in San Francisco on October 12 (www.mpp.org/events/bootleggers-ball-2013.html). And the 23rd annual Humboldt Hemp Fest (www.mateel.org/festivals) in Redway, Calif., is on November 9.