As stoners know all too well, 4/20 is fast approaching. And if you live in a place where you’re legally allowed to celebrate the Weed Holiday, you’ve probably already stocked up on your favorite all-natural, mind-altering substance. But one equally important, 4/20-friendly necessity you might have forgotten? Healthy(ish) stoner snacks.
Who among us hasn’t consumed an entire six-pack of Insomnia Cookies in less than a minute while under the influence? (No one? Just me? K.) The munchies are a very real thing, so don’t sell your future self short; stock up on some kind of snack before lighting up this Saturday. That snack can be anything you want it to be. Cheez-Its, Cinnamon Toast Crunch and, of course, Insomnia Cookies are great candidates for 4/20-friendly snackage. But they’re also all so damn rich they could leave you with a serious stomach ache by the time you’ve reached the bottom of the box.
You don’t have to care that much about healthy eating to appreciate the value of a munchie yummy enough to satiate your taste buds, but light enough to keep you from feeling like vomiting for hours after you’re done eating it. Which is exactly why healthy-ish (emphasis on the ish) stoner snacks are on the menu this 4/20—and really, any other day you feel like celebrating your dear friend Mary Jane.
Pizza – The Legendary Snack
Have you ever wondered why pizza is so delicious AND addictive? It turns out there is a scientific reason. Did you know that humans are drawn to fatty, sweet, rich, and complex foods? In pizza, meat toppings are rich (and fatty), cheese is fatty, and the sauce is usually sweet.
Aside from this holy trinity of ingredients, the toppings often contain glutamate. You will usually find this compound in cheese, tomatoes, sausage, and pepperoni. Our brains get excited when the glutamate hits the senses, and we want more. Our mouths sometimes water in anticipation of the next bite because of this compound.
Also, cheese and tomato sauce contain flavor compounds that taste better when eaten together. It is like they have their own ‘entourage effect.’ Yet another reason why we love pizza is that it turns brown and crispy in the oven. This is down to a pair of chemical reactions: Caramelization and the Maillard Reaction.
Pizza offers a massive range of choices. As far as marijuana users are concerned, the fact they can have it delivered to their door is incredibly convenient.
Ice Cream – The Dessert King
Once you have the savory covered with pizza, the logical next step is to follow it with something sweet. Ice cream ticks practically all of the right boxes. It is cold, creamy, and available in dozens of flavors. There is genuinely a taste sensation for every palette. The key here is to separate high-quality ice cream from its less desirable counterparts. Most people prefer to rely on a brand like Ben & Jerry’s or Haagen-Dazs.
There is a lot to consider when making the perfect ice cream. The first step, after assembling the raw ingredients, is pasteurization. Get it wrong, and you can produce an overcooked flavor. It is during the homogenization process that problems can really occur. It is then that those dreaded ice cream crystals come into play, and mess up the texture.
Brands add stabilizers. These are chemical proteins that prevent the formation of most crystals. However, even the best stabilizers occasionally fail to do their job. Also, if a company allows too much air to get whipped into the cream, the product becomes a frozen dairy dessert instead of ice cream. There is even the issue of lactose molecules expanding due to thawing and freezing.
So, the next time you choose ice cream while high, at least you have an appreciation of how much work goes into making it. You also now know why ice cream doesn’t taste great when you refreeze it after it gets thawed.
Potato Chips – The Salty Treat
Much like pizza, there is a logical reason why you can’t stop snacking on potato chips. A lot of it has to do with the salt content. A study by Bolhius et al., published in The Journal of Nutrition in March 2016, looked at how salt impacts appetite. The Australian study recruited 48 volunteers and measured their sensitivity to taste.
The group ate different lunches once a week for four weeks. The meals had varying levels of fat and salt. The researchers found that adding salt to the meals increased how pleasant the volunteers thought the food was. Salt caused people to eat 11% more calories, regardless of how much fat was in the meal.
When you add in the satisfying crunch of the chips, it becomes easier to see why many people find it hard to stop at one. As far as cannabis use is concerned, you lower your inhibitions and self-control potentially becomes an issue. All of a sudden, you have eaten a giant packet of chips, but feel so good afterward.
Chocolate – The Must-Have Snack
Guess what? There is a scientific reason why we love chocolate too! One study found that allowing chocolate to dissolve slowly in your mouth provides as big an increase in brain activity and heart rate as a passionate kiss! However, the sensation lasts four times longer.
Also, chocolate contains anandamide, a feel-good chemical found naturally in the brain. It is similar to the THC found in cannabis. The chemical in chocolate makes the natural anandamide in the brain last longer, so we get an extended chocolate high. Anecdotal reports suggest that adding chocolate to one’s existing high is very pleasurable indeed.
If you choose dark chocolate, you benefit from extra antioxidants. You should realize that chocolate is among the world’s most flavorful foods. Whether you want tart, nutty, earthy, smoky, or caramelly notes, it has you covered.
There are even those who excel in chocolate and cannabis pairing. For example, milk chocolate goes well with Marionberry Kush. Meanwhile, Super Lemon Haze is perfect with white chocolate.
Cheeseburger – The Big Daddy of Stoner Munchies
The reasons why we love cheeseburgers are similar to why we adore pizza. You have the combination of fatty meat, cheese, a variety of sauces, and a sweet bun. Of course, there is a considerable variation in the standard of burgers available.
Chains like Five Guys have become popular because they focus on what customers want. They also only offer burgers and hot dogs and have perfected both according to their loyal followers. With 15 topping choices, there are theoretically 250,000 combinations! More importantly, the standard of beef is excellent.
Of course, there are dozens of alternatives. In-N-Out Burger is another favorite, as are Wendy’s and Carl’s Jr. If you don’t like beef or are vegetarian, there are plenty of options to suit your tastes. Best of all, you can pick up the phone, and many outlets will deliver to your door.
Stoners far and wide rejoice at even the brief mention of burritos, as they should! Burritos adapt to every meal, making them perfect for satisfying munchies after any smoke session. If you’re enjoying a wake and bake, follow it up with a breakfast burrito. If you’re packing a midday bowl, GrubHub some Chipotle beforehand. If you’re taking a midnight toke, it’s time for a Taco Bell run! Burritos have the versatility, portability, and delectibility required to make any cannabis user content.
Fried chicken is irresistible in any form, and it doesn’t matter if you’re high or sober. Whether it’s crispy chicken strips, a bucket of dark meat, or some spicy buffalo wings, fried chicken gets the job done. But with the advent of Popeye’s Chicken Sandwich, fried chicken was elevated to a whole new level in the stoner sphere. It’s a near-flawless combination of fluffy brioche, a crispy cajun chicken breast, and Louisiana love. And when you’re high, it might as well be paradise between two buns.
A massive stack of loaded nachos is the perfect storm of stoner goodies. Tortilla chips alone are a stoned delicacy, and when you add all of your weed-influenced fixins, the result is utterly euphoric. You can take your nachos any direction but the classic toppings are: cheese, beef, beans, pico, guac, sour cream, tomatoes, jalapenos, and onions. But if you want to make your nachos supreme a bit more “special”, simply sprinkle some decarbed weed or cannabis-infused oil on top!