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How Cannabis Can Help You Avoid Holiday Binging

Cannabis and healthy holiday eating may sound like a little bit of a contradiction. We think of cannabis as what makes you have the munchies for Doritos, but that’s a stereotype of old-school cannabis and risk-taking youth who imbibed. There’s a way of approaching cannabis that can actually reduce the intake of unhealthier things.

How might we use cannabis and get benefits from it around holiday eating, and then how can we approach that long term?

The holidays are great. We get together with family and eat tons of delicious food. But as we all know, this can be stressful too. Even if we love our family and we all subscribe to the same politics, we can stress eat. We’re stressed because we’re trying to get the tree up. We’re stressed because we’re trying to get all the presents together. And then, there’s this enormous buffet of food.
How Cannabis Can Help You Avoid Holiday Binging
The compounds in cannabis are regulators in our system. We can abuse cannabis, but we can also use it to derive regulating benefits. There’s a fascinating long-term study on body mass index (BMI) and cannabis intake. Researchers found that people who used cannabis approximately three times a week had a lower average BMI than those who did not use cannabis. This contradicts the idea that cannabis is an appetite stimulant.

THC and CBD are system regulators. The cannabinoids act on the body like a policing system and seek to bring BMI down for people with high obesity or increase BMI for people who are too skinny. This is important because our approach to using cannabis should come from a place of balance. Cannabis can actually stimulate the digestive juices that are going to process all that intense holiday food and reduce the cravings for alcohol, which is far more fattening and severe on the system.

CBD is a fascinating molecule. Yes, THC can regulate, but it does stimulate our appetite. CBD on the other hand is a true regulator. In fact, high doses of CBD squelch cravings. Studies on animals addicted to harsh drugs such as nicotine, cocaine, and alcohol have found that high doses of CBD reduce cravings. If you already use CBD in your daily regimen of medical cannabis, then you can actually use CBD at higher amounts to reduce your cravings over the holidays. This is not guaranteed. This is not an FDA-proven use for the drug, but can help you learn how to do that.

There’s also the raw form of cannabis, although this is harder to manifest in our daily regimen because dispensaries don’t often provide it. Cannabis is a very, very complex plant. It has all the omega oils that are really important for our tissues and our body. Often when we’re craving fatty comfort foods of the holidays, we are craving those fats because our body really needs it. Every cell in our body is made of oils, lipids. Cannabinoids are also made of lipids. You’re not going to get many lipids by smoking a joint, but you can deliver more of these healthy omega oils from the plant, as well as protein and antioxidants, with a smoothie made of raw cannabis leaf and know that you’re giving yourself a healthier boost during the holidays.

One approach to healthy cannabis use

One approach to healthy cannabis use is to take your cannabis before you know you’re going to eat a balanced holiday meal. So, right before Christmas dinner. This will stimulate your appetite and digestion. That way when you get the munchies you’re going to be taking in healthier food. But if you have cannabis in your system you hopefully won’t need as much because there won’t be as much craving for sweets or alcohol because the THC is producing euphoria. It’s an artificial release of endorphins in the body, which is what we crave from sugar and alcohol. It makes us feel good, right? If you can inhale cannabis, then you’re not filling your belly. You’re not adding fat or sugar to your system but you’re getting the good feelings from it.

Another approach if you’re wary of getting stoned around your family is to micro dose. You can wake up on the morning of a big meal or family gathering and start taking oils. Remember, lipids are so important. Infused cannabinoid oils at very, very low doses mean you don’t feel cognitive impairment. You’re not setting out to get stoned from your oils. Micro dosing with oils will decrease social anxiety and stress that might come with the holiday gathering and allow you to be more calm and resilient without stress eating.

Oils also have a slower release than smoking. Oils go into the gut where we have to process all the holiday food. When the oils are in there they’re softening tissues and lubricating the GI tract, reducing inflammation if you have IBS, Crohn’s, colitis, or any kind of inflammatory disease in your bowels.

If we initiate this approach and think about healthy holiday eating, in the long-term we might get the benefits of a reduced or regulated BMI. More than 30 states now allow medical marijuana. Not all of them allow personal homegrown cannabis, which is very unfortunate because this is the best way to access the widest benefits of cannabis. You really get to know the plant when you grow your own, and you can then utilize the leaves for juicing and anti-inflammatory benefits. Taking cannabis as an oil in your gut hits those receptors that tell you if you’re full or not. Oils allow you to eat less food. It’s a fascinating and fun way to access this incredible medicine.

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