Our tastes are as different as we are. For some of us, nothing beats the sweet rush of rich, bittersweet chocolate (a substance which stimulates us much in the same way as cannabis, but we’ll get to that in a moment). For others, pure bliss comes in the form of the endorphin rush after eating a fresh, crisp and blisteringly hot chili pepper lurking inside the folds of a taco packed with smoky grilled meat. Whatever your personal preference might be, there’s no doubt that enjoying your favorite foods when high adds a massive—for some, even overpowering—sensory element. The best things to eat when high are those that intrigue us, making us wonder how something as simple as a ripe, luscious mango or a crunchy potato chip could possibly taste so good.
But when it comes to picking the best things to eat when high, it turns out there’s more to the equation than pure preference. Some foods actually enhance the sensation of being high. How? Read on for the delicious details.
The Science Behind the Best Things to Eat When High
There are a number of reasons certain foods can enhance our high. If you’re at all up on cannabis science, you’re probably aware of terpenes. They’re the fragrant hydrocarbons (or “essential oils” that along with the cannabinoid content give specific cannabis plants their unique characteristics.
Terpenes aren’t unique to cannabis plants; they’re found in a whole slew of other products and substances, many of them edible. So for instance, if you consume a mango up to about 45 minutes before ingesting cannabis, it will tend to intensify and prolong your experience of being high. That’s because they both contain ample amounts of a terpene called myrcene, which lends many strains of cannabis a distinctively earthy, spicy aroma.
Similarly, it’s been reported that ingesting the terpene pinene in pine nuts—which helps give pine trees their aroma—can help inspire clear-headedness and mental clarity in conjunction with cannabis.
Hitching a Ride Through the Endocannabinoid System
There’s another way foods interact with our bodies in the same way as cannabis, and that’s through our endocannabinoid system (ECS). Specific receptor cells in the ECS (the CB1 and CB2 receptors, to be exact) interact both with the cannabinoids in cannabis and with specific compounds found in some foods; the result is that they potentiate, or strengthen, the effects of cannabis. This leads us directly to chocolate, without much doubt one of the best things to eat when high (or anytime, for that matter).
Chocolate contains a natural chemical compound called anandamide; it’s also produced in the brain and strongly correlates with feelings of bliss or satiation. What’s more, chocolate contains other compounds which inhibit the breakdown of our own supply of anandamide, which typically dissipates fairly rapidly. The result? In addition to already being delicious, chocolate tends to make our high last longer and be more intense.
Finally, there’s irony in the fact that “tea” was once slang for cannabis. Tea contains natural antioxidant compounds called catechins, and just like cannabinoids, they bind with the receptors in our ECS. Though more research is needed to fully understand the process, it appears they have the effect of intensifying our body’s natural response to cannabinoids.
Want to do your own taste tests? Find your nearest Have a Heart dispensary below!