There's a scientific explanation for why people turn into ravenous zombies who will stuff anything into their mouths when stoned. It's relatively simple: the psychoactive component of weed, THC, tricks your brain into believing you're starving. It also makes you more sensitive to scents and flavors. So if there's food around when you're high, BOOM. You're done. It'll taste and smell better than it should because those senses are more acute, and you believe you need to eat to keep from dying. You are basically incapable of resisting food's siren song.
This is unfortunately true even if there's nothing particularly good around to eat. Some have struck culinary gold this way, but often it ends in an unspeakable food crime and a belly stretched with regret. Below are stories from both sides of the coin.
I once ate an entire, very large Costco-sized barrel of honey-roasted peanuts while stoned. I don't remember the exact volume, but it was a massive amount—enough that my subsequent shit actually smelled like whatever chemicals the folks at Kirkland Signature use to synthesize honey and roasted flavors. Thing is, I'm not particularly into honey-roasted peanuts, but I distinctly remember my deep enjoyment while eating them that day. As I was chewing a mouthful, all I could think about was the next mouthful—the initial crunch, the warm wet mass it became once I ground it up with my teeth, and the muddy, sandy texture of it as it slid down my gullet. My fingers were covered in honey/salt seasoning. It was like being a baby again. - Abdullah, 32
A while ago my roommate and I were stoned and desperate for pizza, but unwilling to leave our apartment or spend any money. So we created one of our own using a month-old leftover-from-Thanksgiving sweet Pillsbury pie crust, which was dry and stiff around the edges. We added tomato sauce from an open can I'd left in the fridge unsealed, and strips of tasteless, rubbery Swiss cheese my mom brought during a visit a few weeks earlier. When I pulled it out of the oven it actually looked promising. The crust had turned a lovely golden brown and the cheese was bubbling. It wasn't until I took a bite of the thing, crust still wet and raw in the middle, that I realized it didn't quite work. My roommate agreed. It was truly gross. Still, my roomie and I reached for another piece. Then another. Until, in a matter of minutes, the Pillsbury Pizza was gone forever. - Catherine, 22
Ass. - Helen, 25
Not a weird item but a strange story… I was about 15 and at the Juneteenth Blues fest in [Houston, Texas] Hermann Park and these hippie kids hooked me up with the most powerful weed I'd ever had. I staggered home about dusk, and at the end of my block, I witnessed a guy breaking into a car and that sent my paranoia into high gear. I became convinced a riot had broken out. I crawled and clambered the rest of the way home through overgrown alleys, and when I finally made it, I stole a whole cherry pie out of the fridge and took it outside and ate the whole thing with my hands while still hiding in some bushes. That finally calmed me down. John, 45
My dad has a really weird diet, which probably explains why I am terrible at cooking and basically terrible at eating, too. For a long time he didn't eat wheat, gluten, salt, dairy, or really anything other than raw green beans and steak. He left me home alone one weekend, and on Sunday I got brutally high—the kind of debilitating highness that turns you into a fucking cretin zombie with a ravaging appetite. I needed something to eat, but there was nothing in the house. I dug through the cupboards, and settled on old spaghetti noodles and a can of pre-cooked pinto beans. I boiled them up together in one pot. My dad didn't have salt, so I just peppered the shit out of it and ate it down. - River, 25
Ketchup. And not ketchup on something or used for dipping. I'm talking about just straight up ketchup directly into my mouth because it was all I had in my fridge and, what, am I not supposed to eat something while I'm stoned? - Eric, 27
Acid - Tara, 42
- Marty, 37
I'd just ended a relationship and moved in with a co-worker. Shortly after the move-in, my new roommate started dating my ex. I foolishly didn't move out, and would see the two of them around the apartment together. Frequently, after work, instead of going home and seeing the happy new couple, I'd go to a dive bar and drink. One night, while stalling, I ran into a friend who offered me a ride home. We smoked a bowl on the way there. I got home, went to the cabinet and found canned tuna. I went back to the refrigerator for mayonnaise to make a breadless tuna sandwich. There was no mayo. I thought about just eating the tuna out of the can, and I should have, but something in my head said, "Nah, man. You need a binder for that tuna." On the door I found this creamy, lemon-pepper marinade in a squeezable plastic bottle. I drained the tuna, put a little marinade in. It passed the smell and taste test so I mashed it all together and ate it. My roommate and his girlfriend (my ex) were in the living room next to the kitchen and saw this all go down. They both had this look of disappointment on their faces. I can't say I blame them - Brian, 36 I did that Twinkie Easy Cheese hot dog thing they eat in UHF… honestly, I'm not even sure I was stoned. - Michael, 33
I ate the whole thing with my hands while hiding in some bushes.
I went to a restaurant once and was so toasted that I felt like I was on an Apollo mission. This place was one of those super bougie spots where I didn't know what, like, 73-percent of the things on the menu were. I had to type words into Google to frigging figure out exactly what it was I was eating. I got kind of sick of that and it was harshing my mellow to have to do library research to figure out what to eat. So when I saw this thing on the menu called "Sweetbreads" I just went with it, thinking it was probably a dinner version of French toast or something. Like 20 minutes later the server rolls out with a plate that has some weird creamed meat thing on it. I took a bite of it and it certainly was not anything like the sizzling French toast I thought it would be. It was actually OK, but I couldn't figure out why they'd call a beef item "sweetbreads." So I looked it up. Turns out it's the thalamus gland of a cow, which they cut from its neck. To be honest, it kind of made me feel like I was in science class. I was not digging it at all. And even though I was super hungry I still couldn't fuck with it after I found out what it was. - Sameer, 33
For two years I lived in a small apartment in Boston called The Blob. It was constantly smoked out. I was absolutely broke when i lived there, and in moments of financial despair, like any stoner, I got creative to satisfy my sweet tooth. My masterpiece: one piece of plain bread, toasted. (Toast, if you will.) A solid centimeter of Marshmallow Fluff evenly distributed along the top. Cinnamon Toast Crunch laid on top of that. A light squiggle of chocolate sauce across the whole thing (like a fancy restaurant dessert). When built, refrigerate for 15 minutes. The outcome is a poor man's Cinnamon Toast Crunch cereal bar that combines the excitement of a breakfast bar with the looming manic depression of a late night chocolate sundae (the Fluff takes on an almost custard-like quality). I dubbed it "Blob Snack." I don't know if any of my friends actually dug it, but I would always offer. - Cal, 23
Follow Brian McManus on Twitter.