CBD for Increased Appetite? [Bringing on the Munchies WITHOUT the HIGH]


[To be clear, there have not to date been any definitive scientific or clinical studies carried out showing CBD to be an appetite stimulant on its own. Numerous studies have shown THC and whole-plant cannabis extracts, on the other hand, to function as efficient appetite stimulators. This article aims to review the potential for full-spectrum CBD to work in a similar manner, WITHOUT the high…]  

One does not need to be a lover of cannabis to know that it is famous for bringing on the munchies. While this state of extreme hunger has been so over-commercialized in media, there’s actually some truth behind it!

It is well known that THC is the cannabinoid responsible for that sudden onset of insatiable hunger.

Is CBD also capable of increasing appetite? And if so, is it capable of doing so without providing any sort of mind-altering, psychoactive high?

Indeed, the non-intoxicating element of cannabis that has taken America by storm in recent years may potentially have some of the same chemical and physiological characteristics that allow other active cannabinoids to work as an appetite-stimulant. This would make it perfect for patients who don’t want to get high.

Cannabis and Appetite: What Causes Lack of Appetite?

We can experience a lack of appetite for dozens of reasons, and it is not always necessarily a serious problem. If you have a cold, or an upset stomach, you are more likely not to feel hungry.

Lack of appetite is almost always short-lived and, more often than not, it doesn’t require any specific medical attention. However, a lack of appetite in some cases can be a sign of something more serious or even a symptom of some other underlying condition. Many conditions can lead to a lack of appetite, some of which are listed below:

These are only a handful of the conditions that most commonly cause a lack of appetite, and potentially dramatic weight loss can result. It is also common to lose the desire to eat as a result of taking antibiotics, as well as certain opioid-based drugs and medications.

What Are the Traditional Treatments of Low Appetite?

For most sufferers of low appetite, it is not just a matter of “pushing past it” and eating. This is even truer when the lack of appetite is a result of a medical condition. There are a few pharmaceutical medications that doctors can administer to help increase appetite, such as:

  • Cyproheptadine
  • Low-dose corticosteroids
  • Megestrol
  • Dronabinol (a synthetic THC medication)

However, prescription drugs often come with a list of unpleasant side effects.

What Is CBD?

Cannabidiol (CBD) is the hot topic of the marijuana industry lately. With its many potential benefits, it is beginning to gain attention as a potential treatment option for a wide range of medical conditions. Here are just a few of the conditions this versatile cannabinoid may have a positive impact on:

How Can CBD Help Increase Appetite?

Research into CBD is beginning to shed more light on its benefits for a variety of conditions. It has now been publicly praised by a range of well-established organizations, such as The American Epilepsy Society and The National Cancer Trust, as a natural option for patients to help with certain symptoms.

As a result of this new research into CBD – as well as the other cannabinoids present in the cannabis plant – we are now more aware of how it interacts with the human body.

We all have an endocannabinoid system (ECS), which interacts with the body’s natural cannabinoids, as well as cannabinoids found in marijuana and CBD. The ECS works to regulate our body to ensure it is working to the best of its ability.

The ECS has a hand in almost every aspect of our health, both mental and physical, and is vital for our well-being.

When we consume CBD, it works with our ECS to promote further production of natural cannabinoids, and it is for this reason that CBD has the power to positively affect such a varied list of conditions.

Among other things, CBD  has been observed to work as an:

  • Anti-anxiety
  • Anti-inflammatory
  • Anti-carcinogenic
  • Anti-oxidant

THC or CBD for Increased Appetite

While we know that THC is capable of bringing on intense hunger, many of us don’t quite understand WHY. As it turns out, THC binds directly with CB1 receptors that are located in the brain (which incidentally is why it is intoxicating). This, in turn, produces strong feelings of hunger that we’ve come to know as the munchies.

CBD doesn’t attach to the receptors the same way. Instead, it works with our ECS to help reduce inflammation throughout the body, promote calm, and do many other things that can often lead to a lack of hunger!

In this way, many people have used CBD as a means to alleviate the symptoms of underlying conditions that could result in a lack of appetite. So, CBD doesn’t directly stimulate appetite, but it may be of some help if one’s lack of appetite is stemming from a CBD-treatable condition!

The Evidence of CBD and Increased Appetite

While it may seem like THC is the main cannabinoid responsible for causing a surge in appetite, many people would prefer not to have the psychoactive effects associated with THC – especially when dealing with a debilitating condition.

While CBD interacts differently with our bodies than does THC, its overall therapeutic effects go a long way in easing symptoms that may lead to a suppressed appetite.

The American Psychological Association released some interesting figures back in 2013, which stated:

  • During the past month, 30% of adults reported skipping a meal due to stress.
  • 41% of adults who report skipping a meal due to stress report doing it weekly or more.
  • The majority of adults (67%) who reported skipping meals due to stress attribute it to a lack of appetite.

With this in mind, it’s worth noting that CBD may be helpful in providing relief to those that suffer from both stress and anxiety. So again, we see a roundabout way in which CBD may have the ability to spark a diminished appetite.

There are several studies that have been done into how CBD works to treat a variety of conditions. Many of these conditions lead, in some way, to a lack of appetite in those afflicted  – or at least require medications that suppress appetite.

It is for these reasons that CBD may be a potentially useful alternative for improving symptoms of low appetite.

Final Thoughts on CBD for Increased Appetite

While the majority of research into cannabis’ ability to cause hunger relates to THC, it is prudent to recognize CBD as a potentially useful compound in this area as well, albeit perhaps not in the traditional sense of cannabis-associated increase in appetite.

With its ability to play a hand in many aspects of our general health, CBD is capable in the very least of decreasing the symptoms of a range of conditions that often prevent the sufferer from eating. And moreover, it is able to do all of this without the risk of getting high!

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