[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…]
You don’t need to be a lover of cannabis to know that it is world famous for bringing about the munchies. While this state of extreme hunger has been so over-commercialized in media, there’s actually some truth behind it!OK – so we all know that THC is responsible for the high that weed is known best for.
It is also well known that THC is the cannabinoid responsible for that sudden onset of insatiable hunger.
But, given the fact that full-spectrum (whole plant extract) CBD has been shown to work in many of the same ways as other cannabinoids, is it 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-psychoactive element of marijuana 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 — which would make it perfect for patient’s 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, a stomach upset, are pregnant, or even just ate a large meal the night before, you are more likely not to feel hungry (duh, right?).
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 side effect of some other underlying condition. Many conditions often lead to a lack of appetite, for instance, some of which are listed below:
These are only a handful of the conditions most commonly attributed to a lack of appetite, and subsequent dramatic weight loss. It is also common to lose any desire to eat as a result of taking antibiotics, as well as certain opioid-based drugs and medications, such as:
While it may not seem to be a serious issue, a consistent lack of appetite can quickly develop into more severe problems such as anorexia, bulimia, or other eating disorders.
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 can be administered to help increase appetite, such as:
- Low-dose Corticosteroids
- Dronabinol (a synthetic THC medication)
However, like almost all prescription drugs, these often come with a long list of unpleasant side effects that usually do more harm than good. Moreover, we all know that many drugs and pharmaceutical prescriptions can be highly addictive.
What Is CBD?
Cannabidiol (CBD) is the hot topic of the marijuana industry lately, and with its never-ending list of medicinal benefits, is now being recognized the world over as a potential treatment option for a wide range of medical conditions. Here are just a few of the conditions this versatile cannabinoid has been shown to have a positive impact on:
How Can CBD Be Used to Help Increase Appetite?
Over recent years, CBD has been researched heavily to get to the bottom of how it is so effective for so many different 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 therapeutic 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 better aware than ever of how it interacts with the human body.
We all have an endocannabinoid system (ECS), which produces natural cannabinoids. These work 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 consumed, it has been found that CBD 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.
It is from these years of research that scientists have been able to establish CBD’s list of functions, and the list is pretty incredible. Among other things, it has been observed to work as an:
While we know that THC is capable of bringing on intense hunger, many of us don’t quite understand WHY. As it turns out, however, THC binds directly with CB1 receptors that are located in the brain (which incidentally is why it gets us high!), which in turn produces the strong feelings of hunger that we’ve come to know (and love) as the munchies.
While CBD may not attach to the receptors the same way, it does work with our ECS to help reduce inflammation throughout the body, relieve stress and anxiety, 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 — not exactly a cut and dry case of the munchies, per se, put a potential option nonetheless if your 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 culprit for causing a surge in appetite, many people would prefer not to have those psychoactive effects – 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 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 report skipping meals due to stress attribute it to a lack of appetite.
With this in mind, it’s worth noting that CBD has been directly linked to 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.
Moreover, cannabinoids have long been touted among many health professionals as a potential treatment in cancer patients, and have been recognized by The National Cancer Trust as an appetite stimulant in patients that struggle following treatments like radiation and chemotherapy.
And finally, there are hundreds of scientific studies which have been done into how CBD works to treat a variety of conditions, and many of these conditions lead in some way to a lack of appetite in the victim – 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, with its range of medicinal benefits making it an all-around treatment for patients of all types.
Final Thoughts on CBD for Increased Appetite
It is clear that the evidence around CBD’s efficacy backs it up to be perhaps the most useful cannabinoid within the cannabis plant! While the majority of research into cannabis’ ability to cause hunger relates to the cannabinoid THC, it is impossible not to recognize CBD as a useful compound in this area as well, albeit perhaps not in the traditional sense of producing the munchies.
With its proven ability to play a hand in almost every aspect of our general health, CBD is certainly capable in the very least of relaxing a range of conditions that often prevent the sufferer from eating. And moreover, it is proven to be able to do all of this without the risk of getting high!
Weed lover or not, the facts just cannot be argued with here.