The Connection Between Cannabis and Appetite

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Cannabis and Appetite
Photo by Pablo Merchán Montes on Unsplash.com

Marijuana is one of the most controversial plants in the world. It seems like everyone either loves it or hates it, with very little in between. This is the cannabis industry, and it is growing rapidly. There are now oils, edibles, the popular vapes from companies like MagicVaporizers, and all are more available than ever before. It’s no secret that cannabis consumption can result in the “munchies,” an intense hunger often described as an almost uncontrollable urge to eat. But what is behind this phenomenon? 

There is an increasing amount of evidence that suggests cannabis may be a useful substance to consume for people who are suffering from weight and appetite loss. This suggestion has led many to experiment with cannabis as a potential form of treatment for conditions such as cancer, AIDS, and a list of other diseases affecting weight and appetite. With that being said, there is still much unknown about the connection between cannabis and appetite, and in this post, we will discuss what science has to say.

The appetite-stimulating effects of cannabis 

Cannabis is a plant that grows from the soil. Many active ingredients make up the components of this plant and 2 of the main active ingredients are THC and CBD. THC is the most popular component because of its psychoactive effects which make this a popular recreational drug. 

CBD on the other hand does not contain any psychoactive effects however it does have a long list of health benefits with the most popular being its pain-relieving and anti-inflammatory effects. When you consume recreational cannabis, you will experience different effects depending on the strain. 

For example, Sativa is a strain that produces high energy levels, feelings of motivation, creativity, and euphoria while Indica is a strain that induces a calm and relaxing, almost sedating feeling in the body. CBD on the other hand, also induces feelings of relaxation and calm, except without the psychoactive effects. 

CBD also stimulates serotonin and dopamine production which gives consumers a euphoric feeling. Another famous side effect of cannabis consumption is that it increases appetite which results in an experience dubbed the “munchies” which describes an intense desire to eat a lot of food after consuming (mainly smoking)cannabis.

According to a study, when you consume cannabis, it increases appetite by stimulating what is known as the cannabinoid, or CB1 receptors in our brain. This then releases a hormone that increases the amount of food we consume. 

Ways to safely and responsibly use cannabis to increase appetite

When it comes to consuming cannabis, there are many methods available including:

  • Sublingually 
  • Inhalation
  • Water filtration
  • Orally

Before consuming one of these methods, consider your lifestyle and your needs. Sublingual and oral consumption are considered some of the safest consumption methods while water filtration and inhalation devices deal with smoke or vapor which is not recommended for those who aren’t comfortable inhaling. 

Sublingual tinctures and edibles that are consumed orally are probably your safest bet because they are effective, convenient, portable, and discreet for those who don’t wish to attract attention when consuming. You also need to consider your budget and whether you are up for maintenance and cleaning because water filtration devices and inhalation devices require regular maintenance to keep them working optimally. 

If you have an eating disorder or just generally struggle with a consistent appetite, you should consider cannabis as a form of holistic treatment. It is so effective that there is even an infamous nickname dubbed by the stoner community that describes the strong urge to eat after consuming cannabis. 

Before consuming, you might want to consult with a doctor to determine your dose based on your weight; however, a general rule of thumb is to start with a small dose of about 25 mg and then increase gradually with time. 

How cannabis can help people with eating disorders

Most cannabis consumers use munchies as an excuse to overeat after a smoking session; however, the fact that cannabis stimulates appetite is something that can benefit those suffering from eating disorders. 

There are people in the world who suffer from anorexia or who have experienced appetite loss due to an illness such as cancer or HIV to name a few. For these people, cannabis can be a great form of treatment that does not cause harmful side effects. 

When you have an eating disorder, you lose touch with your natural hunger cues and when you consume cannabis, this becomes healed by stimulating your appetite. THC for example stimulates the metabolism which results in increased snacking both socially and privately. This increased appetite has a positive effect on weight restoration. Possible risks to be aware of include the possibility of forming a dependency on cannabis.