What does it do? How does it do it? Should I try it?
Everyone knows that smoking marijuana is associated with getting the infamous feelings of hunger (aka the munchies) But why is that? Also is it always true?
Recent evidence suggests that certain strains of cannabis increase the desire to have a healthy appetite (aka eat everything in sight). This may be may be true, but others can actually aid in weight loss.
This may seem counterintuitive, but clinical research and analyzing the chemical compounds within cannabis has uncovered new fascinating discoveries.
Appetite Stimulation (aka Munchies)
THC is the chemical compound associated with getting you high. THC has many great uses other than leaving its consumers feeling stoned, though. It has been proven to help with nausea and increase appetite. This is the “munchies” sensation that mainstream media is fixated on and if you’ve ever consumed marijuana, you most likely have first-hand experienced of it.
Because THC has the ability to make you hungry, it can be great for those suffering from eating disorders. It can also help people going through chemotherapy or radiation treatment overcome nausea and want to eat. Eating is important to fuel the body through any recovery and in general, survival. If someone is suffering from an illness that impacts their appetite, using cannabis to aid this is an effective solution.
When your body is hungry, it’s experiencing changes in blood sugar levels, hormones, emptiness in the stomach and intestines. Appetite is similar but slightly different. Your appetite is stimulated through the smell of things like chocolate chip cookies baking in the oven or triggered by external factors like stress.
Cannabis triggers a hormone in the brain called grehlin, which makes your body experience hunger. Actually it acts on the CB 1 receptors in the brain that signal when to stop eating. The lack of feeling the need to stop eating makes you feel hungry.
Certain cannabinoids also intensifies flavors and smells, making food a sometimes stimulating and enjoyable experience. Which is especially good for someone who’s appetite has been suppressed due to an illness.
Cannabinoids can also reduce anxiety and stress that can be associated with eating for some people. CBD is a cannabinoid known to reduce stress and anxiety. For example, if someone is underweight, they may experience family and friends always encouraging them to eat, adding to their anxiety which will suppress appetite. When consuming CBD, they can finally relax, calm the psychological issues associated with food, and actually enjoy eating.
CBD also can help consumers with a healthy sleep routine, which can also impact stress hormones, ultimately leading to less stress eating. Stress eating is often when unhealthy food choices are made leading to more weight gain. When people get enough sleep, they are less likely to stress eat and consume junk foods.
One of the biggest fears of using cannabis to increase appetite is the possible side effect of gaining and becoming overweight. Statistics show though, that regular cannabis users actually maintain an average weight.
In fact, a study from 2018 showed that cannabis users might have a reduced body mass index (BMI) and lower obesity rates. They contributed this to lower stress hormones and overall stress levels, which is often attributed to causing obesity. It also says that cannabis actually reduces energy storage and increases metabolism, leading to overall healthier weight.
If you are thinking of trying cannabis for appetite, it can be a good solution without many associated risks. It is not addictive, and there is no risk of death from overdose. Overall, cannabis consumption is considered relatively safe if you are ages 21 and above.
The use of CBD by itself is even safer because CBD does not get you high. CBD has many other medicinal benefits and is even safe for pets and children.
If you want to enjoy food more, cannabis is always a delight to add to any routine. Which is why its become so popular and even has cooking shows such as Chopped 420 or Cooked with Cannabis.
It is important to remember that when you consume cannabis through digestion, always be cautious of the amount consumed. It has a delayed effect, and eating too much is when cannabis consumption can turn into a bad time.
Just remember, you can always take more.