Does CBD Make You Hungry?
Most regular marijuana users are familiar with the “munchies” – the insatiable hunger that often accompanies marijuana use. In the past, illicit users joked about the mountains of snacks they ate post cannabis consumption.
In fact, its part of the process in preparing some snacks, because if you don’t have any it can really ruin the experience.
Today, the legal use of cannabis is growing, both for medical and recreational use. The components of the plant responsible for its medical benefits differ from those sought by recreational users. People who use marijuana for its “high” get the desired effects from the THC component of the plant. Those looking for medicinal benefits without the high get them from cannabidiol or CBD. Both CBD and THC are cannabinoids, but they cause very different effects on your body depending on which method of consumption.
What Causes Marijuana Munchies?
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved CBD in the drug form called Epidiolex, a form of cannabidiol, and will used to treat Lennox-Gastaut syndrome and Dravet syndrome. These days, however, the general public is anecdotally using CBD to treat a variety of other ailments. Although the true impact of CBD on these conditions isn’t known, the CBD doesn’t produce the same high as THC. But, many people wonder whether it has a similar effect on your appetite.
It turns out that THC, the psychotropic component of marijuana that causes the high, is also the reason users get the munchies. It makes you more sensitive to scents and flavors. The brain interprets these symbols as hunger, making you want to eat. While this side effect of marijuana use can lead to unwanted weight gain in some users, it’s actually a benefit for medical users who have trouble eating – for example, someone who is losing weight due to the effects of chemotherapy.
So, does that leave people who use CBD products for health benefits and who don’t want to gain weight off the hook? When comparing the effects of THC and CBD on appetite, it isn’t as black and white as that.
How THC and CBD Affect Appetite
THC causes the familiar cravings for sweet and fatty foods commonly associated with marijuana use. It causes this by increasing the production of ghrelin, a hormone that causes hunger. Ghrelin causes hunger even when the stomach is full.
At the same time, THC affects the part of the brain involved in appetite control, boosting dopamine. This makes you enjoy eating even more.
CBD does impact appetite, but in a different way than THC. It doesn’t cause the same desire to keep eating even when you’re full. Instead, adding CBD to food or beverages can help alleviate digestive problems and calm your nervous system. It might alleviate pain and nausea that prevent you from eating normally. This makes CBD a good option for people with severe conditions that deal with nausea often. Instead of causing you to overeat, it can help you eat normally and potentially control your weight.
Additional reading: Differences between Full Spectrum, Broad Spectrum, and Isolate CBD
CBD Shown to Enhance Weight Loss
CBD has proven not to cause munchies that lead to weight gain, and it may even aid in weight loss. The different ways that CBD works in comparison to THC can result in a cumulative effect that results in weight loss. These mechanisms include:
- CBD suppresses your appetite instead of stimulating it.
- It blocks receptors in the brain that cause increased appetite.
- It may convert white fat into brown fat which burns calories more efficiently
- It may aid in preventing metabolic disorders (high blood pressure, type II diabetes, high cholesterol) associated with obesity.
- It aids in insulin resistance.
The list of anecdotal benefits of CBD continues to grow, including the impact it has on maintaining a healthy weight. The most important thing to consider when using CBD for any reason is to get a quality product. A purer product is more predictable and more likely to have the desired effects. Getting a better quality product costs a little more, but it’s worth it in the end.