Many people who use CBD products, whether CBD oils, gummies, or tropical, consider them vital to their overall wellness and health. Even so, with it being established that marijuana induces an increased craving for food, many people blindly associate CBD use with hunger as it is a derivative of hemp, a close relative of the marijuana plant. But does CBD really make you hungry or have munchies?
To answer this question accurately, we need to note that the cannabis plant has over a hundred cannabinoids compounds. Their psychoactive and therapeutic effects are not known yet. However, extensive studies have been done on CBD and tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), and these two are the cannabinoids most understood to date.
The cannabis plant species are the marijuana plant and the hemp plant. Marijuana contains high contents of THC, which is responsible for psychoactive traits. The CBD is generated mainly from industrial hemp, which contains very low or no levels of THC. The CBD does not give you a high feeling effect. These cannabinoids affect appetite differently, but CBD does not cause hunger as we are about to unravel.
Why does CBD THC stimulate appetite?
Records dating back to 300 AD show that humans have been using cannabis for thousands of years and even knew it causes hunger. THC is the most abundant cannabinoid in cannabis and directly stimulates appetite. The American National Institute of Health deduced that THC raises insulin levels, like ghrelin, which induces hunger.
The hormone ghrelin is released when you have an empty stomach, and it creates the hunger feeling to tell the brain it is time to eat. However, THC indiscriminately stimulates this hormone, therefore, giving you the feeling of hunger even if you are full.
In humans, the endocannabinoid system contains CB1 and CB2 receptors that bind with cannabinoids to stimulate different sensations when using cannabis. THC binds with the receptor CB1, primarily found in the brain and the nervous system, and has a significant role in hunger and appetite. CB1 is especially abundant in the hypothalamus, which regulates appetite and controls many biological functions like thirst and hunger.
THC also boosts dopamine, the chemical in the brain that gives a good feeling and increases our perception of fatty and sweet food, and overly stimulates the appetite.
Does CBD impact appetite?
Contrary to THC, CBD does not directly impact appetite nor cause munchies. Subject to more studies, it is clear that CBD does not bind to CB1 or CB2 receptors as THC does. It seems to have a balancing effect that helps the body attain homeostasis (a state of balance).
CBD might impact different people differently as everyone's level of homeostasis will be different depending on genetics, stress levels, and even lifestyles. By closely working with CB1 in the brain and the CB2 receptors mainly found in the digestive system, CB2 can duly maintain balance and wellness of the body. Therefore, CBD enhances normal appetite by mostly maintaining digestive health, eliminating unnecessary over-feeding or underfeeding.
How CBD can potentially increase appetite
Despite CBD not being an appetite stimulant, recent studies have suggested that it may have profound indirect effects on appetite, hunger, and weight loss. However, it is essential to note that these findings are not conclusive and might be proven right or wrong as CBD research continues to evolve. That said, here is how CBD could potentially increase your appetite.
It helps reduce stress and anxiety
CBD products can be a gentle and natural way of managing stress, anxiety, and depression. Stress is accompanied mainly by mood swings and changes in appetite and eating behaviour. When stressed, the nervous system releases the hormone cortisol into the bloodstream. Cortisol suppresses appetite and shifts energy expenditure to tackle the stress source, which translates to overthinking in modern times.
CBD can be the right course of action in stress management which will, in turn, improve a normal appetite. It counteracts the stress response in the brain that alienates the stress and gives a relaxing feeling.
Reduce stomach discomfort
It is nearly impossible to have any appetite when nauseous, dizzy, or vomiting. Trials have shown that CBD, to a degree, is effective in quelling dizziness, vertigo, or the urge to vomit. CBD is beneficial for people susceptible to weight loss, such as those under cancer treatment, medication, and health treatments that can induce nausea and vomiting.
CBD enables one to regain the normal appetite needed to nourish their body by calming these treatment effects. CBD is the only cannabis-related compound legally allowed for this application.
How CBD may suppress the appetite
As earlier mentioned, CBD creates a balanced healthy environment in the body. Meaning it can increase appetite when it’s too low and as well suppress it. This theoretical probability has geared up more studies and has led some to believe that CBD can help with weight loss journeys.
CBD may reduce appetite by:
Improving hypothalamus sensitivity
Hypothalamus is the part of the brain that deduces whether we need to eat or have had enough by stimulating hunger. CBD has been shown to increase hypothalamus sensitivity and, in turn, reduce the insatiable need to eat. Therefore, CBD curbs unnecessary cravings by improving the hypothalamus' signalling capabilities.
CBD maintains the metabolic process by utilizing the already stored energy rather than false alarms that might lead you to eat unnecessarily.
Boosting mitochondrial function
Mitochondria produce ATP energy that cells need to perform various functions. The theory is that CBD boosts mitochondrial efficiency at transforming the fat and sugars in our bodies into energy, thereby reducing the urge to eat periodically.
It is prudent to note that there is no concrete evidence yet that CBD is a good appetite suppressant for weight loss on its own. Therefore, you should be cautious when shopping for CBD products that claim to induce weight loss.
The bottom line
After many clinical trials and extensive studies, the big guys in the medical field have unequivocally stated that CBD consumption does not make you hungry. Although its relaxation effects can make your stomach feel better, it won't cause you to have any munchies. As such, you won't have to stock up on snacks the next time you order your CBD package.