CBD for Appetite: Will CBD Oil Give You the Munchies?
Is CBD for appetite effective? The short answer is no. Unlike THC, CBD doesn’t produce the munchies. It does not bind to the cannabinoid receptor type 1 (CB1) that THC does to produce its powerful appetite-stimulating effect.
Here’s the kicker though. CBD for appetite may also be effective. But how CBD for appetite induces its appetite-stimulating effect is a bit confusing and simple at the same time.
THC or CBD for Appetite?
When you smoke cannabis, you will feel the powerful urge to eat even though you have just had food. Some users even say this urge is “uncontrollable.” You have to have food, and you have to have it now. It doesn’t matter if your belly is full. Your brain is telling you that you have to eat. This is why it is best to have some food ready whenever you smoke cannabis.
Quick fact: The hypothalamus is the part of your brain that houses the appetite center. It contains a group of neurons called PMOC or pro-opiomelanocortin neurons. The main function of the PMOC is to promote satiation. So the moment you’re full, it releases a compound that basically stops you from overeating. It’s like its saying, “Hey, your belly’s full. Let me turn the switch off for hunger.”
This is what the scientists believe about the PMOC. However, further research showed that the PMOC also secretes another type of chemical that, this time, actually makes you hungry.
Now, THC produces the munchies when it binds to the CB1 receptors located in the hypothalamus. It “tickles” the PMOC, activates them, and overrides its signal saying that you’re full. So even though you’ve just had that large steak for dinner, THC still “tells” your hypothalamus that you’re hungry.
CBD, on the other hand, has little binding affinity to the CB1 receptors. It doesn’t bind that well to the CB1 receptor, compared to THC. So, is CBD for appetite effective? No, because it doesn’t produce the munchies.
What is the effect of CBD for appetite?
CBD for appetite isn’t actually that effective. It acts as an antagonist of the CB1 receptor. So it, sort of, dampens THC’s appetite stimulating effects.
In fact, one study showed that high CBD strains do not produce the same powerful munchies that high THC strains do. The same study also revealed that one of the side effects of CBD is reduced appetite. Clearly, the study showed that CBD for appetite is not as effective as THC.
So, is CBD for appetite best for patients with appetite problems? Based on these CBD effects on appetite, no, right?
How does CBD for appetite help then?
Let’s now go to the confusing part.
CBD for appetite may also be effective in improving appetite and helping patients gain weight. Many patients even reported an improvement in their appetite loss while on CBD. CBD even helped them gain back the weight they lost due to their medical problems.
But how does CBD for appetite help? If it produces an opposite effect on the CB1 receptor, how can CBD for appetite help patients?
Now, here’s the simple answer. CBD improves their symptoms, so it resulted in an improvement in their appetite as well.
The Link Between Chronic Health Problems and Appetite Loss
To better understand how CBD for appetite works, you have to understand the link between chronic health problems and appetite loss.
Loss of appetite almost always comes hand in hand with chronic medical problems. Cancer patients and HIV/AIDS patients, for example, suffer from a condition called wasting syndrome. They don’t have any appetite for food due to their numerous symptoms. They also experience appetite loss because of the medications they’re taking. This results in drastic weight loss, muscle and fat loss, and malnutrition.
Mental health problems also cause appetite loss in some patients. The thought of avoiding, dealing with, and suffering from another attack consumes them. Chronic stress and anxiety affects their digestive system and prevents them from enjoying the food they eat. Depression makes them feel so powerless that they don’t have enough energy to get out of bed to even eat.
Now, this is how CBD for appetite becomes effective.
When patients take CBD oil and experience an improvement in their symptoms, naturally, there will also be an improvement in their appetite. After all, they’re no longer consumed by their pain and suffering, so they’re beginning to enjoy their life (and food!) more.
What are the ways that CBD for appetite becomes effective?
There are numerous ways that CBD improves appetite:
- Pain control. CBD for appetite becomes more effective when the patient feels less pain. CBD produces analgesic effects. It helps relieves painful conditions like arthritis, Crohn’s Disease, inflammatory bowel disease, muscles spasms, cancer pain, and even neuropathic pain. A patient who feels less pain is in a better state of mind. Not only is he feeling a lot better, but he’s also able to tolerate and enjoy food more.
- Inflammation control. Patients with Crohn’s Disease and inflammatory bowel disease suffer from chronic, low-grade inflammation of the digestive system. Their painful condition decreases their appetite and prevents them from getting the nutrients they need. Now, CBD for appetite becomes effective when inflammation is controlled. CBD produces potent anti-inflammatory effects. By controlling inflammation, the digestive system is given time to heal properly, resulting in symptom improvement.
- Anxiety relief. As mentioned earlier, mental health problems affect appetite. Now, CBD boosts mood and relieves chronic stress and anxiety. With these controlled, the patient experiences an improvement in their appetite as well.
CBD for appetite may not be as effective as THC in producing the munchies. But CBD, in its own way, also boosts appetite when it reduces the patients’ pain and discomfort.
So if you’re taking CBD oil, don’t worry too much about the munchies. CBD for appetite won’t make you uncontrollably hungry like THC does, but it can improve your appetite once your symptoms are controlled.