Does CBD Make You Hungry and Increase Appetite?
Over the years, using cannabis has come to be associated with hunger. Interestingly enough, even though cannabis fans are significantly less likely to become overweight, the overwhelming craving for food that many people users experience after ingesting THC has become a pop-culture meme and a seemingly undeniable truth of the cannabis experience.
That being said, if you’ve ever been curious if CBD makes you hungry, you came to the right place. In this post, we’ll provide you with all the information and evidence currently available on the relationship between this beneficial compound and hunger.
Does CBD Increase Your Appetite?
Let’s cut to the chase: when it boils down to CBD oil and your appetite, the research is divided. Some evidence points towards CBD’s potential weight loss benefits, while other indications suggest that CBD can indeed increase appetite.
To explain further, let’s first explain what exactly is appetite.
Your digestive system is designed to send signals to your brain when it’s time to eat and drink, and when these signals general a psychological feeling that you should eat soon -- you’ve developed an appetite.
Now, to be clear, appetite is different from hunger, which is a feeling that’s generated by the absence of food in your digestive tract. As a result, you can have a powerful appetite for food even when you’re not necessarily hungry.
For example, when your meeting friends or at a work event. Even if you’ve eaten beforehand, you’ll likely indulge in the tasty food or snacks being passed around. In this scenario, it’s not the physical need for food that drives us, but a physiological one. This is the type of appetite that is commonly associated with cannabis use.
What Does The Research Say About CBD?
With this definition of appetite in mind, let’s explore some of the current evidence regarding CBD’s ability to make you feel like eating.
Studies on CBD and Appetite
A two-week animal study found that CBD reduced body weight, and the researchers further found that higher concentrations of CBD offered the most profound weight loss effects. In another study, researchers found that CBD reduced food intake, while its cousins -- both cannabigerol (CBG) and cannabinol (CBN) -- increased food intake.
Where they may be sound evidence that CBD can help you to lose weight, there’s also contradictory evidence that shows its use may trigger weight gain. In one recent study, as many as 6.35% of participants experienced increased hunger as a side effect after taking CBD. At the same time, a second study revealed that up to a whopping 30% of participants experienced increased appetite as a primary side effect.
In other words -- CBD may affect appetite differently in different individuals.
Why Does THC Stimulate Appetite?
THC produces the well-known food cravings (a.k.a. the munchies) through a few different mechanisms:
First, THC increases the hormone ghrelin, which causes you to feel hungry. If your stomach is empty, you tend to produce more of this hunger hormone, which tells your brain to generate the sensation of hunger. But THC can increase ghrelin and trigger the feeling of hunger -- even if your stomach isn’t empty.
Second, THC hits a part of the brain that controls hunger. The appetite-promotion effect of THC is mediated by CB1 receptors located in areas of your brain involved in -- you guessed it -- appetite control.
And third, THC boosts dopamine, the “feel-good” chemical in the brain -- so you get more pleasure from eating. THC can increase the sense of taste and smell, so users are more inclined to want to eat.
What About CBD?
Research shows that, unlike THC, CBD addresses appetite more indirectly. Using the non-intoxicating compound for appetite effects may bring about different results.
Rather than interacting and influencing your body’s hunger hormone, CBD can affect other areas of the body that could, in turn, influence your appetite. This is a simple explanation for CBD oil appetite stimulation.
For instance, one of CBD’s potential effects is promoting focus and energy. When an individual is energetic, there’s a high likelihood of participating in strenuous activities like exercising. And after anyone has completed a solid workout, they tend to feel hungry.
When CBD oil helps you to concentrate and focus, you’re working your brain to work more efficiently to get work done. This will require your brain to consume more fuel which can result in feelings of hunger.
Can CBD Help with Weight Loss?
Although CBD oil doesn’t necessarily have a direct effect on one’s appetite, it can still influence the human body and the way it functions. Here’s how:
May Reduce Food Intake and Boost Metabolism
Early studies suggest that CBD may reduce food intake and boost metabolism -- which, in turn, could promote weight loss.
An animal study using rats indicated the CBD affects weight by interacting with CB1 and CB2 receptors in the brain and lymphoid tissue. These essential receptors are thought to play important roles in food intake and metabolism. In the study, the tiny animals were injected with CBD daily at doses of 1.1 and 2.3 mg per pound of body weight. Both doses produced significant reductions in body weight, with the higher dose having the most pronounced effect.
Now, it is important to note that CBD was injected -- not given orally. That being said, researchers are not yet sure if the way it’s administered will change the results.
May Promote “Browning” Of Fat Cells
Did you know that there are two types of fat -- white and brown -- that exist in your body? White fat is the predominant form and is responsible for storing and supplying energy while insulating and cushioning your organs. It’s also the type of fat most associated with chronic illnesses when accumulated in excess.
On the flip side, brown fat is responsible for generating heat by burning calories. People with a healthy weight tend to have more brown fat than overweight individuals.
You can convert white fat to brown by getting adequate sleep and exercising, as well as exposing yourself to cold temperatures. Interestingly, research shows that CBD may aid this process. According to a test-tube study, researchers found that CBD led to “browning” in white fat cells and enhanced the expression of specific proteins and genes that promote brown fat. However, this research is still in its infancy, and human trials are needed to confirm these effects.
So, does CBD make you hungry? Can it increase appetite?
Appetite is a complex mechanism. Considering the nuances of CBD and the diversity of our built-in regulatory system -- the endocannabinoid system -- there’s still a lot to learn about how the beneficial oil can affect us, including whether or not it can stimulate appetite.
It’s important to realize that our relationship with food is just as emotional as it is physical. While CBD may affect appetite differently in different people, including it as part of a healthy diet provides an excellent start to your wellness journey!
If you’re thinking about trying CBD oil, we’re happy to help.
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