It’s well known that THC gives you the munchies, but what about CBD?
Whether you’re enjoying CBD gummies or using CBD oil to help with anxiety, you might experience a change in your appetite. However, CBD doesn’t have the same relationship to appetite as THC. CBD can increase, or decrease, your appetite depending on factors including your medical condition, mental health, and how you enjoy CBD.
Let’s take a look at how CBD affects your hunger.
Quick Facts: How Does Appetite Even Work?
Appetite is one of the most complicated subjects when it comes to how we think and feel about our food. Appetite goes beyond simple hunger and encompasses everything from social and political attitudes towards food to medical conditions that can impact our desire to eat.
Our appetite is governed by several systems throughout the body. The hypothalamus, limbic system, and hind-brain all play a role in how our appetite works. Hormones like Grhelin, which stimulates hunger, and Leptin, which lets us know we are full, act as chemical messengers for appetite in the body.
Then there are more nuanced and complex issues. Every culture has rules about which foods are acceptable and rules that govern when and how we eat. There are also personal factors like medical conditions and even food aversion which can be caused by food poisoning or just a traumatic experience associated with a particular food.
Needless to say, appetite is a complex subject. There are countless factors that go into stimulating our desire to eat and one of those is cannabis.
We all know that old-fashioned THC gives you the munchies, but what about its fellow cannabinoid CBD?
Does CBD Make You Hungry—Not Always
CBD products, like CBD gummies, oil, and vape cartridges, can have an impact on our appetite. However, this is different from person to person depending on an individual’s specific biology, psychology, and relationship to CBD in general. Let’s quickly unpack some of the logic and science behind how CBD can have an effect on your appetite.
CBD does not have a one-to-one relationship with appetite like THC does. THC stimulates appetite across the board and has been used since the 1990s as an official treatment for appetite loss. CBD, on the other hand, can only indirectly impact our appetite.
CBD, like all cannabinoids, acts on the body’s endocannabinoid system.The endocannabinoid system is a vital part of our central nervous system that uses naturally occurring cannabinoid substances to send signals throughout the body. CBD can stimulate or suppress activity in the endocannabinoid system.
This is the process that causes all of the benefits that we associate with CBD. CBD is well-known for helping individuals manage anxiety, depression, and even pain.
This can change an individual’s appetite as these conditions improve. Individuals with depression often struggle to eat on a regular basis and, as CBD lessons the impact of depression, appetite can return.
Before we dig too much deeper into CBD and appetite, let’s take a look at how the OG cannabinoid helps stimulate our hunger.
How THC Stimulates Appetite
CBD is still a relatively new product on the marketplace. This means that research into how CBD affects the human nervous system is still ongoing. However, the research into THC is much more clear.
Researchers know that THC binds with the CB1 receptor in the endocannabinoid system. When THC binds with the CB1 receptor, that receptor releases a hormone that stimulates hunger.
This is why you get the munchies after enjoying cannabis products or products that contain THC. This is also why the munchies get more intense as you increase your THC dosage.
This is why moderate dosing of THC has been so successful for stimulating appetite. Even a small amount of THC can stimulate appetite without causing a very strong high.
Since CBD can only affect appetite indirectly, let’s look at a few ways CBD can interact with our desire for food.
Three Ways CBD Can Boost Appetite
Much like its more famous cousin THC, CBD is capable of boosting your appetite. However, this is a side effect caused by CBD’s ability to relieve certain medical conditions
Here are a few ways that CBD can improve your appetite.
- CBD Relieves Nausea
Even though Research into CBD is still very new, one of its most established properties is the ability to reduce nausea.
Nausea isn’t a sickness on its own, but is in fact a symptom of other medical conditions or illnesses. With that said, nausea is capable of stopping an appetite dead in its tracks. Even a healthy individual with a strong appetite can experience sudden appetite loss due to nausea.
CBD relieves nausea very effectively. This means it can remove a physical condition that is blocking your appetite. CBD isn’t directly causing your appetite to increase, but rather it’s removing an obstacle that prevents your appetite from being as strong as it could be.
It doesn’t even have to be this extreme. CBD is capable of resolving minor stomach ailments and even light dizziness. Calming an upset stomach is a great way to help get an appetite back on its feet.
- Relieving Stress and Anxiety
CBD is also well-known for its ability to relieve stress and anxiety. The research into this is still ongoing, but early results are showing that CBD is effective in helping people manage anxiety. This has a direct impact on stimulating appetites.
Anxiety and stress work by releasing a hormone known as cortisol into the blood. Cortisol is the naturally occurring chemical that’s largely responsible for our fight or flight response. The sweating, racing heart, and general jitteriness that come with anxiety is a direct result of cortisol getting us ready to respond to a threat.
However, we’re a long way from the days of early hominids running from large predatory cats. Today, we’re more likely to get a rush of anxiety from a stressful meeting than we are running from a wild animal.
One of the side effects of cortisol is that it works by suppressing your appetite. Anxiety ramps you up for action—not snacks. The energy you would use to eat some food is instead redirected into getting ready to run for your life.
CBD relieves this anxiety and frees up the tension in your body. This not only improves appetite by dropping cortisol levels, but also makes you more emotionally comforted which helps promote a healthy appetite as well.
- CBD and Mental Health
CBD is also building a strong reputation as an excellent way for treating certain types of depression. Depression has a direct impact on her appetite, but it might not be as direct as you might think.
It’s very common for depression to suppress appetite. Depression generally lowers physical and mental activity and one of the effects of that is that it becomes more difficult to go seek out food. CBD can relieve some of this depression which helps promote a healthy appetite.
However, changes in emotion can have hard to predict impacts on your appetite. Let’s take a look at some of the ways that CBD you can also suppress appetite
Two Ways CBD Suppresses Appetite
CBD gummies and CBD oil can also suppress appetite. This might be a useful distinction between CBD and THC. There are plenty of individuals who are looking to keep their appetite in line to improve their overall health and CBD could play an important role in achieving those medical goals.
Here are two ways that CBD can actually keep your appetite in check.
- CBD Can Give You a Mental Health Boost
We’re going to start right where we left off. For the same reasons that CBD can increase your appetite, it can also lower your appetite. While this might seem counterintuitive on the surface, it actually makes sense when you give it a closer look.
If you’ve ever gone through a bout of depression and dove into your favorite sugary snacks to give yourself a little emotional boost or caught yourself stress eating during a difficult time, you know that these mental health conditions don’t always suppress appetite.
Depression, anxiety, and stress can all create sudden spikes in appetite. This is often for unhealthy, sugary snacks rather than peas and carrots.
CBD is able to relieve these conditions which sets your appetite back to normal. This could mean lowering your appetite if how you’ve experienced depression or stress has increased it.
- Increasing Hypothalamus Sensitivity
CBD has also been linked to a unique ability to make our hypothalamus more sensitive to external stimulation. You might think that a sensitive hypothalamus would boost appetite, but it actually makes it more receptive to the state of our bodies and the meals we are getting.
This means that CBD can suppress appetite by making our hypothalamus work more efficiently. When the hypothalamus is more aware of our current condition, it tends to slow things down and decrease an otherwise ravenous appetite.
Alternatives to CBD for Appetite
If you’re looking for something with more concrete results when it comes to appetite, you can always try one of CBD’s close cannabinoid cousins.
Essentially, any THC cannabinoid is perfectly capable of increasing your appetite. This includes both Delta 8-THC and Delta 9-THC. They both have a strong record with boosting appetite and stimulating hunger.
Then there’s CBG. Better known as cannabigerol, CBG is the precursor to both CBD and THC. It’s been shown to be a safe appetite stimulant, but research is less clear than with the ever popular THC.
Wrapping Up CBD and the Munchies
CBD does not boost or suppress your appetite. Rather, you can think about CBD as leveling off a listing ship. It will help relieve the underlying medical conditions that are either causing your appetite to work overtime or be a little sluggish.
CBD gummies and CBD oil are both great alternatives for people who are looking to experience the benefits of CBD for their appetite.