When it comes to CBD, one of the most commonly asked questions is “Does CBD make you hungry?” While, most people are aware that cannabis consumption can affect your appetite, with the phenomenon commonly known as “the munchies”, fewer people are aware of why this effect actually occurs.
Due to this lack of understanding, and because cannabidiol (CBD) is a compound found in the cannabis plant, many have made the assumption that CBD would also increase a person’s appetite when consumed.
However, research on the cannabis plant has shed more light on our understanding of the effects of cannabis and why it can increase a person’s appetite.
Cannabis and Hunger
The cannabis plant contains more than 100 different cannabinoids, including it’s two most famous, CBD and THC. Both compounds interact with our body’s endocannabinoid system but they both have very different effects on your body and brain.
As mentioned, cannabis is well-known for increasing appetite and scientific analysis has helped to explain the differences between THC and CBD and why they have countering effects on appetite.
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Does THC Make you Hungry?
THC is best known as the cannabinoid that causes the “high” effect when cannabis enters the bloodstream.
Research conducted on the plant has revealed that THC stimulates your ECS (endocannabinoid system) a vital homeostatic regulator in our body that plays a role in many of our physiological systems.
When cannabis is consumed, THC binds directly to the CB1 endocannabinoid receptor that is part of your ECS. Stimulation of your CB1 receptors has a appetite increasing effect, which causes those so-called ‘munchies’.
Janice Newell Bissex, a registered dietitian has stated that;
"THC interacts with receptors in our brain that regulate emotions, pain and our sense of smell and taste," "It can also promote the release of the hormone ghrelin, which stimulates hunger."
Meanwhile, other research has suggested that by binding to receptors in the olfactory bulb in the brain, THC appears to heighten our sensitivity to smell, which would make the aromas from food stronger and have the effect of increasing appetite.
Does CBD Make you Hungry?
While we now understand that THC can cause an increase in appetite, “You may still be wondering, does CBD make you hungry?”
Well, research has helped us to understand why CBD does NOT cause the same increase in hunger as THC. When cannabis or CBD are consumed, the compound cannabidiol (CBD) does not bind directly to the CB1 receptor in the same way that THC does, so it will not give users “the munchies” nor is it effective as a way to increase appetite in the same way that THC is.
In fact, CBD acts as an antagonist of the CB1 receptor, so, in effect, it actually helps to reduce THC’s appetite stimulating effects.
Research has shown that high CBD strains of cannabis do not produce the same appetite increasing effect that high THC strains do.
The same study also revealed that one of the potential side effects of CBD is reduced appetite.
CBD is thought to have many potential therapeutic benefits while not causing any high or psychotropic effect and despite its association with cannabis, CBD will not directly increase your appetite or cause “the munchie effect”.
However, it is a common school of thought that because CBD could potentially help with a number of different ailments, it would also have the effect of increasing appetite in people who are suffering from health conditions.
When those who take CBD experience an improvement in their symptoms, they are also likely to see an improvement in their appetite.
CBD’s opposite effect on the CB1 receptor means it does NOT increase appetite. However, CBD could potentially help to reduce symptoms to particular ailments or conditions, that could also potentially help to improve that person’s appetite.
So, the next time someone asks “Does CBD make you hungry?”, you can use science to answer their questions.