Marijuana is notorious for many of its side effects. It can make you giggly, sleepy, and paranoid. Arguably, its most famous side effect is the sudden increase in appetite known as ‘the munchies’. What causes this sudden spike in cravings? Is this effect common with users of CBD oil? (the short answer: no)
That ravenous increase in appetite is caused primarily by the THC present in marijuana and marijuana-derived products. The cannabinoid receptor 1 (CB1R) gets activated and this can lead to the desire to eat excessively. THC also interacts with cells within the brain, called pro-opiomelanocortin (POMC) neurons, which are supposed to inhibit hunger. THC over-stimulates the POMC neurons, essentially making them function in reverse. It is this POMC interaction that is theorized to be the main contributor to the insatiable cravings.
A severe reaction has its place in medicine and can be therapeutic. People facing extreme circumstances, such as cancer and cancer treatments, or AIDS, often go through Wasting Syndrome. Wasting Syndrome is defined as uncharacteristically large decreases in weight and body fat. In these types of patients, the appetite stimulation is incredibly beneficial as it enables them to maintain healthy caloric intake.
For the average consumer, these reactions are too extreme to be of much good.
CBD might affect your appetite but in a much more therapeutic and healthy way. CBD products contain a very small, legal quantity of THC to increase the strength of the CBD. As such, CBD products will not give you ‘the munchies’. Still, when we are stressed, depressed, in physical pain, or some combination of all of those, our appetites are often negatively affected. CBD oil and CBD-infused products have been shown to be remarkably effective with helping patients control their symptoms. Once a person has their symptoms under control they often find that their appetite returns to a balanced state.
This healthy appetite increase is far removed from the fridge-raiding behavior brought on by the effects of THC. Though CBD does stimulate the CB1 receptor, it does so in a less overwhelming fashion. Whereas THC over-stimulates, CBD regulates. CBD restores internal balance, which helps explain why some have found CBD to have appetite suppressing qualities. Many people find comfort in food while they are struggling with various issues in their lives. By using CBD to confront the root cause of these struggles, people find themselves returning to a healthier, balanced dietary routine.
Different substances affect different people in many different ways. For the average person though, CBD won’t have you tearing apart your kitchen in pursuit of some salty or sweet grail. Likewise, it shouldn’t turn you off from eating either. Should it have any effect on your appetite at all, it will most likely be helping you regulate a pre-existing issue and helping you restore internal harmony.
Author: Jeremy Hobbs