With more and more people becoming aware of CBD or cannabidiol, it's being used in multiple applications because of its antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and non-psychoactive properties and potential health and wellness benefits.
Over the past few years, marijuana or CBD use has been associated with sometimes comically insatiable appetite, infamously known as the 'munchies.' Talking about CBD, it's one of the main cannabinoids derived from cannabis plants. Although unlike THC, CBD can't give you munchies, research discovered the relationship between CBD and hunger. Simply put, the cannabis compound has some influence on your appetite or hunger.
This article uncovers how CBD can affect your appetite.
Why Does an Individual Feel Hungry?
To better understand how CBD can affect your hunger or appetite, you should know how the mechanisms influence your eating habits.
The sensation of hunger can be defined as a balance of chemicals and hormones that the hypothalamus in the brain controls. Every time any external or internal influence activates the lateral thalamus, it further causes a human being to feel hunger. Moreover, the ventromedial thalamus (known for controlling satiety) is stimulated, one feels full.
Set-point theory is defined as a genetically programmed weight range that your metabolic system tries to maintain to keep your body in the optimal weight range. The hypothalamus turns on and off to maintain this ideal weight range by regulating appetite impulses.
What is an Endocannabinoid System?
The endocannabinoid system (ECS) is a complex biological system containing thousands of receptors and neurotransmitters throughout mammals' brain and nervous system. Research has shown that plant-based cannabinoids (phytocannabinoids), including CBD and THC, behave just like the cannabinoids (endocannabinoids) produced by the human body.
Endocannabinoids serve as messengers in the complex ECS system that maintains homeostasis for various physiological functions, including mood, immune response, energy, appetite, sleep, etc.
CBD regulates three components of your endocannabinoid system, including cannabinoids, CB1 and CB2 receptors, and enzymes, improving the ECS's efficiency and, thus, benefitting your overall health. Many researchers study the relationship between CBD and hunger – how the compound can influence your hunger through its unique pharmacological interactions.
How Does THC Make You Hungry?
THC is among the main cannabis components and is known for its psychoactive effect. This compound is significantly responsible for the munchies that people experience from marijuana use. The cannabinoid binds to receptors in the ECS to unlock a series of actions.
Here's how THC might increase your appetite:
- THC enhances scent and taste receptors
THC is found to be partial against the CB1 receptors in the brain. A partial against means that the compound binds to the receptor site but fails to produce the receptor's dull effects. The interaction of the CB1 receptor and THC is significantly responsible for the high feeling that shifts an individual's environmental perceptions.
Moreover, THC is researched to increase an individual's olfactory score (sense of smell), heightening sensitivity that makes food taste more pleasurable and, thus, enhances one's hunger.
- THC activates Ghrelin
The hypothalamus picks up the low-energy signals and a few neurons that stimulate appetite to inform other areas of your body that it's time to eat.
Ghrelin is the hunger hormone that the gastrointestinal tract produces. THC activates the CB1 receptor, which initiates the mammalian target of the rapamycin (mTOR) pathway, increasing Ghrelin in the blood and your appetite.
CBD and the Endocannabinoid System
CBD is reported not to cause munchies similar to THC because the compound doesn't have an affinity to bind CB1 and CB2 receptors. Therefore, CBD will affect an individual's appetite more subtly.
Rather than binding the ECS receptors in the nervous system and brain, CBD activates the release of enzymes to break down internally produced cannabinoids to let the system function efficiently. CBD might affect your appetite by regulating the endocannabinoid system and maintaining an optimum amount of endocannabinoids in your system.
If you are not following your regular eating schedule, CBD gummies with THC can help your body return to the state of homeostasis, improving your eating habits.
How Can CBD Help Boost Your Appetite?
- CBD can potentially support healthy stress response
CBD might affect your appetite by enhancing your mood and relieving your stress. Changes in your mood are reported to affect a person's eating habits directly.
When stressed, your central nervous system activates the fight-or-flight response and releases cortisol hormones into your bloodstream. The stress hormone can suppress your appetite by shifting your body's focus on energy expenditure to run or fight the potential danger.
CBD is found to increase GABA, a neurotransmitter that can help relieve stress, leading to a healthy and regular appetite.
- CBD can potentially support stomach discomfort
Animal studies show that CBD can ease stomach discomfort, such as dizziness, the urge to vomit, vertigo, etc. If you have nausea or suffer from another form of stomach discomfort, you might find it difficult to enjoy food and, thus, don't prefer having it.
CBD gummies with THC can relieve your stomach discomfort because of their anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties, improving your urge to eat and nourish your body.
How Can CBD Suppress Your Appetite?
CBD can improve hypothalamus sensitivity
The ECS helps maintain homeostasis in your body's main systems, including metabolic function. CBD can help suppress your unnecessary cravings by improving the hypothalamus' sensitivity.
CBD might improve mitochondrial function
CBD is researched to target mitochondria to regulate Ca2 levels. Mitochondria is the 'powerhouse of the cell', and improving mitochondrial function can help your body efficiently convert fat and sugars into energy. Therefore, CBD products are great for your weight loss regimen and continuing your optimal health journey.
To wrap up it all
Each individual has a different experience with CBD, depending on one's health condition, genetics, and age. Although not many research studies show how CBD affects the appetite, many people reported that regular use of CBD helped them increase or suppress their appetite.Hemp derived CBD products have a unique effect on your endocannabinoid system. Instead of binding to the main receptors, CB1 and CB2, cannabidiol increases the levels of endogenous cannabinoids, helping the endocannabinoid system regulate bodily functions, including appetite.