A strong appetite is vital to a strong body, but will taking CBD increase your appetite when your body doesn’t actually need the additional nourishment? There are many reasons why appetites go up and down, but CBD has little to no effect, here’s why:
Commonly referred to as the “munchies,” increased appetite from cannabis is generally caused by the chemical compound THC, found in large quantities in the marijuana plant. Comparatively, CBD (most abundant in hemp) does not directly cause your hunger to skyrocket. The reason for this has a lot to do with the hypothalamus. Here’s a quick rundown:
- The hypothalamus is the part of your brain that houses the appetite center.
- In this part of your brain, there are neurons that fire off chemicals that say “Hey, we’re full!” making you feel satiated and turning off the “hungry” switch.
- Because of the way that THC binds directly to CB1 receptors in the brain, it overrides this switch, and the message that you’re full (or not hungry) doesn’t fire off.
Unlike THC, CBD does not bind directly to the CB1 receptor in the brain. This matters because it’s the way in which the CB1 brain receptor is stimulated that determines whether “huger” chemicals get released. The result? You won’t be rifling the cupboards for an unnecessary snack if you take CBD!
“But What If I Want An Increased Appetite?”
For many people who have either lost their appetite or lost weight due to a health issue or because of medications they are taking, CBD could support you indirectly. For example, feeling out of balance in life can affect the digestive system and often prevent people from enjoying the food they eat—because CBD helps release tension it has an indirect impact on boosting appetite.
Similarly, because of the way CBD can nurture and revive your body, not only does this give the digestive system the space to revive—when you feel relieved and aren’t consumed by discomfort, you’re more likely to gain back your desire for food. So, if you bring your body back to balance, it makes sense that you might then experience being able to bring your previously low appetite or weight back to a balanced level.
On the other hand, if you’re someone who is looking for a rapid way to gain weight and increase your Body Mass Index, THC could be helpful. Not only is it said to stimulate appetite, but THC also promotes energy to be deposited and stored as fat in the body’s tissues.
Whether or not you’re looking to increase your appetite, taking CBD will not superficially boost your hunger, nor will it lead to unwanted weight gain. So if you’re taking CBD, you don’t need to worry about the “munchies”—CBD won’t cause you to raid the fridge like THC might, but it can improve your appetite once your body is brought back to equilibrium.