Does CBD Induce Hunger?

Does CBD Induce Hunger?

If you’re considering CBD while also trying to lose weight, you may be concerned that CBD will make you eat more. We’re far from the first to tackle this question. Does CBD induce hunger? The governmental research body, PubMed, asked it way back in 2009 with this article.  Cannabis is widely known for its appetite-boosting properties. Many people don’t realize that the plant family is comprised of hundreds of compounds, and not all of them are capable of giving you ‘the munchies’.

Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD) are the two most widely-studied compounds of the cannabis plant. While THC is known for its psychoactive effects, it is equally well-known for its ability to trigger hunger. Because CBD and THC are both popular cannabinoids, the two can sometimes be conflated.

How Does Cannabis Cause Increased Appetite?

The two primary plants in the cannabis family are hemp and marijuana.  Contrary to what many believe, they are not the same plant.  Once of the differences is the amount of THC and CBD found in them.  Marijuana contains more THC, while hemp contains more CBD.  THC is directly responsible for stimulating appetite in the human body. It does so by binding and interacting with the CB1 receptors in the endocannabinoid system. In contrast to CB2 receptors (which are mostly found in the peripheral organs), CB1 receptors are concentrated in the brain and central nervous system.

The CB1 receptors play a large role in regulating hunger and appetite. In fact, they can be found in areas of the brain that influence the way we feel and perceive food. These areas include the hypothalamus and basal ganglia. The hypothalamus regulates appetite and controls the onset of sensations like hunger and thirst. The basal ganglia is the reward system of the brain and it creates the sensation of pleasure derived from eating.

In addition to interacting with CB1 receptors, THC also stimulates the production of a hormone known as ghrelin. Ghrelin is a hunger hormone that is released when the stomach is empty. When ghrelin is produced when the stomach isn’t empty, you can feel hungry even when you’re not.

It is through the above interactions that THC triggers appetite when introduced into the body. Unlike THC, CBD primarily interacts with the CB2 receptors and does not interact with the CB1 receptors the same way THC does. This means that CBD won’t get you high and also won’t lead to the feeling of having the munchies.

Does CBD Impact Appetite?

Studies surrounding CBD and appetite have yielded mixed results. In a study of 117 children being treated with CBD for epilepsy, 30% of parents reported a significant increase in their child’s appetite. Additionally, a review of 2,409 people who used CBD found that 6.35% of study participants experienced increased hunger as a side effect. On the other hand, a study of 23 children with Dravet syndrome being treated with CBD found that some children experienced increases in appetite while others experienced decreases. A 2012 study by the University of Reading also observed that cannabidiol could diminish food cravings by suppressing our body’s pleasure signals.

While CBD doesn’t induce the munchies, it does still interact with the endocannabinoid system, which is responsible for balancing many important functions. If your body is out of balance the result could be an overactive or underactive appetite, in which case, CBD could help to stimulate increases or decreases in appetite.

In fact, the endocannabinoid system has been found to be largely responsible for controlling gut functions. Maintaining gut health is incredibly important for overall health and well-being. The gut communicates directly with the brain and also influences the immune system, mood level, and more. When your gut is not healthy the following conditions could arise:

  • Brain fog
  • Weight gain
  • Digestive issues like bloating and cramps
  • Constipation
  • Loose bowel movements
  • Food allergies
  • Trouble sleeping
  • Feelings of exhaustion

CB1 and CB2 receptors help regulate inflammation in the gut. The endocannabinoid system also aids in helping the gut communicate with the brain. Thus CBD could help to improve gut health, which could indirectly result in healthy weight gain or healthy weight loss if appetite was out of balance.

CBD and Weight Loss

Now that we know that CBD will not likely make you hungry, the next question is “can it help me lose weight?”  Again, the answer is a resounding “maybe.” If we circle back to the endocannabinoid system, we know that it’s all about balance.  CBD works with that system to get it back to a neutral state, which may lead to weight loss, depending on the system and the issue.  A test tube study also found that an active endocannabinoid system may lead to “brown” fat in your body, which is the fat in our bodies that burns calories.  This is preferable to “white” fat, which is the predominant fat responsible for storing energy and cushioning organs.  It’s also the type of fat most associated with chronic illness.

Summary on CBD Effects on Hunger

Unlike THC, CBD will not give you ‘the munchies’. CBD interacts with the endocannabinoid system, which helps to balance many important bodily functions, including appetite. If your body is out of balance, the result could be an overactive or underactive appetite, in which case, CBD could have an effect on appetite.

CBD may promote weight loss or gain through that system. Research is limited and more human studies are definitely needed.

Not All CBD Is Created Equal

It’s important to note that not all CBD is the same. If you’re interested in trying CBD, you’ll want to buy CBD products that are both legal and safe. Green Wellness Life was founded with the goal of being the most trusted hemp-based CBD provider on the internet. All of our products are independently tested in third party labs to ensure there are no contaminants, the CBD levels listed on the product are accurate, and the THC level is below 0.3%. All of the lab results for each of our products are available on the site.

We aren’t healthcare professionals and cannot diagnose or treat any medical condition, but we can offer you the latest research on the science of CBD. Be sure to consult with your doctor before adding CBD or any supplement to your routine.

You can use our product finder to find the product that will best suit your needs. Our staff is more than happy to assist you in your search. You can contact us by calling 866-244-4223 or by filling out a contact form.


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