If you’ve ever tried weed, you probably break into a sweat whenever you hear the word munchies. That insatiable desire to gobble up anything and everything after lighting a spliff is one of the reasons why convenience stores like 7-Eleven are open in the wee hours of the night (and why they sell more candy than cigarettes and beer in that timeframe). There are several cannabinoids in weed that can cause munchies and boost appetite, of which THC is the most effective one. On the other hand, CBD is very different from THC - it doesn’t cause a high, and it binds with totally different CB receptors in our bodies. But, can CBD also make you hungry?
Here’s a quick and dirty answer for you - no, vaping on CBD won’t make you crave food. You won’t get the munchies from taking CBD. However, CBD can help those people who have certain problems with eating and appetite to eat a bit more by quelling nausea and reducing pain.
Let’s take a look at what the science tells us!
Because cannabis was (and still is) outlawed in many countries in the world, research into cannabinoids is still in its infancy.
At the time of writing this, we’ve discovered more than 100 different cannabinoids in the cannabis plant alone. For most, the scientist did little more than to name them.
But, that’s not true of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD), which have both been thoroughly researched in recent years (although both were discovered some 80 years ago, during the 1940s).
The appetite-boosting properties of weed have been noticed in ancient times. The Vedas - holy Brahmanic texts originating from India - list “the sharpening of appetite” as one of the benefits of drinking cannabis-infused teas and mixtures.
Today, we know that it’s the THC content in the cannabis plant that is responsible for that appetite boost.
There are 3 ways in which THC acts on our body to induce the feeling of hunger and to cause munchies. According to an interview that Dr. George Kunos, scientific director at the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism in the National Institutes of Health, gave for the Washington Post, it’s the combination of all 3 three things that makes THC such a strong trigger when it comes to the feeling of hunger.
Unlike THC, which is an agonist of CB1 receptors in our bodies, CBD has a completely different role to fill.
Cannabidiol doesn’t affect the CB1 receptors in quite the same way as THC. CBD has a greater affinity to CB2 receptors, which are not located in the part of the brain where hunger and appetite are regulated. In fact, when CBD does interact with the CB1 receptors, it’s an antagonist because it prevents THC from binding with CB1 and triggering an appetite-boosting reaction.
But, although CBD will not cause you to feel hungry, this does not mean that it doesn’t have a part to play when it comes to appetite.
Nutrition experts and CBD researchers all agree that the role of CBD when it comes to appetite can be complicated. Although it does not directly make you hungry, CBD can still boost your appetite in several different ways.
So while CBD does not cause hunger in the same way that THC does, it’s still a useful cannabinoid for people fighting cancer, AIDS, GERD, and similar diseases for which one of the symptoms is the loss of appetite.
Let us preface this by saying that there are much better ways to lose weight than by vaping on excessive amounts of CBD.
Why do we say that?
Because, in recent years, CBD has evolved into a sort of panacea - a drug that cures all. While we strongly believe in the health benefits of using CBD vape oil, we want to emphasize that scientists are still working on establishing a clear-cut link between using CBD and losing weight.
However, the studies that have been done so far (none double-blind, and just a few of them on human subjects) are looking promising.
Here’s what those studies on CBD and weight loss tell us:
This is not news to anyone who’s been smoking pot regularly. By and large, weed users are a lanky group, and you’ll rarely see someone who lights up regularly gain a lot of weight. Researchers believe that this is because both THC and CBD suppress CB1 receptors when in high doses, meaning that the body achieves some sort of equilibrium, at least when weight is in question.
If you’re worried that CBD will make you gain weight, there’s nothing that you should be concerned about. As long as you’re only using CBD and not THC, you won’t have to deal with munchies and binge eating.
This doesn’t mean that you can eat what you want! CBD and weight gain might be connected but we still don’t know how to use this cannabinoid in the best way to effectively lose weight. If you’re putting all your weight loss eggs into this basket, you might get disappointed so we suggest combining CBD with some restraint from food (which is, after all, the healthiest way to lose weight in the long-term).
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