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!

Why Does THC Stimulate Appetite?

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.

 

  • THC is an agonist of CB1 receptors - this is just a fancy way of saying that THC stimulates CB1 receptors to activate. And, since most of these receptors are found in the areas of the brain that control appetite, the natural side-effect of THC is that it increases the feeling of hunger.
  • THC increases the levels of the hunger hormone - also known as ghrelin, our hunger hormone is what produces a feeling of hunger when our stomach is empty. Without it, we wouldn’t last long as a species because we would forget to eat. Well, THC triggers the production of ghrelin regardless of the contents of our stomach. That’s why we crave mostly sweet and savory things after smoking weed, even if we did eat our dinner just an hour earlier.
  • THC is a dopamine-booster - this feel-good neurotransmitter in our brains is responsible for pleasure. Naturally, when dopamine levels are elevated, that heightens the sense of pleasure we get from things, including food. Additionally, dopamine can boost our sense of taste and smell, which is why everything tastes good when we’re in the grip of the munchies.

 

CBD & Appetite - How do They Connect?

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.

  1. CBD alleviates nausea - CBD has a calming effect on the gut and can be used to suppress nausea. If you’re not feeling nauseous, you will probably eat more as a result. This is why people who are going through chemotherapy treatment often take CBD oil (either through vaping, sublingually, or by using pills). 
  2. CBD reduces the sensation of pain - CBD interactions in the body are numerous (and various) and some of them help to reduce the sensation of pain, especially pain that’s caused by inflammatory issues. Naturally, when the pain subsides, a person’s appetite is more pronounced.

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.

Science Optimistic That CBD Could be Used for Weight Loss

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:

 

  • CBD turns bad fat into good fat - there are several different types of fatty cells. The two most common ones are white (bad) fats and brown (good) fats. Bad fats increase the risk of chronic conditions, such as diabetes, heart conditions, and inflammation. In 2016, researchers found that CBD helps the body transform bad fats into good fats through several different processes which include browning of white adipocytes, augmentation of lipolysis, thermogenesis, and reduction of lipogenesis
  • It can also help your body burn fat faster - the same research also concluded that CBD helps promote lipid metabolism, essentially speeding up the process of burning fat. Since brown fats burn off energy as heat, they are more effective when it comes to calorie loss than white fats are.

 

 

  • CBD has been shown to decrease the risk of metabolic disorders - the overactivation of the CB1 receptors in the body may be partly for the connection between obesity and several metabolic disorders, such as high cholesterol, high blood pressure, and type 2 diabetes. Treatment with CBD oil might help with this as CBD blocks the activation of CB1 receptors, which might lead to a reduction in obesity risk.

 

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.

Vaping On CBD? Don’t Worry About Weight Gain!

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).

For all your other symptom-crushing needs, check out The Kind Kart’s deluxe CBD vaping cartridges! We only used the finest Colorado-grown hemp and DON’T USE artificial carriers or diluents such as PG, PEG, VG, or Vitamin E Acetate so you’re perfectly safe in our hands!

 

 

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