Appetite is a person’s desire to eat. It is not always related to hunger, sometimes we would like to eat more, even though we have just eaten lunch. Or it can be the other way around: we know we should eat, because we haven’t eaten for a while, but we just don’t feel like eating. Daily repetitions of the first situation can lead to obesity, while the second one can result in a lack of essential nutrients and health problems.
Besides hunger, there are other factors that affect appetite. Most commonly our mood and emotions stimulate or supress our appetite, depending on how every individual reacts to such emotions.
Probably we are familiar with the expression “comfort food”, a food that makes us feel better. Comfort food is usually unhealthy, packed with calories, sugar and fat, like sweets and fast food. We tend to eat comfort food when we feel stressed, with a reason to feel better.
On the other hand, the same emotions, stress and anxiety, can supress our appetite, so we do not feel like eating at all. Every individual reacts differently to stressors; the same person can even react differently in different situations.
Since appetite regulation is important for our health, it is useful to know how to stimulate and supress our appetite.
Is CBD appetite stimulant?
You might be familiar with the so-called “munchies”, a common phenomenon associated with the use of cannabis. The cannabis plant that is known for stimulating appetite and therefore causing the munchies because it contains THC, which is psychotropic. But can we stimulate appetite with cannabis, but without the high?
Some studies suggest that CBD could be appetite stimulant. Let’s look at how CBD stimulates the appetite.
CBD can promote appetite through endocannabinoid receptors in two different ways. More about the endocannabinoid system and endocannabinoid receptors you can find in this blog.
The first way is CBD’s effect on CB1 receptors, which are mostly located in the central nervous system, part of which is the brain. CBD can promote the production of certain hormones, like ghrelin, which is responsible for hunger, as well as dopamine and serotonin, which are known as “mood hormones”, which can stimulate appetite in those who are lacking it in stressful situations.
Another way is through the CBD binding directly to CB2 receptors, which are present in peripheral tissues, including the gastrointestinal system. CBD therefore plays a role in the production of saliva and stomach acid, which contribute to hunger and better digestion.
Can CBD also supress appetite?
Yes, it can.
As a CB1 receptor antagonist, CBD can reduce appetite and therefore control obesity. In addition, the stimulation of CB2 receptors results in decreased inflammation and decreased food intake, which can help reduce obesity.
It was also shown in animal studies that CBD decreases food intake and could therefore affect obesity (Farrimond, 2012).
So, does CBD stimulate or supress appetite?
Actually, it can do both. We can say that CBD regulates appetite. Which is great news, since different people react differently in stressful times. CBD can be helpful for those who crave different unhealthy foods during stressful periods, as well as for those who do not feel like eating when their stress levels are above normal.
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