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desiree333's avatar

Can cannabis be used for appetite control?

Asked by desiree333 (3190 points ) November 25th, 2012

I have heard that overstimulation of the cannabinoid receptors (what must happen with daily enthusiasts) can develop a decreased appetite in individuals. I have also heard that cannabis only works as an appetite stimulant if used sparingly. Unfortunately, the only research articles I can find are about the opposite (a.k.a appetite stimulant/anti nausea in cancer patents). I notice from personal experience that I now eat much more sensibly while medicated, but always tend to eat something at the time no matter what. While sober I have noticed my appetite gone down considerably. However, this could also be due to stress and not finding time to eat as often.
Does anybody have information on this?

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15 Answers

deni's avatar

I did some googling and found nothing to prove that theory. Also judging from my own personal experience and those around me, I’ve never met anyone including myself who doesn’t want to eat more while they’re high. Literally probably the number one thing associated with weed and it’s effects is the munchies. For good reason.

You say that might happen with daily enthusiasts over a long period of time. I’ve been a daily enthusiast for several years, and have not had that experience, but maybe if you mean much longer term like 10–20 years of daily use, that could be right. But I have no idea, have never heard that, and can’t find much on the web to back that up.

downtide's avatar

Cannabis reduces blood sugar levels, causing an increase in appetite, not a decrease. I can only imagine that for a regular user suddenly stopping cannabis use, that would lead to a decrease in appetite.

marinelife's avatar

No, it cannot.

Response moderated (Unhelpful)
philosopher's avatar

Marijuana makes you eat more not less.
I have not smoked since college. The down side was always hunger.

desiree333's avatar

@deni I know someone who is a daily user (for about 3 years). She has actually lost some weight and says she has no appetite anymore UNLESS she’s high. So, just to clarify (sorry I didn’t word my question well), maybe cannabis can reduce the appetite while not medicated. I did some more research and I found a good article. So, THC gives you the munchies, but there is also another component called THCV. It has a blocking effect, and does just the opposite of THC. Maybe if one could find some strains with high THCV, it could help with weight management. There is also a pharmaceutical drug called Rimonabant, which blocks the receptors in the cannabinoid compounds. Pakistani cannabis is said to have an equal amount of both drugs, according to the article. This is really interesting. I hope others find more evidence :)

deni's avatar

@desiree333 That is what I was going to say, I bet you could find a specific strain that might reduce appetite. However when I googled I was reading about both sativas and indicas and under effects both list increased appetite so, who knows. Keep us updated if you do find a strain that does that!

KNOWITALL's avatar

Not that I’m aware of. THC and synthetic THC made my mom have an appetite so she could eat with cancer, she just wasn’t hungry at all and barfing from chemo. Lots of dr’s prescribe it here for cancer issues or AIDS. I would LOVE to find that skinny strain!!!

desiree333's avatar

@KNOWITALL I’ve watched a documentary that talked about Marinol (spelling?). It’s an anti-nausea drug used for cancer/AIDS, perhaps your mother was taking it? Anyways, it’s not very effective for many, because synthetic THC just simply doesn’t work the way consuming the crude plant matter does. But, when it comes to the skinny strain I was referring to THCV, not THC. Hopefully there will be further research on this component of the drug. Maybe it will be more effective synthetically compared to the isolation of the THC molecule.

El_Cadejo's avatar

@desiree333 I would say in my experience with marijuana I find I often have a decreased appetite while sober compared to how I was before I became a regular smoker. Smoking still gives me an appetite(munchies) which most people are talking about but this question is about while sober. I’ve found that I can often go very long periods of time (8–10 hr) without eating and not really being hungry until I smoke. I also smoke cigarettes though which are a known appetite suppressant so I’m not sure how much is due to the cannabis vs the tobacco use.

Can you post that article you were referring to above? I’d like to read it.

KNOWITALL's avatar

desiree333 Perhaps that was it. She said it didn’t get you high but it increased appetite, which at the time was great for her. She had to quit taking it once her appetite came back and the cancer left…I am very appreciative whatever it was.

desiree333's avatar

@uberbatman Here it is. I completely agree with you, simply do not get hungry as much unless I am actually medicated at the time. While I’m smoking I do get the munchies every time. Except, even small amounts of food seem so large and rich, I cannot eat as much as the media portrays the munchies. It all has to do with the balance of THC and THCV in the specific strain probably. Also I do not smoke cigarettes.

@KNOWITALL Marinol has mixed results when it comes to whether it makes you high. Some say yes, some no. It may depend on dosage, frequency, and the length of time you have been taking it. That’s great that it worked for your mum though. I have definitely heard mostly negative things about it, so I suppose she was lucky!

El_Cadejo's avatar

@desiree333 “Except, even small amounts of food seem so large and rich, I cannot eat as much as the media portrays the munchies” Yeaaa my eyes are usually much much larger than my stomach at this point lol. Some times I seriously chow down and eat everything in sight, though I’ve been like this since I was a little kid :P

Interesting article, shame it’s so short. I’m interested in finding out why THCV doesn’t attempt to bind to your cannabiod receptors at the same time THC does. I suppose THC out competes it for the receptor, but then its interesting that THCV is able to hang around long enough to bind after the THC is metabolized. Definitely more research needed here.

desiree333's avatar

@uberbatman Definitely more research needed for cannabis in general haha. Now to only hope for science to actually be geared towards science instead of profit for once.

El_Cadejo's avatar

@desiree333 I agree. As someone who is obviously pro marijuana I’d love to see more research done just so we can finally prove half the shit people have been saying for ages but haven’t been able to back up due to lack of study. I’d also like to see some of the pro marijuana myths shown to be what they are, myths. I think we have a rather poor understanding of illicit drugs in general and until some serious research is done its just all he said she said bs. THATS NOT SCIENCE DAMNIT! :P

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