Cannabis and Stress Eating - Helps the Urge to Snack | cannabisMD

Cannabis and Stress Eating – How It Helps the Urge to Snack

Stress Eating and How Cannabis Helps

Eating Your Stress

While some people continue to scoff and say “they just need to eat less,” Well this is very unfair to those who suffer from this condition. No one says that about other substance abuse problems anymore. Stress eating is as dangerous and difficult an addiction to treat as many others.

Stress eating otherwise known as binge eating has in recent years become the most common form of eating disorder in the US. It currently affects up to 2.8 million Americans. This means it is even more common than HIV or breast cancer. It can lead can lead to sufferers contracting:

  • Diabetes
  • Heart troubles
  • Bone disease
  • Mental health disorders

However, CBD may be able to help people who suffer from this disorder get their lifestyle back on a healthy track. As with many other addictions, binge eating disorder revolves around stimulation of the reward system.

This is why CBD may be useful as a treatment. CBD interacts with the body’s endocannabinoid system which helps regulate many physical and mental functions. Through the use of use of CBD those with stress eating disorder may be able to regulate the body’s reward system.

Our Reward System and Food

Our brain works by neurotransmitters sending information via neurons. One of the most important and well known of these chemicals is dopamine. This is because it is responsible for our brain’s reward system. If you do something well or enjoy something, dopamine is the reason why. Serotonin is the neurotransmitter that modifies the level of dopamine.

While it may be called the reward system it could just as easily be known as the alive system. This is because these chemicals are released whenever we do something that helps us to survive. Whether it is eating, having sex or sleeping the chemical reaction makes us want to do it again.

In studies that were conducted on rats, scientists noticed a drastic change in their dopamine levels when given foods that were high in sugar, salt or fatty acids. This shows that our reward system could be vitally important in helping treat binge eaters.

The Danger of Positive Reinforcement

Another phrase for our body’s reward system is positive reinforcement. It is what keeps us alive. However, for some people, it can also be their downfall. When you eat the dopamine in your brain makes you feel pleasure. That means you’ll do it again and stay alive.

The only problem is if you have a dopamine or serotonin imbalance you may not be able to stop. This is the exact same problem that drug addicts suffer from. Sadly binge eating can become just as dangerous.

As with many other problems, depression can lead to people over activating their reward system to make themselves feel better. This can result in alcohol abuse, drug use or binge eating.

Many people who experience depression also suffer from stress eating. This can also become a vicious cycle as the weight gained can result in body confidence issues as well.

Types of Food Most Commonly Indulged

Overeating would not be as big of a problem if you just stuck to healthy food. it still wouldn’t be good for you, of course, no overindulgence is. The majority of people who stress eat however don’t. The body reacts most strongly to certain types of foods. One of these being high carbohydrate based.

Carbohydrates can be healthy for you. Though only if eaten in moderation. Eating too many carbs leads to insulin resistance and weight gain. Carbohydrates heavily increase the serotonin release in your brain. This is why so many people find themselves craving these foods. The serotonin release can result in people turning to food as a medicine. This is because it influences our mood, sleep, pain and blood pressure.

Dairy and sweets are probably the biggest culprits when it comes to binge eating. Everyone has probably turned to chocolate or a bucket of ice cream when they have felt down. The dopamine released by these foods, however, can be extremely difficult to resist.

Sugar has been shown to be nearly as addictive in animals as opioids and this can spell disaster for binge eaters. That is why many people are turning to CBD. It can help to reduce appetite and make cravings go away. People then have the time and opportunity to retrain themselves to be healthier.

As mentioned before, studies have shown that CBD interacts with the body’s endocannabinoid system. This, in turn, interacts with the brain’s reward system. This means CBD has been shown to help regulate both the dopamine and serotonin levels in the body and also help reduce appetite in animals.

This could lead to a major breakthrough in treating binge eating sufferers. Of course, more research is needed, especially clinical trials with human patients but the results are encouraging

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