Can Cannabis Help With Intermittent Fasting? | cannabisMD

Can Cannabis Help with Intermittent Fasting?

Cannabis and Intermittent Fasting

Improved brain function and reduced anxiety levels. Cannabis and intermittent fasting could be the dieting power couple.Image Credit: By Panudda on shutterstock

It may seem like another diet fat, but intermittent fasting has been around for a long time. Before it was ever known as intermittent fasting, numerous cultures and religions have been adjusting their diet for thousands of years. To this day, fasting is still widely done among religious communities.

However, where does intermittent fasting fit in today’s world? We’re more health conscious than ever, and it isn’t slowing down anytime soon. According to statistics, it’s estimated that about 45 million Americans try to diet each year. On average, this equals to $33 billion spent on weight loss, and exercise products. It’s difficult trying to stick to a diet that you hate — you’ll ultimately give up before you’ve had time to see any change — but that’s OK. Diets are usually made to fail.

Intermittent fasting isn’t a diet, so it’s easier to let go of the burden of dieting. Recently, people are wondering whether or not cannabis is going to help or destroy their fasting routine. With legalization sweeping the nation, both cannabis users and intermittent fasters are often left to experiment for themselves. However, since more research is being funded, there is more evidence to support claims.

What is Intermittent Fasting?

It’s more than just skipping meals. The way intermittent fasting works is by focusing on the body’s state of absorption. In other words, it gives your body the time to absorb the nutrients that you’ve eaten. You may hear people explaining that they feel more conscious about what they eat. It gives you time process what you’re eating — or not eating enough of — to keep your body at a healthy, functioning level.

There are different options with intermittent fasting — you don’t have to starve yourself. Some plans restrict the amount of time you have to eat in the day, while others require you to eat regularly for five days and fast for the remaining two.

For example, Alternate Day Fasting reduces how many calories to have on your ‘fasting’ days to about 500. On the days that you’re not fasting, you can continue with your normal diet. More extreme versions of this choose zero calories instead of 500 on alternate days. There’s also the 16/8 approach, 24-hour fasting, and twice a week method.

Those that adopt an intermittent fasting lifestyle have reported having more energy. Research has also found that it encourages weight loss by lowering insulin levels, lowers risks of cancer and diabetes, and improves heart and brain health.

Pros and Cons of Cannabis and Intermittent Fasting

For a long time, cannabis has been tied to weight increase. Generally, this is true. Cannabis does increase our appetite. So why would anyone think that medical marijuana can help people with intermittent fasting?

There is a chemical found in small quantities in cannabis called tetrahydrocannabivarin, or THCV for short. Surprisingly, it’s an appetite suppressor. It may sound very similar to THC, but they have the opposite effects — THC increases our appetite, and THCV suppresses it. This would mean that using THCV with an intermittent fasting regime shouldn’t risk spoiling your fasting days.

Unfortunately, this product is not available on the market yet, so appetite suppressing cannabis is a pipe dream right now. However, THCV may take a popular turn in the same way as CBD. With more cannabis compounds being explored, there could be a possibility of THCV focused strains.

Ultimately, intermittent fasting and cannabis don’t appear to be good bedfellows — unless you consider how you’re blending it in with your fasts. It’s hard to find reasons why cannabis would be beneficial for intermittent fasting, other than increasing the enjoyment of food on your days off. Otherwise — for both recreational and medicinal purposes — cannabis usually increases your appetite, making your fasting days harder to get through.

While there might be an appetite suppressor strain in the works, cannabis and intermittent fasting are not mutually beneficial.

Kerri Louise Watt
Kerri Louise Watt
Kerri Louise Watt is an experienced health and fitness advisor with 20 years of martial arts under her belt. She reports on the healthy lifestyle revolving around CBD and its future potential in fitness. You can find her work at

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