When you think of weight loss and diets you think Atkins diet, vegan diet, working out in the gym or even fasting. The last thing you may think of is a diet connected to cannabis. Why? Well cannabis is usually attributed to increased binge eating or “having the munchies” as it is known. However, the problem with this is that the munchies stereotype is always connected to the cannabis user that takes cannabis to get high and the “munchies” is a hunger related side effect.
This is not necessarily the case for everyone. More studies are showing us that cannabis can improve our appetite and help us lose weight while using cannabis based treatments that include CBD (cannabidiol) or medical cannabis without getting the user/patient high. This means people with eating disorders such as anorexia may have an aid in helping them battle their serious eating disorders in the near future.
It is still down to the individual to eat better food and exercise. Any potential cannabis treatment can be treated like any other. It won’t cure anything without positive actions from the person concerned.
It has been discovered that THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) the cannabinoid in cannabis that gets you high can decrease the weight of obese mice during a recent study but not have any effect on mice who where considered to be regular weight. In this case THC was given over a period of time before the results could be recorded. In this case it would appear THC can halt the feeling of hunger which can lead to less eating and gradual weight loss.
This has lead a number of key researchers in the field of cannabis such as Cannabinologist Dr. Sunil Aggarwal to state that there is a connection between weight loss and the use of cannabis.
Dr. Aggarwal also states, “This association holds even after controlling for other variables.” This is to say these results have held true regardless of sample size or factors like age and gender.
Though, opposingly, there is some evidence suggesting that the impact cannabis has on weight function is more complicated than Aggarwal indicates. Didier Jutras-Aswad, a professor of neuroscience at University of Montreal, has studied how cannabis impacts the neurobiological circuits controlling appetite.
He asserts, “it is known … that cannabis causes temporary increase in appetite,” which can indeed lead to weight gain. However, he conceded that “as to whether it actually causes weight gain in the long term, the available data is limited.”
THCV The Weight Loss Cannabinoid?
Tetrahydrocannabivarin (THCV), a cannabinoid specifically effective in fighting obesity, is very similar to tetrahydrocannabinol (THC); THCV is THC’s propyl cannabinoid cousin. Their chemical structure is nearly identical, but the process of their creation is slightly different.
THCV is currently being studied for its use as an appetite suppressant and through this research we should discover why cannabis users on average are slimmer than others. It is currently being theorized that THCV blocks the sensations we experience when eating which could lead to users thinking less about food when they use it in future. However, THCV from cannabis should not be considered as a means to treat eating disorders or improve appetite as it may have adverse effects on users with underlying conditions such as diabetes.