We already know that cannabis has over 100 cannabinoids and among these THC and CBD are amongst the well-used and most popular. However, just because they are both derived from cannabis plant does not mean they have the same properties. Well for one, the most popular distinction between the two are their mind altering properties. Unlike THC, CBD does not make you high – a big reason in the uptick of CBD.
While there are obviously some key differences between THC and CBD, the one question that many might consider is, “Does CBD make you hungry?”
Let us take a closer look at the interaction of CBD with metabolism and the tendency to give you “the munchies” and break down how similar or dissimilar CBD and THC are in this regard.
But first, let us clarify how they THC and CBD in other ways.
THC to CBD Jump
The mind altering effects of THC has influenced many to make the jump to CBD products which can be used with ease without any worry of it causing paranoia and psychoactive effects. Then there is also the fact that THC products are not exactly legal in the UK. To be precise any CBD product that you find on the market (ahem! if they are legally sourced) are legal if they have under 0.2% THC. This is because THC’s use for non-medical purposes is illegal in the UK with it being classified as a Class B drug.
Why does cannabis make you hungry
Before we dive in to answer this question, lets first establish why THC stimulate appetitive in the first place.
It is not secret for anyone who has tried cannabis with high THC levels that it tends to stimulate the appetite, especially for sweet and savoury things. The reason for this appetite stimulation relates how THC interacts with the endocannabinoid system. THC bind to and activities the CB1 receptors which are found mainly in the brain and since they are present in the hypothalamus, they play a significant role in hunger and appetite among our primary functions. And because CB1 are also present in the basal ganglia, that explains the pleasure we get from eating.
Apart from how it interacts with the endocannabinoid system, THC also stimulates appetite by increasing ghrelin says Janice Newell Bissex, a registered dietitian and holistic cannabis practitioner. This is a hunger hormone and is produced in increased quantity when the stomach is empty hence signalling the brain to elicit hunger sensation.
Then there is also the fact that THC boosts the feel good chemical dopamine in the brain so when you eat, you get more pleasure out of it. And with THC increasing the sense of smell and taste, people are more prone to want to eat.
Therefore, with the increase in the levels of ghrelin as a result of THC, it may cause you to feel hungry even if you are not.
And we are back to the question of does CBD make you hungry
Well, CBD actually does not react the same way as THC does with CB1 receptors. Which means that while unlike THC CBD does not get you high, the other notable difference is that it will most likely not give you the munchies.
Wait, but I feel hungry after taking CBD
Still wondering why does CBD make you feel like eating? Let us explain.
Even though CBD is not the best remedy for you to try and help increase your appetite, it does support homeostasis. What does that mean? That CBD could help improve gut health and balance appetite.
You may feel like it is having a similar affect as THC on your appetite because of CBD’s ability to maintain your body’s digestive health.
How this works is differently to THC. CBD has the ability to help relieve nausea and calm down your nervous system and digestive tract. When you feel less inclined to feel sick or vomit, you could eat more. Same is the case with its pain management properties. For people suffering to eat due to these symptoms – particularly cancer patients or those with other medical conditions – this can quell the symptoms and help bring back appetite.
To be clear; CBD does not increase your appetite or make you hungry. But with its ability to maintain homeostasis, it can cause you to have a normal appetite which might have been disrupted for whatever reason. Essentially like THC, CBD does interact with the endocannabinoid system and helps balance it out. And that might precisely be what someone needs to achieve optimal metabolic health.
The legal CBD products with low levels of THC can help balance the body’s endocannabinoid system and improve gut and digestive health. This is the reason why while CBD does not have the same capacity to affect your hunger chemically, it can still make you think that it is influencing your appetite.
Clearly ,apart from its psychoactive effect – or lack thereof – another big difference between CBD and THC is that the former does not have the same effect on appetite as THC. Still, despite not giving you the munchies, there are a ton of benefits of using CBD which also include its ability to help bring back your appetite back if its suppressed or affected by pain, stress or nausea.