Does CBD Make You Hungry?

Marijuana has long been known as a trigger for the munchies. CBD, or cannabidiol, is an active ingredient in marijuana. So, that must mean that CBD makes you hungry, right?

Wrong. In fact, researchers believe CBD has the entirely opposite effect on your appetite.

The reason marijuana activates your appetite is due to the primary chemical in marijuana, ​​tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). This is one of the reasons why cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy often turn to marijuana for relief. It not only helps relieve pain and nausea, but the THC in marijuana is also effective in increasing appetite. THC is also the active ingredient that causes the "high" sensation you get when you smoke or ingest marijuana (via CNN Health).

CBD, however, does not create a high, nor does it increase appetite. In fact, according to researchers, CBD is believed to play a role in decreasing appetite, ultimately promoting weight loss and reducing the risk for serious medical conditions related to obesity. While the research on humans is currently limited, in preliminary studies involving rats injected with CBD, the results showed the rats consumed less food and lost a significant amount of weight (via Healthline).

How CBD potentially promotes weight loss

According to Medical News Today, the reason CBD may have an effect on weight loss is related to our body's endocannabinoid system (ECS). This system is a recently discovered network that, according to the experts at Harvard Health Publishing, "is critical for almost every aspect of our moment-to-moment functioning." They go on to state that we all have "tiny cannabis-like molecules floating around in our brains." A key feature of this system includes two receptors known as CB1 and CB2 receptors that respond to chemical messages. CB1 receptors seem to be more widespread in people suffering from obesity. Researchers believe that CBD may play a role in weight loss by activating different types of receptors.

In a 2016 study, CBD showed promise as a method for weight loss by converting white fat, which is considered "bad" fat, into brown fat. Brown fat is believed to promote the body's ability to burn calories where white fat is believed to lead to serious medical conditions such as heart disease and diabetes. Based on the results of a 2018 study, it is also now believed that CBD can be used to control the receptors to reduce the risk of various metabolic conditions, such as type 2 diabetes and high cholesterol (via Medical News Today).

More research is needed, so health experts advise against relying on CBD as a method to lose weight. It is always best to address weight issues through a healthy diet and regular exercise. Given the minimal research and lack of regulation, if you are considering using CBD for any reason, you should first consult with your doctor.