Does CBD Oil Make You Hungry


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Wondering if CBD makes you hungry? Get the answer here, along with some tips on how to manage potential side effects. Unlike THC, CBD does not make you hungry. It's a potential appetite suppressant and metabolism booster that might help with weight loss.

Does CBD Make You Hungry?

It’s well known that THC gives you the munchies, but what about CBD?

Whether you’re enjoying CBD gummies or using CBD oil to help with anxiety, you might experience a change in your appetite. However, CBD doesn’t have the same relationship to appetite as THC. CBD can increase, or decrease, your appetite depending on factors including your medical condition, mental health, and how you enjoy CBD.

Let’s take a look at how CBD affects your hunger.

Quick Facts: How Does Appetite Even Work?

Appetite is one of the most complicated subjects when it comes to how we think and feel about our food. Appetite goes beyond simple hunger and encompasses everything from social and political attitudes towards food to medical conditions that can impact our desire to eat.

Our appetite is governed by several systems throughout the body. The hypothalamus, limbic system, and hind-brain all play a role in how our appetite works. Hormones like Grhelin, which stimulates hunger, and Leptin, which lets us know we are full, act as chemical messengers for appetite in the body.

Then there are more nuanced and complex issues. Every culture has rules about which foods are acceptable and rules that govern when and how we eat. There are also personal factors like medical conditions and even food aversion which can be caused by food poisoning or just a traumatic experience associated with a particular food.

Needless to say, appetite is a complex subject. There are countless factors that go into stimulating our desire to eat and one of those is cannabis.

We all know that old-fashioned THC gives you the munchies, but what about its fellow cannabinoid CBD?

Does CBD Make You Hungry—Not Always

CBD products, like CBD gummies, oil, and vape cartridges, can have an impact on our appetite. However, this is different from person to person depending on an individual’s specific biology, psychology, and relationship to CBD in general. Let’s quickly unpack some of the logic and science behind how CBD can have an effect on your appetite.

CBD does not have a one-to-one relationship with appetite like THC does. THC stimulates appetite across the board and has been used since the 1990s as an official treatment for appetite loss. CBD, on the other hand, can only indirectly impact our appetite.

CBD, like all cannabinoids, acts on the body’s endocannabinoid system.The endocannabinoid system is a vital part of our central nervous system that uses naturally occurring cannabinoid substances to send signals throughout the body. CBD can stimulate or suppress activity in the endocannabinoid system.

This is the process that causes all of the benefits that we associate with CBD. CBD is well-known for helping individuals manage anxiety, depression, and even pain.

This can change an individual’s appetite as these conditions improve. Individuals with depression often struggle to eat on a regular basis and, as CBD lessons the impact of depression, appetite can return.

Before we dig too much deeper into CBD and appetite, let’s take a look at how the OG cannabinoid helps stimulate our hunger.

How THC Stimulates Appetite

CBD is still a relatively new product on the marketplace. This means that research into how CBD affects the human nervous system is still ongoing. However, the research into THC is much more clear.

Researchers know that THC binds with the CB1 receptor in the endocannabinoid system. When THC binds with the CB1 receptor, that receptor releases a hormone that stimulates hunger.

This is why you get the munchies after enjoying cannabis products or products that contain THC. This is also why the munchies get more intense as you increase your THC dosage.

This is why moderate dosing of THC has been so successful for stimulating appetite. Even a small amount of THC can stimulate appetite without causing a very strong high.

Since CBD can only affect appetite indirectly, let’s look at a few ways CBD can interact with our desire for food.

Three Ways CBD Can Boost Appetite

Much like its more famous cousin THC, CBD is capable of boosting your appetite. However, this is a side effect caused by CBD’s ability to relieve certain medical conditions

Here are a few ways that CBD can improve your appetite.

  1. CBD Relieves Nausea

Even though Research into CBD is still very new, one of its most established properties is the ability to reduce nausea.

Nausea isn’t a sickness on its own, but is in fact a symptom of other medical conditions or illnesses. With that said, nausea is capable of stopping an appetite dead in its tracks. Even a healthy individual with a strong appetite can experience sudden appetite loss due to nausea.

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CBD relieves nausea very effectively. This means it can remove a physical condition that is blocking your appetite. CBD isn’t directly causing your appetite to increase, but rather it’s removing an obstacle that prevents your appetite from being as strong as it could be.

It doesn’t even have to be this extreme. CBD is capable of resolving minor stomach ailments and even light dizziness. Calming an upset stomach is a great way to help get an appetite back on its feet.

  1. Relieving Stress and Anxiety

CBD is also well-known for its ability to relieve stress and anxiety. The research into this is still ongoing, but early results are showing that CBD is effective in helping people manage anxiety. This has a direct impact on stimulating appetites.

Anxiety and stress work by releasing a hormone known as cortisol into the blood. Cortisol is the naturally occurring chemical that’s largely responsible for our fight or flight response. The sweating, racing heart, and general jitteriness that come with anxiety is a direct result of cortisol getting us ready to respond to a threat.

However, we’re a long way from the days of early hominids running from large predatory cats. Today, we’re more likely to get a rush of anxiety from a stressful meeting than we are running from a wild animal.

One of the side effects of cortisol is that it works by suppressing your appetite. Anxiety ramps you up for action—not snacks. The energy you would use to eat some food is instead redirected into getting ready to run for your life.

CBD relieves this anxiety and frees up the tension in your body. This not only improves appetite by dropping cortisol levels, but also makes you more emotionally comforted which helps promote a healthy appetite as well.

  1. CBD and Mental Health

CBD is also building a strong reputation as an excellent way for treating certain types of depression. Depression has a direct impact on her appetite, but it might not be as direct as you might think.

It’s very common for depression to suppress appetite. Depression generally lowers physical and mental activity and one of the effects of that is that it becomes more difficult to go seek out food. CBD can relieve some of this depression which helps promote a healthy appetite.

However, changes in emotion can have hard to predict impacts on your appetite. Let’s take a look at some of the ways that CBD you can also suppress appetite

Two Ways CBD Suppresses Appetite

CBD gummies and CBD oil can also suppress appetite. This might be a useful distinction between CBD and THC. There are plenty of individuals who are looking to keep their appetite in line to improve their overall health and CBD could play an important role in achieving those medical goals.

Here are two ways that CBD can actually keep your appetite in check.

  1. CBD Can Give You a Mental Health Boost

We’re going to start right where we left off. For the same reasons that CBD can increase your appetite, it can also lower your appetite. While this might seem counterintuitive on the surface, it actually makes sense when you give it a closer look.

If you’ve ever gone through a bout of depression and dove into your favorite sugary snacks to give yourself a little emotional boost or caught yourself stress eating during a difficult time, you know that these mental health conditions don’t always suppress appetite.

Depression, anxiety, and stress can all create sudden spikes in appetite. This is often for unhealthy, sugary snacks rather than peas and carrots.

CBD is able to relieve these conditions which sets your appetite back to normal. This could mean lowering your appetite if how you’ve experienced depression or stress has increased it.

  1. Increasing Hypothalamus Sensitivity

CBD has also been linked to a unique ability to make our hypothalamus more sensitive to external stimulation. You might think that a sensitive hypothalamus would boost appetite, but it actually makes it more receptive to the state of our bodies and the meals we are getting.

This means that CBD can suppress appetite by making our hypothalamus work more efficiently. When the hypothalamus is more aware of our current condition, it tends to slow things down and decrease an otherwise ravenous appetite.

Alternatives to CBD for Appetite

If you’re looking for something with more concrete results when it comes to appetite, you can always try one of CBD’s close cannabinoid cousins.

Essentially, any THC cannabinoid is perfectly capable of increasing your appetite. This includes both Delta 8-THC and Delta 9-THC. They both have a strong record with boosting appetite and stimulating hunger.

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Then there’s CBG. Better known as cannabigerol, CBG is the precursor to both CBD and THC. It’s been shown to be a safe appetite stimulant, but research is less clear than with the ever popular THC.

Wrapping Up CBD and the Munchies

CBD does not boost or suppress your appetite. Rather, you can think about CBD as leveling off a listing ship. It will help relieve the underlying medical conditions that are either causing your appetite to work overtime or be a little sluggish.

CBD gummies and CBD oil are both great alternatives for people who are looking to experience the benefits of CBD for their appetite.

Does CBD Make You Hungry?

CBD is a non-intoxicating but psychoactive cannabinoid present in all varieties of cannabis, including hemp and marijuana. Unlike THC, CBD does not make you hungry. Instead, it indirectly stimulates your appetite by preventing sickness, nausea, and stomach complaints caused by anxiety, stress, depression, and gastrointestinal imbalances. Conversely, CBD is also a potential appetite suppressant and metabolism booster, which might help with weight loss and prevent obesity.

Does CBD give you the munchies?

No, CBD doesn’t make you hungry, nor does it give you the munchies like THC or its other variants like delta-8, delta-10, and THC-O.

THC directly induces hunger by activating cannabinoid 1 (CB1) receptors in your brain’s olfactory bulb and hypothalamus, two regions responsible for hunger, thirst, smell, taste, energy, and body temperature.

THC’s activation of CB1 also releases the hormone ghrelin, a hunger hormone produced by gastrointestinal cells. When your stomach is empty, ghrelin lets your brain know you need food.

CBD doesn’t activate CB1 receptors or release the ghrelin hormone. However, it interacts with other receptor sites to indirectly boost your appetite and hunger.

How does CBD increase your appetite?

As mentioned, CBD doesn’t directly boost appetite or hunger the same way as THC and other cannabinoids that bind to cannabinoid 1 (CB1) receptors.

Instead, CBD indirectly promotes appetite stimulation by alleviating nausea and promoting gastrointestinal health. It does this by interacting with various receptor sites separate from your endocannabinoid system, a complex biological network responsible for regulating hunger and appetite and sleep, pain, stress, immune response, and inflammatory response.

CBD alleviates nausea to boost appetite

Nausea is a common but uncomfortable physical sensation characterized by the urge to vomit and a reduced desire to eat. There are many causes of nausea, including anxiety, stress, digestive disorders, medications, or chemotherapy treatment.

CBD can reduce nausea symptoms, stimulate appetite, and increase food intake.

Studies on animals show CBD activates serotonin receptors. Activation of serotonin receptors promotes calm and balance while helping to alleviate symptoms of anxiety and stress, which can both cause mild-to-moderate nausea.

CBD improves gastrointestinal health to stimulate appetite

Cannabis and its compounds—including CBD—have been used as a viable gut remedy treatment for thousands of years. However, only recently have scientists taken a keener interest, suggesting CBD improves gastrointestinal health with the potential to alleviate inflammatory bowel diseases and gastric inflammation.

CBD’s gut protection qualities result from its ability to agonize GPR55 receptors, which controls the inflammatory response and activates enteric glial cells, thus inhibiting inflammation. The researchers note that PPARγ mediated the beneficial anti-inflammatory effects.

Does CBD help with weight loss?

CBD could help weight loss, but the research is limited to preclinical studies, mostly animal test subjects.

One particular study on rat test subjects shows CBD significantly reduced appetite. Cannabinol (CBN) and cannabigerol (CBG) increased appetite and induced no changes, respectively. The researchers note that CBD’s ability to decrease appetite could mean a viable future treatment for obesity.

CBD converts white fat into brown fat

CBD might also stimulate the breakdown of fat molecules. Research shows CBD might also encourage the conversion of white fat into brown fat. CBD causing noticeable weight loss through white-brown fat conversion in humans is inconclusive.

There are two types of fat within your body: white and brown fat. White fat is “bad fat”, while brown fat is “good fat”. White fat stores energy and extra calories. Too much white fat can lead to obesity, heart disease, and diabetes.

On the other hand, brown fat breaks down fat molecules and burns calories to encourage heat and maintain body temperature. Many believe the burning of brown fat cells could lead to weight loss.

Conversion of white to brown fat occurs when the body is exposed to colder temperatures, exercise, and adequate sleep.

CBD could increase your metabolism and reduce food consumption

CBD might also increase your metabolism. Metabolism is the rate at which your body burns calories and turns them into energy. The higher your metabolism, the better it is for weight loss.

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CBD potentially increases metabolism by influencing CB1 and CB2 receptors present in your brain and lymphoid tissue. These receptors are responsible for appetite and hunger.

A 2015 study on obese mice shows CBD specifically targeted CB2 receptors, producing “a profound reduction in bodyweight gain”, even when food intake was reduced.

CBD regulates insulin levels

Preclinical research suggests CBD might balance insulin levels in mice test subjects. The researchers discovered the incidence of diabetes was only 30% in mice treated with CBD. In comparison, the incidence of diabetes in mice not treated with CBD was 86%.

Insulin is a hormone secreted by your pancreas and is responsible for regulating your blood sugar (glucose) level and metabolism. When you eat a meal, glucose levels start to rise, signaling your pancreas to produce insulin and remove it from your bloodstream. Too much insulin can prevent fat burning, leading to weight gain.

However, research on CBD and its effect on human insulin levels is limited.

Does CBD reduce your appetite and act as an appetite suppressant?

Interestingly, cannabis strains higher in CBD caused appetite reduction, even with the presence of THC. There’s one possible explanation for this.

CBD is a negative allosteric modulator of the CB1 receptor, meaning it attaches to a different region on the receptor separate from THC. CBD’s modulatory behavior reduces THC’s effects, including its ability to increase your appetite.

Does marijuana promote weight loss?

There is little research to suggest marijuana use causes weight loss. However, evidence indicates marijuana users typically weigh less than those who don’t consume marijuana.

A compelling 2011 review shows cannabis users have lower obesity rates than those who don’t smoke cannabis.

The report includes two surveys with a total of 50,736 participants. Only 16.1% of cannabis users were obese, while the prevalence of obesity among non-cannabis users was 22%.

Likewise, an earlier 2020 research paper indicates obesity among young adults who use cannabis is lower than non-cannabis users.

Does the link between cannabis users and lower obesity rates mean marijuana is a decent tool for losing weight? No. Not necessarily. Both studies above indicate an essential connection between marijuana users and lower body weight, but they don’t conclusively illustrate why.

Should you use CBD for weight loss?

Unfortunately, we can’t recommend CBD for weight loss. The research isn’t conclusive.

However, plenty of anecdotal stories from users claiming CBD, along with a healthy diet and exercise, helped them lose weight. We imagine this is primarily down to diet and exercise, but CBD could be a secondary contributing factor.

Does CBD cause stomach bloating?

No. CBD in itself won’t cause stomach bloating, but other ingredients in a CBD product can. If you’re using CBD oil, the carrier the extract is diluted in can affect your stomach. The most commonly used carrier oil is a medium-chain triglyceride (MCT).

Medium-chain triglyceride carrier oils are sourced from natural coconut oil or palm oil and primarily contain the fatty acids caproic acid (C6), caprylic acid (C8), capric acid (C10), and lauric acid (C12).

Consuming too much MCT oil can cause gastrointestinal pain, burning, and discomfort. It might also cause diarrhea, loose stools, and anal burning. These gastrointestinal problems result from too much C6, C8, and C10, which the body finds more challenging to digest.

If you value a balanced gut and consider your anus a best friend, limit the amount of MCT you consume, whether it be in CBD oil or as a cooking ingredient. If you do consume MCT oil, make sure you eat beforehand.

Side effects of CBD

CBD is well-tolerated, and its side effects are mild, temporary, and non-life-threatening. There are no reports of adverse health problems from consuming CBD products unless they’re manufactured by shady, unscrupulous companies with no consideration for your wellbeing.

Common side effects of CBD include:

  • Tiredness
  • Fatigue
  • Drowsiness
  • Dry mouth
  • Stomach complaints
  • Nausea

CBD can also negatively interact and interfere with prescription and non-prescription medications, preventing them from metabolizing correctly in your body and negatively altering their effects. In rare cases, significant health problems or overdose can occur.

We recommend speaking with a doctor or healthcare physician before taking CBD oil.

Conclusion: More research is needed to uncover CBD’s effects on your appetite

CBD has conflicting effects on your appetite. Some research suggests CBD can increase your appetite, while other studies show it decreases your appetite. Conflicting research like this is why it’s difficult to recommend a product for weight loss, weight gain, or general appetite problems.

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