If you’ve smoked weed before, you’ve probably had the munchies. If you’re totally new to cannabis and have no idea what that is, don’t worry. People who use weed have reported feeling hungry after using it, they call this the munchies. It’s believed that they get hungry because of THC’s interaction with the endocannabinoid system which controls our appetite.THC is believed to increase a hormone that makes you feel hungry even when you’re not. Great, we’re on the same page now. Both non-stoners and stoners are wondering if cannabidiol (CBD) has the ability to make you hungry. The answer may surprise you.

Photo: Unsplash

Does CBD Make You Hungry? 

Well, CBD doesn’t give you the munchies but it can still provide an appetite boost according to some experts. Janice Newell Bissex, a registered dietitian and holistic cannabis practitioner mentioned in a Washington Post article that CBD can improve appetite in a variety of ways. First of all, CBD not only reduces nausea but relaxes the nervous system and digestive tract. Bissex was quoted saying, “If you feel less nauseated, you may eat more. CBD also quells pain, and feeling less pain may also boost appetite.”

There have been some studies that support an increase in appetite after using CBD. For example, CBD has been shown to increase children’s appetite. CBD has been approved by the FDA in medication to treat epilepsy. It’s pretty effective, however, 30% of parents have reported an increase in their children’s appetite after using it. 

In addition to that, in a review of almost 2500 people, an increase in hunger was reported by 6.35% of the participants. 

Not all studies show CBD increasing appetite, some show mixed results and others show the opposite. In one study, 23 children with epilepsy were given CBD and there were reports of appetite loss, increase in appetite as well as weight loss and gain. 

On the other hand, in an animal study, it was found that CBD caused a huge reduction in food intake when compared to other cannabinoids. 

Will CBD Make You Gain Weight?

The next question you’ll have is “Will CBD make me gain weight?” That’s a great question since it may enhance your appetite. However, there are mixed reports about whether CBD may put a dent in your weight loss plans. 

As said before, CBD can promote appetite so technically, it could help you gain weight. However, marijuana use is not linked to obesity even though it makes people eat more. In a review, those who use weed up to 3 times per week had lower rates of obesity than those who haven’t used weed in a year. While researchers aren’t clear about the role CBD plays in that but they believe it does play a role.

CBD Can Help You Lose Weight 

Healthline says, “CBD may promote weight loss by reducing appetite, boosting metabolism, and encouraging the “browning” of fat cells”. Their article admits that we definitely need more research done on humans. However, let’s look at these claims.

The rationale behind CBD reducing appetite is the animal study that was referenced prior. In addition to that, another animal study showed that CBD caused weight loss. In this study, rats were injected with CBD every day. The amount of CBD injected was dependent on the weight of the rats. The study found a reduction in weight with the higher dosage having the largest decline in weight. 

In addition to that, CBD may also cause the browning of fat cells. So, we have two types of fat cells, white and brown. Healthline says “ brown fat is responsible for generating heat by burning calories.” In a study done, cannabidiol caused the browning of white fat cells. In addition to that, CBD was able to upregulate the expression of genes and proteins that promote brown fat cells. It’s important to note that this study was done in a test tube and so human studies are needed.

There is hope that CBD can be used for weight loss. Currently, researchers are trying to see whether or not they can harness the appetite-reducing effects of CBD. The Washington Post said, that researchers are trying to find if CBD can be used as an inverse agonist to THC. 

Conclusion 

CBD probably won’t give you the munchies but it may stimulate your appetite. There is also research suggesting that weight CBD could stimulate weight loss. However, there isn’t much evidence of this in human studies. There is not much evidence that CBD increases weight either. More human studies are needed on CBD and how it affects appetite and weight.