Cannabis for Weight Loss: How CBD Helps With Appetite Suppression

Mary Mart

Cannabis has a bit of a reputation when it comes to your appetite. So much so that its ability to create an unstoppable case of the munchies has led to its use as an effective treatment for the loss of appetite in chemotherapy and other conditions.

What most people don’t realize, however, is that this is mostly due to the effects of THC.

CBD, on the other hand, tells a totally different story when it comes to your insatiable desire to stuff your face with anything and everything in sight.

Differences Between CBD and THC

THC, and CBD, in many respects, have opposite effects on your body and mind. If THC is the party cannabinoid that likes to get wild and have a good time, CBD is the responsible one, helping with recovery and rejuvenation.

How can these two different cannabinoids have such different effects?

It comes down to chemistry and how these two different molecules affect different receptors.

THC stimulates CB1 receptors, largely found in the brain. CBD, however, is a little more complex. While it stimulates CB2 receptors that are found throughout the body and immune system, it also inhibits CB1 receptors by blocking the same place where THC wants to bind.

The Endocannabinoid System and Metabolism

The system of cannabinoid receptors, called the endocannabinoid system, is widely distributed throughout the entire body found in the brain, immune system, spleen, GI tract, liver, pancreas, stomach, skeletal muscles, and even fat tissue.

With receptors acting on every major organ of the digestive system, it’s clear that this system is deeply involved with many aspects of your metabolism, (read more here). Consequently, there are far-reaching implications for cannabis’ therapeutic value for a variety of digestive conditions, but for now, let’s just focus on appetite.

Appetite and the Brain

A region of the brain called the hypothalamus controls appetite which then regulates the secretion of two different hormones: ghrelin and leptin.

Ghrelin stimulates hunger and appetite. Leptin creates the sensation of satiety, of being full.

The neural circuit in the hypothalamus that regulates Ghrelin is stimulated by CB1 receptors. This is how THC creates such powerful cravings.

It is so effective, in fact, that a pharmaceutical company designed a CB1 blocker as a diet pill to control appetite. While it did work as cannabis for weight loss by suppressing appetite, it was terminated as a drug candidate because of psychological side effects.

Plants, it seems, are still better chemists than humans.

CBD, however, happens to be an incredibly effective CB1 blocker (and unfortunately, for big pharma, non-patentable). Animal studies showed that rats given CBD ate much less food than the control, and CBD has been shown to increase leptin levels.

Cannabis for Weight Loss:  Reduce Your Appetite With CBD

So what does this mean for the CBD consumer?

If you take a CBD capsule, you won’t get the munchies and consume an embarrassing amount of granola. You probably won’t think much about food at all unless it is pushed in front of your face.

If you smoke flower or use a concentrate that is more balanced in the THC to CBD ratio, you may still get the urge to eat, the smell and sight may be oh-so tantalizing, but you’ll  feel full more quickly.

And if you’re smoking a super-high THC strain, hide any food that you might want for tomorrow!

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  • […] you’re looking for a non-psychoactive encounter (no “high”) or you’d like a balanced CBD to THC experience, Fairwinds vape cartridges have you […]
  • This was a great read! There’s so much to learn from this article. I’m sure people would find very helpful information about cannabis from this blog.
    • Mary Mart
      Mary Mart
      Thank you so much for your kind words and feedback!
  • […] It’s common knowledge that THC helps boost appetite and consumption by bringing out the munchies. However, CBD has more of a balancing effect on your appetite. If your body is out of homeostasis, you can experience either an extremely large appetite or no appetite whatsoever. Our appetite is controlled by two hormones: ghrelin, a hunger-stimulating hormone, and leptin, a satiety hormone, which is secreted by the hypothalamus. The part of the hypothalamus that regulates ghrelin is stimulated by CB1 receptors. CBD is a CB1 blocker, which means that it prevents the hunger hormone from being released. Animal studies show that rats given CBD ate much less food than the control group and that CBD increased leptin levels so the rats felt fuller (1) […]
  • […] is also thought to counteract the dreaded hunger hormone ghrelin, while enhancing the effect of leptin to create a sensation of satiety and effectively control even the most rabid appetite (yes, we’re talking to […]

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