Updated: Aug 20
For many people, having no appetite is a serious problem, but could THC help solve it?
For many people battling cancer and HIV/AIDS, finding the will and desire to eat can be extremely difficult. Many other medical conditions also come with a loss of appetite that makes it difficult to finish treatments and remain healthy. Conditions such as chronic pain and side-effects from medication such as nausea and vomiting also decrease a patient’s appetite and ability to eat.
When you’re not well, the last thing you need to worry about is running your body down even more because you don’t have an appetite or the will to eat. Many people start looking at pharmaceutical medication to help solve their appetite problems, but could THC be a natural solution to lack of appetite? Many people are turning to THC to help boost their appetites.
How Could Medical Marijuana Stimulate Your Appetite?
One of the most well-known aspects of consuming marijuana is ‘the munchies.’ You only have to look at popular culture references such as television shows and movies to see that people who use cannabis often turn straight to junk food afterward.
It’s not just a popular myth. One of the active cannabinoids in marijuana, tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), can boost your appetite after consumption. When people are considering marijuana to boost their appetite, they usually look at strains of marijuana which are high in THC.
What Is The Science Behind THC Boosting Your Appetite?
Your hunger is regulated by different processes inside your body. Whenever you eat something, your body produces a substance which is known as leptin. Leptin suppresses your appetite. As the Leptin levels in your body decrease, you start to become hungry again. If you’re taking other medication or suffering from a medical condition which affects your leptin levels, you may have no appetite or find it harder for your appetite to return after you eat something.
For those with HIV/AIDS, it’s a little bit different. The neurons slow down or fail to pass messages on telling the brain that you’re hungry. It’s not easy to eat when your entire body is telling you that you’re not hungry. Neurons also control messages to your brain, telling you when you’re full. THC appears to decrease the production of leptin.
Basically, THC tricks your brain into thinking that it isn’t full or that it’s still hungry and you need to eat more. This will help people get the nutrients and foods their body needs when they are fighting off illness. Another interesting aspect of THC is that it appears to increase the appreciation of the food you’re consuming.
Not only are you eating more and feeling hungrier, the food you’re eating tastes better and is more satisfying after you have used marijuana with THC. This is most likely because the THC increases and enhances the sensory system, making your taste buds more active.
Lastly, THC may assist with your appetite by suppressing nausea and vomiting. Nothing makes eating less desirable than feeling nauseous or vomiting after every time you eat. There is some thought that marijuana could potentially help suppress nausea by regulating the endocannabinoid system.