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How Cannabis Increase Appetite

Posted on by Mark Chen

Many people do not know that Cannabis can also help you in eating. The cannabis plant contains hundreds of chemical compounds, only 60 of which are cannabinoids. THC (delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol) and CBD (cannabidiol) are the two most common ones, accounting for up to 40% of all cannabinoids in cannabis. Of these, THC has been getting most of the attention, with CBD acting as a bit of an understudy.

Cannabis makes you eat more than usual

Many cannabis users report a heightened sense of smell, leading to an increased appetite. According to experts from National Cannabis Treatment Association (NCTA), cannabis can cause munchies for several reasons.

The most obvious reason is that weed increases appetite. What people don’t realize is that those hunger pangs can continue even after you’ve eaten food. This may have something to do with cannabinoids stimulating olfactory receptors in your nasal cavity, which then signals your brain and triggers an increased appetite.

Marijuana also has another kind of receptor known as CB1 receptors. These receptors are located all over your body, but they’re concentrated in areas of your nervous system related to pleasure and reward. When THC binds to these receptors, it activates them, giving you a nice high feeling.

These activated nerve cells transmit pleasure sensations throughout your body when stimulated by cannabis or cannabis-related products like hemp oil supplements. Researchers believe that THC production plays a key role in controlling feelings of fullness after eating.

In other words, smoking pot may give you the munchies because it causes THC production within your body—which encourages overeating while naturally regulating blood sugar levels at the same time via insulin release. So far, scientific research has shown that individuals who use cannabis experience lower postprandial glucose responses compared to non-users.

And according to research published in Human Psychopharmacology: Clinical and Experimental, CBD enhances 5-HT1A signaling pathways within the limbic system—home of motivation, emotion, and appetite regulation—to stimulate CB1 receptors for greater neuroprotection against neurological disorders like epilepsy. If your love of brownies isn't enough motivation to buy some recreational marijuana or health-legal CBD products online, maybe science will be!

Cannabis  increases  appetite  in cancer patients

Cannabis has long been known to increase appetite in cancer patients. A study conducted by researchers at Columbia University found that cannabis increases appetite and decreases nausea.

The findings are a boon for cancer patients, who often lose their appetites due to chemotherapy treatments and struggle with consuming adequate calories during their recovery process. The cannabinoids in cannabis activate receptors in our endocannabinoid system, responsible for regulating digestion and increasing pleasure

(1). This makes sense given that marijuana also acts as an appetite stimulant, making it ideal for people undergoing treatment for diseases such as AIDS or cancer. But can you actually use weed to lose weight? Let’s dig deeper into the relationship between weed and weight loss.

Do you get the munchies when you smoke weed? For most smokers, getting the munchies is just an amusing side effect of smoking pot – some people eat more while they're high, while others experience little to no change in appetite after partaking. However, these food cravings maybe your body's way of helping out if you have a history of disordered eating patterns! When used responsibly, cannabis can help curb stress and anxiety-induced eating habits.

By lowering cortisol levels in your brain and promoting relaxation, cannabis can make you feel less emotional about stressful situations and control over-eating tendencies triggered by stress. Additionally, people report feeling hungrier once they've consumed CBD oil because it leads to improved nutrient absorption from other sources throughout the day

(2). Now that we know how THC affects appetite: How much do I need to consume before I start experiencing the munchies? In one study examining moderate doses of THC on appetite response, participants were dosed with 4 mg/kg daily for 5 days (3). The dose was then lowered significantly to 2 mg/kg daily for 11 days until hunger scores returned back to baseline levels again.

What happens when cannabis increases appetite?

Increased appetite is one of many positive side effects of cannabis use. With increased appetite comes a corresponding increase in caloric intake. If you’re trying to lose weight, make sure you watch your portions, especially as cannabis-induced hunger can last for several hours after ingestion.

The best way to counteract cannabis-induced hunger is to eat a high-protein meal before using marijuana; consider adding egg whites, whey protein powder, or peanut butter to your regular diet if you’re looking for an easy way to ensure your body has enough protein. What does cannabis do to your metabolism?: Cannabinoids change our metabolic rate through a couple of different methods: One, cannabinoids work with receptors located on fat cells (adipocytes) and muscle cells (skeletal muscle), causing those cells to become more sensitive to insulin—allowing them to take up glucose from our blood more easily and deposit it into tissue.

This keeps us feeling fuller for longer periods of time since we have lower levels of circulating insulin; it also means we spend less energy on feeding ourselves (i.e., keeping our hearts beating) because we don’t need glucose being pumped out into our bloodstreams.

Do THC edibles increase appetite?

Marijuana, particularly THC edibles can increase appetite. According to a 2014 study in The Journal of Neuroscience, cannabinoids stimulate olfactory and visceral neurons in rats.

Those cells, which are responsible for controlling hunger, send signals directly to areas of your brain that control eating. That’s why cannabis smokers have an increased appetite while they are high—their brains think they need more food. However, not all strains of marijuana seem to affect appetite equally; some actually suppress it because of their high CBD content.

So if you’re trying to lose weight but still want a little something extra from your ganja on a regular basis (beyond couch lock), THC-dominant products might be best for you. If weight loss is one of your goals and you don’t plan on getting high regularly, try taking full-spectrum CBD instead.

It won’t get you stoned or bring up your cravings. And unlike THC-heavy buds or oils, there isn't much risk of overconsumption with full-spectrum hemp extracts. All in all, there isn't enough evidence to suggest that getting high makes us eat more or less than we otherwise would; what changes our meal preferences has everything to do with flavor preference and smell sensitivity when we're sober.

How to make cannabis increase appetite less intense

Cannabis activates receptors in your brain that trigger a cascading release of dopamine. This stimulates parts of your limbic system and hypothalamus, which leads to an increase in appetite.

However, you can reduce these side effects by eating well before using cannabis or by pairing cannabis with another substance such as alcohol. Although alcohol intensifies most cannabis side effects, it can help prevent an intense increase in appetite by blunting THC’s ability to stimulate dopamine production in your brain.

Having food in your stomach also helps mitigate feelings of anxiety and paranoia associated with cannabis use. Additionally, there are other ways to meditate without smoking that won't make you feel like you're eating for two (although some people swear by munchies as a great way to get into cooking).

These include concentrates, tinctures, edibles (you'll have to be careful about dosing), topicals, and vaping. If you do go with edibles though—assuming they contain only THC—remember they take time to kick in so have something on hand (like protein) while waiting for them to work their magic.

And if nothing else is working for you: Think outside the box! Feel free to experiment with alternative methods of medicating; although not as effective at producing the high, you may find all those negative side effects much easier to deal with. Cannabinoids come from many sources, including hemp and CBD oil, but know that different cannabinoids affect your body differently.

You should always research what type of cannabinoid product you plan on using in advance so you can determine how potent it will be once ingested. Also, keep in mind potency tends to vary based on manufacturer due to differences in growing techniques as well as legal regulations on quality control.


This research proves that cannabis can increase appetite in many instances. More people than ever now agree that medicinal cannabis is an option for patients who suffer from weight loss associated with chronic illness, like cancer. The general population is also becoming aware of its benefits for helping people maintain healthy body weight.

Cannabis has even been proven to be effective as a weight loss aid, especially when used with a calorie-restricted diet and exercise program. Cannabis increases appetite by increasing your daily caloric intake, promoting longer and more frequent meals, decreasing anxiety about food preparation or social situations involving food, reducing some unhealthy eating habits such as snacking between meals, and inducing an overall feeling of fullness and satisfaction. All these reasons combined are why cannabis causes increased hunger, increased meal frequency, and increased calories eaten over time.

Studies have found that over 50% of all medicinal users consume more calories when using medical marijuana for appetite stimulation in comparison to before starting their regiment. In fact, studies have shown that cannabinoids stimulate ghrelin release; one of our hunger hormones that stimulate appetite through its activity on our hypothalamus.