The evidence for the benefits of CBD is stacking up across many disciplines of science and medicine, from clinical trials to user anecdotes. But there’s one area of CBD research that often goes overlooked: how does it affect your appetite and weight?
With the reputation of THC for increasing appetite and enjoyment of food, CBD hasn’t received the same narrative. Now that we have more data to draw from, we can better evaluate the effects of CBD on hunger, satiation, weight, and more.
In this article, we’ll discover that CBD and THC can influence appetite and our response to food, but not in the ways you might expect. We’ll also offer some recommendations that may help you manage your appetite and weight while still getting the many benefits of hemp extracts.*
How does CBD affect your appetite?
CBD is a naturally occurring compound from the cannabis plant, known for full body-and-mind benefits. It interacts with receptors in the endocannabinoid system, a neural network that modulates the function of the nervous system, various organs, and more.
With the broad domain of the ECS and the munchie mythos of cannabis, it’s fair to wonder how CBD affects the appetite. After all, delta-9 THC is broadly known as an appetite catalyst.*
However, studies are inconclusive when determining the effects of CBD on appetite. Some trials show that CBD increases appetite slightly, while others have found slight decreases in appetite in subjects after weeks of CBD use.*
There’s no doubt that the ECS plays a part in aspects of the reward system, appetite regulation, and even metabolic function, but the findings of these studies suggest that CBD does not move the dial significantly in either direction.*
Does CBD make you hungry?
CBD is known for its therapeutic benefits with non-intoxicating properties, making it a unique member of the cannabinoid family.*
Users may experience reduced feelings of discomfort or soothing sensations from taking CBD, but the perception-altering effects of the THC high are not present in the average CBD product.*
Still, studies have not confirmed that CBD makes you hungrier than usual, which runs contrary to what you might have heard about THC—which has the infamous effect of boosting appetite and enjoyment from food.*
CBD affects the body differently by adapting to the needs of the ECS rather than producing significant chemical changes. Therefore, depending on factors like lifestyle, diet, and other biological variables, you may or may not get an appetite stimulant effect from CBD.*
Does CBD affect your weight?
Different aspects of CBD research can lead us to different conclusions on how the compound might impact your weight.
The first theory is related to anandamide, an endocannabinoid that may increase with the introduction of CBD to the ECS. Anandamide has a similar structure to THC, which might trigger some of the hunger-boosting effects and affect weight as a result.*
A second theory discusses the role of dopamine, suggesting that CBD supports dopamine by interacting with GABA receptors. With higher amounts of this molecule triggering the reward system, increased appetite could be a possible outcome.*
On the other hand, the role of serotonin and mood regulation could have the opposite effects with CBD in the system. By supporting serotonin, CBD might help soothe negative feelings that lead to comfort eating or other negative behaviors. If you’re better able to navigate emotional ups and downs, it’s often easier to stick with good eating habits and keep your weight in check.*
Can CBD support weight goals?
With so much conflicting evidence and speculation, it’s easy to see why CBD’s effects on weight are still up for debate. However, the overall impact of CBD appears to be positive in helping individuals to achieve their weight loss goals.
While CBD might not directly help weight loss in the same way as a diet or exercise routine, the compound can indirectly promote a healthy, balanced lifestyle and support habits that help you reach such goals.*
For example, taking CBD in the morning may help support alertness and energy. With regard to exercise, CBD may help reduce feelings of nervousness in public as you navigate your daily workouts at the gym or in the park.*
In general, feeling more balanced on an emotional and physical level is good for your overall health and could make your fitness journey more manageable as a result.
How does CBD affect the body?
CBD affects the body by interacting with the ECS, a vast neural network throughout the brain and body. It can reduce feelings of discomfort, soothe feelings of tension, calm the mind, and relax your mood—all good things for taking your wellness plan to the next level.*
The connections between hunger, appetite, and weight regulation may need to be clarified in the latest CBD research, and some evidence might even seem contradictory.*
However, researchers and an increasing number of medical professionals agree that CBD is generally beneficial for health and can bring balance to your body and mind, supporting many possible health goals.*
Do CBD and THC affect hunger differently?
While CBD’s effects on appetite and weight are inconclusive, its cannabinoid sibling THC has a different reputation. THC is a psychoactive cannabinoid, meaning it produces a noticeable high, even in small amounts.*
Unlike CBD, THC is an appetite stimulant, increasing the desire for food and pleasure from consumption. Studies confirm that THC reduces the sense of satiety, meaning users feel less full despite eating more food.*
THC highs also reduce inhibitions that might otherwise make us think twice about going for a second helping at mealtime or reaching for extra snacks later on. These factors, combined with the tendency to be less physically active on THC, can contribute to weight gain over time if users aren’t careful.*
How do other cannabinoids impact hunger and weight?
THC and CBD are the main cannabinoids often discussed in the cannabis sphere, but there are others to account for when looking at hunger and weight maintenance issues.
Here’s a glance at some of the other key cannabinoids found in the plant and how they influence the mind and body with regard to these topics.
As the most infamous “munchie-inducing” compound in cannabis, THC is thought to increase hunger and reduce self-control when it comes to food. It’s not the compound itself that causes weight gain, but rather the effects on our perception and inhibitions that can lead to less-than-healthy habits with continual use.
Of course, many THC users have no trouble keeping their weight under control with a daily regimen, as factors like lifestyle, genetics, and metabolism all come into play. In some cases, THC can benefit those looking to increase their appetite and consume enough nutrition in times of illness or distress.*
THC is all about how you use it, and responsible serving sizes and regulation are part of maintaining a healthy relationship with food, no matter your situation. For those looking to improve appetite and get additional benefits from hemp extract, our beyond products utilize delta-9 THC and other useful compounds for optimal results.*
Tetrahydrocannabivarin, or THC-V, is a cannabinoid with a similar structure to THC and related compounds. However, THC-V is a known appetite suppressant, which contrasts with the reputation of THC to make us hungry and enjoy food more than usual.*
This is because THC-V interacts with a different set of transmitters in the ECS, reducing psychoactive effects while also delivering benefits like relaxation and reduced cravings*. Our line of trim products combines THC-V with CBD-V and metabolic boosters like turmeric to help you on track with your weight loss goals.*
Compared to CBD, its analog cannabinol (CBN) is well regarded as an appetite booster. This compound offers a non-psychoactive approach to appetite stimulation that also provides calming benefits that you want from a hemp extract.
Because CBN is a more relaxing cannabinoid, it’s a great addition to your evening routine, especially if you’re looking to spike your appetite before dinner. This Full Spectrum Rest Tincture is easy to take and can help you wind down without intoxicating effects or appetite suppression.*
The bottom line
The connection between cannabinoids and hunger is interesting, with different compounds providing totally different effects.
Standard hemp extracts with minimal THC will likely not swing your appetite in either direction, but might benefit overall wellness and health goals.
If you have specific fitness goals like weight loss and need a boost from hemp extracts, THC-V can be a powerful tool to get you on course. Meanwhile, consider non-psychoactive CBN to maintain a healthy appetite while enjoying the relaxing effects of whole-plant hemp.*