These Strains May Give Your Appetite a Boost
While most of us complain about weight gain and try to figure out how to master weight loss to achieve a healthy body mass, some people have conditions that cause the opposite effect. Significant weight loss can be caused by many different health problems and trouble eating.
Anorexia nervosa is one condition that causes dangerous fluctuations in body weight. But there are many other reasons why a patient’s appetite can decrease, including cancer treatments, chronic liver or kidney disease, dementia, hepatitis, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), and more.
If you feel you may have a clinical condition that is causing you to stop eating, medical cannabis may help with appetite stimulation. Certain strains of cannabis can contribute to a temporary appetite increase, which may help many patients cope with involuntary weight loss.
What Causes Appetite Loss?
A lot of health problems lead to appetite issues. People suffering from these conditions may not have an appetite; certain smells or tastes might cause nausea or vomiting; or, because of the chemical changes in their body due to illness, foods they previously enjoyed may no longer appeal to them.
For patients with some mental health problems, such as PTSD, foods or food odors can trigger a violent reaction physically or psychologically. Individuals with moderate to severe autism may also struggle with food intake due to the smell or the texture of foods and snacks.
Loss of Appetite and Cancer Treatment
Cancer cachexia is a common side effect, according to many scientific studies. When you are engaged in cancer treatment, it can be hard to stay healthy if you are malnourished. Symptoms of pain and also nausea can impact appetite. And some studies suggest that chemotherapy can also suppress the hunger hormone. Some patients claim that chemotherapy makes food taste different and unappealing.
Mental health conditions like anxiety or depression can impact hunger in different ways. For some people, stress can cause them to lose weight, whereas other people may overeat. Depression can also hurt metabolic rates and cause unwanted weight gain.
Other medical conditions can cause appetite loss, and some prescription medications can too. Prescription drugs can impact hormones that stimulate appetite or change the way food smells or tastes to the individual.
Some of the medications known to have appetite loss as a potential adverse effect include:
- Analgesics and sedatives (NSAIDs and opioids).
- Cardiovascular drugs (ACE inhibitors, thiazide diuretics, and statins).
- Endocrine medicines (metformin, estrogen, or bisphosphonates).
Non-prescription substances can also contribute to weight loss, including nicotine products and alcohol. Medical marijuana use, however, can help increase appetite. Specific strains of medical marijuana can cause the munchies. And cause cravings that stimulate the appetite. Eating disorders and clinical conditions like cachexia are often approved qualifying conditions.
How Does Malnutrition Impact Health and Wellness?
Nutrition is essential to health. Without the proper nutrients, vitamins, proteins, and carbohydrates needed daily, unwanted, lost weight is not the only health risk. Malnutrition has sweeping impacts on every function and system of your body.
Here are some of the ways that poor nutrition and eating disorders can impact your health:
- Loss of bone calcium (osteopenia) or bone density (osteoporosis) leads to skeletal damage, including tooth loss.
- Weakened immune system due to hormonal imbalance.
- Shrinkage of brain tissue and a lowering of IQ.
- Heart disease.
- Low blood pressure.
- Dry skin and hair.
- Electrolyte imbalances.
- Muscle deterioration as the body starts to use muscle tissue for energy.
- Depression and anxiety.
- Fatigue, and general lack of energy.
- Lowered T-cell count, increasing the risk of infection and disease.
In addition to the previously mentioned health conditions, aging patients have additional concerns. These complications can lead to an increased risk for falls, pressure sores, hip fractures, muscle weakness, and overall frailty, in addition to slowed wound healing and decreased immune function.
The Benefits of Cannabis for Appetite Loss
When your stomach is empty, a hormone called ghrelin is released; this tells the brain it’s time to look for food. Cannabis not only triggers the release of ghrelin but also changes how brain cells respond to this hormone. Now you know where “the munchies” come from.
The two cannabinoids recognized for their appetite-stimulating effects are THC and CBG, and THC also triggers the release of dopamine, which helps increase the satisfaction you get from eating. While scientists don’t yet understand how CBG works, it has been shown to function as an appetite stimulant by acting on hormones like endorphins.
Using Cannabidiol (CBD) to Stimulate Appetite
Unlike THC and CBG, CBD does not directly stimulate the appetite. However, when used as a medication to improve mood, relieve pain, or ease nausea, it can help boost the desire to eat by assisting patients to feel better. CBD helps calm the nervous system, decreasing feelings of anxiety and stress which may contribute to a lack of appetite. Since it acts as an anti-inflammatory agent in the body, it can also help ease gut issues like ulcers and symptoms of Crohn’s disease that cause pain with eating.
Strains of Cannabis That May Help With Appetite Loss
Cannabis stimulates hunger if you choose the right strain. Your local licensed dispensary has a list of strains that are commonly used for appetite loss, cachexia, and other conditions.
- Girl Scout Cookies.
- Blueberry Diesel.
- Super Lemon Haze.
- White Fire OG.
- Diablo (SDH).
- Pineapple Express.
- Jack Herer.
- UBC Chemo.
The availability of certain strains will vary by location. But every dispensary will carry a few different types of medical marijuana that can help stimulate appetite.
Why Choose DocMJ?
Would you like to talk to a cannabis healthcare provider about medical marijuana for appetite problems? Schedule an appointment with DocMJ to see if you qualify for a medical cannabis card. Try medical marijuana for hunger problems.
Dr. Rothman is a diplomate of the American Board of Obstetrics and Gynecology. He has received multiple special awards and recognitions, including Physician of the Year, from the Pinellas County Medical Association (2014 – 2015) and the President’s Service Award from the Pinellas County Medical Society.
He attended medical school at State University of New York Upstate Medical Center in Syracuse, New York, where he also completed his Obstetrics and Gynecology residency. In addition to practicing medicine, Dr. Rothman’s professional career includes being an Assistant Professor at the University of South Florida and Clinical Instructor at the University of Tampa’s College of Nursing.
Dr. Rothman received his Florida Medical Marijuana Physicians Certification in 2016 and was one of the first recommending physicians through DocMJ in the state and is loved by many of those early patients today.