Does CBD Increase Appetite?
What is CBD?
Traditionally derived from hemp, CBD is a compound that interacts with our endocannabinoid system (ECS) to trigger a range of biological effects. It isn’t the only compound to do this, either. The cannabis sativa plants contain over a hundred cannabinoids that can all cause a different reaction when detected by our bodies’ ECS.
The beauty of cannabinoids is that many are processed quickly by the body, and in the case of CBD, they have incredibly low toxicity and limited potential side effects.
CBD does not make you hungry
There is speculation that CBD oil may increase hunger, however, it isn’t the CBD in full-spectrum oils that has this effect. Instead, it is this cannabinoid’s close relative, THC. CBD helps promote a state of balance within the ECS via a range of receptors and enzymes. THC, on the other hand, takes a more direct approach and shows a preference for CB1 receptors located in the areas of the brain linked to mood and more importantly, appetite.
This is where cannabis gets its hunger-inducing attributes from, the interaction between CB1 receptors and THC. Now, that's not to say CBD doesn't impact your appetite in any way, but that is something we will cover shortly.
Full-spectrum CBD might make you hungry
The THC concentration of CBD oil is going to play a direct role in how much of a hunger response users experience. Low levels of THC may invoke the desire to eat, if large quantities of full-spectrum oil are consumed. If you don’t want to be impacted by increased appetite, then there are a few factors to consider.
The first is which species has been used as the source of your chosen CBD oil. Marijuana is naturally much higher in THC, and any oils derived from the marijuana sub-species (no matter the strain) are likely to impact your appetite.
However, if the CBD oil has been extracted from the hemp plant, then it should only contain trace amounts of THC. In the majority of cases, full spectrum CBD oil, derived from hemp, will have a negligible effect on your appetite, especially if you are taking the recommended dose of a few drops several times a day.
If you still have concerns about the potential impact of THC, or any risk of an increased appetite is detrimental to your goals, then broad-spectrum CBD oil is the next best option. These types of oils retain the beneficial compounds and terpenes, but they are entirely devoid of THC, even its trace amounts.
CBD helps maintain both physical and mental homeostasis, thus might have an impact on appetite
Appetite is a sophisticated concept because it is unique to the individual. In the same way that pain is subjective to the person experiencing it, and no pain is felt the same, our appetites also differ. For that reason, it isn’t as simple as saying CBD does or doesn’t affect hunger.
CBD’s primary role is to support balance or a state of homeostasis through the ECS. It does this by impacting both mental and physical processes taking place inside of the body. If you are prone to eating more when anxious, or depressed, then CBD’s ability to potentially relieve some of these conditions could cause your appetite to decrease. Not because it has directly impacted how hungry you are, but because it has reduced the strain on other areas of your body, so that it can return to a balanced, or well-fed state.
CBD’s role in our appetite isn’t a simple one, but what is important is it does have a part to play, and this is exciting.
How your body reacts when taking CBD is going to differ from someone else taking the same exact dose. Remember, we are dealing with living, breathing organisms, not controlled experiments in a lab. Of course, over time, general attributes will occur across the majority of users. There will, however, always be a slight difference. Those same differences extend to how hungry we become throughout the day and to our relationship with food.
Appetite is a phenomenon influenced by both our physical and mental status—no single mechanism decides whether we are hungry or not, or how much we are going to eat. Logically, experience tells us that CBD doesn't directly make people hungry, but indirectly it may affect appetite. Until we uncover more about this versatile compound, more time is needed to define the exact difference CBD could have in increasing or decreasing our appetite.