Unlike THC, CBD does not make you hungry. It's a potential appetite suppressant and metabolism booster that might help with weight loss. Munchies are a well-known side effect of marijuana, industrial hemp’s close cousin, but does CBD make you hungry? CBD and appetite have a working relationship, but it’s not as simple as the popular depiction of the munchies.
Does CBD Make You Hungry?
CBD is a non-intoxicating but psychoactive cannabinoid present in all varieties of cannabis, including hemp and marijuana. Unlike THC, CBD does not make you hungry. Instead, it indirectly stimulates your appetite by preventing sickness, nausea, and stomach complaints caused by anxiety, stress, depression, and gastrointestinal imbalances. Conversely, CBD is also a potential appetite suppressant and metabolism booster, which might help with weight loss and prevent obesity.
Does CBD give you the munchies?
No, CBD doesn’t make you hungry, nor does it give you the munchies like THC or its other variants like delta-8, delta-10, and THC-O.
THC directly induces hunger by activating cannabinoid 1 (CB1) receptors in your brain’s olfactory bulb and hypothalamus, two regions responsible for hunger, thirst, smell, taste, energy, and body temperature.
THC’s activation of CB1 also releases the hormone ghrelin, a hunger hormone produced by gastrointestinal cells. When your stomach is empty, ghrelin lets your brain know you need food.
CBD doesn’t activate CB1 receptors or release the ghrelin hormone. However, it interacts with other receptor sites to indirectly boost your appetite and hunger.
How does CBD increase your appetite?
As mentioned, CBD doesn’t directly boost appetite or hunger the same way as THC and other cannabinoids that bind to cannabinoid 1 (CB1) receptors.
Instead, CBD indirectly promotes appetite stimulation by alleviating nausea and promoting gastrointestinal health. It does this by interacting with various receptor sites separate from your endocannabinoid system, a complex biological network responsible for regulating hunger and appetite and sleep, pain, stress, immune response, and inflammatory response.
CBD alleviates nausea to boost appetite
Nausea is a common but uncomfortable physical sensation characterized by the urge to vomit and a reduced desire to eat. There are many causes of nausea, including anxiety, stress, digestive disorders, medications, or chemotherapy treatment.
CBD can reduce nausea symptoms, stimulate appetite, and increase food intake.
Studies on animals show CBD activates serotonin receptors. Activation of serotonin receptors promotes calm and balance while helping to alleviate symptoms of anxiety and stress, which can both cause mild-to-moderate nausea.
CBD improves gastrointestinal health to stimulate appetite
Cannabis and its compounds—including CBD—have been used as a viable gut remedy treatment for thousands of years. However, only recently have scientists taken a keener interest, suggesting CBD improves gastrointestinal health with the potential to alleviate inflammatory bowel diseases and gastric inflammation.
CBD’s gut protection qualities result from its ability to agonize GPR55 receptors, which controls the inflammatory response and activates enteric glial cells, thus inhibiting inflammation. The researchers note that PPARγ mediated the beneficial anti-inflammatory effects.
Does CBD help with weight loss?
CBD could help weight loss, but the research is limited to preclinical studies, mostly animal test subjects.
One particular study on rat test subjects shows CBD significantly reduced appetite. Cannabinol (CBN) and cannabigerol (CBG) increased appetite and induced no changes, respectively. The researchers note that CBD’s ability to decrease appetite could mean a viable future treatment for obesity.
CBD converts white fat into brown fat
CBD might also stimulate the breakdown of fat molecules. Research shows CBD might also encourage the conversion of white fat into brown fat. CBD causing noticeable weight loss through white-brown fat conversion in humans is inconclusive.
There are two types of fat within your body: white and brown fat. White fat is “bad fat”, while brown fat is “good fat”. White fat stores energy and extra calories. Too much white fat can lead to obesity, heart disease, and diabetes.
On the other hand, brown fat breaks down fat molecules and burns calories to encourage heat and maintain body temperature. Many believe the burning of brown fat cells could lead to weight loss.
Conversion of white to brown fat occurs when the body is exposed to colder temperatures, exercise, and adequate sleep.
CBD could increase your metabolism and reduce food consumption
CBD might also increase your metabolism. Metabolism is the rate at which your body burns calories and turns them into energy. The higher your metabolism, the better it is for weight loss.
CBD potentially increases metabolism by influencing CB1 and CB2 receptors present in your brain and lymphoid tissue. These receptors are responsible for appetite and hunger.
A 2015 study on obese mice shows CBD specifically targeted CB2 receptors, producing “a profound reduction in bodyweight gain”, even when food intake was reduced.
CBD regulates insulin levels
Preclinical research suggests CBD might balance insulin levels in mice test subjects. The researchers discovered the incidence of diabetes was only 30% in mice treated with CBD. In comparison, the incidence of diabetes in mice not treated with CBD was 86%.
Insulin is a hormone secreted by your pancreas and is responsible for regulating your blood sugar (glucose) level and metabolism. When you eat a meal, glucose levels start to rise, signaling your pancreas to produce insulin and remove it from your bloodstream. Too much insulin can prevent fat burning, leading to weight gain.
However, research on CBD and its effect on human insulin levels is limited.
Does CBD reduce your appetite and act as an appetite suppressant?
Interestingly, cannabis strains higher in CBD caused appetite reduction, even with the presence of THC. There’s one possible explanation for this.
CBD is a negative allosteric modulator of the CB1 receptor, meaning it attaches to a different region on the receptor separate from THC. CBD’s modulatory behavior reduces THC’s effects, including its ability to increase your appetite.
Does marijuana promote weight loss?
There is little research to suggest marijuana use causes weight loss. However, evidence indicates marijuana users typically weigh less than those who don’t consume marijuana.
A compelling 2011 review shows cannabis users have lower obesity rates than those who don’t smoke cannabis.
The report includes two surveys with a total of 50,736 participants. Only 16.1% of cannabis users were obese, while the prevalence of obesity among non-cannabis users was 22%.
Likewise, an earlier 2020 research paper indicates obesity among young adults who use cannabis is lower than non-cannabis users.
Does the link between cannabis users and lower obesity rates mean marijuana is a decent tool for losing weight? No. Not necessarily. Both studies above indicate an essential connection between marijuana users and lower body weight, but they don’t conclusively illustrate why.
Should you use CBD for weight loss?
Unfortunately, we can’t recommend CBD for weight loss. The research isn’t conclusive.
However, plenty of anecdotal stories from users claiming CBD, along with a healthy diet and exercise, helped them lose weight. We imagine this is primarily down to diet and exercise, but CBD could be a secondary contributing factor.
Does CBD cause stomach bloating?
No. CBD in itself won’t cause stomach bloating, but other ingredients in a CBD product can. If you’re using CBD oil, the carrier the extract is diluted in can affect your stomach. The most commonly used carrier oil is a medium-chain triglyceride (MCT).
Medium-chain triglyceride carrier oils are sourced from natural coconut oil or palm oil and primarily contain the fatty acids caproic acid (C6), caprylic acid (C8), capric acid (C10), and lauric acid (C12).
Consuming too much MCT oil can cause gastrointestinal pain, burning, and discomfort. It might also cause diarrhea, loose stools, and anal burning. These gastrointestinal problems result from too much C6, C8, and C10, which the body finds more challenging to digest.
If you value a balanced gut and consider your anus a best friend, limit the amount of MCT you consume, whether it be in CBD oil or as a cooking ingredient. If you do consume MCT oil, make sure you eat beforehand.
Side effects of CBD
CBD is well-tolerated, and its side effects are mild, temporary, and non-life-threatening. There are no reports of adverse health problems from consuming CBD products unless they’re manufactured by shady, unscrupulous companies with no consideration for your wellbeing.
Common side effects of CBD include:
- Dry mouth
- Stomach complaints
CBD can also negatively interact and interfere with prescription and non-prescription medications, preventing them from metabolizing correctly in your body and negatively altering their effects. In rare cases, significant health problems or overdose can occur.
We recommend speaking with a doctor or healthcare physician before taking CBD oil.
Conclusion: More research is needed to uncover CBD’s effects on your appetite
CBD has conflicting effects on your appetite. Some research suggests CBD can increase your appetite, while other studies show it decreases your appetite. Conflicting research like this is why it’s difficult to recommend a product for weight loss, weight gain, or general appetite problems.
CBD Munchies: The Link Between CBD and Appetite
Munchies are a well-known side effect of marijuana, industrial hemp’s close cousin, but does CBD make you hungry? CBD and appetite have a working relationship, but it’s not as simple as the popular depiction of the munchies. In order to understand how CBD affects your diet, it helps to understand how CBD works and what causes the munchies.
Cannabidiol Is Not Marijuana
While it has long been lumped in with its psychoactive cousin, industrial hemp and marijuana are different . Both are part of the cannabis genus and contain the same cannabinoids, but their composition is vastly different. Industrial hemp has less than 0.3% THC by weight; this is compared to marijuana, with THC concentrations over 30%. This means that CBD derived from industrial hemp won’t get you “high,” but it’s also related to the difference in the THC vs. CBD appetite relationship. Does CBD or THC increase appetite?
What Are the Munchies?
The munchies are a sense of extreme hunger, often cited by users of marijuana. This is often portrayed in the media as a yearning for junk food like snack cakes and potato chips. It has also been erroneously portrayed as the same effect that fights nausea and appetite loss in some chemotherapy patients. While the munchies may not hurt, the therapeutic effect is provided through several mechanisms.
What causes the munchies?
The cause of munchies is all hormonal. First, THC stimulates ghrelin production, a naturally occurring hormone that stimulates your hunger for fatty foods. While usually this hormone only spikes when your stomach is empty, THC causes it to release early, whether or not you have food in your stomach.
THC also interacts with the CB1 receptors in your brain’s appetite control centers. This area regulates your hunger throughout the day and, unlike CBD, puts appetite areas into overdrive, creating a desire to eat.
Finally, THC increases the dopamine levels in your brain. Dopamine controls pleasure, and with the dopamine increase, food tastes better, smells are more appetizing, and the act of eating can bring more pleasure. This creates a reward system for feeding the first two mechanisms that increase appetite. This combination of effects is ultimately what causes the munchies.
CBD Can Still Affect Appetite
CBD munchies aren’t a thing, but that doesn’t mean it doesn’t affect how you eat food. Under certain circumstances, CBD can help you find it easier to eat and eat more, but this is done without affecting the hormones or brain areas that cause and regulate hunger. Rather, CBD can create better situations for food intake in your body.
To start with, anecdotal evidence and some studies indicate CBD helps control nausea. By easing nausea, the normal appetite drives of your body are free to take effect. That means a previously nauseous person is more likely to eat food, find it enjoyable, and keep that food down.
Users also cite the calming effects of CBD on both the nervous system and digestive tract. This helps users keep food down and gives them the confidence to eat more freely. Rather than CBD being what causes the munchies, this is another case where the return of the body to “normal” is seen as an increase, and the long-held boas to see hemp and marijuana as the same causes a regular eating pattern to be mislabeled.
So CBD Won’t Make Me Gain Weight?
Because of the relationship between CBD and appetite, users can end up being more robust eaters than before they began using. This can present itself as a normal, healthy eating habit, but just as with people who do not use CBD, poor eating habits can also be adopted. These habits aren’t CBD munchies but normal poor eating decisions due to stress, availability of quality food, budget, and other factors most Americans constantly struggle to balance.
Using CBD responsibly while making healthy decisions about food and exercise can help you reach and maintain a healthy weight. Rather than a direct effect like that promised by common weight loss supplements, this is a secondary effect brought about by CBD’s other benefits .
Because CBD helps ease stress, users prone to “stress eating” as a coping mechanism may find that they can easily say no to the cravings, thus making CBD for appetite regulation and effective strategy. CBD’s ability to promote a calmer demeanor and a more positive outlook can help reduce this need or help you make better decisions by reducing the urgency you feel to eat. In a way, CBD is anti-munchies.
CBD is also popular among athletes for its ability to aid focus and recovery after exertion. This makes maintaining a healthy level of activity easier. The American Heart Association recommends 2 ½ hours of moderate physical activity per week as a minimum for better heart health. By helping you heal and replenish after each session of exercise, CBD gets you ready for your next workout faster .
Getting a decent amount of quality sleep is an often unheralded part of maintaining a healthy weight, as lack of sleep can lead to the buildup of cortisol, which has been shown to increase belly fat. CBD can help you relax at night, encouraging deeper, better sleeping habits. By getting the proper amount and quality of rest, you’re more refreshed and ready to face the day’s demands.
Finding the Best CBD
When choosing a product with CBD for appetite control to avoid munchies, make sure it has a 0.0% THC content. That way, you get all the benefits of CBD without the potential for any THC side effects. Our CBD products start with naturally-grown American industrial hemp. Once it’s processed in our medical-grade facility in Colorado, the ultra-pure CBD oil is tested to ensure it’s both potent and uncontaminated by THC. These tests are repeated for our eventual finished products and verified by third-party labs , so you know you’re getting a safe premium product. If you want better CBD results, you have to use the best CBD products on the market.
If you have any questions about our CBD products , CBD and appetite, or how our CBD promotes overall health and wellness, call our experts at 888-519-2445. Order your premium CBD products online from CBD Choice today.