Does CBD Oil Make You Hungry?

CBD oil is a common go-to remedy for many different health ailments. People are using CBD to improve their sleep, relieve their pain, and resolve their anxiety. However, some are asking, “Does CBD make you hungry?” Is it possible that CBD use can cause a person to overeat? Marijuana is notorious for causing users to get the munchies, but marijuana contains both THC and CBD. Can CBD oil by itself do the same? These are all important questions.

In this post, we will provide some answers to your questions about CBD oil and hunger and weight. We will dive into what the research says about CBD and hunger as well as how CBD could change your food intake and your weight as well.

Does CBD Make You Hungry?

There are a few different factors to consider when it comes to how humans eat. One is appetite (the desire for food) and another is hunger (the physiological urge to eat). Some people eat when they have an appetite (crave food) and are hungry (their bodies need food) while others eat when they have an appetite but do not have hunger.

This can happen if you pass by food that smells appealing, you see food that looks appetizing, or when food readily available or in front of you. Another factor is, as you may already know, whether or not you use marijuana. All of these triggers can make your brain send out signals that make you want to eat.

Because many people associate marijuana with revving their appetite, the question of whether CBD alone can make you hungry comes up often. 

The way your body knows it is hungry is through various signals the body sends out, such as when your blood sugar dips, when your stomach growls, and other physiological reactions to seeing or smelling food. When your blood sugar or your body’s energy levels dip, there is a release of the hormone called ghrelin.

This hormone signals that you’re hungry and that it is time to eat. In contrast, the hormone leptin, which is released from your fat cells and your small intestine, tells your body you are full and to stop eating.

Some early studies have shown that CBD could have a positive influence on blood sugar control in people with diabetes. One study found that CBD helps to regulate the hormone resistin, which controls insulin and blood sugar levels, and is also linked to diabetes.

Since proper blood sugar and insulin balance are key regulators in hunger signals, it is possible that by helping to control blood sugar levels, CBD could help people feel less hungry.

There is also research that suggests that the endocannabinoid system interacts with the vagus nerve, which runs from the brain to the abdomen and stimulates our parasympathetic nervous system. The parasympathetic nervous system tells the body to rest and digest.

CBD stimulates the endocannabinoid system in the gut and may modulate a person’s hunger signals. This means, it is possible that taking CBD could make you hungry. However, this research is still in its infancy.

Stress levels and anxiety also influence ghrelin. Research has found that people who have difficulty managing their stress levels have higher ghrelin levels after eating. In other words, their hunger shut-off mechanism is less responsive under high levels of stress. Plus, cortisol (our stress hormone) is reactive to eating. This means that people may experience a drop in their stress hormone levels after eating, which is why people may use eating to cope with stress.

CBD has been shown to help people manage their stress and anxiety levels. There have been several studies that show that CBD can help people with social anxiety as well as generalized anxiety. In theory, it is possible that using CBD to help with anxiety and stress levels could then help with your ghrelin response and hunger cues.

Right now, there is not enough information to know exactly how CBD affects your appetite. There are likely many factors at play, and the effect may depend on your personal circumstances and body. 

Can CBD Oil Help Me Lose Weight?

The answer to this question is … it’s too soon to tell. There has been quite a bit of research on CBD and its effect on our brains, bodies, and behaviors. However, the impact of CBD on weight has had some conflicting medical research.

There have been studies that show CBD can help stabilize blood sugar, insulin, and hunger regulation in people with diabetes. On the other hand, CBD may stimulate increased hunger by interacting with the vagus nerve. 

Plus, the reason why people cannot lose weight varies from person to person. If stress-eating is an obstacle to your weight loss, using CBD to manage your stress may mean you don’t eat as much and can lose weight. 

The side effects of CBD are also debated among the medical community. Some sources report that CBD can cause a decrease in appetite (the desire to eat), which is closely linked with hunger (the need to eat) because together appetite and hunger dictate food intake. It should be noted that not all sources agree on the side effects of CBD. Some sources state that CBD does not have an impact on digestive function, including appetite. Right now, all we can say is that CBD could potentially affect hunger and other digestive functions, but nothing is guaranteed. 

There have been some test-tube studies that show CBD helps the body to convert fat into brown fat. Brown fat is metabolically active tissue that actually burns up energy. If this is the case in humans, using CBD may help you to lose weight through this mechanism. Keep in mind, our bodies are very different than test tubes, and human studies are needed before it can be said for certain that this is the case.

Conclusion

The potential uses for CBD oil are continuing to expand with more and more research coming out. The question of whether or not CBD oil can make you hungry is one that has many different factors to consider. Given that hunger is influenced by cues from hormones like ghrelin, environmental causes such as seeing or smelling food, and a person’s stress levels, the answer is not a simple one. 

Since early research has shown that CBD may increase as well as decrease hunger cues, only one thing is clear: More research needs to be done on CBD’s relation to hunger and weight. 

Sources Used:

  1. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17212793
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