Will CBD Make Me Hungry?
Worried that CBD may give you a dose of the ‘munchies’? Odd as it may sound to some, this is one of the most common questions people ask when wondering what effect it has on the body.
As CBD is not yet fully understood at a clinical level – which is why we never guarantee or promote potential health benefits – likewise it would be rash to lean one way or another on this question.
What we will suggest however is that it’s interesting to explore some aspects of how CBD and other cannabinoids work within our metabolic systems.
The THC Issue
Rather unsurprisingly the vast majority of research that has been conducted into the cannabis plant family has focused on the psychoactive compound – THC. It’s generally accepted that this is the culprit for explaining why so many people experience hunger cravings – especially for sugary sweets and fatty foods – when they are enjoying the plant recreationally.
Physiologically speaking, THC binds itself to the CB1 receptors and consequently promotes the release of the hormone ghrelin. As this hormone is mostly released from parts of the digestive tract such as the small intestine, pancreas, and stomach, it tells our brain that we are hungry and only ‘naughty’ foods will satisfy! Rather annoyingly, these false signals also happen to push our body into a false starvation/survival mode and more liable to store away fats.
It’s important at this stage to note that taking cannabis in this style causes all sorts of other endocrine responses within the body. These include sleepiness, mood, memory and a host of others. Ever wondered why some people become ‘paranoid’ when they take cannabis? It’s not due to any existing worries, but a physiological response to a sudden release of unnecessary hormones.
When it comes to CBD oils, they are only legal in the UK providing they contain no more than 0.2% THC. As THC constitutes by far the largest part of the cannabis plant, it stands to reason that removing all but a residual trace should prevent people from feeling excessive hunger. But is this always the case?
People Have Different Experiences With CBD
CBD differs from THC because it works in a much less direct way. Rather than directly binding onto those CB1 receptors and releasing hormones, they instead produce signals that encourage the body to work in a more harmonious fashion.
While THC is very ’cause and effect’, CBD is far more subtle in regards to how it works within the body. Combine this with the fact that there are a huge number of variants that influence how it works in different bodies (natural chemistry, age, gender, existing ailments, natural tolerance, etc) and it’s near impossible to predict exactly how it will react between different people.
This is exactly the same reason why it is proving so difficult to understand – and why responsible vendors never claim that their products will serve as some kind of medicinal wonder cure. In fact, those who do so are breaking UK law.
What we can say with absolute confidence is that no-one should experience any unpleasant physical reactions from taking CBD products. It’s an entirely benign supplement that carries nothing in the way of side effects (and there is no such thing as being ‘allergic’ to hemp!).
There is one caveat that must be made here. There does seem to be a minority of people who may experience a ‘light’ form of the munchies when they start taking CBD. Quite how much this is a psychosomatic reaction instead of a physical compulsion is obviously very difficult to measure. Before you start throwing the crisps and sweets into the bin – be aware that some others report that their experience taking CBD actually reduces their appetite!
Confused yet? In a nutshell, how much CBD may affect your appetite comes down largely to your individual response to the supplement. We’d say that the overwhelming majority of people experience no such symptoms whatsoever – but clearly some, for whatever reasons may.
Does Full Spectrum CBD Increase The Munchies?
The merits of full spectrum extracts over ‘pure’ isolates are increasingly well known, and we are firmly in the camp that they offer more potential thanks to all the additional cannabinoids and terpenes they contain.
However, they do tend to have a tiny amount more residual THC than compared to isolates (still obviously well below the legal threshold) and some argue that this makes them potentially more likely to prompt bouts of unnecessary hunger.
In the grand scheme of things, that minuscule extra amount of THC is almost certainly not going to be enough to make such a massive difference. Potentially, the many extra cannabinoids (most of which are still far from properly understood) could cause a greater likelihood of this problem developing, but we’re still firmly on the fence regarding that. It’s much more likely attributable to the individual’s body chemistry and psychological impulses.
The endocannabinoid system is still far from understood, which makes it especially difficult to ascertain exactly to what extent CBD may influence hormones that stimulate hunger.
Much of the existing research into this topic has been based upon short studies that have not drawn any clearcut conclusions, so it would be rash and irresponsible for us to fall on either side of the debate.
What we can say is that people react differently to these supplements and that some people claim that it does stimulate their appetite. But then, others say the opposite – so who knows?
While it is certainly worthwhile being aware of, it should not play any real part towards making an informed decision over whether CBD may be worth trying out for yourself.