*Featured Photo: Anna Symonds, Education & Partnership Manager at East Fork Cultivars
When people consume cannabis, sensory perceptions are heightened by the compound tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). While smoking cannabis is often associated with getting the munchies, there’s a certain chemical compound that gives you many of the benefits of cannabis without the high or munchies. Cannabidiol (CBD) works differently in the body.
Some cannabis products may contain large amounts of CBD and THC in varying ratios. Products that contain large amounts of THC can directly influence your appetite. CBD-rich products may not directly give you the munchies, but can put you in a better mood, which can lead to enjoying yourself with a delicious and healthy meal.
How do the Munchies Work?
There are two types of cell receptors in your brain: CB1 and CB2. CB1 receptors can activate your olfactory mechanism to become more responsive to external stimuli like the smell of a fresh-baked pie or the taste of a juicy fruit. Since CB1 receptors in your brain control a circuit that connects your olfactory bulb to your olfactory cortex, you can use cannabis to increase your appetite if you have trouble eating. Cannabinoids in cannabis promote the release of certain chemical compounds such as a hormone called ghrelin that induces appetite. People may actively use cannabis to improve their appetite if they are undergoing treatments or suffer from diseases that inhibit appetite including people undergoing chemotherapy.
CBD doesn’t interact with the CB1 receptor the same way that THC does, so it may have an indirect impact on your appetite. It can decrease pain, anxiety, and gently elevate mood, making it more conducive to you having an appetite. CBD works overtime by reducing blood sugar levels, making it easier for certain people to maintain a healthy weight if a medical condition depends on it. Instead of exacerbating diseases like diabetes, cannabis users don’t need to experience the signature “munchies.” While CBD is not a cure-all for diabetes, it can help with appetite issues.
CBD products often contain trace amounts of THC. CBD can be produced from whole-plant extracts or the industrial hemp plant. Since hemp contains very little THC, it is legal to produce and obtain CBD products in medically legalized states, but the federal government still classifies it as a Schedule I drug.
Additionally, the more cannabinoids and terpenes are present in the product, the more it can affect your appetite due to the Entourage Effect. If you’re already feeling hungry before and your blood sugar is low, the CBD may slightly enhance those hunger feelings. Just remember, a full-spectrum product may imbue a small increase in appetite, as opposed to using CBD isolates.
While CBD products may seem initially pricey, the effects can be worth the investment. For the price of a cup of coffee, you can have a CBD ingestible, smokable, or any other consumption you can think of. It’s not easy to give a blanket statement on how CBD affects everyone because cannabinoids can affect everyone differently.
The folks at East Fork Cultivars are extremely knowledgeable on the subject of CBD as they cultivate CBD flower for the Oregon market.