The world we’re living in has been getting closer and closer to cannabis for medicinal use. The plant has been recently tested and used for the treatment or to alleviate the symptoms of many health conditions, such as Alzheimer’s, epilepsy, Parkinson’s, certain types of cancer, and more (3).
At the same time, we’re living in a world that sadly, is contaminated by poor nutrition and body ideals. In fact, according to the National Association of Anorexia Nervosa and Associated Disorders, ANAD, 9% of the world’s population is struggling with some sort of eating disorder.
Understanding Eating Disorders
Eating disorders, whether it’s overweight problems such as obesity, or, on the other hand, anorexia and bulimia nervosa are all grave mental illnesses that can be extremely hard to overcome by the patient suffering from them (2).
The main problem with eating disorders, specifically with the latter two, is that the patient has a deep fear of getting fat, therefore they can’t let go of the control they’ve created inside their heads that helps them, with the ill mechanisms they’ve adopted, to stay in their illness’s comfort zone, deteriorating themselves slowly as life passes by.
And this isn’t the only struggle with eating disorders, more often than not, these mental conditions come hand in hand with depression and low self-esteem, whether it is that these two generated the disorder or the other way around, the disorder which led to these.
Can Marijuana Help?
But where’s the connection between cannabis and eating disorders, you might wonder. Well, it’s everywhere.
If you’re a cannabis user yourself, or perhaps you know someone who is, then you most likely have heard about the expression ‘munchies’ sometimes, especially after coming across with some of the best autoflowers.
In case you haven’t, the ‘munchies’ are a common effect produced after marijuana consumption that notoriously boosts the appetite, making the subject want to eat big amounts of food, and even switching constantly from sweet to salty and everything in between.
Supporting Healthy Weight Management
Since conditions such as anorexia nervosa involve starving oneself in order to lose a couple of kilos, the use of marijuana could indeed be effective for those under treatment. Why do I specify this though?
Well, the main problem with patients struggling with eating disorders is the stage of denial, in which they refuse to see that they are ill, both because of the fear of getting fat, and because they literally can’t see what’s in front of them in the mirror, therefore it can get scary (2).
When patients find themselves at this stage, most likely they will try to find a way to dodge their treatment, turning the treatment impossible. Eating disorder patients can only get better when they truly want that for themselves.
Anyway, some studies do back the fact that marijuana is effective in boosting the appetite, as well as it aids in the treatment of anxiety, often found as a side effect of these illnesses. Cannabis can also help those who are struggling with depression, which, as we’ve mentioned, isn’t uncommon in anorexics or bulimics either; and it can also promote healthier sleeping schedules, insomnia is another common side effect of these eating disorders (4).
But what about obesity then? Won’t marijuana produce the countereffect? It all depends on the cannabinoids, the compounds present in weed buds, that you consume. For example, if you need help to boost the appetite then your go-to cannabinoid should be THC, the psychoactive compound in marijuana.
When you’re looking for the opposite, to suppress the appetite, then the cannabinoid you should be aiming at is THCV, a less famous compound in the weed family. This THCV compound, unlike its friends in the fam, is known for producing the opposite effects: reducing the appetite and aiding with weight loss, therefore, it could indeed be a competent and natural alternative for patients handling obesity (5).
Not only is cannabis greatly efficient in the effects it can provide for these patients but it is also an amazing natural alternative, ideal for those who would rather not take any unnecessary artificial medications. In fact, you can even grow it yourself in your own garden. All it takes is a quality auto-flowering cannabis seed, which is ideal for beginners and getting started. Besides keeping yourself busy by taking care of a plant is another great therapeutic resource, but that’s a story for another day!