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Does CBD Make You Hungry? Debunking the Myth

CBD products are everywhere. And it’s not surprising. CBD is widely accepted in the wellness space as a safe, natural alternative to other supplements.

However, CBD is also surrounded by myths, many perpetuated by its close relationship to THC.

Does CBD make you hungry? Does it really have any benefits? CBD makes you gain weight. CBD makes you lose weight. — You can get a different answer for each article you read.

That’s where we’re different: Let’s debunk the CBD myths surrounding appetite with actual research and studies.

How Does CBD Affect Appetite?

We know that THC gives us the “munchies,” but what about CBD? Well, THC affects appetite by stimulating hunger hormones called ghrelin. And the increased dopamine from THC increases them further still.

On the other hand, CBD can affect appetite by mediating our mental and physical experiences. Both cannabinoids interact with our endocannabinoid system (ECS), regulating homeostasis all over our body — including our digestive systems.

Many people use CBD to support healthier moods, relieve nausea, and improve stress, all of which can support a healthy appetite in those experiencing appetite loss.

Plus, it’s easy (and delicious) to introduce CBD into your cooking routine, bringing a renewed enthusiasm for spending time in the kitchen and increasing appetite.

However, none of this means that CBD directly makes you hungry. Let’s continue our dive into CBD and appetite.

Related: How Does CBD Oil Make You Feel?

Two women eating pizza

Does CBD Increase Appetite?

We discussed how CBD can increase appetite in a positive way for those dealing with appetite loss, but can it increase appetite when you don’t want it to?

It’s not uncommon to crave food or eat more than usual when using CBD products — but why? It’s often due to other factors. As mentioned above, many people turn to CBD for stress relief. And what’s a common symptom of stress? Increased appetite.

CBD doesn’t necessarily make you hungry; it may actually help suppress appetite through its interactions with our ECS receptors, specifically CB1.

Is CBD a Good Appetite Suppressant?

First, let’s look at how CBD can play a role in weight loss. Although research regarding this role is minimal, CBD can improve sleep, anxiety, stress, and chronic painall contributing factors to weight gain.

Now, let’s explore this study: Our ECS helps regulate inflammation and food intake, affecting weight gain. In addition, some animal studies found that CBD helps reduce your food intake and increase your metabolism through its interactions with the ECS’s CB1 and CB2 receptors.

So, it seems CBD can improve your appetite if you’re experiencing appetite loss, or it can suppress your appetite that comes from things like stress and anxiety.

What can’t CBD do?

Does CBD or CBG Make You Hungry?

We covered CBD, but what about another popular cannabinoid: CBG? 

While CBG is not as well-researched as CBD and other cannabinoids like THC, more and more studies continue to show its potential benefits.

CBG acts on the same receptors but appears to have different functions and health benefits.

Early studies show that CBG works as an appetite stimulant, increasing your hunger. This study concludes that CBG elicits an extreme feeling of hunger and shows promise for treating eating disorders and body weight regulation.

Related: How to Determine Your Ideal CBD Dose

Do Cannabinoids Increase Appetite?

While CBD typically works as an appetite suppressant, and CBG works as an appetite stimulant, what about the other two most popular cannabinoids: CBN and THC?

Like CBG, we don’t know quite as much about CBN as we do CBD, but it seems to increase appetite substantially.

Then, we have THC and the “munchies.” Does this popular psychotropic cannabinoid really cause hunger, or does it just make food irresistibly delicious? The answer is both.

THC affects appetite in two ways: It tricks your brain into sending hunger signals and makes everything taste better, making you want to keep eating.

So, CBD is the only cannabinoid with solid research showing its use as an appetite suppressant, while current studies show that CBG, CBN, and THC all significantly increase users’ appetites.

A young couple running across the Brooklyn Bridge

Can CBD Help With Weight Loss?

While little is known about CBD’s effects on weight loss, there is some promising research available:

  • CBD can affect weight when it interacts with our CB1 and CB2 receptors, which play crucial roles in our food intake and metabolism.
  • An animal study where researchers gave rats 2.5 mg and 5 mg of CBD per kg of body weight found that both led to significant weight loss, with the higher dose being more effective.

Our bodies have two types of fat: White and brown. White fat is associated with chronic illnesses, while brown fat generates heat when we burn calories.

Healthier people have more brown fat than white. There are a few ways to convert white fat to brown, like getting enough sleep and exercising regularly.

Interestingly, CBD may also help this process.

Some researchers found that CBD can help turn white fat cells brown and enhance the proteins in our bodies that promote brown fat.

Can CBD Help With Weight Gain?

Funnily enough, while CBD shows promise as an appetite suppressant and weight loss aid, it can also cause weight gain — different factors affect its effect on appetite, including genetics and which CBD products you use.

We don’t mean to give you mixed answers, we promise. We just want you to have all the info before making a decision about using CBD for weight loss or gain.

Related: CBD Guide for Moms

Is CBD Right for You?

Let’s start with this: CBD is safe, well-tolerated, and non-addictive. In 2022, almost two-thirds of US adults reported using CBD, and the market was valued at approximately $18 billion, with expectations to triple in the next few years.

The verdict’s out — research shows CBD’s usefulness for treating many conditions.

CBD works wonders for many people, but is it right for you? There’s only one way to find out.
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