Select Page

Anorexia nervosa is an eating disorder characterised by an abnormally low body weight, an intense fear of gaining weight and a distorted perception of weight. Compared to other mental illness, anorexia has one of the highest death rates, and treatment of anorexia should address both psychological and physical problems.

Bulimia shares some features with anorexia; these people alternate between a careful restriction of eating and an almost complete loss of self control. When these people lose control they may quickly consume a few thousand calories, thus experiencing the pleasure of eating; subsequently, they force themselves to purge causing injury to their esophagus and teeth. Both stages of this process can be rewarding because of their ability to suppress depressive feelings and instill a sense of control over their bodies.

It seems that the functionality of the endocannabinoid system is adversely affected or impaired in those with anorexia and bulimia. Results showed that the brain’s neurotransmitter system was significantly underactive in participants with anorexia and bulimia. What was observed was the underactive neurotransmitter was in the area of the brain known as the insula. The insula is responsible for the integration of the taste of food with our emotional response to eating.

CBD may help to balance the endocannabinoid system, relieve stress and anxiety, improve mood, boost the immune system and increase appetiite. Other compounds in the full-spectrum oil, such as terpenes (borneol, eucalyptol, limonene, beta-caryophyllene, and d-linalool) have also been reported to have extra antidepressant and mood-enhancing effects. Other cannabinoids, such as cannabichromene (CBC) have also shown to offer antidepressant activity.

CBD can also encourage a massive shift in the hormones that control appetite. Normally when we eat a meal, our fat cells release a hormone called leptin. This hormone curbs our appetite and tells us we’re full. Another hormone, known as ghrelin, stimulates our hunger. People with anorexia often have dysfunctional hunger hormone balance, feeling satiated even when they should be hungry.


The Use of THC for Anorexia and Bullimia


Cannabinoids, in particular THC, kickstart hunger cravings by “flipping the hunger switch” in the hypothalamus of the brain. It also increases the production of ghrelin — the hormone responsible for making us feel hungry. THC works on this region of the brain through the CB1 receptors – these receptors control a wide range of functions in the body but are especially prominent in the hypothalamus.

Taking into consideration the benefits of both CBD and THC, It’s recommended that you find an extract that contains both THC and CBD.

Pertinent Studies:
Misner, D. L., & Sullivan, J. M. (1999). Mechanism of cannabinoid effects on long-term potentiation and depression in hippocampal CA1 neurons. Journal of Neuroscience, 19(16), 6795-6805.
R de Mello Schier, A., P de Oliveira Ribeiro, N., S Coutinho, D., Machado, S., Arias-Carrión, O., A Crippa, J., … & C Silva, A. (2014). Antidepressant-like and anxiolytic-like effects of cannabidiol: a chemical compound of Cannabis sativa. CNS & Neurological Disorders-Drug Targets (Formerly Current Drug Targets-CNS & Neurological Disorders), 13(6), 953-960.
Kirkham, T. C. (2005). Endocannabinoids in the regulation of appetite and body weight. Behavioral Pharmacology, 16(5-6), 297-313.
Kola, B., Hubina, E., Tucci, S. A., Kirkham, T. C., Garcia, E. A., Mitchell, S. E., … & Korbonits, M. (2005). Cannabinoids and ghrelin have both central and peripheral metabolic and cardiac effects via AMP-activated protein kinase. Journal of Biological Chemistry, 280(26), 25196-25201.