How to understand cannabis:
CBD Vrs THC
The cannabis plant contains over 400 active compounds which include dozens of cannabinoids. The two most prominent cannabinoids in cannabis are CBD and THC. The latter is the main intoxicating compound that realises a euphoric feeling which is found in marijuana and delivers its effects by binding directly with CB1 cannabinoid receptors in the brain and body.
The other main part CBD, on the other hand, is a non-intoxicating compound that has little affinity for CB1 and CB2 receptors, CBD works by activating over 60 different molecular pathways to the brain and other places, which is what gives it the potential to have such varied effects.
So will I get hungry when taking CBD oil?
In a word no, the hunger effects we associate with cannabis are caused by THC. While we still don’t completely understand how THC has such potent hunger-inducing prowess, research suggests that THC increases the production of ghrelin (a hormone that encourages us to seek out food) when it binds to CB1 receptors.
Technically the CBD doesn’t bind to CB1 receptors, it doesn’t have the hunger stimulating effects of THC but CBD can affect our appetite in other ways.
Our own endocannabinoid system and appetite
Our own endocannabinoid system is a complicated system that mediates a wide variety of bodily processes, including those related to nausea, metabolism and appetite.
We are very early in understanding of our own endocannabinoid system. Research only began in the 1940s this was when THC was first discovered and only after further research years later did scientists learned that humans actually produce their own cannabinoids.
As of today we now know that humans have their own endocannabinoid system, and we know that activating CB1 receptors increases appetite while blocking this receptor can reduce appetite. Further research has also found that we also know that the endocannabinoid system affects signalling to the neurotransmitter (such as dopamine) and can affect our reward system and the desire to eat more than usual.
Can CBD suppress and stimulate hunger?
Research from “The British Journal of Pharmacology” the shows that CBD can affect neurotransmitters like serotonin, which also play an important role in regulating appetite and nausea and published a study on the effects of CBD including nausea and appetite.
The study was conducted on rats and shrews who were given different compounds like lithium chloride, nicotine, and cisplatin to induce vomiting and sickness the results showed that giving the animals CBD, reduced the symptoms of nausea and vomiting induced by all of these substances.
To further research on the effects of CBD, the researchers gave the animals a substance that blocked the serotonin receptors in the dorsal raphe nucleus, which is a part of the brainstem that plays an important role in managing vomiting and nausea by turning off these receptors this reversed the effects of CBD, suggesting that CBD affects nausea and vomiting by activating these serotonin receptors.
Further studies published in the same journal almost a year later showed that the acidic precursor CBDA, which is CBD’s little brother, had similar effects and an even more action for serotonin receptors.This would suggest that that CBD and CBDA may boost appetite indirectly by reducing nausea..ncibi study
Science suggest that this study is not fully conclusive, with other research argue that CBD could also work as an appetite suppressant.
A paper written in 2012 by the journal of Psychopharmacology argues that by blocking CB1 receptors tested the effects of CBD on the eating patterns of rats. The study found that CBD greatly reduced the amount of food the animals consumed, while CBN (cannabinol) increased feeding.
Some research has also suggested that CBD can help calm inflammation-related problems throughout the stomach and GI tract this 2011 study published in PLOS One found that CBD could reduce intestinal inflammation. Other research theorises that CBD initiates these effects by activating TPRV (or vanilloid) receptors in the GI tract. These receptors may calm pain signalling and inflammatory processes, both of which are linked to appetite.