If you’re new to cannabidiol ( CBD), a common question, query or concern you may have is, does using CBD oil make you hungry? While the side effect known as ‘the munchies’ is synonymous with using cannabis, you’d be within your right to wonder if using the cannabis extract CBD oil might do the same. Let’s find out more about the munchies, whether using CBD oil will make you hungry and what effect CBD has on your metabolism.
Does CBD Give You the ‘Munchies’?
Similar to the onset of uncontrollable giggling, the munchies have been a staple stereotype associated with those who use cannabis. An image easily conjured is that of the ‘stoner’ character seen in movies; devouring sweet treats, surrounded by pizza boxes and empty food-wrappers. As with most thing in life, there’s often a scientific explanation to be found, or, as is with the majority of medical research concerning the relationship between cannabinoids and our endocannabinoid system (ECS), answers waiting to be discovered.
Cannabis contains over a hundred known cannabinoid molecules, which interact with our endocannabinoids receptors (CB1 and CB2) found throughout our central nervous system and peripheral organs. The two most predominant cannabinoids found in cannabis are CBD and the psychoactive THC. Depending on the cannabinoid, these mysterious molecules either bind or signal to receptors, which go on to prompt a variety of physiological processes within our body. These can be anything from sleep and mood to memory and more importantly, in this instance – appetite.
Early studies suggest that this increased appetite regarding the use of the whole cannabis plant will be mainly due to the THC content. THC has been found to bind itself to the CB1 receptors and stimulate the release of the hormone ghrelin. Produced primarily by the stomach, but also released in the small intestine, pancreas and brain, ghrelin is sometimes known as the ‘hunger hormone’ and will increase your appetite, food intake and fat storage. Hence why consuming cannabis with a high THC content may provoke you to raid the biscuit tin.
Although CBD is a cannabinoid found within the cannabis plant, consuming the isolated molecule via CBD oil or CBD vape e-liquid is unlikely to cause the same kind of chronic munchies you get from using cannabis, as portrayed in the mainstream media.
As mentioned, where THC molecules bind themselves to our CB1 receptors, CBD instead indirectly interacts with our receptors by signalling to them and have an alternative effect. This means that when you use CBD oil you’re unlikely to have the same kind of ravenous attitude to food that using cannabis products can have.
Depending on what kind of CBD product you choose to use, you may yet experience an impact on your appetite in one way or another. CBD products sold in the UK must not exceed a level of 0.2% THC content in the oil, which means that there may a minuscule amount of the molecule in there somewhere. If you were to use more than the recommended dosage on a regular basis, there may be a chance that your appetite will increase as a result.
While more research is required, anecdotal evidence suggests that in some cases, CBD will increase the appetite, though this is suspected to be due to any anxiety one may be facing being calmed and quelled. Once those symptoms are reduced, it’s suggested that the appetite returns, rather than it being motivated into a state of ‘the munchies’.
Furthermore, products such as Full Spectrum of Raw CBD will have additional cannabinoids included within them such as THCV, CBCVA and CBL, which like CBD and THC that will also interact with your endocannabinoid system to a certain extent. For instance, early research shows that cannabinoids such as THCV may have the ability to actually suppress your hunger rather than induce it.
The Effect of CBD on Your Metabolism
While you might not get the munchies when you use CBD, research shows that your metabolism will still be affected to a degree. A 2016 study published in the scientific journal Molecular and Cellular Biochemistry, found that CBD effects fat cells by stimulating proteins in a process know as ‘fat browning’. This process increases the breakdown of fat, which can boost the body’s ability to burn calories. While it’s thought that white fat cells can potentially increase the risk of diabetes and heart disease, brown fat has the potential to promote healthy weight loss via the increase of energy burned.
As the research into CBD treads a long and winding road, it’s clear that the complexity of the endocannabinoid system and the impact of cannabinoids can have on it needs to be further understood to come to any kind of viable conclusion. This means while the potential of CBD and cannabinoids heralds an exciting future, at this present time, the UK and the EU don’t recognise any medicinal or remedial benefits from using CBD products – which means we don’t either.