Medical cannabis is gaining recognition for its potential therapeutic effects on a range of medical conditions, including anorexia nervosa. Anorexia nervosa is a complex mental health disorder characterized by a severe aversion to food and distorted body image. Medical cannabis may be useful for patients with anorexia nervosa due to its appetite-stimulating and calming effects. It takes more than the munchies to provide effective treatment for anorexia, but medical marijuana may be a useful tool to use within the scope of a treatment plan developed by your cannabis physician.
Medical Cannabis for Anorexia Nervosa
Anorexia nervosa is an eating disorder characterized by an intense fear of gaining weight, leading to restricted food intake, resulting in significantly low body weight . It has two main subtypes: the restricting type, where individuals reduce food intake to lose weight, and the binge-eating/purging type, involving episodes of binge-eating followed by purging behaviors. The exact causes of anorexia are complex and multifaceted. Genetic, environmental, psychological, and societal factors all contribute. Typical treatment for anorexia nervosa includes therapy, nutrition counseling, and the use of medications to address depression and anxiety.
Cannabis and Weight Gain
There is no direct correlation between cannabis use and weight gain . In fact, cannabis users tend to have lower body mass than non-cannabis users. However, there is a well-documented effect of cannabinoids stimulating appetite via cannabinoid receptors. While this may sound paradoxical, it seems to be the case. When looking at food intake, scientists have observed that low doses of marijuana do not tend to increase eating but high doses do (2-3 joints in this study). For medical marijuana patients, this dosing may be different based on the recommendations of their doctor and their particular health condition.
From the perspective of anorexia nervosa, the goal of treatment with medical marijuana is often to encourage and stimulate eating behavior while easing psychological stress. Weight gain is also needed along with therapy to address psychological causes, but medical marijuana may be a useful component to aid appetite stimulation and help the patient feel more relaxed while eating. Anorexia nervosa treatment with cannabis has not yet been widelyl studied. However, there have been a few small studies that demonstrated successful weight gain . With that in mind, patients should work closely with their doctors when using medical marijuana as part of their treatment.
What Causes the Munchies?
If you search Google for the cause of the munchies, it will first return a result that tells you “ghrelin.” However, this answer is incorrect! The hunger hormone ghrelin is typically produced by the stomach before regular meal times. Research has demonstrated that if the endocannabinoid system is not working, ghrelin cannot exert its appetite-stimulating effect . However, upregulation of cannabinoid receptors does not increase ghrelin production.
The true cause of the munchies is much more elusive. The best explanation that scientists have so far was offered in a 2014 mouse study. In this study, scientists found that cannabinoids increase odor detection via cannabinoid receptor 1 due to receptor presence on the main olfactory bulb . The animal’s increased ability to smell food led them to eat more.
Top 10 Cannabis Strains for Anorexia Nervosa
When choosing a cannabis strain, you will want to consider a few factors. The first is the time of day. If it is the evening, you may want to opt for an indica which is more sedative and relaxing. If it is morning or daytime, a hybrid or energizing sativa will likely be more appropriate. Another consideration is your experience level. Inexperienced cannabis users should start with smaller amounts and strains that are lower in THC and higher in CBD to avoid overwhelming intoxication. With that in mind, here are ten cannabis strains that are notorious for giving people the munchies!
- Blue Dream
If you have an appreciation for cannabis, you’re probably familiar with the name Blue Dream. Blue Dream is a sativa-dominant hybrid resulting from the fusion of Blueberry and Haze strains, delivering a harmonious and euphoric experience. This strain enjoys popularity among both recreational and medicinal users, catering to the preferences of both novices and seasoned enthusiasts.
Breaking open a nug of Blue Dream rewards your senses with a burst of sweet, berry-like fragrances, accompanied by subtle earthy undertones. This scent is not only captivating but also invigorating, thanks to the interplay of dominant terpenes, myrcene, pinene, and caryophyllene. When consumed via smoking or vaporization, it provides a smooth, sweet, and fruity flavor, complemented by a discreet herbal note.
Where Blue Dream truly shines is in its effects. This strain offers a well-balanced high that suits any time of day. The experience commences with a euphoric cerebral rush that ignites creativity and lifts your spirits. It’s the type of high that can enhance your mood, kindle motivation, and sharpen your focus. Alongside these qualities, Blue Dream also carries just enough indica influence to introduce a gentle body relaxation that harmonizes with the cerebral effects.
- Sour Diesel
Sour Diesel, often referred to as Sour D, is a sativa-dominant cannabis strain celebrated for its swift-acting cerebral effects. A product of the dynamic Chemdawg and Super Skunk lineage, Sour Diesel is particularly renowned for its distinct gassy aroma. The flavors it offers are characterized by pungent, skunky, and fuel-like notes, interwoven with subtle hints of citrus.
Best reserved for daytime consumption, Sour Diesel ushers in a surge of high-energy effects. Users can anticipate feelings of motivation, coupled with an elevated and positive mood. However, due to its robust sativa nature, it’s essential to be mindful of the potential for heightened anxiety or paranoia. The primary terpenes found in Sour Diesel are caryophyllene, myrcene, and limonene, complemented by minor traces of pinene, linalool, and terpineol.
- Girl Scout Cookies
Girl Scout Cookies (GSC), the renowned cannabis strain, is a hybrid offspring resulting from the union of OG Kush and Durban Poison. GSC has garnered a multitude of awards and accolades for its exceptional flavors and effects. Although GSC is often categorized as indica-dominant, its widespread appeal lies in its unique ability to deliver waves of relaxation and euphoria without the weighty sedation typically associated with indica strains. It achieves a harmonious balance by soothing the body while maintaining an uplifting mental state.
GSC’s charm is further enhanced by its delightful aromas and flavors, which offer hints of lemon, cherry, and mint. Its terpene profile prominently features myrcene, complemented by lesser amounts of terpenes like pinene, ocimene, and humulene, contributing to its distinct taste. With a typical THC content of around 19%, GSC strikes a balance suitable for both experienced and novice cannabis enthusiasts. GSC presents various phenotypes, including Thin Mint, Platinum Cookies, and OG Kush Breath, and has served as a parent strain for an impressive array of hybrid offspring.
- OG Kush
OG Kush welcomes you with a fragrance characterized by hints of gas, skunk, and spice, while its flavors unfold to reveal delightful undertones of lemon and pine, with subtle notes of spice and fuel. As a quintessential hybrid cannabis strain, OG Kush offers a balanced blend of cerebral and physical effects, effectively dissipating stress and replacing it with a sense of euphoria. This strain typically boasts moderate THC levels ranging from 18% to 20%, yet it delivers a potent and enduring high. Exceptional cultivators can achieve THC potency levels as high as 26% with OG Kush. The terpene profile of OG Kush prominently showcases myrcene, limonene, and caryophyllene.
- Granddaddy Purple
Whether you refer to it as Grand Daddy Purp, Granddaddy Purple Kush, Granddaddy Purps, or simply GDP, the Granddaddy Purple cannabis strain has earned an iconic status. Emerging from a genetic blend of Mendocino Purps, Skunk, and Afghanistan, this indica variety rose to prominence around 2003. Granddaddy Purple boasts a seemingly modest THC potency, averaging around 17%, but its effects are far from mild, encompassing a harmonious fusion of cerebral euphoria and profound bodily relaxation.
Recreationally, Granddaddy Purple is celebrated for its dreamy and euphoric high. On the medicinal front, it offers a plethora of advantages, including pain relief, relief from insomnia, enhanced appetite, and mitigation of muscle spasms. The strain’s buds, tinted with shades of purple, exude an enticing bouquet of sweet and floral notes reminiscent of grapes, berries, and flowers. This delightful aroma owes much to its dominant terpene profile, led by myrcene, pinene, and caryophyllene.
- White Widow
White Widow, a timeless cannabis strain with roots dating back to the 1990s, is a hybrid born of a Brazilian Sativa landrace and a South Indian landrace, cementing its status as one of the pioneering “balanced hybrids.” This strain exudes a robust fragrance reminiscent of pepper and pine. On the palate, it offers a medley of flavors, including notes of spice, earth, and pine, largely attributed to its dominant terpenes myrcene, pinene, and caryophyllene. The effects induced by White Widow are characterized by a rapid onset, delivering an invigorating and euphoric high, with a notable sativa influence.
- Pineapple Express
Pineapple Express, a sativa-dominant cannabis strain, has achieved remarkable popularity. This vibrant strain results from the fusion of Trainwreck and Hawaiian genetics, offering a sustained and invigorating high with a moderate THC content, typically hovering around 18%. Pineapple Express delivers an alert and buzzy high, infusing a sense of happiness and creative inspiration.
In addition to its uplifting effects, Pineapple Express is cherished for its tropical and citrus fruit flavors, an attribute owed to its terpene profile, which prominently features myrcene, caryophyllene, and pinene. Minor terpenes like terpinolene, ocimene, linalool, and limonene also contribute to its delightful aroma and taste. Pineapple Express is an excellent choice for daytime consumption, enhancing sociability and embarking on adventures.
- Northern Lights
Northern Lights, a venerable cannabis strain in circulation since the mid-1980s, manifests in a wide array of phenotypes, including Northern Lights #1, #2, #3, #5, F2, and more. These phenotypes share the same fundamental genetics but express slightly distinct characteristics. Northern Lights is classified as a pure indica, born of a cross between Afghani and Thai landraces. This strain is renowned for delivering a harmonious mind and body high, inducing an all-encompassing sense of relaxation and euphoria.
In contrast to Kush strains derived from Afghani genetics, Northern Lights distinguishes itself through its well-balanced nature, steering clear of excessive sedation. With an average THC content typically under 20%, Northern Lights accommodates both novice and seasoned cannabis users. It presents a distinct pine aroma complemented by flavor hints of earth and spice. The dominant terpenes featured in this classic strain are myrcene, caryophyllene, and pinene. Northern Lights stands as a must-try experience for all cannabis enthusiasts.
- Bubba Kush
The Bubba Kush strain, also known as BK, Bubba, or Bubba OG Kush, including its Pre-98 Bubba Kush variant, is a renowned Kush strain with enigmatic origins that are believed to involve a blend of Afghani, OG Kush, and Northern Lights genetics. The true ancestry of this strain, cultivated in the 1990s, remains shrouded in mystery. Bubba Kush typically boasts moderate potency and induces profoundly relaxing effects.
While it may be sedating for some users, those accustomed to indica strains might perceive it as a milder option. Bubba Kush offers a hash-like flavor profile with subtle undertones of earth and citrus. Its primary terpenes encompass caryophyllene, limonene, myrcene, and a touch of linalool. If you’re new to kush strains, Bubba Kush serves as an excellent starting point, delivering euphoric full-body relaxation, particularly suited for evening use.
The Trainwreck cannabis strain, a predominantly sativa hybrid, is renowned for its invigorating effects, delivering a rush of euphoria. This hybrid is the result of crossing Mexican and Thai sativa landrace strains with an Afghani indica. Alongside its uplifting and stimulating properties, Trainwreck also delights with its impressive flavor profile, characterized by notes of zesty lemon, woody pine, and a hint of spice. The dominant terpenes found in the Trainwreck strain include terpinolene, myrcene, and pinene.
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