Appetite Loss: 4 Ways Cannabis Has Helped

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A sudden loss of appetite is nothing to fool with. You need a checkup to determine if the change is due to infection or disease.

Livestrong warns that pneumonia, hepatitis, HIV/AIDS, influenza, and kidney infections can trigger a sudden loss of appetite. They list irritable bowel syndrome (IBD), Chron’s disease, celiac disease, colitis, colon cancer, and other serious conditions as causes for loss of appetite.

Cannabis has known anti-inflammatory, anti-spasmodic, and anti-emetic properties, so it’s something patients and doctors might work into their therapies. On the most serious issues, a doctor’s evaluation should precede our recommendations.

Nonetheless, here are 4 ways cannabis has helped with appetite loss.

1. Chron’s disease, IBD, and colitis differ but lie in the same family of disorders. Gastroenterology & Hepatology (2016) noted several issues:

  • “A significant portion of IBD patients, particularly those with severe disease, use cannabis to relieve symptoms of pain, nausea, and appetite and to improve their overall mood.”
  • “current options for IBD management, including corticosteroids, immunomodulators, and biologic agents, carry risks for long-term side effects such as malignancy and infection.”
  • “The significant morbidity seen in patients with severe disease emphasizes the limited number of conventional therapies for symptomatic control of IBD, a disorder still poorly understood.
  • “Patients with IBD have increased rates of psychiatric disease, pain, and malnutrition.”

But, it also warns we lack sufficient research in long-term human studies to eliminate their concerns for legality, preparation, and side-effects.

The same study began with an acknowledgment of how many people use cannabis as a therapy. This is repeated in a more recent article for Cochrane Library (2017) which reviews the literature on cannabis care for Crohn’s disease, IBD, and colitis, and it finds consistently conflicting opinions. From the literature at hand, you might conclude that cannabis and cannabis-derivatives may be effective options for mild cases of appetite loss related to Crohn’s disease, IBD, and colitis.

2. Colon cancer and other cancers treated with chemotherapy impact patient physiology dramatically. And, patients suffering from the side-effects and after-effects of chemo treatments including weight loss and loss of appetite anxiously pursue any solution.

Current Oncology (2017) reports, “Cannabis is useful in combatting anorexia [loss of appetite and weight loss], chemotherapy-induced nausea and vomiting, pain, insomnia, and depression. Cannabis might be less potent than other available antiemetics, but for some patients, it is the only agent that works, and it is the only antiemetic that also increases appetite.”

And, the National Cancer Institute (2018) acknowledges,

  • “Cannabis has been used for medicinal purposes for thousands of years.”
  • “Commercially available cannabinoids, such as dronabinol and nabilone, are approved drugs for the treatment of cancer-related side effects.”
  • “Cannabinoids may have benefits in the treatment of cancer-related side effects.”

Dosing and administration vary for different patients and for the severity of their condition. But, the anecdotal history has gained much traction for contemporary patients and medical professionals.

3. Mental disorders and psychological distress, including anxiety, depression, and schizophrenia may lead to a sudden loss of appetite. But, it may also follow heightened emotional distress related to the death of a loved one, loss of a job, divorce, and the like.

You can navigate such stresses with cannabis because the THC modulates any tendency towards obesity or anorexia. It improves appetite if only for munchies. It also helps reduce the obsessive behavior of anorexics. And, as 420Evaulations puts it, cannabis normalizes the body receptors “that control the release of appetite promoting hormones - and by jump -tarting the cells’ engine - the mitochondria to demand nutrition.”

4. HIV/AIDS patients suffer from their disease and from its treatment. The authors of Marijuana as Medicine? The Science Beyond the Controversy wrote, “Because HIV attacks the immune system, it wreaks havoc throughout the body. Besides providing a foothold for opportunistic infection and cancer, the virus also triggers a potentially lethal wasting syndrome, painful nerve damage, and dementia.”

Unfortunately for patients, the medications that have brought the epidemic under control also cause devastating side effects including wasting syndrome (Cachexia). “For people with HIV, loss of as little as 5 percent of their body weight appears to be life threatening. Death from wasting generally occurs when patients drop to more than one-third below their ideal weight.” And, such appetite loss is one of the reasons the FDA has approved the use of Marinol, a cannabis derivative.

Recommended strains

Again, loss of appetite may indicate a serious underlying condition, so any self-medication should follow a critical medical assessment. But, users have reported success with the following cannabis strains:

  • Girl Scout Cookies originates in OG Kush Hybrid and Durban Poison Sativa. It offers a mildly euphoric feeling and an intense body relaxation. Its powerful analgesic qualities relieve patients suffering a loss of appetite from chronic pain.
  • Orange Kush has long been a go-to option for treating chronic pain and headaches. It creates a deep sense of mental and physical relaxation to help you get past those stresses discouraging your appetite.
  • Cherry Pie is a popular Indica-dominant hybrid favored by those medical needs. Those treating PTSD, anxiety, bipolar disorder, other stress-oriented syndromes enjoy its aroma and taste.  
  • Goo is a tasty 80% Indica that produces a deep physical relaxation for insomnia, pain, and spasms. Users also report it makes you hungry.
  • Sonoma Coma has proven an energy-boosting, uplifting Sativa. It leaves you creative and Europhobic with a case of the munchies for loss of appetite.

Those diagnosed with significant appetite loss or chronic appetite issues like anorexia may prefer options in cannabis oils, CBD-derivatives, and edibles to smoking marijuana.

Treating appetite loss with cannabis

Many factors influence appetite loss. Sometimes, appetite loss is a symptom of very serious medical or psychiatric problems. Those symptoms of sudden appetite loss must be addressed immediately by medical professionals.

Chronic conditions identified as anorexia or bulimia must be addressed by medical and psychiatric professionals.

But, people have treated appetite loss, related to digestive, bowel, and colons problems, with cannabis for centuries. Research indicates a positive influence on symptoms and needs for additional research. So, you can conclude moderate use of suitable cannabis strains can help people balance their appetite.