Treating Anorexia with CBD – Benefits & Effects

As the research into CBD increases, many researchers have argued that CBD could provide more effective relief for anorexia sufferers than the cannabis plant as a whole. CBD’s interaction with the endocannabinoid system (ECS) has also impacted its effectiveness in treating anorexia. It should be recalled that the ECS plays a vital role in the body by regulating a range of things including mood, appetite and body temperature.

Anorexia nervosa is an eating disorder that can result in fatal consequences. Most people suffering from anorexia consume very restricted quantities of food, thereby resulting in starvation. Even though sufferers become dangerously thin and malnourished, most of them still perceive themselves as overweight and continue with their restricted diets. 

Anorexia sufferers eventually become so malnourished that they have to be hospitalized even though they vehemently deny that something is wrong with them. 

Of course, even without being hospitalized, a person can be considered anorexic when she restricts her intake of food to such an extent that it significantly lowers her body weight, accompanied by an intense fear of gaining weight and an excessive concern with body weight or shape.

Anorexia usually develops during puberty and girls are more affected than boys. An estimated 1 in every 10 anorexia patients are female and about 1 percent of U.S. females between ages 10 and 25 is anorexic. There are two subtypes of anorexia and one is linked to a different type of eating disorder known as bulimia, a condition characterized by eating and deliberately vomiting. Meanwhile, the other subtype of anorexia manifests itself through severe deliberate restriction of food and calories.

The exact cause of anorexia nervosa is unknown even though the condition has been reported to run in some families. Certain environmental, psychological and social factors may also contribute to the development of anorexia. For instance, people with anorexia turn to believe that their lives would have been better with more opportunities if they were thinner. 

Some of the physical symptoms of anorexia include extreme thinness, irregular periods in women, lower testosterone in men, dry hair or hair loss, bluish color on the tips of the finger, dry skin that could take on a yellowish tint as well as feeling weak, fatigued or dizzy. The emotional symptoms on the other hand include irritability, lying about eating, obsessing over weight gain, withdrawal from social activities, loss of interest in sex, depression and even suicidal ideation.

Anorexia can be cured, but it requires hospitalization in most cases. The treatment option typically depends on the vital signs and physical conditions of the patient. While many patients are placed on anti-depressant medications, there is no medication to treat the mental illness anorexia itself.

It has been proven that those suffering from anorexia have a less productive endocannabinoid system. Thus, they are less likely to have control over their appetite, mood, well-being and overall health. However, when CBD works with the ECS, its functions properly and controls several aspects of the body including appetite.

According to a 2011 study, CBD is most effective in treating anorexia than THC. The researchers asserted that THC only reacts well with the CB1 receptor within the brain, whereas CBD does not interact directly with the CB1 receptor, but rather works alongside the endocannabinoid system in a bid to release natural healing cannabinoids that are also effective in treating the symptoms of anorexia.

Moreover, CBD has been proven to treat some of the worst symptoms of anorexia without causing any toxicity. It should be noted that even though THC can leave you feeling happy as part of its high, it could also affect mental health negatively in very rare instances. CBD on the other hand has been reported to be an effective stress reliever that could treat depression and other psychological symptoms of anorexia.

Although CBD is said to be effective in the treatment of anorexia, it can work magic when used in conjunction with other therapies geared towards treating the symptoms of anorexia.


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