Several studies have suggested that medical marijuana could be used to treat anorexia. Anorexia is an eating disorder which is characterized by excessive loss of weight as well as an altered perception of the body. This disorder can result in lack of fluids and nutrients such as proteins, minerals, and vitamins that are vital for the proper functioning of the body. Even though there are several therapies and medications that can be used to treat anorexia, the use of cannabis, notably the endocannabinoid system is a great alternative treatment. According to researchers, a treatment with cannabinoids could help anorexia patients to not only gain weight, but also avoid a relapse.
Earlier studies focused on increasing the weight of people suffering from wasting and cachexia as a result of cancer. Now, further studies are being carried out to ascertain the extent to which medical marijuana could be used in treating anorexia since it is now confirmed that medical cannabis is an alternative treatment for the medical condition. One such study was carried out by the University of Cagliari, Italy to examine the effects of cannabinoid receptors CB1 and CB2 on the attenuation of hyperactivity and weight loss due to anorexia nervosa. This study was conducted on female rats since 90 percent of anorexia patients are females. During the study, small amounts of THC were injected intraperitoneally into the rats and the animals followed a strict diet that was controlled by scientists while simultaneously using their rodent wheels. The researchers also allowed the rats to exercise despite their weight loss. The results of this study reinforced the claims by earlier studies that THC, a substance in cannabis and the other synthetic cannabinoids can help prevent weight loss caused by anorexia, based on physical activity. Detailed findings from the study further indicated that sub chronic treatments of THC can stimulate the ingestion of rat feed in a single day. In addition, cannabinoids were also proven to be able to reduce the exercise time of rats on their wheel, thereby making it possible for them to gain weight.
The findings from this study have been reinforced by further studies concerning the consumers of dronabinol, a synthetic cannabinoid. Even though only women participated in the trial, the patients were reported to have gained half a kilo when put on a dronabinol course. It is imperative to note that this figure of weight gain is relatively high when compared to the 0.34kg they gained when given placebo. The fact that patients did not report any secondary psychoactive effects goes a long way to buttress the point that medical marijuana is a great alternative to conventional treatments of anorexia. It’s been known for years that the consumption of medical marijuana increases appetite due to the effect of the cannabinoids on the cells.
A 2011 Belgian study also suggested that developing cannabinoid-derived treatments could be therapeutically valuable since dysfunctional regulation and underlying imbalances within the endocannabinoid system are essential to eating disorders. In addition, the study further pointed to the fact that cannabinoids could potentially help correct endocannabinoid deficiencies, thereby assisting the patient in gaining weight and returning to a healthy state.
A 2014 critical study conducted by neuroscientists on animals offered another explanation regarding why cannabis, specifically THC could be used to treat anorexia. The authors of this study found out that THC activates the endocannabinoid system’s CB1 receptor, thereby increasing the desire to eat by heightening sensitivity to both taste and smell.
Another human study from the Center for Eating Disorders at Odense University Hospital in Denmark, revealed further evidences as to why medical marijuana could effectively treat anorexia. During the study of 24 patients, they received either a placebo or Dronabinoid, which is a synthetic form of THC. The patients reported to have gained more weight on Dronabinol than the placebo. The authors of the study also stated that the treatment was well tolerated by the patients with very few side effects. The researchers also claimed that up to a year after starting treatment, the followed-up patients were reported to still be improving their symptoms and nutrition with no sign of neither addiction nor withdrawal.
Even though there are a lot of evidences through research that medical marijuana can be used to treat anorexia, there are over 100 strains of marijuana to choose from. That said, some of the best strains of medical marijuana that can be effectively used to treat anorexia include Sweet and sour widow, Dutch treat haze, CBD yummy, Sister, and Critical cure. These strains have calming effects and are appetite stimulants with the ability to ease insomnia and pain. These strains taste sweet and gives patients a euphoric and relaxed feeling.
Marijuana strains reported to help with Anorexia:
- Dutch Treat Haze
- Sweet and Sour Widow
- CBD Yummy
- Critical Cure
How To Get Medical Marijuana
If you are a resident of a legal state interested in trying medical marijuana to treat Anorexia or other medical conditions, you will first need to consult with a certified doctor in order to get a medical marijuana card. To get started, simply fill out the MMJ patient registration form, press submit and a physician or clinic representative will contact you as available.