Eating disorders (ADD) affect almost 10% of the French population. While there is no cure for anorexia and appetite suppressant drugs have dreadful side effects, cannabis is emerging as a promising therapeutic response.
Appetite comes when smoking
We were telling you about it; smoking a joint very often provokes a complusive urge to eat or drink. In question, the THC present in cannabis and which plays a role of inhibitor of satiety messages, significantly activating the sensation of “munchies”.
Cannabis is also often prescribed to patients with cancer, HIV or Alzeihmer who have lost their appetite either because of the disease itself or because of the side effects associated with the treatment followed.
Cannabis then appears as a beneficial natural therapeutic solution when appetite is lacking. We can therefore legitimately wonder if the plant has the same effects in patients with anorexia and bulimia.
Anorexia and bulimia
Anorexia nervosa is a predominantly female eating disorder that appears most often in adolescence. It generates strict and voluntary food deprivation. This TCA is characterized by a distorted perception of one’s body image which leads to an obsessive desire to lose weight. It is therefore a psychological illness which has dramatic consequences on the body. Beyond weight loss, there are many consequences on the body (hair loss, disrupted menstrual cycle, dental problems, etc.).
Bulimia, on the other hand, consists of swallowing huge amounts of food (often raw, fatty or sweet) to “fill up” and then generally induce vomiting to avoid weight gain. These two psychological disorders are often linked and often appear alternately.
As it acts on the brain’s endocannabinoid system by regulating the central nervous system and the body’s immune response, cannabis is an appropriate response to these disorders.
A recent study carried out on mice by the Catholic University of Brussels demonstrated that cannabis had a significant action on rodents that refused to feed. Little by little, they regained their interest in food and, for the most part, regained a healthy weight.
CBG against anorexia.
The American researcher Ethan Russo has established that the Cannabigerol molecule (CBG) present in the plant would have an action on ghrelin, the hormone responsible for the feeling of hunger, inhibited in the event of anorexia. Other components such as cannabidiol (CBD) which promotes the body’s self-regulation, could calm compulsions and thus reduce binge eating.
If cannabis has not yet revealed all its secrets, the diversity of its therapeutic effects makes it a promising plant in the management of eating disorders.