There has been a lot of research on cannabis lately, especially about the usage and benefits of medicinal marijuana. There is also a theory that cannabis might be useful in recovering from eating disorders. This does have some basis in individual experience.
Eating disorders are not uncommon, with millions of men and women in the United States alone suffering from them at least once in their lifetime. The statistics estimate that there are twice as many women as men who are fighting such disorders. The three most common strains of these issues are binge eating, bulimia nervosa, and anorexia nervosa.
Connection of Mental Disorders and Cannabis
Research shows that human bodies come with their own endocannabinoid system. This system plays a major role in how much food our brain tells us to take in, along with gathering energy and other benefits from that food. When our cannabinoid receptors are damaged, we might fall into eating disorders. This is a signal for danger if our CB1 cannabinoid receptors, which connect food with rewards, have some issue.
What to Remember
While cannabis might be able to help some people with their eating disorders, it is still a natural alternative route. Like most medications, it might not have the same effect on everyone, with some even suffering dangerous allergic reactions to the substance.
Effect of Cannabis on Anorexia
Anorexia Nervosa is an eating disorder involving a drastic lowering of food consumption and negative body image. There has been research showing a definite genetic link between issues like anorexia and mental disorders such as schizophrenia and neuroticism. Therefore, it means that we can classify anorexia as a kind of psychiatric illness. Again, the CB1 receptors may be at fault.
The use of cannabis may help an anorexic patient to increase their willingness and desire to eat. That is because cannabis acts on the insula, exciting it and enhancing the user’s sense of taste and smell.
Cannabis also works for anorexia in a psychological manner. With its effect on the insula, cannabis can activate the sluggish CB1 receptors. This will reduce anxiety and enhance the pleasure of eating.
Effect of Cannabis on Bulimia
Bulimia is much like anorexia. The only difference is that it involves a hankering for self-control. Bulimic patients usually want some control over their eating, so they purge their meals by vomiting or taking laxatives. This might seem like the munchies associated with cannabis will have a negative effect, but research shows otherwise.
First, cannabis is still effective in enhancing one’s pleasure in eating instead of making it an act of guilt. This enjoyment also frees one from the mental control of such disorders. The calming effects and lowered anxiety are two other steps on the way to recovery.
Effect of Cannabis on Binge-Eating
Again, it might seem like cannabis will just make things worse for someone who is already struggling with binge eating. However, this method might help in dealing with such urges.
Still, it’s considered best in such cases to use CBD products instead of regular cannabis. This means that we are taking a very low dose of THC. Since THC is the compound responsible for giving us the munchies, we can get the benefits of CBD without the harmful side effects.
In this way, medical cannabis may help to lower fat percentages in our bodies as well as our BMI. The result will be a reduced danger of both diabetes and obesity.
Scientific research certainly seems to point towards a positive connection between medicinal marijuana and recovery from eating disorders. However, the fact remains that these benefits are not a complete substitute for professional psychiatric and medical help. Only a qualified medical professional can ascertain whether a patient will respond well to cannabis treatment, while also guiding us about the right process.