Many individuals suffer from appetite loss due to cancer, AIDS, chronic pain, or a multitude of other health conditions. Unfortunately, when you do not eat your medical issues become even more severe as your body falls into a state of malnutrition. If you do not provide adequate nourishment your body will start to use its fat reserves for fuel and finally, start to cannibalize muscle mass. You will grow physically weak, disoriented, and your immune system will weaken putting you at risk of developing a life-threatening infection or virus.  Physicians often turn to prescription medications to try to spur an individual’s appetite. One of the most successful ways a person can prevent appetite loss is with marijuana.

How Does Marijuana Prevent Appetite Loss?

Marijuana raises the levels of two hormones in the body that are known to spur appetite: ghrelin and leptin. Furthermore, the body’s endocannabinoid system further regulates appetite using receptors known as CB1 and CB2. Both receptors respond to the cannabinoids tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD) found in cannabis. The American Cancer Society states that marijuana use increases the appetite of cancer patients. Medical marijuana is also extensively used to spur the appetite of AIDS patients and prevent malnutrition.

AIDS and Appetite Loss

In the book Marijuana as Medicine? The Science Beyond the Controversy written by Allison Mack and Janet Joy, researchers stated that marijuana was an effective treatment in AIDS patients, especially those suffering from AIDS wasting, for nausea, appetite loss, pain, and anxiety.  In fact, the use of marijuana to treat the symptoms far surpassed the effectiveness of conventional prescription medications. Further research has revealed that the use of cannabis dramatically reverses weight loss in such individuals. In June 2018, the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved the prescription drug Epidiolex (cannabidiol) [CBD] to treat epilepsy and for use in AIDS sufferers who experience severe weight loss.

Anorexia and Cannabis

Many individuals suffer from anorexia. In some cases, the condition is caused by a mental disorder and, in others, it is a result of cancer or some other chronic medical condition. Many sufferers of anorexia have been found to have a malfunctioning endocannabinoid system which may be a result of the condition or a contributing factor. Researchers are not sure if the endocannabinoid system malfunctions because of anorexia or if it is an actual factor in an individual developing anorexia. Nonetheless, further research is needed. However, the effects of cannabinoids on the endocannabinoid system are undeniable. Many physicians and researchers believe that the ability of THC and CBD to bind to the CB1 and CB2 receptors help increase the desire to eat in anorexia sufferers and may enable such individuals to regain needed weight.

Research Shows Marijuana Treats Appetite Loss

Studies conducted at the Departments of Psychiatry and Internal Medicine at Wright State University School of Medicine in Dayton, OH, have found that marijuana is a valuable tool to help individuals who suffer from cancer, AIDS, and other severe health disorders put on weight before they become severely malnourished. Undoubtedly, the use of cannabis has been shown to help such sufferers regain weight by preventing and treating appetite loss.

Appetite loss for many individuals such as those suffering from cancer, AIDS, or anorexia is a life and death situation. When the body of becomes severely malnourished an individual is physically weak and at risk for a variety of life-threating ailments. The use of marijuana effectively prevents appetite loss so people with chronic illnesses do not shed valuable pounds.