Wondering if CBD will make you hungry? Find out everything you need to know from our experts today! Unlike THC, CBD does not make you hungry. It's a potential appetite suppressant and metabolism booster that might help with weight loss. Wondering if CBD makes you hungry? Get the answer here, along with some tips on how to manage potential side effects.
Does CBD Make You Hungry?
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Many people consider CBD as one of the most important parts of their wellness regimen. Whether you choose to use CBD oils, gummies, or topicals, making CBD a part of your daily routine can help boost your overall vitality and health.
But if you’re conscious about your body weight and appearance, you may have one concern—does CBD make you hungry? While psychoactive marijuana is known for causing increased hunger, hemp-derived CBD does not make most people hungry.
In this short guide, we’ll explain how CBD affects hunger and metabolism and the best ways to use CBD to boost your overall health.
- THC is known to cause an increased appetite—aka “the munchies”
- A legal CBD product contain little or no THC and should not have the same effect
- A very small amount of CBD users find that CBD makes them hungry
- CBD can help to support a healthy appetite and metabolism
CBD vs. THC
Both CBD and THC are cannabinoids that are naturally found in cannabis plants. While there are over a hundred known cannabinoids, these two are the most prevalent and best-understood compounds in hemp.
However, the two compounds have very different effects on the body.
Why? Because it all boils down to the way that each cannabis substance interacts with the endocannabinoid system .
The endocannabinoid system (ECS) is a network of nerve receptors found throughout the body that can interact with THC, CBD, and other cannabis compounds. This system is thought to affect the following bodily functions:
- Healthy sleep cycles
- Immune system function
- Response to discomfort
The cannabinoid, THC, binds to nerve receptors in the endocannabinoid system, overwhelming them and creating responses that can include relaxation, drowsiness, and reduced soreness. It can also produce unwanted effects like changes to memory, intense stress, and, of course, the munchies.
While more studies are needed, it’s clear that CBD does not bind to a cannabinoid receptor in the same way as THC. Instead, it seems to have a milder effect that actually helps the body return to its baseline state (homeostasis).
CBD Products and THC
Wait! You might wonder. How do I know there’s no THC in my CBD Products?
Under current federal law , CBD products must be derived from industrial hemp that contains less than 0.3% THC. As a result, CBD products should not get you high or give you intense cravings for unhealthy foods.
Trying to be extra careful with the products you choose? Select a CBD isolate or broad-spectrum CBD product that has been formulated to remove all THC.
CBD, Appetite, and Metabolism
Now you know that CBD isn’t an appetite stimulant and doesn’t cause “the munchies.”
At the same time, it’s natural to wonder what effect it does have when interacting with the endocannabinoid system, which can help to moderate a person’s appetite.
According to one study , about 6% of CBD users self-report that CBD makes them hungry. However, this is a relatively low percentage, and it’s entirely possible that these people felt increased hunger because their bodies actually needed more food.
As we mentioned, CBD seems to help the body maintain homeostasis. It follows that it may help people who are consuming enough calories to curb their appetites, while those who are undernourished may receive nervous system signals reminding them to eat.
While more studies are needed, preliminary research bears out this theory and suggests that CBD can help you to maintain a healthy metabolism. For example, some studies have shown that CBD may limit weight gain .
CBD and Fat
There is also some evidence that CBD has an indirect effect on your fat cells. To that end, there are two types of fat in the body:
- White fat – White fat cushions your organs and insulates the body. It’s the most prevalent type of fat in the human body.
- Brown fat – Brown fat is a denser type of fat. When our bodies “burn” brown fat, it generates body heat.
People with higher levels of brown fat versus white fat tend to be slimmer.
What does this have to do with CBD? Some studies indicate that CBD may help the body express genes that can convert white fat to brown fat. While that doesn’t mean you’ll lose fat and see weight loss results, this denser, healthier fat may give you a slimmer appearance.
CBD’s Other Benefits
CBD is not an appetite suppressant. Rather, it’s a body-enhancing supplement that can help support your overall health. In fact, some of CBD’s other most famous potential effects could further enhance its ability to promote a healthy appetite and metabolism.
Other potential benefits include:
- Combatting stress – How do you cope with stress? Many of us reach for a bag of kettle corn, potato chips, or another comfort food. Since CBD can help you find more peace and relaxation, it may also help you curb cravings for your go-to unhealthy snack.
- Supporting sleep cycles – A lack of sleep can have a systemic impact on your body. When you’re unable to get the rest you need to recharge, it’s difficult to find energy throughout the day. That leads many of us to reach for caffeinated beverages, sugary sweets, and other questionably healthy foods that provide a temporary energy boost. If you’re getting better sleep, it’s that much easier to find your focus without these snacks.
- Boosting energy – Because CBD gives so many aspects of our body a helping hand, many people find they simply feel better when taking CBD. When you’re happier and healthier, it’s easy to stick to a diet that supports your energy levels.
How to Make CBD Part of Your Healthy Routine
As we’ve noted, CBD can help to support overall health, including aiding a healthy metabolism and appetite. There are many methods to use CBD, and some allow you to avoid THC altogether (if that remains a concern).
Next, we’ll go over the best ways to make CBD a part of your daily routine.
CBD oil is known for being one of the most efficient ways to take CBD. When you take CBD edibles, a percentage of the CBD is broken down in the acidic digestive system. In contrast, CBD is more efficiently absorbed across mucous membranes like the one under the tongue.
Holding CBD oil under your tongue for up to a minute is a great way to experience its beneficial effects. However, you are also able to add CBD oil to your coffee or smoothies if that’s more convenient for you! You have two great options for CBD oil.
- CBD isolate oil – Want to avoid the chance of consuming any THC? If you know that even small amounts of this cannabinoid make you hungry, you may be better off with a CBD isolate oil. As the name suggests, CBD isolate isolates CBD from the other compounds in the hemp plant.
- Full-spectrum CBD oil – Some evidence suggests that CBD works best in partnership with the other naturally occurring compounds in the hemp plant, from cannabinoids like THC, CBN, and CBG to the terpenes that give the hemp plant its distinctive aroma.
For best results, make CBD oil a part of your daily routine.
CBD Gummies and Softgels
Some people find that oil is less than ideal for their lifestyle. Because oil is liquid, traveling with it can risk spills and other mishaps. On top of that, it’s less than discreet for use in professional environments. The solution? CBD gummies or capsules.
- CBD gummies are a perennial favorite for exercise recovery and other uses. Gummies are tasty, discreet, and fun. On top of that, it’s easy to find vegan gummies as well as broad-spectrum gummies that are formulated with 0% THC. These fun treats can help satiate your sweet tooth without causing increased appetite.
- CBD soft gels are another great way to enjoy the benefits of broad-spectrum CBD. Choose pure soft gels in the morning to help you relax and get ready for your day. Alternately, Resilience CBD’s rest soft gels combine CBD with melatonin for the perfect bedtime supplement.
One secret to CBD use?
Ingesting CBD via oil or edibles affects nerve receptors throughout the endocannabinoid system. That’s why it can potentially have head-to-toe benefits, from boosting your mood to helping you feel more grounded in your body.
In contrast, topical CBD can be absorbed through the skin to have a more targeted effect. Topical CBD is excellent for the following uses:
- Sore joints
- Fatigued or tense muscles
- Post-exercise inflammation
There are multiple ways to target the specific area that’s irking you. Try sports gel or body cream for concentrated relief that’s unlikely to affect your appetite at all. Additionally, use CBD whenever you’re experiencing soreness, or make CBD body lotion a part of your daily moisturizing routine.
Boost Vitality with Resilience CBD
Supplements are a great way to support your overall wellness and vitality. The trick? Make sure you’re buying supplements that fit your goals.
Resilience CBD carries a wide array of naturally derived full-spectrum, broad-spectrum, and CBD isolate products. That means you can easily avoid THC and any chance of the munchies—or, if you’re up for it, experience the benefits of low-THC full-spectrum CBD.
When you know you can trust your CBD brand, it takes one more worry off your plate. That way, you can fill it up with the thoughts and activities that boost your vitality! Ready to add CBD to your wellness routine? Fantastic. You’re in the right place.
Written by: Michael Tatz | Linkedin
Michael Tatz is the Co-Founder of Resilience CBD, and a passionate leader in the health & fitness world helping others rise to and crush their wildest goals. A former Division 1 college wrestler, Army Officer, and investment manager at Goldman Sachs, he has pushed his body and mind to the limits on the mats, dressed in camo, and in the boardroom.
Today, he spends his time leading Resilience CBD to develop the absolute best recovery products for athletes everywhere. Resilience was founded after CBD personally impacted Michael’s life, and the brand was built to partner with everyday athletes in pursuit of conquering their most difficult challenges, rebounding after their toughest performances, and rising to their goals that once seemed impossible.
Does CBD Make You Hungry?
CBD is a non-intoxicating but psychoactive cannabinoid present in all varieties of cannabis, including hemp and marijuana. Unlike THC, CBD does not make you hungry. Instead, it indirectly stimulates your appetite by preventing sickness, nausea, and stomach complaints caused by anxiety, stress, depression, and gastrointestinal imbalances. Conversely, CBD is also a potential appetite suppressant and metabolism booster, which might help with weight loss and prevent obesity.
Does CBD give you the munchies?
No, CBD doesn’t make you hungry, nor does it give you the munchies like THC or its other variants like delta-8, delta-10, and THC-O.
THC directly induces hunger by activating cannabinoid 1 (CB1) receptors in your brain’s olfactory bulb and hypothalamus, two regions responsible for hunger, thirst, smell, taste, energy, and body temperature.
THC’s activation of CB1 also releases the hormone ghrelin, a hunger hormone produced by gastrointestinal cells. When your stomach is empty, ghrelin lets your brain know you need food.
CBD doesn’t activate CB1 receptors or release the ghrelin hormone. However, it interacts with other receptor sites to indirectly boost your appetite and hunger.
How does CBD increase your appetite?
As mentioned, CBD doesn’t directly boost appetite or hunger the same way as THC and other cannabinoids that bind to cannabinoid 1 (CB1) receptors.
Instead, CBD indirectly promotes appetite stimulation by alleviating nausea and promoting gastrointestinal health. It does this by interacting with various receptor sites separate from your endocannabinoid system, a complex biological network responsible for regulating hunger and appetite and sleep, pain, stress, immune response, and inflammatory response.
CBD alleviates nausea to boost appetite
Nausea is a common but uncomfortable physical sensation characterized by the urge to vomit and a reduced desire to eat. There are many causes of nausea, including anxiety, stress, digestive disorders, medications, or chemotherapy treatment.
CBD can reduce nausea symptoms, stimulate appetite, and increase food intake.
Studies on animals show CBD activates serotonin receptors. Activation of serotonin receptors promotes calm and balance while helping to alleviate symptoms of anxiety and stress, which can both cause mild-to-moderate nausea.
CBD improves gastrointestinal health to stimulate appetite
Cannabis and its compounds—including CBD—have been used as a viable gut remedy treatment for thousands of years. However, only recently have scientists taken a keener interest, suggesting CBD improves gastrointestinal health with the potential to alleviate inflammatory bowel diseases and gastric inflammation.
CBD’s gut protection qualities result from its ability to agonize GPR55 receptors, which controls the inflammatory response and activates enteric glial cells, thus inhibiting inflammation. The researchers note that PPARγ mediated the beneficial anti-inflammatory effects.
Does CBD help with weight loss?
CBD could help weight loss, but the research is limited to preclinical studies, mostly animal test subjects.
One particular study on rat test subjects shows CBD significantly reduced appetite. Cannabinol (CBN) and cannabigerol (CBG) increased appetite and induced no changes, respectively. The researchers note that CBD’s ability to decrease appetite could mean a viable future treatment for obesity.
CBD converts white fat into brown fat
CBD might also stimulate the breakdown of fat molecules. Research shows CBD might also encourage the conversion of white fat into brown fat. CBD causing noticeable weight loss through white-brown fat conversion in humans is inconclusive.
There are two types of fat within your body: white and brown fat. White fat is “bad fat”, while brown fat is “good fat”. White fat stores energy and extra calories. Too much white fat can lead to obesity, heart disease, and diabetes.
On the other hand, brown fat breaks down fat molecules and burns calories to encourage heat and maintain body temperature. Many believe the burning of brown fat cells could lead to weight loss.
Conversion of white to brown fat occurs when the body is exposed to colder temperatures, exercise, and adequate sleep.
CBD could increase your metabolism and reduce food consumption
CBD might also increase your metabolism. Metabolism is the rate at which your body burns calories and turns them into energy. The higher your metabolism, the better it is for weight loss.
CBD potentially increases metabolism by influencing CB1 and CB2 receptors present in your brain and lymphoid tissue. These receptors are responsible for appetite and hunger.
A 2015 study on obese mice shows CBD specifically targeted CB2 receptors, producing “a profound reduction in bodyweight gain”, even when food intake was reduced.
CBD regulates insulin levels
Preclinical research suggests CBD might balance insulin levels in mice test subjects. The researchers discovered the incidence of diabetes was only 30% in mice treated with CBD. In comparison, the incidence of diabetes in mice not treated with CBD was 86%.
Insulin is a hormone secreted by your pancreas and is responsible for regulating your blood sugar (glucose) level and metabolism. When you eat a meal, glucose levels start to rise, signaling your pancreas to produce insulin and remove it from your bloodstream. Too much insulin can prevent fat burning, leading to weight gain.
However, research on CBD and its effect on human insulin levels is limited.
Does CBD reduce your appetite and act as an appetite suppressant?
Interestingly, cannabis strains higher in CBD caused appetite reduction, even with the presence of THC. There’s one possible explanation for this.
CBD is a negative allosteric modulator of the CB1 receptor, meaning it attaches to a different region on the receptor separate from THC. CBD’s modulatory behavior reduces THC’s effects, including its ability to increase your appetite.
Does marijuana promote weight loss?
There is little research to suggest marijuana use causes weight loss. However, evidence indicates marijuana users typically weigh less than those who don’t consume marijuana.
A compelling 2011 review shows cannabis users have lower obesity rates than those who don’t smoke cannabis.
The report includes two surveys with a total of 50,736 participants. Only 16.1% of cannabis users were obese, while the prevalence of obesity among non-cannabis users was 22%.
Likewise, an earlier 2020 research paper indicates obesity among young adults who use cannabis is lower than non-cannabis users.
Does the link between cannabis users and lower obesity rates mean marijuana is a decent tool for losing weight? No. Not necessarily. Both studies above indicate an essential connection between marijuana users and lower body weight, but they don’t conclusively illustrate why.
Should you use CBD for weight loss?
Unfortunately, we can’t recommend CBD for weight loss. The research isn’t conclusive.
However, plenty of anecdotal stories from users claiming CBD, along with a healthy diet and exercise, helped them lose weight. We imagine this is primarily down to diet and exercise, but CBD could be a secondary contributing factor.
Does CBD cause stomach bloating?
No. CBD in itself won’t cause stomach bloating, but other ingredients in a CBD product can. If you’re using CBD oil, the carrier the extract is diluted in can affect your stomach. The most commonly used carrier oil is a medium-chain triglyceride (MCT).
Medium-chain triglyceride carrier oils are sourced from natural coconut oil or palm oil and primarily contain the fatty acids caproic acid (C6), caprylic acid (C8), capric acid (C10), and lauric acid (C12).
Consuming too much MCT oil can cause gastrointestinal pain, burning, and discomfort. It might also cause diarrhea, loose stools, and anal burning. These gastrointestinal problems result from too much C6, C8, and C10, which the body finds more challenging to digest.
If you value a balanced gut and consider your anus a best friend, limit the amount of MCT you consume, whether it be in CBD oil or as a cooking ingredient. If you do consume MCT oil, make sure you eat beforehand.
Side effects of CBD
CBD is well-tolerated, and its side effects are mild, temporary, and non-life-threatening. There are no reports of adverse health problems from consuming CBD products unless they’re manufactured by shady, unscrupulous companies with no consideration for your wellbeing.
Common side effects of CBD include:
- Dry mouth
- Stomach complaints
CBD can also negatively interact and interfere with prescription and non-prescription medications, preventing them from metabolizing correctly in your body and negatively altering their effects. In rare cases, significant health problems or overdose can occur.
We recommend speaking with a doctor or healthcare physician before taking CBD oil.
Conclusion: More research is needed to uncover CBD’s effects on your appetite
CBD has conflicting effects on your appetite. Some research suggests CBD can increase your appetite, while other studies show it decreases your appetite. Conflicting research like this is why it’s difficult to recommend a product for weight loss, weight gain, or general appetite problems.
Does CBD Make You Hungry?
It’s well known that THC gives you the munchies, but what about CBD?
Whether you’re enjoying CBD gummies or using CBD oil to help with anxiety, you might experience a change in your appetite. However, CBD doesn’t have the same relationship to appetite as THC. CBD can increase, or decrease, your appetite depending on factors including your medical condition, mental health, and how you enjoy CBD.
Let’s take a look at how CBD affects your hunger.
Quick Facts: How Does Appetite Even Work?
Appetite is one of the most complicated subjects when it comes to how we think and feel about our food. Appetite goes beyond simple hunger and encompasses everything from social and political attitudes towards food to medical conditions that can impact our desire to eat.
Our appetite is governed by several systems throughout the body. The hypothalamus, limbic system, and hind-brain all play a role in how our appetite works. Hormones like Grhelin, which stimulates hunger, and Leptin, which lets us know we are full, act as chemical messengers for appetite in the body.
Then there are more nuanced and complex issues. Every culture has rules about which foods are acceptable and rules that govern when and how we eat. There are also personal factors like medical conditions and even food aversion which can be caused by food poisoning or just a traumatic experience associated with a particular food.
Needless to say, appetite is a complex subject. There are countless factors that go into stimulating our desire to eat and one of those is cannabis.
We all know that old-fashioned THC gives you the munchies, but what about its fellow cannabinoid CBD?
Does CBD Make You Hungry—Not Always
CBD products, like CBD gummies, oil, and vape cartridges, can have an impact on our appetite. However, this is different from person to person depending on an individual’s specific biology, psychology, and relationship to CBD in general. Let’s quickly unpack some of the logic and science behind how CBD can have an effect on your appetite.
CBD does not have a one-to-one relationship with appetite like THC does. THC stimulates appetite across the board and has been used since the 1990s as an official treatment for appetite loss. CBD, on the other hand, can only indirectly impact our appetite.
CBD, like all cannabinoids, acts on the body’s endocannabinoid system.The endocannabinoid system is a vital part of our central nervous system that uses naturally occurring cannabinoid substances to send signals throughout the body. CBD can stimulate or suppress activity in the endocannabinoid system.
This is the process that causes all of the benefits that we associate with CBD. CBD is well-known for helping individuals manage anxiety, depression, and even pain.
This can change an individual’s appetite as these conditions improve. Individuals with depression often struggle to eat on a regular basis and, as CBD lessons the impact of depression, appetite can return.
Before we dig too much deeper into CBD and appetite, let’s take a look at how the OG cannabinoid helps stimulate our hunger.
How THC Stimulates Appetite
CBD is still a relatively new product on the marketplace. This means that research into how CBD affects the human nervous system is still ongoing. However, the research into THC is much more clear.
Researchers know that THC binds with the CB1 receptor in the endocannabinoid system. When THC binds with the CB1 receptor, that receptor releases a hormone that stimulates hunger.
This is why you get the munchies after enjoying cannabis products or products that contain THC. This is also why the munchies get more intense as you increase your THC dosage.
This is why moderate dosing of THC has been so successful for stimulating appetite. Even a small amount of THC can stimulate appetite without causing a very strong high.
Since CBD can only affect appetite indirectly, let’s look at a few ways CBD can interact with our desire for food.
Three Ways CBD Can Boost Appetite
Much like its more famous cousin THC, CBD is capable of boosting your appetite. However, this is a side effect caused by CBD’s ability to relieve certain medical conditions
Here are a few ways that CBD can improve your appetite.
- CBD Relieves Nausea
Even though Research into CBD is still very new, one of its most established properties is the ability to reduce nausea.
Nausea isn’t a sickness on its own, but is in fact a symptom of other medical conditions or illnesses. With that said, nausea is capable of stopping an appetite dead in its tracks. Even a healthy individual with a strong appetite can experience sudden appetite loss due to nausea.
CBD relieves nausea very effectively. This means it can remove a physical condition that is blocking your appetite. CBD isn’t directly causing your appetite to increase, but rather it’s removing an obstacle that prevents your appetite from being as strong as it could be.
It doesn’t even have to be this extreme. CBD is capable of resolving minor stomach ailments and even light dizziness. Calming an upset stomach is a great way to help get an appetite back on its feet.
- Relieving Stress and Anxiety
CBD is also well-known for its ability to relieve stress and anxiety. The research into this is still ongoing, but early results are showing that CBD is effective in helping people manage anxiety. This has a direct impact on stimulating appetites.
Anxiety and stress work by releasing a hormone known as cortisol into the blood. Cortisol is the naturally occurring chemical that’s largely responsible for our fight or flight response. The sweating, racing heart, and general jitteriness that come with anxiety is a direct result of cortisol getting us ready to respond to a threat.
However, we’re a long way from the days of early hominids running from large predatory cats. Today, we’re more likely to get a rush of anxiety from a stressful meeting than we are running from a wild animal.
One of the side effects of cortisol is that it works by suppressing your appetite. Anxiety ramps you up for action—not snacks. The energy you would use to eat some food is instead redirected into getting ready to run for your life.
CBD relieves this anxiety and frees up the tension in your body. This not only improves appetite by dropping cortisol levels, but also makes you more emotionally comforted which helps promote a healthy appetite as well.
- CBD and Mental Health
CBD is also building a strong reputation as an excellent way for treating certain types of depression. Depression has a direct impact on her appetite, but it might not be as direct as you might think.
It’s very common for depression to suppress appetite. Depression generally lowers physical and mental activity and one of the effects of that is that it becomes more difficult to go seek out food. CBD can relieve some of this depression which helps promote a healthy appetite.
However, changes in emotion can have hard to predict impacts on your appetite. Let’s take a look at some of the ways that CBD you can also suppress appetite
Two Ways CBD Suppresses Appetite
CBD gummies and CBD oil can also suppress appetite. This might be a useful distinction between CBD and THC. There are plenty of individuals who are looking to keep their appetite in line to improve their overall health and CBD could play an important role in achieving those medical goals.
Here are two ways that CBD can actually keep your appetite in check.
- CBD Can Give You a Mental Health Boost
We’re going to start right where we left off. For the same reasons that CBD can increase your appetite, it can also lower your appetite. While this might seem counterintuitive on the surface, it actually makes sense when you give it a closer look.
If you’ve ever gone through a bout of depression and dove into your favorite sugary snacks to give yourself a little emotional boost or caught yourself stress eating during a difficult time, you know that these mental health conditions don’t always suppress appetite.
Depression, anxiety, and stress can all create sudden spikes in appetite. This is often for unhealthy, sugary snacks rather than peas and carrots.
CBD is able to relieve these conditions which sets your appetite back to normal. This could mean lowering your appetite if how you’ve experienced depression or stress has increased it.
- Increasing Hypothalamus Sensitivity
CBD has also been linked to a unique ability to make our hypothalamus more sensitive to external stimulation. You might think that a sensitive hypothalamus would boost appetite, but it actually makes it more receptive to the state of our bodies and the meals we are getting.
This means that CBD can suppress appetite by making our hypothalamus work more efficiently. When the hypothalamus is more aware of our current condition, it tends to slow things down and decrease an otherwise ravenous appetite.
Alternatives to CBD for Appetite
If you’re looking for something with more concrete results when it comes to appetite, you can always try one of CBD’s close cannabinoid cousins.
Essentially, any THC cannabinoid is perfectly capable of increasing your appetite. This includes both Delta 8-THC and Delta 9-THC. They both have a strong record with boosting appetite and stimulating hunger.
Then there’s CBG. Better known as cannabigerol, CBG is the precursor to both CBD and THC. It’s been shown to be a safe appetite stimulant, but research is less clear than with the ever popular THC.
Wrapping Up CBD and the Munchies
CBD does not boost or suppress your appetite. Rather, you can think about CBD as leveling off a listing ship. It will help relieve the underlying medical conditions that are either causing your appetite to work overtime or be a little sluggish.
CBD gummies and CBD oil are both great alternatives for people who are looking to experience the benefits of CBD for their appetite.