Does CBD Make You Hungry?

This article has been reviewed and approved for accuracy by Dr. Jeffrey Holman, a certified orthopaedic surgeon with more than 30 years of experience and dedication for helping patients with holistic treatments.

Red eyes, uncontrollable laughter, and the munchies. Cannabis sativa has many stereotypes, but the phenomenon known as the “munchies” is one of the better known. Whether or not you’ve experienced a weed-induced spike in appetite, you may be wondering if CBD products have a similar effect. We’ll debunk the myth that CBD makes you hungry and show how the endocannabinoid system plays a role.

The endocannabinoid system and appetite

Cannabidiol, or CBD, is just one of the hundreds of compounds that make up the cannabis plant. Another prominent compound—and the one most people are familiar with—is Delta-9 THC. CBD is found in high concentrations in the hemp plant, and THC is more prevalent in marijuana. Hunger, or the “munchies,” is more often associated with THC use than with CBD use.

THC essentially tricks your brain into stimulating your appetite through the body’s endocannabinoid system (ECS). ECS receptors are found in almost every part of the body, including the brain and the digestive system. When THC binds with CB1 receptors, which are found primarily in the brain, they fire neurons that tell your brain you’re hungry rather than signaling that you are full. 

These receptors are present in the hypothalamus, which is the primary regulator of appetite and hunger. The CB1 receptor also impacts the production of ghrelin, which is a hormone that stimulates feelings of hunger. Further, THC may boost your body’s dopamine level, which makes eating more pleasurable. So, now that we know how THC works and why it could make you hungry, let’s look at whether CBD does the same.

Does CBD increase appetite?

The short answer is no—but there’s more to it than that. CBD doesn’t interact with the body in the same way THC does. Not only does it not produce a “high” sensation, but it also doesn’t bind with ECS receptors in the same way. CBD doesn’t bind to the CB1 and CB2 receptors as strongly. Instead, it interacts with other receptor sites around the body. CBD could regulate an already healthy appetite via the endocannabinoid system, but human trials are still necessary to support any conclusion. 

CBD and metabolism

From thyroid function to receptors in the endocannabinoid system, our metabolisms are complex systems affected by numerous biological factors. When our CB1 ECS receptors are activated, they fire signals to different parts of the body, interacting with processes such as metabolism. While CB1 receptors are most often associated with the brain, research has shown they’re also found in the major organs involved in metabolism: the adipose tissue, endocrine pancreas, skeletal muscle, and liver. 

Put simply, while there’s certainly a gap in in-vivo studies, a range of processes are activated by the endocannabinoid system that could impact the metabolism. 

So, will CBD oil make you hungry?

CBD oil will do many wonderful things for your body, but making you hungry probably won’t be on that list. There’s a misconception that because CBD and THC are both derived from cannabis, CBD usage will have the same effect on hunger and appetite. The truth is that it likely won’t, but it’s too early to draw any conclusions.

Most CBD oils aren’t really designed to have much of an effect on your body at all. Commercially available CBD oils tend to be limited due to their low bioavailability, meaning that even if CBD itself had the potential to make you hungry, it likely wouldn’t in oil form. 

Ojai Energetics has found a way for CBD to bypass the body’s digestive system and become available for use immediately after you ingest it. Our patented water-soluble nano-encapsulation technology allows people to reach an effective dosage of cannabinoids using significantly less oil. Who knows—you may find that optimizing the endocannabinoid system affects your metabolic health and hunger. Get started with Ojai today.