Medical Marijuana: How Cannabis Can Treat Anorexia

Scientists have discovered that cannabis or marijuana is capable of treating certain conditions such as Alzheimer’s disease, seizures, muscle spasms caused by multiple sclerosis, and even Crohn’s disease. Now, they say that marijuana might be able to treat another disorder that affects almost 8 million Americans.

Medical marijuana for anorexia

The main reason some scientists believe that marijuana can help individuals suffering from anorexia is the plant’s capability to increase one’s appetite. A lot of people who have taken in medical cannabis from Tulsa or any other city in the U.S. where the use of marijuana is legalized said that they felt a strong urge to eat a lot of food.

What some people thought to be just a figment of their imagination when they started to crave food after smoking marijuana is really based on an ingredient in cannabis that triggers appetite.

Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) is a cannabinoid found in the cannabis plant that triggers a person’s craving for food. When an individual smokes marijuana, this ingredient does not only trigger the person’s craving for food, but it also eliminates that person’s feeling of nausea.

For those familiar with anorexia or bulimia, some individuals who suffer from one of these conditions either often feel the sensation of throwing up after eating a meal or resort to eliminating what they’ve eaten by making their selves throw up.

This could be why some people consider marijuana to be an effective treatment for eating disorders because not only will it trigger a person’s appetite, but it will also curb their sensation of throwing up.

Further proof

Some scientists even conducted an experiment that involved female rats. A group of scientists from the University of Cagliari, Italy injected a group of female rats with THC. The scientists chose female rats as their subject since according to statistics, majority of individuals who suffer from eating disorders are women.

After they injected those rats with THC, they noticed that the animals’ appetite increased further proving that marijuana, or at least one of its major cannabinoids, is capable of increasing a mammal’s appetite. They also discovered that the introduction of THC into the rats minimized their urge to exercise on their exercise wheels.

A reminder to be cautious

Despite these findings, many scientists are still skeptical about marijuana’s role in treating eating disorders, or at least these scientists are asking for further studies and experimentation before the whole scientific community can promote cannabis as an alternative treatment for anorexia, bulimia, and binge eating.

One of the factors that is preventing some scientists from accepting marijuana’s medical benefits is that most people with eating disorders also suffer from substance abuse. The introduction of a substance that can be addictive might only exacerbate their already fragile state.

So, the scientific community is supporting to study further the effects of marijuana on people suffering from eating disorders. At the same time, they are asking the public not to jump to conclusions until they have come up with more concrete results.