Most movies and TV shows portray cannabis consumers as couch potatoes with the munchies, eating less-than-healthy fare all night long. And most cannabis consumers know that marijuana-induced eating can most certainly happen. But what some people may not realize is that some marijuana patients want cannabis to stimulate their appetite.
Folks suffering from HIV/AIDS, going through chemotherapy or suffering from intense nausea often lose their appetite with dangerous results. Marijuana can entice them to eat, helping increase the strength they need to fight their illness.
On the flipside, some people want to consume marijuana without increasing their appetite—are there any cannabis strains or products for these folks? Or is everyone who consumes cannabis always going to feel hungry?
How can marijuana patients use the plant to either stimulate or suppress their appetite?
Here are our three most popular questions about marijuana and appetite. They were answered by doctors, cannabis consultants and knowledgeable members of the HelloMD community on our Answers page. Head over there with a question of your own about how marijuana affects appetite if you don’t see it answered below.
Answer: @claude This is a great question. While some people view the side effect of increased appetite from medical marijuana as negative, there are many patients who seek out medical marijuana to increase their appetite. For those looking for appetite stimulation, our patients have found that the following strains to be great for this purpose:
Are there any edibles that I could use for this?
Answer: @drbultman Yes, you can certainly try edibles for appetite stimulation. In general, tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) is the active ingredient in cannabis that stimulates appetite. If you’re new to cannabis, begin with a low dose of 2.5–5 mg of THC to see how it affects you. There are some ingredients in cannabis that SUPPRESS appetite (namely, THCV), but that is not often tested or labelled. Since every strain and product is a little different, you may want to ask your dispensary staff which products their other patients have reported work best for appetite stimulation. Also, remember that cannabis products that are consumed tend to take effect slowly, over 30–60 minutes, and last for about 6–8 hours. So, consuming a product versus inhaling it, for instance, will have very different effects.
I am looking for a strain that does not give me the munchies, as I have a weight problem already.
Answer: @BartSmart Durban Poison does contain a high percentage of THCV as compared to other strains. Durban Poison flowers are in the 1% range of THCV. Concentrates tend to have more THCV, at about 2%, and I would recommend trying sativa strains such as Red Congolese and Power Plant in order to suppress appetite.
"Patients use THCV for a variety of reasons, but one of THCV’s most remarkable properties is its ability to suppress appetite. Unlike tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), which is well known for its munchie-inducing effects, THCV has the opposite effect—when consuming THCV, patients are left without much appetite at all. This has made THCV a popular choice among patients looking to lose weight or avoid gaining weight from binge eating after they medicate with marijuana."
The above quote was taken from this article about THCV: https://www.hellomd.com/health-wellness/5a8db389f24d1300077ccb5a/psychoactive-thcv-the-cannabinoid-that-kills-your-appetite
Photo credit: Taylor Harding