Anorexia is defined as an acute loss of appetite, often associated with psychological factors. Various stomach disorders, and reactions to narcotic medications can contribute to anorexia. Social pressures can also play a factor. The potential for relief of anorexia with the use of cannabis may depend upon psychological factors, but is well known that “stoners” get the horrendous and sometimes expensive “munchies” after consuming marijuana. The overwhelming evidence of hunger-inducing properties of cannabinoids, particularly the primary ingredient, delta-9 THC, in the physical condition of appetite loss known as cachexia is well established.
Use of marijuana greatly stimulates the body’s metabolism and causes an increased appetite for most people. This spells potential salvation for anorexic patients. If an anorexic patient were in critical condition and refusing food, it would be a lot more effective and less traumatizing to stimulate their appetite rather than force them to use a feeding tube. To reduce the use of feeding tubes while still providing patients with adequate calories would be beneficial to the patient’s emotional as well as their physical well-being. As stated before, a significant contributor to anorexia is purely emotional and psychological.
In the later stages of recovery, cannabis can still help greatly. As relaxation therapy, the anxiety and fear factor that plays a part in anorexia can be treated with cannabis. It would allow the patient to explore new ideas and get insight into the cause of their eating disorder.
When marijuana is used to stimulate appetite, often one puff, smoked or vaporized is enough to be effective. It is important to take regular breaks from marijuana use, of a few days, so that your body does not become dependent on cannabis to tell it when to be hungry.