How Does Marijuana Increase Appetite?

By on July 26, 2017

Only in the last few years have many states legalized recreational marijuana, but the medical cannabis movement in the West is older than that.  The first cannabis-based prescription drug was Marinol, marketed since the 1970s.  Its active ingredient is THC, the cannabis compound that causes euphoria and psychedelic effects.  The purpose of Marinol was not, however, to give patients an enjoyable evening of listening to Dark Side of the Moon.  Rather, it was and still is prescribed to patients who cannot eat because of nausea or loss of appetite.

THC is a Powerful Appetite Stimulant

When you order marijuana delivery near me, do you get the munchies?  Certainly, the presence of a cannabis delivery company in the area is always a boon to the local pizza delivery business.  That is because, THC, the same chemical that turns the music of Grateful Dead and Phish from boring to mesmerizing, also makes people hungry.  This isn’t such great news for people watching their waistlines, but it is potentially lifesaving for people suffering from chronic nausea.

Marinol is most often prescribed to patients who are in danger of becoming malnourished because of chronic nausea.  Nausea is a common side effect of chemotherapy, so cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy are often prescribed THC to recover their appetite.  Likewise, people with HIV are sometimes advised to take THC in order to improve their appetite if they have chronic nausea.  In states where cannabis is legal for medical use, physicians may advise them to order cannabis oil or edibles instead of prescribing older THC prescription drugs.

How Does THC Stimulate Appetite?

THC, like other cannabinoids in marijuana and in the brain, affects the brain’s reward centers.  It increases the desire for food, and it makes the food taste better when you eat it.  Enjoyment of food is only one of the pleasant sensations THC causes.

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