Everybody knows the marijuana munchies. In fact, medical marijuana is used to treat lack of appetite and even more serious disorders. As is so often the case in life, science has an explanation for what people have known for years – marijuana can make you feel hungry.
It's been widely accepted for years that there is a link between increased appetite and THC. The question then became what, specifically, that link was. Recent research has suggested that THC improves the ability to smell food. The senses of smell and taste are intimately linked and hence an improved sense of smell may also lead to an improved sense of taste. It seems likely, however, that this is just one aspect of the way in which THC encourages us to eat more. Previous research has shown that THC has an effect on various brain receptors and can both stimulate appetite and increase the enjoyment of consuming food.
Because “the munchies” are linked to THC (rather than CBD) then there is a direct correlation between strains with high THC and the stimulation of the appetite. Hence those suffering from conditions which cause them to lack appetite would be best to look for strains with high THC and those looking to watch their waistlines would do best either to avoid strains with high THC or just to enjoy the buzz and take more exercise. It should be noted that although THC is known for stimulating the appetite, there is currently no evidence to suggest that CBD depresses it. It simply does not stimulate it the way THC does.
So what does all this mean in practical terms for marijuana users? On the one hand, obesity is a huge health issue and marijuana users with sedentary lifestyles might want to look for low-THC strains or, at the very least, have some low-calorie, healthy snacks to hand for when the munchies do strike. At the same time, there are also people who legitimately need to have their appetite stimulated. Leaving aside those with established eating disorders, there are many people who lose appetite when they come down with everyday illnesses such as colds and at the other end of the scale, there are people undergoing medical treatments such as chemotherapy, who are also very likely to suffer from loss of appetite.