Lack of Appetite & Medical Marijuana

Lack of Appetite is a symptom of poor health, often associated with serious psychological or physical illness.   In healthy people, a lack of appetite is the body's way of saying that food should not be consumed at the moment for a variety of reasons; the last meal was a big one, there is a minor digestive problem, the flu is coming on, etc.  


"Starve a cold, feed a fever"

-- Anonymous


Often misunderstood, this famous sage advice really means, when you have a cold and eat a lot, it is feeding the germs that will give you the flu, stupid.

Impaired digestion, such as ulcers, bacterial infection, surgery, drugs, organ dysfunction, chemotherapy, stress and illness can all cause loss of appetite.


Cannabinoids, the active medicinal ingredients of Medical Cannabis are well known to improve appetite, reduce nausea and treat anorexia.  The Cannabinoid, THC has been found to motivate under-active receptors to release appetite-promoting hormones and also stimulate the cell's energy producing mitochondria to demand FOOD. 


"I only go out to get me a fresh appetite for being alone."

--  Lord Byron


A chronic loss of appetite can lead to serious weight loss which probably reduces quality of life and worsens medical conditions and their symptoms.  Malnutrition can result, affecting every bodily function including:

  • immune response
  • wound healing
  • muscle strength (including respiratory muscles
  • renal capacity and depletion leading to water and electrolyte disturbances
  • thermoregulation
  • menstruation


“I never trust people with no appetite. It's like they're always holding something back on you.”

--   Haruki Murakami

Medical Marijuana and Appetite

The ability of Cannabis to motivate eating is well documented for many centuries.  Users routinely report that Marijuana induces strong cravings and a more intense sensory experience.  These effects result from the actions of cannabinoid molecules at specific cannabinoid receptor sites within the brain that control appetite. Recent developments in the biochemistry and pharmacology of endocannabinoid systems supply convincing evidence from animal models;  that endocannabinoids play a critical role in the control of eating motivation. These findings suggest  the possibility of improved therapies for disorders of eating and body weight: in both weight loss and overconsumption. 


"The recent advances in cannabinoid pharmacology may lead to improved treatments for these conditions (lack of appetite) or, conversely, for combating excessive appetite and body weight."

-- Kirkham TC et. al. School of Psychology, University of Liverpool

MMJDOCTORONLINE Notes: Our California licensed Marijuana Doctors provide Medical Marijuana Recommendations, 420 doctor evaluations, MMJ cards, that allow clients to access Medical Cannabis from any licensed Marijuana Medical Club in state.


"Who wants the munchies?"

--  Cheech and Chong, no doubt

Further Reading 


Cannabinoid therapy may stabilize weight in patients with chronic hepatitis C.

THC study, weight gain in participants treated with Dronabinol for 12 weeks

Oral dose of THC and Cannabis was well tolerated by these patients with Chemotherapy induced anorexia

Long-term efficacy and safety of THC therapy for acquired HIV/ AIDS associated anorexia.


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