For those struggling with anorexia and bulimia, there is some evidence Medical marijuana could aid in the refeeding process of an anorexic. Issues with Medical Marijuana in Eating Disorder Treatment. The difficulty Should weed be used to treat eating disorders? Vice. Retrieved. Anorexia and bulimia may be due to an imbalance in brain chemistry. This new information might help identify new targets for medications.
– Anorexia disorders help? Can cannabis eating and
Suppressing this activation may also result in weight loss . The effect of marijuana legalization could be profound for those struggling with eating disorders and co-occurring issues. Observational studies suggest that one in nine people who smoke marijuana regularly become dependant on it . For many people who smoke marijuana, the THC often increases anxiety and panic attacks. This is especially true for those who have not smoked marijuana before.
Individuals who have bipolar disorder and use marijuana seem to induce manic episodes and rapid cycling between manic and depressive moods increases. Marijuana use can also exacerbate psychotic symptoms and worsen outcomes in patients previously diagnosed with psychotic disorders.
Medical marijuana could aid in the refeeding process of an anorexic patient due to it being less traumatizing than a feeding tube. This allows the patient to chose to eat rather than being forced to eat. Marijuana could also play a role in the later stages of eating disorder recovery through use in relation therapy and exploring new ideas and insights. In a longitudinal study of 94 AIDS patients, the use of THC in doses ranging from mg, confirmed that appetite was enhanced and patients tended to retain stable body weight over the course of the seven-month study.
The number of areas in the United States where marijuana is being legalized for medicinal use is rapidly growing. Rarely are eating disorders seen as a valid reason to issue or prescribe marijuana for therapeutic use. At least 24 million Americans have an eating disorder , with at least half of them meeting the criteria for depression and anxiety .
In , a study in Biological Psychiatry found a link between anorexia and bulimia with that of a potential brain malfunction that leads to a loss of the endocannabinoids. Marijuana is legal in Canada, and a review by a team of researchers found that only 31 studies focused on the medical benefits of the drug . The American Medical Association also concluded that the research in the area of marijuana medical benefits seems to be limited.
The Institute of Medicine IOM stated that with the widespread availability of FDA approved medications to help treat pain relief particularly nerve pain , appetite stimulation for people with AIDS wasting syndrome or eating disorders, and control of chemotherapy-related nausea and vomiting, marijuana should only be considered for treatment when patients do not get relief from currently available medicines [5, 7].
New studies evaluating the use of marijuana as a treatment for psychiatric disorders are inconclusive because the drug may have contradictory effects in the brain depending on the dose of the drug and inherent genetic vulnerability. In conclusion, marijuana can have various benefits to those struggling with eating disorders, but further research and clinical studies need to be done to see what effect it can have on the treatment of eating disorders.
Libby has been treating eating disorders for 10 years within the St. Louis area, and enjoys working with individuals of all ages. The opinions and views of our guest contributors are shared to provide a broad perspective of eating disorders. These are not necessarily the views of Eating Disorder Hope, but an effort to offer discussion of various issues by different concerned individuals.
We at Eating Disorder Hope understand that eating disorders result from a combination of environmental and genetic factors. If you or a loved one are suffering from an eating disorder, please know that there is hope for you, and seek immediate professional help. Co-Occurring Disorders , research. Join us on February 20 at To communicate between the distant cells, the ECS uses two weapons: Cellular activators and receptors. You can think of an activator molecule as a little messenger that travels through the body and snuggles into a particular receptor, eventually delivering the message.
THC, for example, resembles anandamide an endocannabinoid in the way it attaches itself primarily to CB1 receptors. CBD, on another end, works through a multitude of molecular pathways, all of which are explained in detail in our complete CBD guide. In , a team of researchers from the University of Salerno in Italy investigated a possible role of the endocannabinoid system in controlling eating disorders. They came to an interesting conclusion: The CB1 receptor activation has an impact both on the brain and the peripheral organs like gut, muscles, liver, and fat.
Another interesting thing was noticed in a research published in the Nature Neuroscience. Cannabinoids, particularly THC, can be a potential medication for treating anorexia. That way, the sensibility to taste and smell increases, together with the pleasure of eating. After four weeks, subjects who were taking THC gained a pound and a half more than the placebo group. Although cannabis-induced munchies might seem like the perfect solution for all sorts of eating disorders, there is one big problem—binge eating guilt.
People suffering from eating disorders are often faced with the fact that after the weed wears off the reality kicks in. The feelings of regret, guilt, and shame after consuming food while high all kick in, which can, unfortunately, lead to purging.
This is especially problematic for bulimia sufferers. Being even more critical of their body after overeating is not something new to those who are already suffering from an eating disorder. Those with bulimia are in even greater danger since they can become even more dependent on purging and further endanger their health. Maybe this is the main reason why cannabis can be prescribed for eating disorders in only 5 US states—however only for anorexia and not bulimia.
The studies I found obviously target cannabinoids as a potential remedy for different eating disorders. People who self-medicate should know that in 5 US states and Canada you can get a medical marijuana card for anorexia.
You should be very careful with cannabis if you feel guilty after eating. Munchies and binge eating may cause further purging and can actually worsen your condition.
In this instance, you should talk to your therapist and stick to the recovery plan they laid out for you. If you have used cannabis to overcome an eating disorder, please share your experience with other readers in the comment section below. Journalist with a decade-long experience of using cannabis for stress relief.
Marijuana Can Induce the Munchies. Can It Also Cure Anorexia?
Learn about anorexia nervosa, an eating disorder involving self-starvation and low body weight, and find out if cannabis can be a treatment option. I have read many articles about medical marijuana and how it can help you in terms of eating disorder, anxiety disorders and panic attacks. Find out the science-backed argument on using cannabis for eating disorders Unfortunately many will struggle with their eating disorder on a.