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Here’s How Can Marijuana Help Patients With Anorexia & Bulimia

marijuana doctor los angeles

In the United States, approximately 30 million people of all age groups and genders have an eating disorder. And, 13% of women over the age of 50 engage in eating disorder behaviours. Eating disorders can develop unhealthy eating habits, which are linked to a wide range of health risks. Patients with these disorders often have an obsession with food, body weight, shape, etc. Medical researchers have found that marijuana use can help patients get off the common eating disorders such as anorexia and bulimia. It’s good news for patients suffering from eating disorders. But, before you schedule a consultation with a medical marijuana doctor in Los Angeles, let’s learn how does the herb work for treating eating disorders.

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Medical Marijuana For Treating Eating Disorders

There’s a wide range of factors, which cause eating disorders. One is genetics. Studies performed on twins adopted by different families have confirmed that these disorders can be hereditary.

Another is personality traits—neuroticism, perfectionism, and impulsivity. Most of the sufferers of eating disorders have false beliefs about their body weight, image, and shape. Thus, they do extreme efforts to lose weight, such as taking supplements, doing exercises, etc.

Marijuana contains over 100 cannabinoids, which interact with the endocannabinoid system, thus regulating appetite, mood, memory, and various other bodily functions.

THC, a psychoactive cannabinoid, produces cravings for sweet and fatty foods in various ways. One is—it increases the levels of ghrelin. Ghrelin is a hormone (also called hunger hormone), which is responsible for stimulating appetite and increasing food intake.

According to Janice Newell Bissex, a registered dietitian and cannabis practitioner in Massachusetts, if your stomach is empty, THC will help you produce more ghrelin, signalling the brain to produce sensations of hunger. The same happens when the stomach is not empty.

Additionally, researchers have found that the body’s endocannabinoid system controls appetite, reward, and energy. Specifically, CB1 receptors are responsible for promoting appetite and reward with food.

THC interacts with the CB1 receptors located in the areas of the brain involved in appetite control. This makes patients eat more and manage symptoms such as weight loss.

Moreover, THC helps in boosting dopamine levels. Dopamine is a neurotransmitter, which plays an important role in how you feel pleasure and regulating attention, learning, and emotional responses. THC plays an important role in increasing the sense of smell & taste, thus helping people in getting more inclined towards food.

On the other hand, CBD, a non-psychoactive cannabinoid, doesn’t cause the munchies. However, it can stimulate appetite in other ways. CBD is effective in relieving nausea and calming the nervous system & digestive tract. If you feel less nauseated, you will eat more, and gain weight.

CBD can also help in relieving pain, which is another reason for the loss of appetite. However, people use CBD as a treatment for chronic pain and other medical conditions.

There’s a wide range of cannabis strains with varying levels of THC and CBD available at medical dispensaries. Which strains you should purchase depends on your condition. Additionally, you should analyze how your body responds to cannabinoids. Talk to a licensed medical marijuana doctor in Los Angeles, and get expert advice for strains with optimal values of THC and CBD.

What Studies Have to Say?

  • A 2013 study published in the International Journal of Eating Disorders compared the effects of a placebo and dronabinol (a synthetic form of THC) in patients with eating disorders. Researchers found that participants who were given dronabinol gained 1.6 lbs more than those who were given the placebo. Moreover, when followed the dronabinol group after one year, researchers noted that they were still improving the symptoms without any signs of withdrawal issues or addiction.


Marijuana is a natural medicine, which can help in treating anxiety, depression, PTSD, and eating disorders. It contains more than 100 cannabinoids, which can help in promoting relaxation, boosting mood, stimulating appetite, and promoting sleep by interacting with the body’s endocannabinoid system. There’s a wide range of strains with different levels of THC and CBD. To receive the desired effects, make sure you select the right strain.

Talk to a medical marijuana doctor in Los Angeles to apply for your MMJ recommendation letter today!

In light of the COVID pandemic, we advise all our patients to see a doctor online instead of visiting the clinic. Help us flatten the curve by opting for an online 420 evaluation.