Does CBD Oil Make You Hungry?

Does CBD Give Munchies

To tell you the truth, I was working on another article when a message arrived:

“I have the munchies! I hope it’s not from the CBD oil but it would be nice to have something to blame it on besides poor self-control!”

(I won’t reveal you the sender’s name yet, even though – I bet – a lot of you have already guessed. You will have to read THE WHOLE article to know who is responsible for it.)

“Does CBD make you hungry “ is the question that was formed in my mind as soon as I finished reading the message.

I won’t make use of my personal experience to give you answers. I do take CBD oil but I still have no appetite and keep losing weight. Unfortunately, there is no scientific or personal evidence that it can fix a broken heart 🙂

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Cannabis and Hunger

There is no surprise that my reader and friend is wondering about the possibility that CBD oil is responsible for her munchies.

The cannabis plant has been a victim of decades of propaganda, stereotypes, and misconceptions besides a “witch-hunt” worse than that of Salem.

A common stereotyped belief regarding the cannabis plant is associated with an increase in appetite.

I said cannabis.

I repeat: C A N N A B I S  


Why don’t you correct me?

I intentionally chose the term cannabis to trigger your reaction.

The term is wrong and if you didn’t react, it means you aren’t aware of the differences between the terms cannabis, hemp, and marijuana  

The actual culprit for the increase in appetite is the marijuana plant and specifically, its dominant component, the most famous cannabinoid, and CBD’s sibling. Tetrahydrocannabinol or THC.  

The reason why you experience this uncontrollable and extreme hunger when you are “high” is that THC reacts with your Endocannabinoid System.

What is the Endocannabinoid System (ECS)

I tend to repeat myself, I know.

I’ve been a teacher for all my life and I know that repetition serves to acquire a better understanding of things and more solid knowledge.

Even though I’ve explained the ECS more extensively, in a previous article of mine, I’ll present it to you once more to refresh your memory:-)

We use the term Endocannabinoid System (ECS) to describe an extensive network of neurotransmitters (=endocannabinoids ) and receptors throughout your body that is responsible for the regulation and the maintenance of homeostasis (=balance) and overall health.

The ECS is considered as the most important physiologic system in your body.

According to Dr. Dustin Sulak, it is vital to

“every level of biological life, from the sub-cellular to the organism, and perhaps to the community and beyond.”

The ECS is made up of two receptors.

I can hear you saying: “So what? Just two? “

Don’t hurry up to underestimate them. They are the most abundant neuromodulatory receptors in the whole body.

  • Cannabinoid Receptors 1 (CB1)  

They are spread throughout your body in organs, gonads, and connective tissue but their concentration is more intense in areas in your brain and spinal cord associated with the behaviors they impact.

  1. Amygdala, which is known to regulate appetite
  2. Nerve endings, which are responsible for the feeling of pain
  3. Hypothalamus, which plays a role in mood, behavior, perception, and cognition among others.
  • Cannabinoid Receptor 2 (CB2).

They are located in immune cells and the peripheral nervous system. When CB2 receptors are activated they reduce inflammation. Reduced inflammation is a huge deal because it is an indicator of a healthy immune system.

Imagine CB1 and CB2  receptors as locks.

The keys to open these locks are substances which are synthesized ON-DEMAND by your body in order to activate essential body functions and are called endocannabinoids.

Key In Lock
CB1 and CB2 receptors are the locks and Endocannabinoids are the keys

Unfortunately, the endocannabinoids don’t stay in our body for a long period of time. They are attacked by the fatty acid amide hydrolase (FAAH) and monoacylglycerol lipase (MAGL) enzymes and they are broken down at a high speed.

The result?  They lose the war and proudly die on the battlefield 🙂

A deficient ECS  (or else Clinical Endocannabinoid System (Deficiency Syndrome)  may be the root cause of lack of homeostasis and consequently of lots of health issues. According to Ethan Russo:

deficient cannabinoid levels may be the underlying cause of numerous conditions.”

This is when the cannabis plant comes to the rescue with its phytocannabinoids, THC, and CBD.

These two exogenous cannabinoids, in contrast to endogenous cannabinoids, are more “resistant” and remain in your body for longer periods of time. They interact with your ECS more intensively, obliging it to be more efficient and productive.

Does THC make you hungry?

Yes. Categorically.

THC is world famous for the “high” effect it causes when it enters your bloodstream.


Along with the “high”, hunger comes.

THC produces cravings for food because it activates several biochemical mechanisms.

Let us see how.

When THC enters your body, it rushes to the CB1 endocannabinoid receptors and binds directly to them.

And the party begins!

  • Your hypothalamus gets into action
  • The release of the “hunger hormone” ghrelin is promoted. (Blame it for your extra weight. It is responsible for three crimes against your silhouette: appetite stimulation, increased food intake, and fat storage.)
  • The olfactory bulb in your brain is stimulated. Your smell and taste sensitivity is heightened and food seems irresistible even with a full stomach.
  • Dopamine (the “happy hormone” responsible for reward-motivated behaviors) is boosted.

The result?

A fridge that suffers from your frequent raids. Day and night.

The verdict?

THC is guilty as charged for the munchies marijuana users and THC dominant products consumers experience.

Ok, it’s cool to know.

But do CBD dominant products exert similar effects? Is CBD oil as guilty as TCH for the munchies?

Don't Eat Too Much
CBD is an Appetite Suppressant

Does CBD Make you Hungry?

I am sorry to tell you that I can’t give you a categoric answer.

There is not a straightforward yes or no as a reply to this question.

CBD can increase AND decrease your appetite. It can help you gain and lose weight. It can also regulate your appetite.



(Hungry? I’m teasing you :-))

You shouldn’t be.

The “magic” of CannaBiDiol can be explained by its adaptogenic nature and its incredible ability to modulate your physiological systems in different, even opposite directions.

It is important to bear in mind that the way the CB1 receptors are stimulated determines the release or not of “hunger” chemicals in your body.

Research has brought evidence that CBD does not cause hunger increase or munchies the way THC does.

The reason is simple.

Cannabidiol does not bind directly to the CB1 receptors as its sibling does. On the contrary, acting as an antagonist of the CB1 receptors, CBD reduces the appetite stimulation that THC causes when it enters your body

Relieved? I hope so.


That was just an introduction.

The real magic starts now.

CBD Suppresses Appetite


According to a Review of Clinical Data and Relevant Animal Studies regarding the effects and the side effects of cannabidiol, one of the potential side effects of CBD is suppressed appetite.

A perfect side effect, isn’t it?

Additionally, studies have shown that it plays a significant role in fat browning and consequently helps you lose weight!  

CBD has a direct effect on your metabolism. In a few words, it

  • Promotes fat metabolism by stimulating the proteins and the fat genes responsible for the oxidation and the breakdown of fat
  • Increases mitochondrial activity which helps burn more calories
  • Reduces the expression of proteins which are involved in lipogenesis.

I can see you smiling. Hurry up! Summer approaches, there is still time!

CBD Increases Appetite
CBD can boost appetite

CBD Increases Appetite

Don’t frown!

Don’t throw away your CBD product!

Let me explain first!

It is known that CBD is potentially able to help you treat several health issues.

Appetite loss can be attributed to a series of causes:

  • Common Causes like colds, flu, constipation, allergies,  digestive issues, food intolerances, stomach bug or gastroenteritis, etc
  • Medical Conditions such as HIV and AIDS, diabetes, Crohn’s disease, etc
  • Psychological Ailments as stress, depression,  anxiety, panic attacks, grief or eating disorders, such as bulimia or anorexia nervosa.

By reducing the symptoms of particular ailments or conditions and bringing back the body to equilibrium, CBD can help increase your appetite or restore any lack of it.

In other words,  it improves symptoms of low appetite indirectly by treating its real causes.

I gave all this information on purpose: To increase your appetite for information regarding the effect CBD has on your metabolism.  

If you are curious to know more, feel free to ask for more by leaving a comment and – why not? – a direct request for a more detailed article regarding the way CBD affects your metabolism.

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Final Verdict

It is obvious that CBD doesn’t affect the hunger feeling in an unhealthy or disadvantageous way.

It can boost your metabolism, it can help your body burn calories, it can increase or suppress your appetite “taking into consideration” your body’s actual needs.

So here is my answer to the initial question:

“Theresa, you shouldn’t be worried. “

(You guessed right!  My dear friend Theresa is responsible for this article )  

“CBD isn’t responsible for your munchies.

Neither should you blame yourself for poor self-control.

Let cannabidiol restore balance in your body and give you the quality of life years in pain have stolen from you.

It’s time you started enjoying life again 🙂 “

(Visit Theresa’s blog and learn about ways to deal with osteoarthritis and chronic pain)

If you have any questions or want to share any personal experience, please, leave a comment below.

If you want to know if I have published a new article, or get information about CBD news, product releases or promotions, don’t hesitate to sign up for my email list!

DISCLAIMER: The content of this article is for informational purposes only. It is not meant to substitute professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. The information provided is not meant to alleviate or cure any disease or disorder. Always seek the advice of a qualified health provider for any medical condition.


  1. Wonderful information and great writing! It kept me reading, although I kind of had a feeling that CBD oil couldn’t possibly give you the munchies. I can see if getting over depression while taking CBD might increase your appetite, but that is just from overcoming the depression. I on the other hand, seem to want to snack when I am depressed so getting over depression would be a good thing for me 😀

    1. Well, depression and binge eating are closely related, Laehrae! It’s not increased appetite that causes the night raids to the fridge but your need for some “happiness” in the form of dopamine your body releases after eating, the reward system of all addictions. Take care of yourself, my friend!

  2. You made me laugh Effie. You certainly have that wit and humor. But anyways, I always look forward to your articles as they are very informative. I love that you inject humor and scientific studies in it.
    I suffered from anorexia when I was in my teens, dang that was not fun! But now I can’t stop eating! (haha), it’s really not funny because now I need to lose some weight. That’s why CBD is becoming more interesting huh.
    And I know now why you are good with breaking down a certain topic which is very easy to understand…because you are a teacher! I love teachers by the way?.

    Thank you for a wonderful, well-written article!


    1. I wish my students loved me as much as you do Nida LOL. As a teacher, I am strict and I demand discipline. All students are forced to be in class-you know how teenagers are-. But they all admit that they love me when they finish school:-) And this is my reward. You and all my readers are the best “students” -or audience – a teacher can ever have. You “enter the class” voluntarily and your comments are a daily reward. I hope I can transmit both my knowledge and my passion for this substance and help as many as I can !!

  3. Great way to explain the difference between THC and CBD in hunger control. I take CBD oil daily and do not have the hunger for food between meals as I did before. After getting up from a meal, I do not eat until the next meal. I have even stopped eating a snack before bed as I have done for many years.
    I think the having of a stimulant for hunger only when your body is fighting other problems is what makes CBD oil a great thing to have on your daily routine.
    Do you think after taking CBD oil for several months that you could go on an eating binge after the effects wear off.

    1. John, I am convinced that binge eating is associated with anxiety, depression, stress or other psychological factors. So if these issues return, perhaps it will return. I assume it won’t be caused by the CBD’s worn off effects but by an aching soul.

  4. Wow! Interesting! I really like reading about stories like this – they renew my faith in knowledge! Knowing about CBD oil is a blessing!

  5. Adaptogenic compounds fascinate me. They speak to how complex and interrelated the systems of the body are, and should give anyone pause in declaring one thing or another as “good” or “bad.” Everything depends on context and circumstances.

    This is particularly important when dealing with health issues. Modern medical science, for all its wonders and for all the lives it has legitimately both improved and saved, still has a mechanic’s view of health. See a problem, focus on that one problem, and fix it. That actually works great for things like broken bones, but less so with things like obesity.

    I think that’s why natural remedies are so popular in that they are naturally systems-related as that is how nature approaches and deals with problems.

    Don’t get me wrong, herbal salve is not going to set a bone! But I think a “balance” (your favorite word!) can be struck between the two.

    1. My standpoint is somehow romantic, Jon.

      Modern medical science did wonders but it caused us to separate from nature and forget the actual origin of all that exists.

      We forgot our roots and started to underestimate anything natural. Our world became plastic and toxic. Our body started suffering from side effects of lab-created medicines. We lost balance (yes! it’s my favorite word, how did you know it?).

      Take migraines as an example: Prescribed drugs will treat the symptom and take away the pain. An adaptogenic compound as CBD will find the real cause of migraines. eg stress and anxiety and treat the cause. This is magic, don’t you think?

      As far as broken bones are concerned , perhaps you should take a look at this LOL

  6. Hi Effie,
    Once again, I’m super impressed by your knowledge in this area. It’s very technical, but you have put it across in a relaxed and humorous way that is easy to understand. Thanks for the lesson, teacher!
    You know what, I don’t take CBD (sadly not legal in my country), but I still have the munchies… Every. Single. Day. Lol.
    Seriously, you need to take care of your appetite and weight, my friend.

    1. LOL munchies are a huge problem for us women. Especially when hormones play tricks to us. Be positive Joo. I am convinced CBD oil will be soon legal in your country. It’s like a tsunami -a positive tsunami- that won’t miss it. And, yes, I promise to try to eat more

  7. I’m glad to read that CBD doesn’t affect hunger in a negative manner; unlike some big pharma medications, especially those that treat depression as a friend once told me a few years back, but I remember the conversation vividly. For those looking for an alternative to such treatments, the fact CBD contains far less (if any) side effects modern western medicine contains, they really need to look into this as it may be a greater treatment option than what they’ve been told otherwise.

    What jumped out at me is when you stated cannabis has been a target of propaganda. It wouldn’t surprise me one bit if such propaganda came from the big pharmaceutical industry nor would it surprise me if they tried to ramp up such propaganda here in 2019.

    1. I, personally, suspect that big pharma lobbying was one of the reasons for the “War on Drugs” back in the ’70s, Todd. I have no evidence on that, just my logic and knowing that money rules the world

  8. I too felt like I was back in science class, but I’m happy for the explanation. My take away is that CBD oil promotes homeostasis – balance within the body. If you should eat for your health, then you will want to eat.
    However, I’m not sure I got this part right: CBD oil is the endogenous factor that turns on the exogenous abilities of the endocannabinoid system. Did I get that right?
    And thanks for another informative article.

    1. The opposite Suzanne! CBD is an exogenous cannabinoid (in modern Greek exo, means ‘outside’, and gignomai, means ‘to become, to produce’) because it isn’t produced in our body but it’s a substance we take from the cannabis sativa plant (an “outside” source). Exogenous cannabinoids can restore endocannabinoid levels and interact with the ECS to promote, restore and maintain homeostasis, a process occurring inside our body.

  9. Very interesting post here – I have tried CBD oil myself and have found that it does not increase my appetite. Perhaps this is something that is individually based? Great to learn about this wonderful oil though! Thanks for sharing 🙂

    1. Christen your personal experience gives great value to my claims. No, it isn’t individually based, it can be explained scientifically. Thank you for your kind comment!

  10. What an eye-catching heading. I read trying to find out whether CBD oil can help improve appetite and induce weight gain. I do not want to gain weight, I just want to maintain the one I have and still use CBD oil.
    I like your final verdict since it settles my question beautifully.
    Thank you Effie for another great article.

    1. You shouldn’t be worried Ahimbe. CBD is adaptogenic. But its most important characteristic -IMHO- is the fact that it promotes, restores and maintains homeostasis. Balance is the keyword for our wellbeing, my friend. Equilibrium is the secret for a better life 🙂

  11. CBD oil is amazing and I have never slept so well for this many consecutive days in my life! I have stopped taking Tylenol with no sign of increased pain.

    I’ll have to blame my appetite on carbs because I have been purging the freezer and ate some things that have not been part of my eating plan for a long time.

    The best medicine of all, Effie, is the gift of laughter which you have generously bestowed upon me. Thank you.


    1. Theresa, I wish you knew how happy you make me. I hate drugs and knowing you don’t need any big pharma medicine to ease your pain made my day brighter. Don’t blame yourself nor your appetite. You have entered a “healing” process and perhaps your body needs the carbs or whatever you feel the need to eat. Listen to it! CBD and laughter the perfect combination for a better life! Should I write an article about it? LOL

  12. OK so I have to say I was not expecting this at all. Your post about CBD oil was very detailed and informative. I felt like I was back in science class trying to understand the dynamics of what this oil was and the effects that it has on your body. I really enjoyed reading this . I also learned lot about THC and why your appetite increases so !much. I can relate because I use to smoke back in my early 20’s and almost eat an entire chain of restaurants to satisfy the craving.Lol.. ridiculous!… However I love how you really know what you are talking about here. Enjoyed your post and I will be back for more!

    1. I wish my students were as eager to learn as you are Doris 🙂 I am so happy my article taught you something. Teaching and helping are related concepts for me as far as blogging is concerned. Teaching means presenting information in an adequate way to be understood and learned in order to be used correctly. Isn’t blogging more or less the same thing? Don’t both of them offer help in the long run?

  13. Does CBD oil make you hungry? This is an interesting article. Right there at the beginning it triggered my munchies! That image did it! Lol!

    Thank you for explaining those differences between cannabis, hemp and marijuana. I did not know them. And then I also learned about the fact that nerve endings are responsible for the feeling of pain – I found this quite interesting.

    The information on CB2 and the connection with inflammation was interesting too. I had a tooth ache once and my face got swollen, really swollen and had to get a tablet to reduce the inflammation. Something about that whole experience made me realize that reducing inflammation is a big deal. The information on CB2 and the connection to inflammation added to my knowledge in a big way!

    I also wondered why at times I kept feeling like eating even when full and then afterwards feel horrible for eating too much. This article has informed me quite some. I understand a few things about my body much more. Well, I’ve always liked biology.

    There is still time before summer and I know what to do now! Hehe!

    This article has also made me realize that when one thing that bothers me is resolved I have clearer thinking to solve other problems – it’s a chain reaction and I see that it applies in emotional situations as well as physical ones.

    Thank you for this interesting and informative article. It made my day.


    1. Your comment made MY day Danielle! Your enthusiasm is contagious, did you know that? I sincerely thank you for your encouraging comment. We will both have a great day after this 🙂

      1. Danielle,
        It’s interesting what you said about inflammation concerning your tooth. Several months ago, I had a tooth capped which really should not have been a big deal. It was awful! The pain was nearly unbearable and the tooth continued to be sensitive for several months after that. When I was diagnosed with osteoarthritis, the doctor gave me a two-month prescription for inflammation which did nothing for the osteoarthritis, but healed my tooth! I wish I had known about CBD oil when I had the procedure done. It would have helped with anxiety as well as the pain.

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