Medical Marijuana, Anorexia and Obesity



More than 70 million people in the world suffer from an eating disorder. According to a 2014 medical study, CBD was shown to increase metabolism – treating obesity while stimulating the appetite for cases of Anorexia and Bulimia.

The study led to more research and experimental studies, all of which have inspired many to try marijuana, besides the conventional dietary plans and physical exercises. However, with the complex nature of eating disorders, some still doubt whether cannabis therapy effectively treats both anorexia and obesity. We’ve covered all you need to know.

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Anorexia, Bulimia and Obesity 

Anorexia is an eating disorder that causes people to obsess about body weight, and as a result, they become fearful and extra keen on what they eat. Most people with anorexia are scared of gaining weight to the extent of:

  • Under-eating – eating way below what the body requires for normal functioning
  • over-exercising
  • inducing self-vomiting

While anorexia and bulimia have some similarities, the difference comes in their diagnosis. Anorexia is often a sign of self-starvation, which includes a significant weight loss of more than 15 percent of the ideal body weight. However, patients with bulimia have average or above-average body weight. These two conditions are self-induced.

Obesity is in itself a disease, characterized by a body mass index of 30 or higher. It results from several contributing factors, such as genetics and lifestyle choices. The condition can lead to other health issues such as diabetes and heart disease.

Anorexia and Marijuana: Tabling the Facts

The following research studies show the role of marijuana in helping anorexic patients overcome their extreme eating disorders and their resulting health effects.

  • Anxiety is linked to anorexia, and in a 2018 study, it was found that cannabis can significantly lower the anxiety levels in anorexic patients. However, consistent results were limited to moderate use of marijuana for a short period. The study also found that prolonged use of marijuana could worsen anxiety in the same patients.
  • In a 2013 Danish study, dronabinol, a synthetic form of cannabis, was linked to increased appetite and weight gain in anorexic patients. The subjects took 2.5 milligrams of dronabinol twice per day, and the medicine was well tolerated.
  • Marijuana has cannabinoids that can interact with the body’s endocannabinoid system affecting the overall homeostasis. It’s in this process that cannabis can induce hunger and appetite.


Cannabis Therapy For Both Anorexia And Obesity 2

Anorexia and Obesity


Obesity and Marijuana

THCV and cannabidiol, are two chemical components in marijuana that have been associated with suppressed appetite. The same compounds have an impact on the body fat content and its response to insulin. Clinical trials have shown that some chemical components of medical marijuana can serve as an alternative treatment for metabolic syndrome, a significant risk factor for diabetes.

Another study that analyzed several variables – insulin resistance (a risk factor of diabetes), obesity, and marijuana use, showed that subjects who used marijuana in the past year had fewer chances of becoming obese. Results from the same study linked cannabis use with;

  • Lower body mass index
  • Lower BMI
  • Lower insulin resistance

Medical marijuana may also treat symptoms and side effects of obesity such as;

  • Binge eating
  • Fatigue 
  • Depression and anxiety
  • Joints and back pain

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Medical Marijuana Consumption Methods 

Specific consumption methods are considered effective for obesity and Anorexia conditions. These methods are categorized into three – oral, inhalation, and topical.

For oral methods:

  • Consume oils (CBD) in foods or as capsules
  • Consume beverages in the form of beers or teas
  • Spray tinctures under the tongue for quick absorption
  • Consume edibles in the form of cakes, cookies or candies

Inhalation methods:

Moderately smoke blunts, joints, or hookahs; however, vaporization is considered less irritating and safer for the lungs.

Topical Method:

  • Rub topical oils on the affected areas – joints, back, skin, etc.
  • Apply topical sprays on the affected area(s)



Cannabis Therapy For Both Anorexia And Obesity 1 1

Medical Marijuana and its Positive Role in Eating Disorders

Effective Medical Marijuana Strains for Weight and Eating Disorders 

The following marijuana strains have shown promising results with people suffering from eating disorders and those trying to either gain or reduce weight.

Blue Dream – this strain is known for its calming effect. It balances full-body relaxation, delivering swift symptom relief without substantial sedative effects. Blue dream is a popular daytime medicine used in patients requiring moderately high-THC strain to treat depression, pain, and nausea.

Super OG Master Kush – the strain induces a strong cerebral euphoria followed by body relaxation, which helps uplift mood and energizes the mind. It’s taken at night time or in the evening.

Green Crack – Green crack is a daytime strain that helps fight fatigue, stress, and depression. It also gives you some appetite and energy, enough for a great work-out session.

Sweet and Sour Widow – with a 1:1 CBD- THC ratio, this strain comes with a sweet onion-like aroma. Its psychoactive effects are mild, which is perfect for novice users. Sweet and sour widow has a cerebral effect that keeps you focused, alleviating stress, and anxiety.

Yummy Cannabis Strain – Yummy is a high-THC strain with moderate potency, and it provides relief to several symptoms, including nausea, insomnia, pain, depression, and appetite loss.

Sour OG cannabis Strain – This is a hybrid marijuana strain common for its energetic boost that gradually results in a relaxing feel.

Get the best strain for your condition by applying for a medical marijuana card now!




Medical marijuana has varying effects depending on the conditions to which they are used. For example, when used at moderate levels, marijuana can ease anxiety for anorexic patients, while prolonged use can worsen anxiety.

Specific chemical compounds in marijuana can suppress the appetite, with an impact on the body fat content. However, some strains increase appetite leading to weight gain.

Before you can use a given marijuana strain to treat a given eating disorder or manage your weight, it’s recommended to consult your doctor and get a prescription.  

If you already have a prescription and looking to get a medical cannabis card, we’re here to help.

Book an appointment today, and a licensed MMJ Doctor will get your card processed.


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