If you’ve been anywhere but living under a rock recently, you’ve noticed a huge interest in what hemp can do for us mere mortals health-wise. One of today’s most searched questions is how it affects appetite (assuming it does.)
If you are looking for a one-and-done answer, I’ve got nothing. But if you’re in it for a bit of a haul, here goes:
What Humans Have in Common with Our 5-Leafed Friend
Hemp is just one of many cannabinoids produced in the cannabis plant. Just like the plant, our bodies make endocannabinoids (inside) that work within our own Endocannabinoid System (ECS) to regulate things like sleep, appetite, and mood. Care to go deeper? ‘Think I will…
One of our own-grown cannabinoids is anandamide. Scientific findings suggest that this substance helps regulate emotions and anxiety.
Science is further showing that hemp works similarly in its broad-spectrum form in cases of generalized anxiety disorder, panic disorder, social anxiety disorder, OCD, and PTSD.
So Why Are You Talking Anxiety When I’m Interested in Appetite?
Good question. Here’s the answer: according to the same scientists who are researching hemp’s impact on anxiety, it likely improves appetite. Their studies show 30% of people that they surveyed said they skipped meals when they were experiencing anxiety. Haven’t you ever been so wound up you literally couldn’t eat? Boom. That’s what they’re talking about.
Not So Fast…
Well, hey, you might be thinking, everybody knows that smoking weed gives you the munchies, so of course hemp will make you hungry. Ummm…no. That’s not it.
So the short and sweet on THC: it binds to your CB1 receptors in your brain and Central Nervous System which stimulates the release of Grehlin, the hunger hormone, and bam! You suddenly need French fries like a teenager needs her cellphone.
Hemp, on the other hand, does not bind to the receptor. It just interacts with it. It helps your ECS by reducing the breakdown of the magical anandamide and positively affecting the serotonin Type 1A receptors.
In a nutshell, it looks like hemp supports balance and homeostasis in human bodies. No extreme zigging and zagging, thank you very much.
And the Pendulum Swings
Do you remember way back when I said I had no simple answer? Here’s why:
There are other studies that show hemp could be used as an appetite suppressant and if so, potentially more safely than appetite-suppressing pharmaceutical drugs.
Not surprisingly, appetite suppressants work. But at what cost? They negatively interact with both anti-anxiety and antidepressant medications. They are not safe during pregnancy or breastfeeding. They can cause constipation, headaches, and possibly liver damage. The list goes on.
That’s why if hemp can help curb your appetite, it would be a no-brainer for many people struggling to lose weight.
Let’s go back to how hemp works in our bodies: It interacts with CB1 receptors in your brain. It doesn’t highjack them. It doesn’t bind to them. But it does somehow affect them. To be honest, the scientists don’t really have the how figured out yet.
But one idea is since the CB1 increases your appetite left alone, hemp may reduce your appetite when it impacts the receptor.
Hemp also appears to help the browning of fat cells while fostering the metabolism of fat.
In English: White fat cells are the ones we humans judge. They collect around our bellies, hips, and thighs; put us at risk for heart disease and Type 2 Diabetes, and just aren’t healthy in oversized portions.
Brown cells, in contrast, are super healthy. They are full of mitochondria and are rich in iron (hence their color), and they create heat by burning fat. How do they get kicked into action? Through exercise, sleep, cold exposure, and drum roll, please: ingestion of hemp.
And Last but Most Confusing…Hemp can Counter Stress Eating
So, here is the deal: different people react to stress differently. Some stop eating (the people in the first anxiety studies referenced.) Some can’t stop eating. And it’s usually food that tastes good but does bad. Essentially, by reducing stress and anxiety, hemp counters binge eating.8
Which is another way of saying it can reduce appetite.
So, What Are you Saying, Exactly?
If you made it this far, you deserve a cookie. Kidding. How about a summary?
Appetite is more than being hungry. It involves emotions and psychological aspects. That’s why anxiety and stress are inextricably involved in the conversation.
If anxiety tends to shut down your appetite, hemp, by helping reduce it, may bring your appetite back.
If on the other hand, you are a stress-eater, science is beginning to show that hemp is also your friend for the same reason. Mitigating anxiety means there’s less stress to eat, right?
And that, my friends, is what we call a win/win scenario. In the case of hemp, it looks like all roads lead to balance. Perhaps you're looking to find some of this balance to curb or strengthen your appetite? If so, our Alkaline Hemp Water is a perfect start for you.