4 Ways Cannabis Can be Used to Treat Eating Disorders

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There is new hope for the treatment of people suffering from eating disorders such as bulimia, anorexia and binge-eating.

The cannabinoids, THC and CBD, both active ingredients in cannabis, have proven useful in treating patients diagnosed with eating disorders.

Studies show a positive correlation between an underactive endocannabinoid system and eating problems. The endocannabinoid system, which processes cannabinoids, also helps to regulate many bodily functions, including the appetite, metabolism and emotions.

Let’s take a look at four ways that cannabis can help with eating disorders.

Cannabis Helps to Reduce Anxiety

Anxiety presents a major hurdle for people with eating disorders. People diagnosed with anorexia, bulimia and binge-eating often feel anxious about eating or eat excessively as an attempt to temporarily escape anxious feelings.

Studies of the cannabinoid, CBD, demonstrate its enormous potential to reduce anxiety. CBD reduces blood levels of cortisol, a stress-related hormone that plays an important role in anxiety and depression.

4 Ways Cannabis Can be Used to Treat Eating Disorders

Cannabis Combats Depression

A study from 2017 showed significant improvements in people who suffer from anorexia nervosa after taking THC, one of the active ingredients in cannabis. The subjects showed a marked decrease in the symptoms of depression that are frequently present with eating disorders.

Cannabis Can Be Used to Stimulate the Appetite

Supplementing with cannabis products containing THC or CBD helps to stimulate a sluggish endocannabinoid system and increases appetite.

Recovering anorexics have a difficult time developing an appetite after so many years of deprivation. Dangerously underweight patients may be able to choose to eat food instead of undergoing the trauma of being fed intravenously.

Cannabis Supports the Bones and Skin

Among the secondary effects of eating disorders like anorexia are osteoporosis and skin conditions.

The active ingredients in cannabis have been shown to support bone growth. Studies of both THC and CBD demonstrate that these compounds can help broken bones heal faster and grow back stronger than they were before the break.

CBD-infused cosmetics

Cannabis has proven anti-inflammatory properties, and inflammation is a major contributor to skin conditions.

Topical or internal supplements can help cure the common skin ailments that anorexia patients often experience. This helps them with the self-esteem issues that normally accompany eating disorders.

Eating disorders can be life-threatening illnesses. If you or someone you know suffers from an eating disorder, contact a doctor immediately.

Your medical professional and your local medical marijuana dispensary can help you find out if cannabis treatment is right for you.

Emma Sturgis

Emma Sturgis

Emma is a freelance writer based out of Boston, MA. She writes most often on health and education. When not writing, she enjoys reading and watching film noir. Say hi on Twitter.

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