Many of you may know that cannabis can help to increase appetite, but might not know why it is an appetite stimulant. This property is especially helpful for patients who are recovering from certain illnesses, undergoing chemotherapy or for AIDS patients.

The positive effect cannabis plants have on appetite is mainly due to two cannabinoids: THC, which targets the cannabinoid receptor CB-1 of the endocannabinoid system (ECS), known to have a key role in the appetite regulation, and CBG (cannabigerol) which is shown to increase, for a yet undetermined reason, the desire to eat.

Newer findings have also shown that cannabinoids are able to stimulate a set of neurons (known as POMCs), that in turn stimulate the release of hormones called beta-endorphins, which make you feel good and hungry.

Contrary to what many people believe, research has also shown that CBD and some terpenes like humulene have appetite-suppressing properties. This is why, if you are looking for a strain to increase your appetite, we at CSG recommend a strain with high levels of THC and CBG, while trying to avoid strains with high levels of CBD and a deep earthy scent.

It is no secret that cannabis stimulates appetite, a phenomenon so widely spread that it is colloquially known as ‘the munchies’. Pretty much everyone who has consumed cannabis can attest to an insatiable appetite, usually followed by multiple visits to their kitchen cupboard. 

While the phenomenon is famous across the world, it is far less well-known that cannabis can actually be used medically for boosting appetite. Indeed, while medical marijuana is used by patients to treat several health conditions from anything, including muscle spasms and chronic pain to stress and depression, it can also be used as a stimulant for boosting appetite. 

For those going through the side effects of chemotherapy or HIV treatment, medical cannabis is now a commonly prescribed treatment by medical practitioners as it is known for stimulating hunger as well as helping to treat nausea. 

A 2018 study by Washington State University (published by the Society for the Study of Ingestive Behaviour) indicated that medical cannabis has real potential in helping to treat the symptoms of a loss of appetite by inducing hunger – but what is the actual science behind it?

The positive effect of medical cannabis on appetite is derived from its remarkable impact on the endocannabinoid system (ECS). 

One of the roles of the endocannabinoid system is to control energy homeostasis, influencing the food intake centres of the central nervous system. The effect medical marijuana has on appetite is primarily attributed to two cannabinoids:

How does THC affect your appetite?

THC targets the cannabinoid receptors CB-1 of the ECS which then release hormones known to stimulate appetite and cravings. THC can stimulate the release of Ghrelin, a hormone that stimulates hunger and speeds up digestion. THC also stimulates the olfactory bulb, making food smell and taste better. More dopamine is released when consuming food if THC is in your system, making it feel all that much more satisfying. 

Cannabigerol (CBG)

CBG also targets cannabinoid receptors and is shown to increase the desire to eat – although the exact science behind it is still uncertain, research suggests that cannabinoids are also able to stimulate a set of neurons in the brain (POMCs), which in turn stimulate the release of beta-endorphin hormones – attributed to a feeling of wellbeing and hunger.

Contrary to popular belief, research suggests that cannabidiol (CBD) and terpenes such as humulene (responsible for the earthy taste and scent found in some strains) actually have appetite suppressing qualities.

Therefore, if you are looking for a strain to stimulate your appetite, we recommend cannabis strains with high levels of THC and CBG, while trying to avoid strains with high levels of CBD and a strong earthy scent.

Our selection of best strains for appetite stimulation

If you are someone who is suffering from a lack of appetite and looking for the right cannabis strains for appetite, we have selected three of the best strains that could help with appetite stimulation.

Somango XL

The first selection in our list for stimulating hunger is the mouthwatering, award-winning indica hybrid strain Somango XL. 

This indica dominant hybrid boasting medium to high THC levels of around 18% is well known amongst medical marijuana patients for its ability to relax the body as well as its appetite-inducing qualities. With a soft scent of mango, the fruity taste of this strain is both effective and delicious. 

A cross of Somango and Critical 47, Somango XL is a fantastically fruity strain that with its wide array of genetics, helps to generate a truly diverse cannabinoid profile that provides this strain with its positive effects on appetite loss. 

Pineapple Kush

Another fruity indica strain that could prove effective for increasing appetite is the hugely popular Pineapple Kush strain. This indica dominant hybrid that emerged from classic strains Pineapple and Master Kush is considered to be one of the most effective strains for boosting appetite. 

Indeed, this wonderful strain owes its fabulous potency and flavour to that of its powerful parents which helps to generate the dominant indica effects felt in this award-winning choice. 

This relaxing, flavour-packed indica contains a mid to high level of THC content, averaging at around 18% and is considered ideal for evening usage, given the strong body effects generated by this wonderful appetite inducer.

Haze Berry

Last, but certainly not least, Haze Berry is considered to be one of the finest strains for medical marijuana patients treating appetite loss in medical clinics along the US west coast. 

An intense sativa dominant hybrid packing a powerful THC punch of up to 20%, Haze Berry is the child of two cannabis legends – Super Silver Haze and Blueberry. The result is a spectacular sativa dominant strain that is noted for its potency and intense cerebral effects. With its rich berry aroma and sharp lemon fruity taste, Haze Berry is the kind of strain you will certainly find yourself returning to.

With its sativa dominant genetics, Haze Berry is ideal for daytime usage (no couch lock here) and while it packs a bit of a punch, its clear-headed effects will allow you to go about your daily routine, and hopefully, with a much stronger appetite!

All of these strains of medical marijuana are thought to be effective in helping to relieve the symptoms of appetite loss, treat anorexia by assisting with weight gain, and could prove an exciting alternative for those looking to regain their appetite.

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