Whilst there are some physical conditions (e.g. cancer, AIDS/HIV, diabetes) that can cause anorexia- (cachexia) or obesity- like symptoms, they are also conditions of their own. Though using cannabis to treat eating disorders is not a new and novel idea, it is still one area that could do with a lot more research. Eating disorder include not only anorexia and bullimia, but obesity, too. These health problems may either be the result or cause of other conditions, too, e.g. diabetes, cancer or the use of harsh anti-retroviral drugs.
There is increasing evidence pointing out the relationship between endocannabinoids and eating disorders. Some speculate that all eating disorders like obesity and anorexia are caused at least in part by a defective endocannabinoid system (ECS). Anorexia has a high mortality rate, and managing it is very difficult, with very little evidence out there for effective treatments. Leptin, ghrelin and cannabinoids provide us with hope for one.
- Improve and stimulate appetite
- Can help control hunger for those prone to overeating, due to controlling blood-sugar levels (similar to diabetes)
- Euphoria can help overcome anxiety and depression
- May increase paranoia, anxiety and depressive episodes in some