AUG 24, 2022 8:00 AM PDT

Can Cannabis Help You Diet?

WRITTEN BY: Helaine Krysik

Cannabis is known for many things these days, such as helping users with relaxation, sleep, social skills, and alleviating nausea. But as more cannabinoids are discovered, the claims as to what cannabis can do increase. One of the latest claims is that weed can help you diet.

This may seem counterintuitive because weed is long known for giving people the munchies. However, a compound called tetrahydrocannabivarin (THCV), a non-psychoactive cannabinoid found in the cannabis plant, is showing positive signs of curbing the appetite.

How does this work? THCV blocks the CB1 receptor in our endocannabinoid system, preventing other cannabinoids from binding to it, in effect curbing the appetite. As a result, THCV increases that satisfied feeling you get when you’re full. According to research, it also boosts energy and the metabolic function.  

Another promising discovery is that THCV can help combat Type 2 diabetes in some patients. A study performed a few years ago showed that THCV significantly decreased fasting plasma glucose and improved pancreatic B-cell function. Furthermore, the cannabinoid was well tolerated in the volunteers who participated in the study.

Researchers are hopeful that THCV could someday be a new therapy in helping to control blood glucose in people battling Type 2 Diabetes.

While the research is promising and will most likely lead to effective products and remedies in the future, scientists caution potential buyers to beware. Cannabis products that are currently sold over the counter at dispensaries and other retail locations, claiming to cure obesity and/or diabetes, are preliminary at best and misleading at worst. The FDA has not yet approved any of these products, so they should be treated accordingly.

Some scientists go so far as to say that some companies contort science to make money. So, consumers should be careful, do their due diligence, and always consult their doctor.



Sources: New York Times, Nature, Journal of Cannabis Research, Diabetes Journals

About the Author
Bachelor's (BA/BS/Other)
Helaine is a cannabis industry writer and marketing consultant. She has been active in the Illinois cannabis industry since 2020, and writes for a variety of national publications.
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