Does CBD Make You Hungry? A Comprehensive Analysis

10 min read

Get In My Belly, Burger. An Obese Young Man About To Eat A Huge Hamburger.

This article will explore and clarify the relationship between CBD consumption and appetite, debunking myths, and presenting scientific evidence to provide a clear understanding for consumers.

Almost everyone has heard about the munchies where individuals use a cannabis-based product and suddenly find themselves eating everything they can get their hands on. But can CBD make you hungry? And if so, why does CBD make you hungry? This article will address the common perception of cannabis products and specifically its relationship to hunger. it will focus on CBD and explore and clarify if and how CBD influences appetite.

Does CBD make you hungry?

Cannabis can increase your appetite by way of the chemical THC. THC is able to make food taste better and it causes your brain to think that you are hungry even if you ate recently. Taking lower doses of THC in any cannabis-based product can help control the level of hunger you feel and you can also choose products that are very low in THC but higher in CBD if you want to avoid the side effects of the munchies.

The munchies

Can CBD make you hungry? Yes, to an extent. Hunger is one of the most common side effects associated with cannabis use. For that reason, cannabis is used to stimulate appetite and relieve nausea for many medical conditions.

This impact has been referred to as the munchies where you feel an increase in appetite and want to munch ravenously on things after consuming cannabis.

Why does CBD make you hungry?

Cannabis does two things:

  1. First, it makes food simply taste better so you are more likely to eat it, especially if you don’t like the taste of food because of a medical condition or any medication you are on.

  2. Second, it binds to certain receptors in your tongue that enhance the way your brain responds to sweet food and increase your craving for fatty foods.

Clinical research has found that cannabis increases the hormones that make you hungry.

There are several systems which have an interaction with cannabis:

Endocannabinoid System Activation

First is the endocannabinoid system. This is a system that helps regulate several processes including mood, appetite, and sleep. When you consume a CBD product with THC in it, it activates the CB1 and CB2 receptors in that system located in your brain. This effect touches upon several processes in the body including stimulating your appetite.

Ghrelin Production

Ghrelin is a hormone responsible for sending hunger signals. CBD products with THC can increase the production of this particular hormone and that triggers feelings of hunger.

Sensory Perception

THC also makes smells increase and food seemingly tastes better. This all happens because your sensory perceptions are enhanced. This makes eating more pleasurable which can be especially important in people who are dealing with nausea or loss of appetite from medication or cancer.

Dopamine Levels

Dopamine is a neurotransmitter that gets activated by several cannabinoids and it increases feelings of pleasure when you eat and this can encourage you to eat even more.


Your hypothalamus is responsible for regulating hunger and releasing hormones. Cannabis can activate neurons in your hypothalamus that increase the hormones responsible for promoting hunger.

However, not all cannabis will directly increase your hunger. Not all cannabinoids activate these receptors. The primary activator is THC. CBG is also known to stimulate appetite without the psychoactive effects of THC.

This means that CBD in isolation does not increase your hunger but if CBD is found in products with THC or CBG it would have that same impact.

How much you consume and the way you consume will have an impact on how hungry you feel. For example:

  • If you smoke cannabis you will reach peak levels within about 5 minutes and the effects can last several hours during which time you will feel the munchies.

  • But if you ingest cannabis with things like gummies or drink drops it might take up to an hour or two to reach Peak levels in your brain with effects lasting six or more hours.

People have individual responses to CBD and other cannabinoids so any increase you experience in your appetite might be different.

cbd vs cbc comparison

CBD and other benefits

However, it’s important to recognize that CBD alone does not have the same impact on hunger as THC. There are several benefits to consuming products like gummies or oils that have CBD in them, particularly on things like stress, anxiety, depression, and overall well-being.

Сonsuming these types of broad-spectrum products can give you all of the benefits of CBD without the direct influence on increased hunger. Nonetheless, you might experience changes to your eating habits if you consume broad-spectrum CBD products because control over things like depression symptoms or stress can directly change stress-related eating or emotional eating associated with conditions like depression.

CBD’s effects on anxiety, stress, and overall well-being might indirectly influence eating habits.

CBD makes you hungry: how to manage

Knowing answers to questions like “Can CBD make you hungry” might raise concerns about overeating and weight gain.

Some studies have confirmed that regular cannabis users have lower body mass indexes, so while it might have a relationship to the munchies and hunger, you don’t have to worry too much about being overweight with regular cannabis use.

Tips for managing munchies

That said, if you are worried about potential health effects, namely the impact on your weight or diet, there are things you can do to manage CBD-induced hunger:

  1. Firstly, keep fresh foods stocked at home, like hummus or similar bean dips, with nuts, homemade granola, fruits, and vegetables that are easy to snack on. If you always have potato chips and cookies on the counter, when you get hungry you are more likely to grab those but if you have an easy-to-reach container of hummus and pita chips, you won’t have to worry as much.

  2. Stay hydrated, and consider adding flavors like lemon or strawberry to your water to satisfy sweet cravings associated with cannabis use, without loading up on unwanted calories.

  3. Limit the THC in your products. You can buy broad-spectrum CBD products that do not contain any THC and with that, reduce the impact on your hunger.

  4. Test different strains. There are many varieties and some cannabinoid products have unique balances because of the Entourage Effect, where the effects of one cannabinoid are impacted by the addition of another.

Overall, talk to your doctor or a medical professional about the impact that cannabis can have, and, in particular, the ways in which you can benefit from overall wellness with modulated CBD usage.

Choosing the right dosage

Another important point is to choose the right dosage. When using CBD for things like stress or anxiety, you need to be aware of the impact that CBD products might have on your overall eating habits. To that end, making sure you are taking the correct dose and not starting with too much can be very useful in ensuring that you don’t change your diet immediately.

You can also use other things to help manage symptoms of stress or anxiety or even sleep disorders like gentle stretching, yoga, going for walks every day, journaling, and other holistic methods that can be combined with CBD products which can also play a role in modulating hunger.

Summing Up

Does CBD make you hungry? Yes, it does, and in fact, that is why it is used so prolifically in so many treatments. However, understanding the relationship between CBD and hunger can help you approach CBD use with informed expectations about your appetite changes and make the right decision about appropriate dosages if you are concerned about appetite changes.

Frequently Asked Questions:

  1. Why does CBD make me hungry?

CBD’s effect on hunger can vary from person to person. Unlike THC, which is known to stimulate appetite, CBD does not typically cause “the munchies.” However, CBD may indirectly influence appetite. By reducing stress and anxiety, CBD can normalize eating patterns disrupted by these factors. Additionally, if CBD is used to treat conditions that affect the digestive system, the alleviation of these symptoms might also lead to an increase in appetite.


  1. Can CBD help with weight loss or weight gain?

There is some evidence suggesting that CBD may help with both weight loss and weight gain, depending on the individual’s needs. For those who need to gain weight, such as people dealing with certain medical conditions, CBD’s potential to alleviate symptoms that suppress appetite might be beneficial. Conversely, for those looking to lose weight, CBD may aid in regulating blood sugar levels and reducing stress-related overeating.


  1. Are there specific strains or types of CBD that affect appetite more than others?

The effect of CBD on appetite may vary depending on the strain and the presence of other cannabinoids and terpenes. Full-spectrum CBD products, which contain a range of cannabinoids including trace amounts of THC, may have a more noticeable effect on appetite than CBD isolate products.

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The statements made regarding these products have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. The efficacy of these products has not been confirmed by FDA-approved research. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. All information presented here is not meant as a substitute for or alternative to information from health care practitioners. Please consult your health care professional about potential interactions or other possible complications before using any product. The Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act require this notice.
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