The notion about eating or not eating is that all you need is a strong will and you can have great control over it. Nothing could be further from the truth. Both anorexia and bulimia or compulsive overeating are illnesses, disorders of a psychological nature, and willpower alone is not enough to cope with them. Anorexia is the most serious condition among all eating disorders.
Causes and symptoms of anorexia
The direct causes of anorexia are considered to be psychological, environmental and biological factors. The disease affects mostly perfectionists, who at the same time have low self-esteem, are not very resistant to the influence of their environment, for whom the ideal figure is a determinant of human value. Following fashion and acceptance is the domain of young people, which is why it is mostly young people who fall victim to this disease.
However, research shows that the onset of anorexia can also be caused by viruses, bacteria and also genetic disposition.
It also happens that a simple reduction diet is the cause of anorexia, if it is followed extremely strictly and is itself poor in food and calories. If heavy physical training is added to this, it is possible to lose control over time.
The symptoms of anorexia are:
- Weight loss to a level where the weight is at least 15% lower than what a person of a given age and height should be.
- Panic fear of weight gain.
- Taking appetite suppressants and those for laxation and inducing vomiting.
- Menstrual problems, decreased libido and poor potency in men.
- Dry skin, hair loss and brittle nails.
- Fatigue, dizziness and weakened immunity.
- Dehydration and constipation.
- Osteoporosis, poor wound healing.
- Heart disease, kidney failure, liver damage, and anaemia.
Treatment of anorexia
Anorexia is a serious illness and its treatment should be under the guidance of specialists. Treatment methods vary widely, just as individual cases vary. But it is primarily a psychological condition, so regular therapy sessions, supported by anti-anxiety and antidepressant drugs, are primarily used.
People struggling with anorexia often also benefit from support groups. This is very important for many to rebuild their self-esteem together.
CBD oil in the fight against anorexia
A great deal of research has already been carried out on the endocannabinoid system, whose CB1 and CB2 receptors are distributed throughout the human body, and which is recognised as a modulator of various physiological functions. These include homeostatic and hedonic aspects of eating. Research indicates that the root cause of eating disorders may be, among other things, a defect in the endocannabinoid system.
It turns out that the CB1 receptors located in the brain in the areas that control food intake, keep an eye on energy balance and make food feel like a reward play a significant role there. There seems to be a conflict of interest around them. CB1 receptor agonists have an orexigenic effect, i.e. they stimulate the appetite, while CB1 antagonists inhibit the need to eat.
The effect is that eating disorders start to occur, which are closely linked to disturbances in, for example, self-perception, but also result in abnormalities in eating and weight control. One study has also shown that the neurotransmitter system in the brain is much less active in women struggling with anorexia or bulimia. This makes the sensation of pleasure from food at a much lower level.
And this is where he should step in CBD oil with its ability to stimulate neurotransmitters in the brain. This is the first reason why anorexia sufferers should start using oils. This is because it can have a significant effect on changing the perception of food, but also on endocannabinoid systemwhich is designed to keep the body in a state of balance (homeostasis).
CBD oil can also help alleviate the effects of anorexia by:
- mood enhancement
Already, a great deal of research shows that the use of CBD oils has a mood-enhancing effect without showing any psychoactive properties. This is extremely important for people struggling with anorexia, who are often affected by depression.
It is worthwhile in this case to use CBD oils full spectrum, as in addition to cannabidiol they also contain other compounds such as terpenes (borneol, eucalyptol, limonene, beta-caryophyllene and d-linalool) which are also known to exhibit mood-enhancing and antidepressant effects.
- anti-anxiety and anti-stress effects
Studies have shown that CBD oils reduce feelings of anxiety and de-stress, although they are not psychoactive. This is extremely beneficial for those suffering from anorexia. It is important to take full-spectrum oils.
- stimulation of appetite
Anorexia is associated with major adverse changes in the hormonal economy responsible for appetite.
In a healthy person, fat cells release a hormone called leptin when meals are consumed. It is responsible for telling the brain that we are satiated. But there is also a second hormone called ghrelin, which stimulates our hunger. The levels of these hormones are disturbed in people with anorexia and then, when the body should feel hungry, it already feels full. Unfortunately, it is THC (cannabis), which is banned by law in Poland, that mainly stimulates the appetite and also increases the production of ghrelin.
However, there is a solution to this. Avoid using pure CBD isolates in anorexia. Because in Poland the permissible amount of THC in CBD oils is 0.2%, when full-spectrum CBD oils are used, the cannabidiol enhances the effect of THC. And in addition, even the full-spectrum CBG (cannabigerol) contained in such an oil increases appetite.
It can therefore be seen that CBD oil in the fight against anorexia can work in multiple ways and bring a whole host of benefits. However, any patient taking medication should consult with a healthcare professional before reaching for CBD oil.
- "Antidepressant-like and anxiolytic-like effects of cannabidiol: a chemical compound of Cannabis Sativa"; authors Alexandre R de Mello Schier, Natalia P de Oliveira Ribeiro, Danielle S Coutinho et al, 2014; https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/24923339/
- "Endocannabinoids in the regulation of appetite and body weight"; by T. C. Kirkham; 2005. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/16148436/
- 'Neural basis of anxiolytic effects of cannabidiol (CBD) in generalized social anxiety disorder: a preliminary report'; authors: José Alexandre S Crippa, Guilherme Nogueira Derenusson, Thiago Borduqui Ferrari et al, 2011; https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/20829306/
- "The Cannabinoid Receptor Agonist THC Attenuates Weight Loss in a Rodent Model of Activity-Based Anorexia"; authors Aaron NA Verty, Megan J Evetts, Geraldine J Crouch, Iain S McGregor, Aneta Stefanidis & Brian J Oldfield, 2011; https://www.nature.com/articles/npp201119