Medical Marijuana for Bulimia
Eating disorders like bulimia are often debilitating and devastatingly impact an individual’s life. Yet, from the physical and psychological toll of eating disorders, many suffer in silence or cannot find adequate treatment.
And while there’s no easy fix, there is one natural remedy that could help those with bulimia, medical marijuana.
Here’s what the science says about using medical marijuana for bulimia.
The Endocannabinoid System
The body has an endocannabinoid system responsible for regulating many functions, including appetite. When this system is unbalanced or underactive, it can negatively impact our bodies and minds. Our ECS contains cannabinoid receptors, which interact with cannabinoids our bodies naturally produce, called endocannabinoids. CB1 receptors are predominantly in the brain and are responsible for functions like appetite, mood, and memory. CB2 receptors are mainly found in the immune system and regulate functions like inflammation and pain levels.
According to one 2011 by Katholieke Universiteit Leuven in Belgium, participants with anorexia and bulimia had more CB1 receptors than healthy patients. And although more research is needed, this dysregulation may help explain eating disorders since CB1 receptors are responsible for appetite and emotional regulation.
Furthermore, scientists theorized that the higher amount of CB1 receptors in these individuals might be to compensate for other deficits in their ECS. Without a fully functioning ECS, individuals struggling with eating disorders could lack the physiological and psychological resources to derive pleasure from food.
The Potential Benefits of Cannabis for Bulimia
Cannabis contains numerous cannabinoids like THC and CBD. When we consume medical marijuana, these cannabinoids interact with our endocannabinoid system and potentially help balance it. For example, marijuana is well-known for increasing appetite and reducing nausea, which could benefit those with bulimia. It’s also believed to make food more appealing and enjoyable, which could encourage better eating habits.
Medical cannabis may also reduce anxiety and depression, two common mental health disorders often comorbid with bulimia. Anxiety and depression can significantly worsen eating disorder symptoms, so reducing the severity of stress that those with bulimia experience could improve their quality of life.
Additionally, by regulating the body’s CB2 receptors, those with eating disorders could benefit from a more balanced ECS. Research into how cannabis impacts the ECS is still underway, but it could be a promising option for those looking to treat bulimia naturally.
Speaking with Your Doctor about Medical Marijuana for Bulimia
Unfortunately, those with eating disorders face many challenges when it comes to managing their symptoms. Speaking with a doctor about your symptoms and how medical marijuana could help is essential before starting any form of treatment.
When talking with your doctor, be honest and open about your symptoms and experiences. You should also be prepared to provide them with as much information as possible about your medical history, including any medications you’re already taking and any other treatments you may have tried.
Your doctor can then provide an objective opinion on the best treatment for you, including whether medical marijuana is a viable remedy.
While more research is needed to understand how medical cannabis can help those with eating disorders, many have found relief from their symptoms. And since it may regulate appetite, relieve stress, and balance the endocannabinoid system, it has the potential to be an effective and natural way for those with bulimia to remedy their symptoms.
To find out if medical marijuana for bulimia is right for you, reach out to your doctor for a professional opinion.