Can Anorexia Nervosa Be Treated with Marijuana?

Can Anorexia Nervosa Be Treated with Marijuana

According to the National Eating Disorders Association, anorexia is a life-threatening disorder.

People who are anorexic often see their body weight and shape as a basis for their self-worth. It is common among sufferers to experience the following:

  • Excessive weight loss
  • Self-starvation
  • Calorie counting
  • Excessive need to control the environment

Aside from that, anorexia can lead to a number of serious health problems like heart disease, depression, and osteoporosis. According to an article found in the National Library of Medicine, the mortality rate among anorexia nervosa patients remains at a high level.

There is limited research being done to show the link between marijuana and anorexia. Medical marijuana is known to induce appetite. However, its effectiveness hasn’t been tested in anorexia nervosa.

What Causes Anorexia?

An article entitled Socio-Cultural Factors in Anorexia Nervosa published in the U.S. National Library of Medicine discusses the causes of anorexia. It shows that childhood trauma and the attitude of society and family members towards slimness and thinness have a role to play in the development of this eating disorder. In recent years, further evidence suggests that neurobiological factors and genetics may also be a factor.

Weed for Anorexia: Is It Plausible?

Research into cannabis as an appetite stimulant for HIV/AIDS or cancer shows promising results. On the other hand, studies for anorexia nervosa and medical marijuana as a treatment option are only a few.

If you look at medical marijuana laws in the United States, not all states consider anorexia as a qualifying condition. However, related health issues like anxiety, nausea, and weight loss are included.

With the research and current anecdotal evidence, medical marijuana as a treatment option is plausible–that and the fact that the human body’s endocannabinoid system stimulates your appetite.

Can Anorexia Nervosa Be Treated With Medical Marijuana?

Research published in 2011 suggests that since there are imbalances and dysfunctional regulation in the endocannabinoid system of patients with eating disorders, cannabinoid-derived treatment options could work. However, the study is small and still requires further research.

A small human study in Denmark came about valuable data. However, the study only involved 24 subjects. Patients were either given a dronabinol-placebo or placebo dronabinol.

With that, researchers found that patients gained 1.6 lbs compared to when they were given the placebo. They also noted that the dronabinol therapy was well-tolerated and that there weren’t any psychotropic adverse effects.

The majority of the medical community is still on the fence about the idea. Tamara Pryor is a part of the Eating Disorder Center of Denver. She is the director of clinical research. According to her, stimulating the appetite of anorexia sufferers doesn’t address the neurobiological issues that come with eating disorders. She also mentioned that medical marijuana could help in conjunction with cognitive-behavioral therapy.

What Are the Current Treatment Options for Anorexia?

Providing a diagnosis for eating disorders like anorexia is a challenge. Individuals who suffer from this are often ashamed and are in denial. Once your doctors confirm that you have anorexia, a treatment plan will be laid out for you.

Your physicians may recommend any of the following:

  • Medication
  • Family or Group Therapy
  • Nutrition Counseling
  • Psychotherapy
  • Hospitalization

States such as Maryland, Washington, New Mexico, and California include anorexia as a qualifying condition for medical marijuana use. Your doctors may also recommend that to manage some of the symptoms.

Should You Consider Cannabis as a Treatment Option?

There’s more to prove in the connection between medical marijuana and anorexia. Although marijuana may be of help with managing anorexia nervosa, it isn’t a “one-treatment-fits-all” solution. You will still need to consult your primary care doctor and seek support from groups focused on the understanding of the eating disorder.

They offer resources to help anorexia sufferers and their loved ones through their journey. Even with the limitations of the study, it didn’t stop patients from including cannabis in their treatment plan. It is highly experimental. It is advisable to talk to medical professionals before anything else.

On the other hand, medical marijuana is used to treat depression and anxiety. Many anorexia sufferers also struggle with these mental health issues. Cannabis may help them overcome the psychological symptoms that come with anorexia nervosa.

Altitude Organic Cannabis Is Here for You

We are a trusted marijuana dispensary in Dillon, CO.

Altitude Organic Cannabis provides high-quality marijuana strains and products to our clients. Our staff is well-rounded in both recreational and medical marijuana. We promote responsible marijuana use, whichever purpose it may serve. We highly recommend consulting your primary care physician about your health condition before trying out medical marijuana.

We’ll be more than happy to assist you once your doctor gives the go-ahead of medical marijuana use. When you visit us at any of our convenient locations, bring your MED card and ID. If you have questions about medical marijuana, we’re more than happy to accommodate you. We can’t wait to serve you!

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