Marijuana for Appetite Stimulation and Anorexia Treatment
Anorexia treatments are varied, some conventional while others holistic and alternate. However, in this feature, we’ll be casting our glance at what anorexia is, the conventional treatments accrued to it and how marijuana can be used as an alternate form of treatment for anorexia as well as alleviate the symptoms attributed with it.
What Is Anorexia?
Anorexia is classified as a psychological and life-threatening disorder, characterized by loss of appetite and the overall need to eat food. Also known as anorexia nervosa, people with this disorder often exhibit the following signs:
- Extremely low body mass index (BMI)
- A compulsion to lose weight, and to an extent, non-existent weight
- An absurd fear of weight gaining
- Self-image and body distorted perception
- The compulsion to excessive workout
- Restricting your food intake (i.e., starving yourself)
- Frequent purging food you already ate (self-induced vomiting)
- The compulsion to use laxatives and diuretics
- A notion that you’re overweight, even when excessively underweight
Anorexia is an eating disorder that sprawls out of control and may lead to death if not checked. This condition is mostly diagnosed among pre-teens, teens and to some extent young adults (mid-twenties). Anorexia is also diagnosed mostly on females, but there have been instances in males.
Risk Factors Associated with Anorexia
There are several risk factors associated with developing anorexia, they include:
- Social or cultural attitudes that seem to glorify thin body types
- Anxiety disorders
- Negative self-image
- “Desire to be Perfect” syndrome
- Early childhood eating disorders that seem to grow exponentially
When suffering from anorexia, you often feel fatigued, dizzy, exhausted, cold and dehydrated. As a woman, your menstrual cycle becomes irregular and may stop altogether. The hair thins and you may experience depression and anxiety.
Anorexia is also a serious side effect of certain drugs and therapies, including radiation and chemotherapy for cancer patients and medical conditions like HIV/AIDS, acute viral hepatitis, congestive heart failure, depression, Chron’s disease, and more. Anorexia can subsequently contribute to other serious medical conditions like cachexia and wasting syndrome.
Physical symptoms associated with Anorexia include:
- Slow thinking
- Poor discernment and judgment
- Limited memory
- Yellow and sometimes blotchy dry skin
- Thin Hair
- Dry mouth
- Anxiety and Stress, coupled with Depression
- Rapid loss of body fat
- Muscle Wasting
- Irregular heartbeat
Current Treatments for Anorexia and Potential Side Effects
Clinical diagnosis of Anorexia can be challenging, most notably, because this condition is often shrouded in secrecy and involves denial and shame. There are no lab tests done and just like most psychological conditions this disorder may go unnoticed for long, well until the symptoms start to take effect.
Even if you’re not in serious danger, conventional treatments become challenging possibly due to the “feelings” associated with the illness, most notably, unwillingness to change or realize that you have a problem. Your physician may recommend comprehensive treatments that may involve medication, psychiatric help as well as a nutritional plan. The most common methods employed include:
- Family Therapy: whenever therapy is associated, family or group support is usually recommended. To successfully beat anorexia, support is a critical aspect. it goes without saying that those close to you understand the illness and will be more than willing to lend their support.
- Psychotherapy: Also known as psychiatric treatment, this aims to change your way of thinking and behaviour related to the disease. Therein, you’ll discover and learn techniques in changing how you respond to stressful situations and develop a healthy attitude towards food and nutrition.
- Nutrition Counseling: Nutrition counseling, often used in conjunction with the aforementioned treatment regiments, aims to restore normal eating habits. Additionally, it teaches you on the importance of a balanced diet and following one.
- Medication: stress and depression can also be a key contributor to developing anorexia and antidepressants can be prescribed to help control such triggers and stimulate appetite. Unfortunately, these medications produce adverse side effects that include, but not limited to; low sexual activity, insomnia, irritability and agitation, nausea and fatigue.
Marijuana has also shown promising results in the treatment of anorexia, let’s take a look.
Medical Marijuana as an Effective Treatment for Anorexia
Medical marijuana has been reported to stimulate one’s metabolism, increasing appetite. Quite often you’ve heard of the term ‘munchies”, this is a raging hunger that some marijuana users experience after taking a hit. This craving for food, can help anorexic patients and encourage them to seek out food and nourish the body with essential calories, energy and nutrients.
Marijuana is a better alternative in various stages of anorexia compared to feeding from a tube or through a vial. In the later stages of anorexia, during recovery, pot can help you maintain added weight and also help you relax and fend off anxiety and depression.
Marijuana is indeed a safe and effective way to boost one’s appetite, this is supported by numerous scientific and anecdotal evidence. For instance, a Columbia University discovered that THC and cannabis stimulated the feeling of being calorie-deficient, which led to an increased intake of calories and weight gain in HIV-positive patients. In addition, the National Cancer Institute is well on the verge of a breakthrough in evaluating the effects of THC in cancer-related anorexia treatment.
Most states that have legalized marijuana for both recreational and medical purposes have included anorexia in their treatments brochure. Moreover, marijuana side effects are noted to be mild and carry a “low-risk” classification. Furthermore, the euphoria associated and increased appetite, are viewed as positive or beneficial side effects relative to people suffering from anorexia.
Anorexia Symptoms that Medical Marijuana Treats
While actively looking for best pot strain to relieve your anorexia, it may require a tad bit of experimentation before you can get the ideal strain or strains. In general, medical marijuana will treat the following anorexia symptoms:
- Reduced or Low Appetite
- Anxiety and Depression
Since anorexia is classified as a disorder that can be treated via marijuana use, it is prudent that you receive your medical marijuana card. You can get one by taking a trip to your local dispensary, it may be naturally worrying at first, but later on, it’ll be like a hot knife through butter.
Cannabis Strains and Symptoms they alleviate
In your first or subsequent visit to the marijuana dispensary, it would be wise to check what options you have with regards to the strains and their effects on anorexia symptoms. Not all marijuana is the same and neither will it alleviate all know symptoms of anorexia. Here is a guide to some of the different strain categories and their known properties.
- Cannabis Indica Strains
Indica strains are popularly known for their whole-body sedating effect. Thus, they are suitable for combating anorexia conditions like:
- Chronic pain
- Acute Tremors
- Muscle spasms
- Arthritis and rheumatoid arthritis stiffness and swelling of the joints
As you can see, these are whole-body effects, which Indica strains are well equipped to handle. Indica strains carry a more relaxing effect and are ideal for evenings.
2. Cannabis Sativa Strains
Sativa strains are usually adept at boosting your energy levels and are frequently used to treat:
- Chronic pain
- Lack of appetite
In anorexia, lack of appetite often leads to reduced energy levels and low blood sugar, Sativa strains work to up energy and blood sugar levels. Sativa strains are best used during the day to pump up low energy levels.
3. Hybrid Strains
Hybrid strains have the qualities of both Indica and Sativa strains. Hybrid strains offer the best of both worlds and are ideal for “whole-treatment” of anorexia.
When it comes to experimenting with varying pot strains there is no right or wrong. In fact, most people employ the hybrid approach, where they mix different strains. Cannabis is no longer the black sheep it once way years ago, the stigma it carried is slowly wearing away as more and more people wake up to the medical benefits of marijuana.
Specific Marijuana Strains for Anorexia Treatment
Let’s delve deeper into what strains work best for each predominant anorexia symptom.
Lack of Appetite
This is the most prominent anorexia symptom and the following strains will aid in getting your appetite back.
- Pure Kush: Being a potent Indica strain, it calms and relaxes you with the added “munchies” bonus.
- GigaBud: Another powerful Indica strain ideal for enhancing your appetite.
- Maui Bubble Gift: This Indica-dominant hybrid relieves stomach tension and works well to combat nausea, a dominant anorexic symptom.
- Platinum Purple Kush: Another well-known and documented Indica strain for inducing hunger pangs, it also imbues you with a positive, happy and clear and mindset.
Depression and Anxiety
Frequent mood disorders are common in anorexic individuals. Conventional antidepressants carry with them side effects that are unpleasant, thus, these cannabis strains are worth a shot in treating depression and anxiety.
- Granddaddy Purple: This is a potent sedative Indica strain best taken around bedtime to fight depression and subsequently give you a good night’s rest.
- Chocolope: One of the Sativa strains popular among those suffering from chronic fatigue and depression.
- Pennywise: An Indica-dominant hybrid that sedates you, a perfect selection for those suffering from anxiety.
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