Affect of Marijuana on Consuming Patterns, Disordered Consuming & Consuming Problems


Affect of Marijuana on Consuming Patterns and Disordered Consuming

By: Kinga Balogh, Registered Dietitian, CDE, Reviewed & Edited by JM Vitamin Crew


On this put up:

  • Marijuana use in Canada

  • The mechanism of Hashish

  • Hashish merchandise in the marketplace

  • Variables that affect the impact of THC

  • Methodology of administration

  • Different issues re: the affect of marijuana on consuming patterns

  • A phrase of warning

  • Scientific use of THC for consuming problems

  • The affect of marijuana on consuming problems

  • Public notion vs. private selection

  • Marijuana and restoration from disordered consuming

  • Methods for overcoming the munchies or binge consuming

  • Parting phrases concerning the affect of marijuana on consuming patterns


Does marijuana affect our consuming patterns? Does marijuana have an effect on consuming problems and disordered consuming?

Let’s take a deeper dive.

5 years in the past, Canada grew to become the second nation on this planet to legalize marijuana gross sales, possession and leisure use. Medical use of marijuana has been in impact for about twenty years previous to this. On this put up, our goal is for the reader to achieve additional perception into the affect of marijuana on consuming behaviours, with a particular deal with individuals affected by disordered consuming or full-blown consuming problems.


Prevalence of Marijuana Use in Canada

The Nationwide Hashish Survey, carried out by Statistics Canada has been accumulating self-reported knowledge about Canada’s hashish use since legalization in 2018.


By 2019, greater than 5.1 million individuals or 16.8 % of the inhabitants of Canada, aged 15 and older reported utilizing hashish up to now three months earlier than the survey was carried out.

If we take a extra in-depth look, we discover highest use patterns within the 15- to 24-year-old age group, the place 26.4% report utilizing unspecified quantities of marijuana up to now 3 months. As much as 7.7% of these surveyed reported each day or nearly each day use.

Patterns of decreased consumption will be observed with improve in age, the place 24.4% of the 25–44-year age group, 11.9% of the 45–64-year-old group, and a mere 5.9% of the 65 and older group relied on hashish up to now three months.

Day by day or nearly each day use patterns additionally confirmed decline with superior age, particularly 8.9% within the 25–44-year section, 4.4% within the 45–64-year age group and a pair of.6% within the 65 and older group.

A evaluation of Statistics Canada findings additionally means that legalization didn’t have a big affect on utilization patterns. Rare customers confirmed a slight improve in accessing marijuana, whereas frequent each day customers continued with related consumption patterns regardless of elevated availability.


The Mechanism of Hashish


The phrase hashish refers to a number of vegetation within the Hashish genus, together with sativa, indica and ruderalis. The cannabinoid compound tetrahydrocannabinol or TCH in its quick kind, refers to 1 energetic ingredient.


Whereas hashish has a whole bunch of cannabinoid compounds, one other predominant ingredient is cannabidiol or CBD. This compound doesn’t have psychoactive unintended effects, resembling feeling excessive and doesn’t appear to extend urge for food the identical approach as THC.

Each CBD and THC are naturally current within the hashish plant.

How does it work?

How does marijuana affect consuming behaviours?

Let’s take a more in-depth look.

As soon as ingested, inhaled, or smoked, THC will bind cannabinoid receptors in varied elements of the mind and digestive system, particularly the abdomen and small intestines. That is additionally the chemical that causes the “excessive” that goes together with marijuana consumption. Apart from the euphoria, individuals typically confer with the “munchies” as a aspect impact of being excessive. Having a compulsive or intense urge to eat can actually pose challenges for many individuals.

The affect of marijuana on consuming

Alterations in consciousness–due to THC consumption–can affect feeding behaviours, the place one turns into much less restrictive or inhibited in making meals decisions. Hitting up the meal supply app, choosing up a field of donuts, scavenging by means of the freezer for cake or ice cream turns into a viable and permissible possibility even in the midst of the evening.

A deeper have a look at the affect of marijuana on consuming

The affect of marijuana on consuming behaviours can’t be underestimated.

As per our present understanding, hashish stimulates meals cravings by means of enhanced consuming pleasures and enhanced meals palatability, thereby making the consumption of sure meals extremely rewarding.

Hashish additionally acts on the abdomen and small intestines. It’s right here that it  regulates ghrelin manufacturing, an urge for food stimulating hormone that speeds digestion. With an elevated price of digestion, you may devour a bigger quantity of meals, with out the sensation of getting uncomfortably full.

Unquestionably, you may you devour extra greater caloric density meals decisions, resembling excessive fats, excessive carbohydrate, and better salt content material meals. One’s metabolism, nonetheless, can be inspired to retailer extra vitamins in fats tissue extra readily within the presence of marijuana. Except underweight and malnourished, this is usually a diabolical state of affairs for many individuals.


A Plethora of Hashish Merchandise on the Market

Sometimes, when customers select a hashish product, they will resolve on what energetic components they wish to embody and in what kind. That is fairly simple.

CBD & THC merchandise

CBD tends to be provided in oils, gummies, capsules, tinctures and so forth. THC, then again, comes as smokable merchandise, oils, tinctures, in addition to edibles.

For the needs of this put up, we are going to talk about the final affect of marijuana, with out emphasis on the therapeutic use of assorted formulations (completely different THC and CBD content material).

A analysis publication by Farokhnia et al. in 2020 constitutes the primary human laboratory investigation, observing the affect of hashish on the endocrine system in people, particularly urge for food regulation and metabolism.

Researchers appeared on the affect of oral, smoked, and vaporized consumption with individuals and noticed their blood values of urge for food regulating hormones, particularly ghrelin, leptin, GLP-1 and insulin.

Leptin & Ghrelin

Leptin is a hormone, made by fats cells. It decreases your urge for food on the finish of the meal. It does so by sending alerts to the mind serving to on you acknowledge that you’ve eaten sufficient and that you’re full.

Ghrelin, then again, helps provoke consuming and is secreted by the abdomen predominantly. It sends alerts to your mind that you’re hungry and will provoke or proceed to eat.


Variables That Affect the Impact of THC

We can’t speak concerning the affect of marijuana on consuming with out contemplating the strategy of administration and efficiency of the substance.

Moreover, shoppers could reveal varied ranges of tolerance relying on frequency of counting on marijuana and should have co-consumption patterns with different substances.

Methodology of administration

When analyzing the affect of marijuana in consuming patterns, we can’t overlook the strategy of administration.

Farokhia et al. report that oral hashish consumption has a extra pronounced impact on ghrelin manufacturing. Therefore, it will increase urge for food and meals consumption, in contrast with smoked and vaporized hashish reliance.

Since legalization in Canada, leisure use of hashish has led to a better reliance on oral and vaporized use, in comparison with extra conventional smoking practices.

Hypothetically talking, shoppers who devour marijuana within the type of edibles could also be extra suffering from the munchies. Anecdotal proof additionally means that the pressure of marijuana may play a task on this.

Different issues

1. Variations in hashish efficiency and price of absorption may also affect one’s response to the urge for food stimulating impact of marijuana. Inhaled marijuana tends to manifest its affect inside 1-4 hours, whereas oral consumption tends to have a delayed response as a consequence of slower absorption, particularly inside 5-8 hours as per the following supply.

2. Co-consumption of marijuana with different substances, though uncommon, can alter its affect. It’s, nonetheless, past the scope of this put up to delve additional into the subject of co-consumption.

3. Tolerance to marijuana can develop by means of consumption patterns. This must also be factored in when assessing the affect on consuming behaviours.

4. Epidemiological research recommend that occasional use of hashish tends to stimulate meals cravings and consumption. Moreover, the reward worth of meals may improve. These patterns result in extra consumption and the necessity to retailer extra energy in fats tissue.

5. However, persistent or nearly each day utilization in animal research tends to recommend the other. THC suppressed weight achieve, fats accumulation and total caloric consumption.

6. Human research additionally recommend decrease prevalence of weight problems and diabetes in persistent customers. The proof, nonetheless, is weak and clearly doesn’t warrant medical suggestions to depend on marijuana.

A phrase of warning

That stated, a phrase of warning is required.

Observational research recommend that one in 9 individuals who smoke marijuana commonly grow to be depending on it.

It’s additionally worthwhile to notice that consuming problems typically co-occur with substance use. Consequently, complete and holistic counselling of consuming problems or disordered consuming behaviours requires a cautious evaluation of substance use patterns as nicely.

Regularly, restoration from consuming problems requires concurrent dedication to handle substance use by dependancy specialists.


The Affect of Marijuana on Consuming, Disordered Consuming & Consuming Problems

Scientific Use of THC for Consuming Problems

We should now take a extra in-depth examination on the connection of marijuana and disordered consuming, in addition to consuming problems. 

As marijuana is legalized in Canada, and many consumers affected by consuming problems could depend on it, JM Vitamin has taken the initiative to evaluation the newest analysis on this rising subject.

On this put up, the evaluation will deal with the affect of marijuana, assuming consumption of each THC and CBD, slightly than reliance on uniquely formulated merchandise to handle particular medical situations.


Shoppers affected by anorexia are sometimes not in contact with their pure starvation cues and report minimal satisfaction from consuming meals. We are able to hypothesize that THC could supply some aid, significantly within the early phases when underweight shoppers want important weight restoration to begin dietary rehabilitation.

Analysis remains to be evolving on this space.

In 2013, Andries et al. reported findings that artificial THC administration for shoppers with longstanding anorexia nervosa over 4 weeks, led to a 1–2-pound further weight achieve over 4 weeks. That is in comparison with individuals that didn’t obtain pharmacological help with hospital feeding protocols.

What’s extra, Dr. Jordan Tishler, a professor at Harvard Medical College and hashish specialist, warns for shut medical monitoring, when contemplating hashish administration.

Whereas shoppers with persistent anorexia not responding to multidisciplinary care could also be good candidates, shoppers newly recognized shouldn’t be provided this selection instantly, significantly if they aren’t customers to start with. Given the habit-forming nature of hashish, it’s essential to train warning as dangers and advantages are evaluated.

Associated: Assist of a dietitian for Anorexia Nervosa


It’s even tougher to return by research evaluating the affect of marijuana for shoppers affected by bulimia. Maybe int he future we could have extra analysis concerning the affect of marijuana on consuming problems. 

Dr. Tishler once more states to keep away from counting on marijuana throughout the acute stage, when shoppers commonly binge and purge.

It might be worthwhile to discover shoppers’ motivation to binge and purge.

What triggers overeating?

What triggers purging?

Emotional dysregulation secondary to trauma historical past, social isolation, or temper problems might be culprits price exploring. Regardless of widespread perception, shoppers typically overeat whereas drawing minimal satisfaction from the method, or purge within the absence of a distended stomach.

Associated: Registered dietitian for Bulimia help

Binge Consuming Problems (BED)

Undoubtedly, binge consuming is probably the most generally occurring consuming dysfunction. But, this situation tends to be probably the most misunderstood ailment.

Shoppers with BED discover themselves consuming bigger than typical servings of meals compulsively, whereas feeling uncontrolled. Additionally they describe a way of disgrace following an episode of overeating. As well as, consuming tends to be initiated with out feeling bodily hungry, the tempo of consuming is normally ravenous, and the behaviour tends to be secretive.

Similarities between binge consuming and the munchies

Shoppers typically report feeling uncontrolled with each the munchies and when participating in binge consuming. They might eat when not hungry and devour greater than what they intend to eat, typically feeling uncomfortably full as soon as the consuming frenzy is over.

Each behaviours additionally share traits of reaching for the proverbial “forbidden meals.”

With a binge or whereas being “excessive,” shoppers report noticing how the floodgates open. They report how they’re drawn to meals they’d sometimes limit or keep away from in any other case. Shoppers additionally share related experiences following an overeating episode. Within the aftermath of a binge, they’re left to type by means of disgrace, guilt and embarrassment.

Lastly, momentary euphoria is typical whereas consuming “forbidden meals”. The synergistic impact of consuming “forbidden meals” with enhanced sensory properties secondary to marijuana typically creates a divine consuming expertise. It is very important word that it is a very short-lived expertise with important drawbacks.

Associated: Dietitian for binge consuming

Variations: Public perceptions and private selection

Regularly, our society portrays binge consuming, whereas below the affect, as humorous. On the identical time, it evaluates BED as immoral and shameful.

Definitely, this depiction might be fuelled by weight stigma and fatphobia. It’s worthwhile to tell apart between overeating secondary to using a leisure drug and binge consuming problems in hopes of creating a extra compassionate view of the dynamics at play.

Binge consuming tends to be brought on by an interaction of things. These embody genetics, weight-reduction plan behaviours, meals insecurity, historical past of trauma or psychological well being struggles.

Consequently, those that wrestle with binge consuming involuntarily slip into this behaviour repeatedly.

However, marijuana consumption tends to be a voluntary behaviour, whereas customers are conscious of eliciting the “munchies” when below the affect. Evidently, overcoming both BED and/or dependence on marijuana requires large dedication and sometimes in depth skilled help.


Marijuana and Restoration from Disordered Consuming

Persevering with to depend on marijuana can actually supply challenges for shoppers searching for aid from the munchies. Individuals feeling caught in food plan mentality typically undergo cycles of limiting, adopted by episodes of overeating. This vicious cycle is inherently difficult to interrupt, significantly for hashish customers.

The state of affairs is analogous for these recognized with BED who reveal marijuana dependence. Being intoxicated actually reduces one’s dedication and alternative to trip out the urge to binge.

Whereas sober individuals discover overcoming binge consuming significantly difficult, these counting on marijuana have an excellent tougher time.

Analogy: The affect of marijuana on consuming problems (binge consuming)

An analogy that will illustrate the complexity of the state of affairs is as follows: Having binge consuming and counting on marijuana regularly is like asking the driving force to steer a automobile on the freeway, whereas having them sit within the passenger’s seat.

Having a secondary superimposed urge to binge created by the munchies for shoppers who already wrestle with binge consuming creates unfair circumstances to provide restoration work a full likelihood.

In abstract, each reliance on extreme quantities of meals and/or marijuana routinely signify maladaptive coping mechanisms. Usually affected people wrestle with low temper, persistent stress, or life circumstances past their management.

Whereas initially counting on meals and/or marijuana seems to supply symptom aid, with time most individuals understand that these behaviours are usually not serving them nicely.

The place to search out assist

Reaching out to a dietitian specializing in consuming problems is a superb begin to regain consuming competence and confidence. This is a superb place to start out. It’s additionally a spot you may probably be taught an important deal about vitamin, behaviour, and even the connection between marijuana and disordered consuming and consuming problems. 

Connecting with a counsellor or psychotherapist specializing in addictions, trauma and temper problems can supply additional leverage for shoppers desirous to increase their repertoire of adaptive coping methods.

What if I don’t need to hand over marijuana fully?

Many individuals are prepared to scale back reliance on marijuana but can’t fathom the thought of fully parting methods from it. They typically point out how it is a social exercise, the place they will join with others, and so they expertise a lowered sense of social anxiousness.

Well being care professionals have to validate the advantages their shoppers attribute to substance use, and so they concurrently should encourage self-monitoring and self-discovery for shoppers to take inventory of drawbacks as nicely.

Compassionate enquiry concerning the interaction of concurrent hashish use and meals struggles must be provided to every shopper who finds themselves on this predicament. As soon as shoppers observe and admit to the slippery slope marijuana consumption presents to their consuming challenges, discussions about hurt discount methods will be initiated. 


Methods to Think about When Overcoming the Munchies or Binge Consuming

No marijuana and consuming problems dialogue can be full with out some ideas and techniques for overcoming the munchies and binge consuming.

1. Decide to common meals

Guarantee to eat well-balanced meals on your predominant meals and embody snacks as essential.

Purpose for a wide range of meals, with out rigidity round choices. For those who label sure meals as “forbidden” you may set your self up for overindulging in them, when below the affect of marijuana.

Eradicate weight-reduction plan mentality will be of additional assist. Ask a dietitian specializing in Intuitive Consuming or consuming problems that will help you with this aim.

2. Have distraction methods in place when the urge to munch or binge arises

Take into consideration the urge as a wave that you just need to trip out. An urge is an impulse, nonetheless not an invite to behave upon and provides in to the undesirable behaviour. Discover how the depth of the urge escalates and the way it can lower in depth with time.

Distraction methods should buy you time to trip out the wave efficiently. Coaching your thoughts to pivot from counting on meals for consolation to a different exercise takes follow and perseverance.

Bear in mind, this isn’t an all-or-nothing strategy. Success could imply not consuming in any respect or having one thing to eat with out feeling uncomfortably full or overly responsible within the aftermath of the episode.

Distractions can embody calling a buddy, going for a stroll, performing some visualization, or respiration workouts, or listening to a podcast. Do actually what appeals personally to you; simply make sure you have some decisions lined up earlier than the urge hits.

3. Think about brushing your tooth or utilizing a mint flavoured mouthwash to neutralize your palate

Likelihood is meals won’t style nearly as good afterwards, thereby you may boring your in any other case hedonistic meals exposures. Chewing gum is one other technique, but typically much less efficient.

4. Resolve on a stage of meals accessibility that serves you finest

As meal and grocery supply purposes have grow to be commonplace in our post-pandemic world, affected shoppers have to fastidiously consider how such conveniences are serving them. That is essential to underscore with the numerous affect of marijuana on consuming.

The dynamics of being below the affect make it tougher to remain accountable for consuming behaviours. Disabling cellphone apps for meal supply and limiting the quantity and kind of meals saved at house can function supportive methods, significantly for shoppers demonstrating a fraught relationship with meals.

5. Contemplating having an accountability companion can be helpful

A member of the family or a buddy might help the affected individual set intentions and supply help going ahead. A healthcare skilled may supply tricks to monitor behaviour and supply with further steering to help with progress.

For the help to be impactful, family members and clinicians want to make sure that they provide help that’s non-judgmental and non-coercive.

6. Think about searching for assist on your psychological well being struggles

Each consuming problems and substance use are inclined to co-occur with psychological well being challenges, together with melancholy and anxiousness problems.

As a lot as manipulating one’s meals consumption or counting on marijuana to flee the realities of each day dwelling can supply momentary aid, for most individuals psychotherapy presents superior options. Because the stigma of psychological well being points decreases, extra individuals flip to remedy. Self-blame is a maladaptive coping technique, whereas acceptance of 1’s vulnerabilities and searching for assistance is an act our braveness and energy that shoppers typically neglect to acknowledge. 

7. Search for methods to keep away from self-isolating

As extra individuals dwell alone in the present day than ever earlier than and as extra employers are providing distant work preparations, the fact of feeling remoted impacts a big section of the inhabitants. Taking intentional steps to nurture and deepen relationships can safeguard shoppers when hoping to beat disordered consuming behaviours and substance use. 

8. Physique picture struggles generally overlap with marijuana use and consuming struggles

Enhancing physique picture takes in depth work, but some ideas will be shared right here.

a) Shift your focus from appearances to the performance of your physique. In different phrases, recognize all of your physique can do.

b) Maintain a top-ten listing of belongings you like about your self.

c) Keep away from the impulse to match your appearances. If you evaluate, you despair.

d) Develop into a crucial viewer of social media.

e) Think about surrounding your self with individuals who have achieved physique acceptance, parted methods with weight-reduction plan mentality and deal with they physique with respect and dignity.

f) Lastly, put on garments which are snug and that make you’re feeling at peace together with your physique. 

9. Be mild with your self within the occasion you’ve got slipped

It’s overwhelming sufficient to really feel that you’ve overeaten or binged, and it’s comprehensible to really feel bodily and emotionally drained.

Exposing your self to self-criticism and downward spiralling feelings resembling guilt and disgrace is unfair. Displaying your self the identical quantity of kindness and self-compassion that you’d routinely and unquestionably reveal in direction of your family members below related circumstances will probably be of essence to find your approach out of this vicious cycle.

Bear in mind, you might be greater than your consuming challenges and that you just deserve grace!



In abstract, the affect of marijuana on consuming patterns is obvious. Urge for food and feeding behaviours are fastidiously orchestrated by the mind, peripheral organs and a number of pathways that join them. The endogenous or our inner endocannabinoid system has an important position in alerting us to rewarding experiences, resembling these derived from meals traits and the method of consuming.

What about marijuana and disordered consuming and consuming problems? Proof means that in shoppers with consuming problems, the inner endocannabinoid system turns into impaired. The belief of counting on exogenous hashish to stimulate the system in hopes of supporting shoppers with consuming problems is a comparatively new and evolving area of analysis. 

Moreover, one must understand that consuming problems typically co-occur with co-morbid situations like anxiousness, melancholy, obsessive-compulsive and substance-use problems. Extra analysis is required to elucidate the mechanism of motion when helping shoppers with consuming challenges who depend on marijuana, since this substance impacts feeding behaviours and temper concurrently.


Must you require personalised dietary care with dietitian Kinga Balogh, or one other practitioner, e-book a free session or contact us for an appointment.


Different In style Posts:

Vitamin and Stress Administration

Emotional Consuming Causes and The best way to Cease It

Do I Have a Wholesome Relationship with Meals?

Elements That Have an effect on Meals Decisions


Kinga Balogh is a registered dietitian specializing in disordered consuming. She is a weight-neutral HAES™ dietitian and well being and vitamin coach, combining dietetics and training methods to allow shoppers obtain fulfilling lives. She additionally works with shoppers to assist them make peace with meals and their our bodies. As well as, she works in direction of reaching self-liberation from unrealistic physique beliefs and develop physique acceptance. Kinga has appeared in quite a few publications together with The Toronto Star, Bored Panda, Canadian Residing and extra.

Watch: Dietitian Kinga Balogh discusses her dietary counselling strategy.


Our vitamin weblog has been named one of many Prime 100 Vitamin Blogs, Web sites and Newsletters to Observe in 2021 & 2022 and one of many Prime Canadian Vitamin Blogs by Feedspot. So don’t miss out and subscribe beneath to each the e-newsletter that features newest weblog posts. 

JM Vitamin is a dietary counselling service by registered dietitians and nutritionists in Canada. Principal space of service: dietitians in Ontario, predominant workplace: Toronto. Close by: Mississauga, Vaughan, Markham, Scarborough.


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