There can be many reasons for losing the desire to eat food, even when it may negatively affect your health. When we get sick or have an infection, we often have little or no appetite, and this is actually a good thing.
The body needs the energy to heal from infection or illness; energy normally used for digestion can be redirected towards healing, which is good. Decreased appetite is a natural response to illness, but it can be exacerbated and induced by medications, stress, or health disorders.
Lack of appetite is an issue for many types of people and is closely tied to our physical wellbeing and mental health. Anorexia, Cancer, Alzheimer’s, and Anxiety Disorders can all decrease appetite, as well, pharmaceutical medications used to treat these conditions can make conditions worse.
At the onset of illness, the body creates a complex inflammatory response producing chemicals called cytokines, which are partly responsible for the decrease in appetite. Hormonal changes in the body from aging or certain health conditions can also affect appetite.
When the body is in “healing mode”, it directs most of its energy towards immunity and repair functions. Cancer patients whose bodies are fighting to survive, already have little appetite due to the illness. This can be worsened by medications given for treating the side effects of cancer treatments, leaving patients with zero ability to intake the necessary food to fuel healing processes in the body.
Overly stressed people, or those with anxiety disorders, can also experience lack of appetite. It is a result of many complex biological processes that are similarly noticed in substance abuse and mental health disorders.
Strangely enough, the federal government has approved a synthetic version of THC called Marinol, or Dronabinol, and it’s used for various treatments including appetite stimulation. Unlike THC from cannabis, Dronabinol has common side effects of abdominal pain, dehydration, vomiting, and even death, according to the FDA FAERS program.
Lack of appetite is greatly affecting the elderly and those in long-term care situations. Often, these people are suffering from illnesses such as Alzheimer’s or Cancer, and are being given multiple medications to treat various illness and to mitigate undesired side effects of their medications.
The most common appetite stimulants are mirtazapine, oxandrolone, and megestrol acetate, however, a review of the scientific literature on appetite stimulants in the elderly concludes that there haven’t been any significant studies to show that these drugs are helping anyone at all. The most studied drug was megestrol acetate, which only shows limited benefits, mixed outcomes, and potential harm.
Why does our medical system insist on pushing pharmaceuticals that aren’t helping, but worsening conditions? Frail patients are becoming malnourished due to illness and harmful drug side effects, so why are they being given appetite stimulants that aren’t working?
Follow the money to Big Pharma. In 2015, the global pharmaceutical market was an estimated $1.05 trillion, with the U.S. and Canada accounting for more than half of that even though it only represents about 7% of global population.
Medical marijuana has long been known to stimulate appetite and the commonly expressed epithet, “the munchies”, is often referred to in strain reviews. Scientists have suggested that [THC], and other secondary cannabinoids in conjunction, may be the main reason for the effect. Medical marijuana can encourage eating without the dangerous side effects associated with common appetite stimulant pharmaceuticals.
Recent studies from the peer-reviewed journal, Innovations in Clinical Neuroscience, have suggested that marijuana use is associated with a broad spectrum of regulatory processes that influence body weight and appetite. The [endocannabinoid system] is interwoven with our body’s health and wellness, and cannabis naturally produces [cannabinoids] and [terpenes] in its flowers that activate this system. Individuals will respond to cannabis differently and it is recommended starting in low doses. Consult with a physician and medical marijuana professional about using cannabis, and find below a list of strains that are commonly reported to help stimulate appetite and encourage eating.
· [[13 Dawgs]]
· [[Ace of Spades]]
· [[Agent Orange]]
· [[Alien Reunion]]
· [[Alien Stardawg]]
· [[Allen Wrench]]
· [[Alpha Blue]]
· [[Animal Cookies]]
· [[Aurora Borealis]]
· [[Barbara Bud]]
· [[Bay Dream]]