The pervasiveness and life-threatening aspects of eating disorders has led some researchers to investigate what role of the endogenous endocannabinoid system may have in regulating brain activity related to eating. (The endocannabinoid system has been shown to control the amount of pleasure we derive from sensory experiences such as eating.) Increased appetite (the “munchies”) is a commonly reported side-effect of consuming cannabis. This has led to the investigation of a THC surrogate, Dronabinol, in the treatment of eating disorders. Supporting data has indicated that deficiencies in endocannabinoid function may be a contributing factor in eating disorders.
Medical Cannabis and Eating Disorders: ResearchControlled studies of the effects of medical cannabis on eating disorders are currently being published in peer-reviewed journals. A sample of this ongoing research is listed below.
[18F]MK-9470, a positron emission tomography (PET) tracer for in vivo human PET brain imaging of the cannabinoid-1 receptor
Dronabinol in severe, enduring anorexia nervosa: A randomized controlled trial
Do deficits in cannabinoids contribute to eating disorders?