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Eating Disorders

Eating Disorders

Few illnesses are hidden or unrecognized more than that of eating disorders. It is estimated that of the roughly 30 million reported cases, only a tenth of that will receive treatment.

Carrying with it the highest mortality rate of all mental disorders it is important to find effective methods of treating this deadly disorder.

Current treatment options consist of various pharmaceutical drugs, hospitalization, and psychiatric intervention. All of which carry their own devastating side effects and risk factors.

With fewer side effects many patients have turned to cannabis to treat their eating disorder. And science is coming in to help back up this choice.

Much research is being done on endocannabinoids. These are compounds that are produced naturally by the human body. They interact with cannabinoid receptors to regulate basic functions including mood, appetite, pain, sleep, and many more.

It is believed that the endocannabinoid system is a possible target in the treatment of eating disorders. A group of scientists in Belgium used positron emission tomography to investigate the status of the endocannabinoid system in the brains of 30 women with anorexia or bulimia and compared their results to scans of age-matched control women.

They discovered that the brain’s marijuana-like neurotransmitter systems was significantly underactive in women with either anorexia or bulimia in a part of the brain that is responsible for the integration of the taste of food with our emotional response to eating. Essentially these women could not fully experience the pleasure of food and developed inappropriate rituals and responses to it.

A 2008-2011 double blind study involving 25 women over 18 years old and who were suffering from Anorexia were treated with a drug derived from chemical compounds found in the cannabis plant. They reported that “Dronabinol therapy was well tolerated. During four weeks of exposure it induced a small but significant weight gain in the absence of severe adverse events.”

Much more research will be done in the future on the vast potentials of medical cannabis and its potential in assisting with various eating disorders.

Speak with your medical practitioner or dispensary technician to learn more about medical cannabis.

And also visit our website for additional information on medical cannabis.