Cannabis Treatment For Eating Disorder
Doctors and patients are discovering the affect marijuana has on those struggling with eating disorders. The National Eating Disorder Associate estimates there are 30 million people in the US living with an eating disorder. Finding sufficient treatment can be difficult since the illness is both physical and psychological.
The treatment that is available often involves a combination of medication and cognitive-behavioral therapy. But it’s difficult to find a solution for every patient, because the symptoms and the root cause of an eating disorder are so individualized.
Recently, medical marijuana has been introduced as a possible treatment for one specific eating disorder — anorexia nervosa.
People suffering from anorexia refuse to maintain a healthy body weight, have an intense fear of gaining weight and a distorted body image.
Because of their dread of becoming fat, eating becomes very stressful and thoughts about dieting, food and body image consume their mind. Life becomes a persistent pursuit of being skinny.
Many patients have found relief through the use of medical marijuana.
Anna Demarco suffered from anorexia and anxiety for years. Her anxiety seemed to fuel her eating disorder. For years she fluctuated between 115 pounds and 85 pounds, and her anxiety was a constant battle.
Until she smoked marijuana
One day, Anna was having another anxiety attack when her friend passed her the bowl and suggested she try marijuana to help calm her down.
She tried it and for the first time, she felt relaxed. Her breathing steadied, her anxiety eased and she felt hungry.
For the first time, Anna felt normal. She had a normal appetite, she wasn’t afraid to eat food and she wasn’t anxious.
Because anorexia is often fueled by underlying psychological problems such as anxiety and depression, marijuana can often be a solution.
The two main compounds of marijuana, THC and CBD, help to lower anxiety and depression levels.
With anxiety and depression taken out of the picture, many anorexic patients are able to develop a healthy relationship with food.
Marijuana on the other hand, can often do the opposite. It can heighten the sense and help patients feel more connected with their emotions and their environment, while still lowering their anxiety.
Marijuana also increases appetite, which can often be very helpful in the recovery process for those suffering from anorexia.
Chronic anorexia can alter the body’s natural hunger cues to the point where the patient won’t feel hungry or have an appetite. Marijuana can increase appetite and make food taste enjoyable again.