Obesity

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Introduction

Energy homeostasis (balance)  is one of the primary functions of the endocannabinoid system. cannabinoids therefore have excellent therapeutic potential for metabolic disorders ranging from anorexia/metabolic wasting syndrome to bulimia and obesity. One of the most salient aspects of cannabis is its ability to induce appetite (the munchies) which is to a large degree due to activation of CB1 receptors by THC.

Many clinical trials aimed to reduce food intake by blocking CB1 with synthetic cannabinoids.

Although these synthetic cannabinoids caused very significant weight loss, these clinical trials were abandoned due to excessive adverse reactions (depression, vertigo, heart problems etc.).

Nonetheless, the endocannabinoid sytem is intricately involved in appetite and weight regulation. endocannabinoids are derived from Poly Unsaturated Fatty Acids (PUFAs) with Anandamide and 2AG coming from Ω-6 PUFAs and EPEA and DHEA coming from Ω-3 PUFAs. The typical Western diet is low on PUFAs and has a low Ω-3/Ω-6 ratio.

Shifting the balance to a higher Ω-3 content leads to weight loss, presumably through differential activation of the endocannabinoid system. In addition to the endocannabinoid system, plant cannabinoids THCV and CBD have appetite-suppressing properties and may be useful in the treatment of obesity.

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