Welcome to The Real CBD. In this blog, we answer the question: Can CBD oil help with food addiction? What is an addiction and what does it do to our brain.
How does addiction hijack the brain?
Addiction can have a long and powerful influence on our brains and it can manifest in three ways: craving for the addiction, loss of control over its use, and continuing with the addiction, it spite of all the bad consequences. Recovery from an addiction involves our willpower, but it is not enough to “just say no”. Instead, we typically use various strategies — including psychotherapy, medication, and self-care — and try to break the grip of the addiction. But what actually happens in our brain?
Nobody starts out intending to get an addiction, but many people get caught in its stronghold. According to latest statistics almost 1 in 10 — are addicted to alcohol or other drugs. More than two-thirds of people with addiction abuse alcohol, probably because it is socially accepted to get drunk, and alcohol is so available.
The brain registers all pleasures in the same way, whether they are drugs or alcohol, a sexual encounter, or a satisfying meal. Pleasure in the brain has a powerful signature: the release of the neurotransmitter dopamine in the nucleus accumbens (see picture). Dopamine release in the nucleus accumbens, is so consistently tied with pleasure that neuroscientists refer to it as the brain’s pleasure center.
Our brains are so powerful that even thinking about the addiction can release the feeling of pleasure and we engage once again. We go from “liking to wanting to obsessing” and end up repeating the pattern. It will become a major part of our lives and all sense and sensibility goes out the window.
Because addiction is learned and stored in the brain as memory, recovery is a slow and scary process. The precise methods are different based on the nature of the addiction, but all treatments are aimed at helping you to unlearn the addiction, while adopting healthy coping techniques. Having said that, addiction to drugs, alcohol, gambling, sex and opioids are very different to, the addiction to food. If you have to overcome an addiction to drugs or alcohol you “just have to stop”. You can avoid environments where the temptations are lurking. Not being around it will help you recover faster.
But you can’t avoid food…… we need it to live and function.
What is a food addiction?
Food addiction is when the need to eat becomes compulsive or uncontrollable. A food addiction can be in response to an emotion, such as stress, sadness, boredom or anger. Our body needs food to function, but food addiction is when a person becomes dependent on certain types of foods.
The most common addictive foods are foods high in sugar, flour, fat, grains and salt or some combination of these. Food Addiction is a chronic and progressive disease showed by our constant looking for the foods we are addicted to. By eating them compulsively and having a great deal of difficulty controlling these urges, despite the self harming consequences – we become food addicts.
This is most probably something that was either taught when we were kids or as a result of environment. Mummy gave you a lollipop when you fell over and hurt yourself. Feeling sorry for yourself = eating. Going to the cinema having a cozy time = eating. Our brains have for many many years connected emotions and food. Not healthy wholesome food……Who wants a carrot when they feel sad?
How does appetite suppressants work?
Appetite is controlled by a part of the brain called hypothalamus. It brings an awareness of hunger and even controls metabolism.
Serotonin, a brain chemical that is commonly administered as an antidepressant, affects hunger and the taste of food. Lack of foods leads to lowered blood sugar levels and low serotonin levels. Therefore you tend to feel irritable when hungry.
Most of the weight loss drugs that are approved by governments are appetite suppressants.
They reduce your appetite in 3 ways:
Blocking part of the brain that makes you crave for food
Stimulating part of the brain that makes you feel full
Slow down digestion, which makes you feel full for a long time with less food
The first drug approved as an appetite suppressant by FDA in 1947 was an amphetamine.
How can CBD oil help?
There are two types of cannabinoid receptors, CB1 and CB2, and they are found in the body in locations such as the brain, intestines, and the immune system.
When a cannabinoid receptor is stimulated by an endocannabinoid, various physiological functions in multiple systems of the body are activated including memory, pain sensation, mood, and most importantly here, appetite.
“A lack of endocannabinoids in a person’s body could lead to eating disorders.”
The Endocannabinoid systems (ECS) activity in the central nervous system regulates food intake. This is because whenever you’re hungry your ECS sends signals to your hypothalamus (the part in your brain that helps to regulate appetite) which lets your know that it’s about time to have that tub of Ben & Jerry’s ice cream in the freezer.
If you lack cannabinoids in your body this hunger regulation system is out of balance and you need to take daily CBD oil to add the cannabinoids.
Would any CBD oil help on Food Addiction?
The answer is NO. A normal CBD oil even full spectrum oil will not help with the food addiction. The cannabinoid THCV needs to be present in a special ratio to CBD, CBG and CBN too. THCV is a natural appetite suppressant which blocks your hunger receptors – it literally makes you stop thinking about food. Blocks you mental appetite. The rumbling in your empty stomach will still appear, but will become increasingly easy to ignore.
Eat Less is exactly that CBD oil you need to have success with your diet or food addiction. Not only do you get all the benefits from the high levels of pure distilled cannabidiol (CBD) – you also have an effective appetite suppressant WITHOUT any side effects.