Cesto di verdure

Cannabis and diet: a perfect combination

There is a very close relationship between cannabis and hunger. Cannabis consumption accelerates the metabolism and activates neural receptors linked to the feeling of satiety, generating the so-called " munchies ". Everyone is led to think that consuming cannabis, sooner or later, also negatively affects one's figure. Yet that's not entirely true.

Since light cannabis was legalized with law 242/2016, the debate on the properties of cannabinoids has become more intense. CBD is a precious substance, whose beneficial properties impact many aspects of our daily life.

What is CBD?

CBD, whose full name is cannabidiol, is one of the many cannabinoids found in the Cannabis plant. It is the second most present in percentage, after the more famous THC. If THC is responsible for the psychoactive effect of marijuana, the beneficial effects of taking CBD are scientifically recognized . Cannabidiol is probably the most versatile chemical compound in the cannabis plant and has the ability to amplify and regulate the effects of THC. And other cannabinoids.

The dynamic relationship between cannabinoids justifies their effective combined action and gives rise to the so-called entourage effect . The result of the combination of all the substances contained in cannabis can significantly modify the action of the main active ingredients. Improving its action and minimizing possible side effects. Despite this, CBD has a significant impact even in the absence of THC.

The human endocannabinoid system

Until the early nineties there had been no studies on the effects of cannabis on the human body. In the absence of data and scientific research, it was trivially hypothesized that cannabinoids dissolve in the membranes of the brain, negatively impacting their functioning.

In 1990, the cannabinoid receptor called CB-1 was identified for the first time and in 1993 researchers demonstrated the existence of another cannabinoid receptor, CB-2 . CB-1 and CB-2 receptors are present throughout the body, but are mainly concentrated in certain organs. CB-1 receptors are found primarily in cells of the central nervous system . Especially in the brain areas. Those used for the regulation of sleep and appetite, the perception of time and pain, motor coordination and some complex cognitive functions. Such as judgment, learning, memory and emotions.

CB-2 receptors, however, have been identified predominantly in immunocompetent cells. In the spleen, tonsils, hematopoietic bone marrow, pancreas. And in low concentrations, also in the central nervous system, in particular on glial and microglial cells.

The human body, therefore, has a specific bond with cannabinoids , and naturally produces substances similar to them, the so-called endogenous ligands , called endocannabinoids. The first natural ligand to be isolated, with strong binding to the CB-1 receptor, was Ethanolamide. Arachidonic Acid, commonly called Anandamide (from the Sanskrit word “eternal bliss”). A few years later, scientists discovered a second ligand, 2-arachidonyl glycerol (2-AG), capable of binding to both the CB-1 and CB-2 receptors.

Cannabinoid receptors, their endogenous ligands, and proteins involved in endocannabinoid metabolism and transport constitute the human endocannabinoid system . A system of great importance for the normal functioning of the organism, involved in numerous physiological processes. Such as motor control, memory, learning, perception of hunger and pain, regulation of energy balance, modulation of the immune system and neuroprotection.


In addition to receptors and chemical signalers, the endocannabinoid system is also made up of metabolic enzymes . The endocannabinoid system is in fact directly connected with various metabolic functions, such as the transport of nutrients and energy storage .

The link between cannabis and metabolism is obvious even to the inexperienced consumer. However, the stimulation of hunger is not the only result of the interaction between marijuana and our organism. According to a study conducted in 2008, the ECS is also able to stimulate the skeletal muscles, the gastrointestinal tract and the endocrine pancreas. This also happens naturally. In fact, the ECS performs the same action through two endogenous cannabinoids: anandamide and 2-AG (2-arachidonoylglycerol). Which interface with the CB1 and CB2 receptors, present in various parts of the human body.

The system is activated during even a short period of fasting, increasing the sense of hunger and unconsciously directing us towards highly satisfying foods. Once food is reintroduced, the system deactivates and hunger subsides. This does not happen in many obese subjects. Obesity (as well as smoking and alcohol intake) is in fact associated with hyperstimulation of the system, which in these subjects receives continuous stimuli and remains hyperactive.

Similarly, repeatedly consuming fatty and caloric foods appears to lead to an increase in endogenous cannabinoids , resulting in an increased desire for high-calorie foods. In a vicious circle, these foods produce a very high sense of gratification, generating hyperphagia and consequently a greater risk of obesity and related diseases.

According to the Endocannabinoid Research Group , the CB1 receptor, if overstimulated, can increase the possibility of developing metabolic syndrome. Pathological condition associated with negative symptoms such as high blood sugar levels, high blood pressure, excess body fat and others. However, the researchers also noted that CBD, which happens to be a CB1 antagonist, may have the ability to treat this condition and others of the same type.


A high-fat diet produces an increase in Cb-1 and anandamide receptors within the liver. This is due to the poor activity of the main enzyme responsible for the catabolism of endocannabinoids. The stimulation of this mechanism also regulates the plasma concentrations of hormones associated with metabolism and nutrition (insulin, leptin and adiponectin). As is known, the altered level of these hormones can negatively influence eating behavior and metabolism . For example, increased leptin levels lead to decreased endocannabinoid concentrations in the hypothalamus and consequently inhibit eating behavior.

The ketogenic diet is a diet that involves eating high levels of fat, moderate levels of protein and almost zero carbohydrates. It's a diet that seems to question everything we ever thought we knew about weight loss. In reality, fat is essential for the human body, and in some cases it can even become an ally in weight loss.

The ketogenic diet focuses entirely on the absence of glucose; Sugar is the primary source of energy for the body. This molecule is stored in the muscles and liver in the form of glycogen, and is necessary to produce energy at the cellular level. When sugar – and therefore our body's main “fuel” – runs out, the body needs to look for energy in other ways and enters a metabolic state called ketosis . It means that our body is burning stored fat for energy. Fat is taken from cells and transported to the liver, where it is converted into ketones, which can energize the body.

Among the signs that a person has entered a ketogenic state are weight loss, increased levels of ketones in the blood, decreased appetite, increased energy, and short-term fatigue. And physical performance temporarily decreasing.

CBD - as already mentioned - stimulates the endocannabinoid system and proves to be an excellent ally of the keto diet in weight loss.


Yan Le Strat, professor of psychiatry at the University of Paris, undertook a study whose results clarify the impact that cannabis has on weight loss . The study examines very long periods of consumption and is highlighting rather clear relationships.

The first data from the study, and perhaps the most important, is that, among the patients examined, only 16% of cannabis users have obesity problems . As a rule, if we take patients with the same characteristics, same age and same origin, without the "filter" of marijuana consumption, the percentage is 26%, a good ten percentage points more. This is the key statistical data from which Professor Le Strat and his colleagues started to analyze the relationship between cannabis consumption and body weight control. Now they are looking for the direct effects of this relationship on the human body.

The study suggests that marijuana use plays a key role in weight control. But the ways in which this role is articulated are not yet completely clear. Also because there could be more than one cause.

The most banal and least scientific reason could be a phenomenon of customs. If the intake of marijuana is allowed, it could replace the use of other recreational substances (such as alcohol) which have a stronger impact on the metabolism as they are rich in sugars.


Beyond the forms of pathological weight gain, integrating hemp into your diet can be a simple and inexpensive operation. There are many food derivatives of cannabis and it is now easy to find them on the market . You can use flour and its derivatives, butter or seeds , which are a real superfood . Hemp fruits, at first glance, appear like a small nut covered with a thin, shiny and hard layer. Rich in nutrients, they are brown or black and sometimes also green-grey in color and their diameter varies, on average, from 3 to 4 mm. Hemp seeds contain between 28% and 35% fat, 30% to 35% carbohydrates and 20% to 24% protein. In addition to high percentages of vitamin B (more than other foods of plant origin), vitamin E, calcium, magnesium, and iron.

Hemp seeds are a truly "amazing" product . In fact, they contain all eight essential amino acids that the body cannot synthesize independently, and this makes them highly protein-rich and recommended for a healthy and balanced diet. It doesn't end there: the vitamin intake and the presence of mineral salts (calcium, magnesium, potassium) are also noteworthy. Furthermore, hemp has a very high nutritional value, suitable for those who follow a high-protein diet , such as athletes and sportsmen. Both to those who would like to compensate for the lack of animal proteins by choosing specific dietary regimes , such as vegans and raw foodists. Furthermore, the presence of polyunsaturated fats makes hemp an excellent ally against cardiovascular diseases (the Omega 3 and Omega 6 ratio is the perfect 5:1). But also arteriosclerosis, eczema, acne and respiratory system diseases.

It is possible to take hemp protein powder as a food supplement, especially recommended for vegetarians, vegans, raw foodists and people on a diet. These are complete and untreated proteins , they do not derive from milk, meat or soy and do not contain chemical additives.

They are particularly useful for vegetarians and vegans because they replace the intake deriving from animal products.

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