How Medical Marijuana Helps Elderly Patients Develop an Appetite

As we get older, our appetites undergo drastic changes. Many senior citizens discover they are less hungry as they age. However, everyone must consume the proper amount of nutrients to avoid being vulnerable to disease and any other health conditions. While loss of appetite can be a symptom of an illness, most of the time is a normal part of growing older.

Common causes of seniors’ appetite issues include:

  • Changes in taste and smell caused by aging and medications
  • Consuming food with motor issues or without teeth, causing eating difficulties
  • Mood disorders such as anxiety and depression can result in a reduction of appetite
  • Lower metabolic rates means low caloric needs.
  • Illnesses and other health conditions can result in a loss of appetite
  • Anorexia

Fortunately, medical marijuana is known to be an effective appetite stimulant for any age group. Phytocannabinoids from cannabis medicine activates the cannabinoid receptors, which often takes in endocannabinoids that are naturally made in our bodies. In other words, cannabis offers symptom relief by using plant components to imitate compounds found in our bodies we already produce.

The following ways medical marijuana increases appetite:

  • Mimics anandamide signals – Leptin sends messages to the body to either stop eating when enough food is consumed or indicate when not enough food has been eaten. However, this hormone also suppresses anandamide signals which produces hunger. Since anandamide is an endocannabinoid, cannabis can counteract leptin because it contains compounds similar to anandamide.
  • Increases ghrelin – Ghrelin is a hormone responsible for communicating hunger in your body. Cannabis enables your body to produce more ghrelin, causing you to become hungry.
  • Improves taste and smell – If a patient is experiencing issues with their senses, medical marijuana can boost your sense of smell and taste.
  • Boosts production of dopamine – Dopamine makes you feel happy, providing positive reinforcement when eating.

If you or a loved one is experiencing appetite issues, contact New Jersey Alternative Medicine today to learn how medical marijuana can help.