As we get ready to gather with loved ones for the holidays, the anticipation of a hearty feast is on all of our minds. For those seeking an extra boost in appetite or battling conditions that affect their ability to enjoy meals, cannabis can be a supportive ally. With its well-documented appetite-stimulating properties, particularly strains rich in THC like OG Kush or Girl Scout Cookies, cannabis can enhance the Thanksgiving meal experience.
By incorporating strains and terpenes known for their ability to induce the munchies, individuals can elevate their dining experience, and savor each bite with heightened sensory awareness. Whether you’re a seasoned cannabis enthusiast or exploring its potential benefits for the first time, CBD and THC can help transform the way you approach your next meal so you can sit back in gratitude while you enjoy the flavors and power of connection.
The Science Behind Cannabinoids & Appetite
The ability of Cannabis sativa to promote eating has been documented for many centuries, with it reported by its users to promote strong cravings for, and an intensification of the sensory and hedonic properties of food. These effects are now known to result from the actions of cannabinoid molecules at specific cannabinoid receptor sites within the brain, and to reflect the physiological role of their natural ligands, the endocannabinoids, in the control of appetite.
The Endocannabinoid System (ECS) plays a role with our appetite control – from the suppression of appetite to counter over-consumption to the treatment of conditions that involve reduced appetite and weight loss. This is why cannabinoid receptor antagonists (such as CBD) may manage obesity while agonists (such as THC) may be a therapy option for anorexia.
Understanding the significance of terpenes is an important aspect of navigating the diverse world of cannabis consumption. While cannabis strain types (sativa, indica, hybrid) have traditionally been the primary focus, consumers and researchers are coming to find terpenes play an equally, if not more, important role in shaping the overall experience.
Terpenes are aromatic compounds found in various plants, not just cannabis, and they contribute to the distinct flavors and scents associated with different strains. However, their impact extends beyond mere sensory pleasure. Terpenes interact with cannabinoids, such as THC and CBD, as well as with receptors in the human body’s endocannabinoid system, influencing the unique effects of each strain. By paying attention to terpenes, consumers can tailor their cannabis experience based on their desired outcomes, whether that’s relaxation, creativity, or appetite stimulation.
Moreover, the same strain type can exhibit significant variability in its terpene profile, leading to diverse effects within a single category. For example, two indica-dominant strains may have distinct terpene compositions, resulting in differing therapeutic benefits. By prioritizing terpenes, consumers can make more informed choices about the strains that align with their specific needs and preferences. This shift in focus allows for a more nuanced and personalized approach to cannabis consumption, moving beyond broad strain categories to consider the intricate interplay of terpenes and cannabinoids that define the plant’s therapeutic potential. Understanding terpenes empowers consumers to make choices based on the precise effects and aromas they seek, providing a more tailored and enjoyable cannabis experience.
If you are looking to elevate your culinary adventures and savor the joy of eating, here are five terpenes to keep an eye out for when shopping for cannabis products.
Terpenes for Appetite Stimulation
While research on terpenes and appetite stimulation is an evolving field, some terpenes have shown promise in influencing appetite. It’s important to note that individual responses may vary, and what works for you may not work for someone else. Always remember you can ask your budtender for help when shopping for certain terpenes.
- Myrcene: often found in cannabis, lemongrass, mango, parsley, bay leaf, thyme, and more. Aroma: earthy, musky, clove-like, with hints of citrus.
Myrcene affects the dopamine levels in the brain, which helps regulate feeding behaviors. Myrcene can help promote mental relaxation and alleviate anxiety, showcasing a multifaceted range of benefits. Beyond its role in enhancing appetite, Myrcene serves as an antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and analgesic, a diverse therapeutic potential.
Strains dominant in Myrcene: Blue Dream, Granddaddy Purple, Harlequin.
- Limonene: often found in many citrus fruits such as lemons, oranges, and more, as well as in rosemary and peppermint. Aroma: strong citrus-like scent and flavor.
This terpene is known to affect the dopamine and serotonin levels in the brain, which can aid in improving appetite. Scientific research with test animals has proven that just the smell of limonene can impact cravings. It may also help support your overall gut health.
Strains dominant in Limonene: Banana OG, Do-Si-Dos, Tahoe OG, Wedding Cake.
- Caryophyllene: often found in black pepper, oregano, basil, and other herbs and spices. Aroma: spicy and peppery.
Unlike other terpenes, caryophyllene selectively binds to the CB2 receptors, the ECS receptor responsible for your immune system functions. A study on CB2 receptors in mice revealed that it affects weight gain and appetite.
Strains dominant in Caryophyllene: Jack Herer, White Widow, Chemdawg, Durban.
- Pinene: often found in pine needles, rosemary, and basil. Aroma: as the name suggests, the aroma is similar to pine trees and wood.
Pinene also affects dopamine and serotonin, contributing to an individual’s appetite, and studies have shown it has anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, and neuroprotective properties as well.
Strains dominant in Pinene: AK-47, Cannatonic, Pineapple OG, Jack Herer, Blue Dream.
- Linalool: often found in lavender, coriander, and other aromatic plants. Aroma: floral.
Linalool also helps to stimulate the production of a hormone called ghrelin, which helps regulate one’s appetite.
Strains dominant in Linalool: Amnesia Haze, Zkittles, Lavender, Tropicanna Punch.
Cannabis Consumption Around the Holidays
With the holidays around the corner, it is likely you will be spending more time with your friends, family, and loved ones. Sometimes the reality of these life-long relationships is that our own beliefs and opinions might begin to differ from some of the people we hold most dear. Cannabis tends to be one of these hot topics, so we have compiled some talking points on how to broach the subject with people in your life who may not have the same opinions about the plant-based therapy.
Cooking with Cannabis
For those of you with families that are more open-minded to the consumption of cannabis, or are looking for ways to incorporate the benefits of cannabis into your culinary experience, cooking with cannabis can be a fun and therapeutic way to enjoy the season!
Cooking with cannabis offers a host of benefits that are gaining widespread recognition in the culinary world. One of the key advantages is precise dosage control, making it a preferred choice for both medical and recreational users. Unlike traditional methods like smoking, cooking allows users to accurately measure the amount of THC and CBD they consume, ensuring a more predictable and controlled experience. This precise dosing is particularly valuable for those seeking to manage specific health issues or seeking symptom relief, as they can fine-tune their intake to match their needs.
As we continue to explore the vast potential of cannabis, it’s clear that THC and CBD, along with their entourage of terpenes, offer a myriad of benefits. From enhancing appetite this Thanksgiving to creating a more immersive experience, cannabis has the power to transform the way we approach food and well-being. By embracing the science behind these compounds and choosing strains wisely, you can embark on a journey of culinary delight and holistic health. Remember, moderation and mindful consumption are key to unlocking the full spectrum of benefits that cannabis has to offer.
If you have any questions about this topic, a Realm of Caring Care Specialist is here to help. Call us at 719-347-5400 option 1, email us at email@example.com, or visit our website and sign up for a free client account at www.realmofcaring.org.