Friday, December 09, 2005

Pot for anorexia?

21. H. Gross, et al. A double-blind trial of delta-9-THC in primary anorexia nervosa, Journal of Clinical Psychopharmacology 3 (1983): 165-171

Look it up on PubMed if you don't believe me. The bad news? The majority of anorexics are going to be strong-willed enough to hold the munchies at bay even if they do get high. I suppose the point might not be the munchies per se, but rather the seretonergic and dopaminergic activity of marijuana in general...hmmm. It would be hard to moderate the dose of THC, too, especially if you're dealing with subjects who are drastically underweight. The body pulls some neat metabolic tricks out of its hat when in starvation mode, and there's no reason to think drug metabolism wouldn't also be affected...though there is research saying pot is fairly effective in treating patients with AIDS and cancer-related muscle wasting and appetite loss. The difference, I suppose, is where the appetite loss is coming from. In cancer and AIDS, patients aren't hungry but aren't averse to the idea of food. In anorexia nervosa it's just the opposite...someone is absolutely starving, stark raving mad with hunger, but can't stomach (pun happily intended) the idea of eating.

Women with eating disorders sho' won't be lining up for bites of Alice B's "Tokeless" brownies, at least I don't think so--though I could try and smuggle some into the hospital and conduct my own study. (That's a joke, son!)

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