April 07, 2021 6 min read

A poor appetite can make it difficult to eat and maintain weight, but it can also lead to nutritional deficiencies and other serious health issues. If you’re wondering how to increase appetite, you may be happy to learn that you can do it in three easy steps—a combination of small lifestyle changes and appetite stimulants.

Table of Contents
What Causes Poor Appetite?
How to Increase Appetite (3 Steps)
How to Increase Appetite Using Delta-8-THC
Where to Buy Legal Delta-8-THC?
Resources

Key Takeaways

  • Appetite loss is common and the causes can vary.
  • You may be able to regain your appetite using a series of natural methods, like lifestyle changes and natural appetite stimulants. 
  • Delta-8-THC, a hemp-derived compound, is known to stimulate appetite and potentially stave away nausea caused by poor diet or other factors. 

What Causes Poor Appetite?

A low appetite can be caused by many different things, including various chronic illnesses, slow metabolism, certain medications, and hormonal imbalances. One factor to consider is an endocannabinoid imbalance, or an imbalance in the Endocannabinoid System.

The Endocannabinoid System is a bodily system that’s responsible for maintaining regularity throughout the body, a state called “homeostasis,” a big part of which includes balancing metabolism. The endocannabinoids interaction with metabolism and hunger is the reason that cannabinoid-based supplements like THC are known to stimulate appetite.

You should also consider lifestyle factors that may impact appetite. For instance, irregular eating habits, fasting, and maintaining a sedentary lifestyle can all reduce appetite. The body strives to maintain regularity (which is why the Endocannabinoid System is so important) and learns and adjusts to your regular behavior.

For instance, when fasting for lengthy periods of time, the body may slow the metabolism to prevent you from running out of energy storage. A slower metabolism means you may not feel hungry even after you break the fast.

As you can see, there are many reasons why you may be experiencing low appetite, and it’s not always easy to pinpoint the cause. Luckily, there may be a solution:

How to Increase Appetite (3 Steps)

The good news is that you may be able to increase your appetite easily by adjusting lifestyle factors and using mild appetite stimulants to build healthier eating habits. Here are a few steps to help you learn how to increase appetite naturally:

1. Adjust your eating habits.

A woman preparing healthy meals to help combat appetite loss.

With a low-appetite, you may not experience the normal hunger cues that remind people to eat. That means that it’s even more important that you carefully manage when and how you eat.

The body is naturally regulatory. That means you may see your hunger levels improve when eating meals on a regular schedule at or around the same times each day. Eventually, this may help your body experience hunger cues at mealtimes.

Also consider eating smaller meals more often. Instead of three meals a day, try six smaller meals. By eating small amounts frequently, you’ll likely be able to eat more over time which can lead to metabolism boosts and increased hunger.

Tip: Set an alarm to remind you when it’s meal time. After a while, you may not need them anymore.

What you eat is just as important as when you eat. Try making these few simple swaps to help increase appetite:

  • Add “invisible calories” to your meals.
    These are calories that don’t increase the meal size.
    For instance, you can cook with butter or other healthy fats, like MCT oil, to add a few calories onto what you normally eat. One study suggests that MCT oil actually stimulates ghrelin, an appetite-promoting hormone that makes you feel hungry.
  • Go for nutrient dense foods.
    With a low-appetite, it can be tempting to eat chips, candy, and other calorie-dense snack foods, especially if you're trying to gain weight. This can starve your body of nutrients over time. Remember, we want to nourish and regulate the body in order to regulate appetite.
    The better route is to always choose nutrient dense foods at meal time to help keep your vitamin and mineral levels regular and your blood sugar stable. When you’re only able to eat very little, what you eat is even more important to avoiding nutritional deficiencies.
  • Limit your fiber intake. Fiber makes you feel full. In fact, it expands in your stomach to make you feel fuller faster. Limiting your fiber intake can help you eat more food before you feel full.

2. Change a few hydration habits, too.

This one seems simple, but it can make a huge difference. You’ve probably heard about the “drink a full glass of water before meals” weight loss trick. Well, you can also use your hydration to your advantage when you want to eat more, too.

Try holding off on beverages until after meals, or sipping on them between meals, at least half an hour before you eat.

You can also try adding a couple calorie and nutrient dense drinks to your diet every day. Milk and plant milks often contain healthy fats and various vitamins and minerals. Fresh pressed fruit juices are always calorie dense and full of vitamins.

Just don’t drink too much sugar and don’t forget to drink plenty of water to stay hydrated—it’s an important part of almost all of your body’s regulatory processes.

3. Add dietary supplements that stimulate hunger.

The quickest answer to “how to increase appetite” is by using appetite stimulants to make you feel hungry. There are various supplements (and even some prescription medications) that are meant to help increase your appetite, but we’ll discuss one natural supplement that’s infamous for causing “the munchies”—THC.

Two delta-8-THC vape cartridges, a fast-acting cannabinoid product that may stimulate appetite.

If you’re thinking “Nah, that’s not for me. It’s not even legal here!”, just keep reading!

Traditional THC products, or Delta-9-THC, is often used medicinally (in states where medical marijuana is legal) to combat appetite loss due to chemotherapy or eating disorders. Of course, THC is also restricted in many areas and the psychoactive effects are too sedating or otherwise unpleasant for some people.

Luckily, there’s another optionDelta-8-THC, a hemp-derived cannabinoid that’s federally legal in the U.S.Just like Delta-9, Delta-8 has significant appetite stimulating powers, but it’s only mildly psychoactive and not sedating like traditional THC.

In fact, one study shows that Delta-8 was actually more effective than Delta-9 at combating chemotherapy-induced nausea in children. That’s because the patients could be given larger, more effective doses without the same drawbacks that many people experience with common THC products, like anxiety and paranoia.

Another study shows that cannabinoids acting at CB1 receptors (a neuroreceptor found in the brain and nervous system) can stimulate hunger. Delta-8-THC stimulates both the CB1 and CB2 receptors (the Endocannabinoid System’s main neuroreceptors), meaning it may do double duty in promoting endocannabinoid balance.

There's plenty of anecdotal evidence to verify Delta-8-THC's appetite-inducing effects, though many people describe it as a "mild hunger" instead of a ravenous case of the munchies. That means it could help you eat more, but won't trick your body into consuming too much.

Delta-8-THC's anti-nausea, appetite stimulating effects are some of its most prominent potential medical applications. Delta-8 products are legal and accessible and easy to incorporate into daily life, so they may be a suitable option for anyone suffering from poor appetite.

How to Increase Appetite Using Delta-8-THC

If you want to give Delta-8’s appetite-stimulating powers a shot, here are some tips to get you started:

  • Evaluate Delta-8-THC brands carefully.To make sure that the Delta-8 products you buy are authentic and safe, look for third party tested and ensure that they were made from high-quality hemp, like hemp grown in the U.S. according to federal standards.
  • Choose a Delta-8-THC product that best fits your needs. Vaporizers take effect quickly (in about ten minutes) and have short lived effects that usually fade away after 2-3 hours. Edibles can take over an hour to take effect, but the effects may last 5 hours or more. Tinctures fall somewhere in the middle, and effects can be felt after 30 minutes and may last around 4 hours or longer.
  • Start with small doses and work up to a suitable dose. Everyone’s dosing needs are different. Try starting with 5mg (or half of a 10 mg gummy) or one puff from a vaporizer. You may need to increase your dose before you feel the appetite-inducing effects (Delta-8 is much milder than Delta-9), but it’s better to start with a slow and steady dosing approach.
  • Try incorporating Delta-8-THC into the dietary schedule suggested above. A Delta-8-THC vaporizer dose may help increase appetite when taken 15-30 minutes before a meal.
  • Try other cannabinoids to help create balance.Delta-8-THC can be combined with other hemp products, like CBD multivitamins, for a thorough full-spectrum approach to daily wellness and a healthy appetite.

Where to Buy Legal Delta-8-THC

Since Delta-8 is legal in the U.S., you can find a wide variety of different products online. Of course, some states have Delta-8 restrictions, so you should read “Where is Delta-8-THC Legal?” to determine if Delta-8 is legal in your state.

Then, feel free to browse our entire Delta-8-THC collection to find a selection of high-quality, potent Delta-8-THC edibles, tinctures, and vaporizers.

All Vida Optima products are made from premium U.S. grown hemp and are third-party tested and 100% compliant with federal law. We strive to offer a variety of dosing methods, potencies, and formulas, so you can easily find a product to meet your needs.

Want to learn more? Read “11 Delta-8-THC Facts You Need to Know.”

Resources

  1. “The endocannabinoid system and energy metabolism” https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/18601709/
  2. “Ghrelin acylation by ingestion of medium-chain fatty acids” https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/22975061/
  3. “An efficient new cannabinoid antiemetic in pediatric oncology” https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/7776837/
  4. “Endocannabinoids in the regulation of appetite and body weight” https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/16148436/#:~:text=It%20is%20now%20confirmed%20that,established%20orexigenic%20and%20anorexigenic%20signals.&text=Moreover%2C%20there%20is%20strong%20evidence,energy%20metabolism%20and%20fuel%20storage.

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