The Impact of Δ9-THC on the Psychological Symptoms of Anorexia Nervosa: A Pilot Study

Isr J Psychiatry Relat Sci. 2017;54(3):44-51.

Abstract

Background: Δ9-Tetrahydrocannabinol (Δ9-THC) is the active compound of Cannabis sativa with appetitestimulating properties. This study evaluated the effect of low doses of oral Δ9-THC on self-reported symptoms of patients suffering from chronic anorexia nervosa (AN).

Methods: Nine female subjects over 18 years of age participated in the study. Six were diagnosed according to DSM-IV criteria with AN restrictive type and three with active AN binge-purge type. Their mean age was 45.0±3.2 years and their BMI was 16.1±1.6 kg/M2. They completed questionnaires before and after treatment with Δ9-THC (1 mg/day for one week and 2 mg/day for three weeks). The primary outcome was improvement in the way patients perceived their eating behavior.

Results: Significant improvements were found in selfreported body care, sense of ineffectiveness, asceticism and depression. There were no significant changes in BMI.

Conclusions: Δ9-THC may be an effective component in treating the psychological symptoms of AN.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Anorexia Nervosa / drug therapy*
  • Anorexia Nervosa / psychology*
  • Cannabinoid Receptor Agonists / administration & dosage
  • Cannabinoid Receptor Agonists / pharmacology*
  • Dronabinol / administration & dosage
  • Dronabinol / pharmacology*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Pilot Projects
  • Young Adult

Substances

  • Cannabinoid Receptor Agonists
  • Dronabinol