THC may be a safe and effective treatment for the psychological symptoms of anorexia nervosa, according to a new study published by The Israeli Journal of Psychiatry and Related Sciences.
For the study, researchers at Hebrew University and the Eating Disorders Institution at the University of Haifa “evaluated the effect of low doses of oral Δ9-THC on self-reported symptoms of patients suffering from chronic anorexia nervosa (AN).”
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.”
According to researchers, “Significant improvements were found in self reported body care, sense of ineffectiveness, asceticism and depression. There were no significant changes in BMI.”
“The present study is the first to show improvement in the psychological symptoms of patient with AN (anorexia nervosa) when treated with delta-9-THC, without side effects,” the study concludes. “These encouraging results on a group of chronic AN patients suggest that low doses of delta-9-THC should be further studied as an adjunct to the treatment of patients with AN.”
The study’s abstract concludes by stating “Δ9-THC may be an effective component in treating the psychological symptoms of AN.”
You can find more information on this study, including a link to its full text, by clicking here.