How glucose and fructose can block cannabis

Cannabis consumers of the THC variety—whether they’re stoners, patients, regular humans, veterans, or doctors—typically experience what is known as the munchies.

Our appetites go up after consuming THC, but the endocannabinoid system (ECS) regulates metabolism on both sides. In fact, a certain hormone in our bodies that is triggered by fat and sugar, leptin, will block cannabis by inhibiting the CB1 receptor.

Photo courtesy of GabiSanda. Pixabay.

The ECS’s role in digestion and the gut microbiome

The CB1 receptor is the on and off switch for appetite and the drive to eat. So, before becoming alarmed at the thought of blocking cannabis, remember that this hormone acts as an alarm that sends a message, “stop eating, you’re full.” (1-3)

Overall, the ECS is a major regulator of metabolism. Ethan Russo, MD, has discussed the importance that THC—as well as THCa, CBDa, and CBD—has on our microbiome health.

He has comically referred to this as the “Skinny Hippy Theory”, or more formally, the Grand Unified Theory (GUT). (4, 5) It’s not a rule of thumb, but cannabis consumers are generally thinner. Interestingly, obesity will cause a decrease in cannabinoid receptor tone due to a larger amount of leptin-releasing adipose tissue. (1-3)

Photo courtesy of W.B. Kids.

Blood pressure, sugar, and cannabis green outs

If you smoke too much weed and feel incapacitated and almost faint, it is called a green out, or orthostatic hypotension. This is a major decrease in blood pressure, which can cause the brain to lose a sufficient supply of oxygen. Josh Kesselman of Raw Rolling papers has shared a story on his Instagram about a time he chugged back six sugary sodas to regain function after an infamous green out. He suspects the massive load of sugar caused his blood pressure to increase enough to counter the green out. (6)

Fat and sugar block cannabis via leptin
Fructose, on the other hand, can trigger leptin resistance which leads to higher endocannabinoid tone but also potential weight gain.

This might be partly true, but a more direct mechanism is at play when you eat fat or chug six sugar-forward sodas to block cannabis. A huge load of glucose can spike leptin by 50% in plasma. (7) This can directly block the cannabinoid one (CB1) receptor that THC has to fully activate to facilitate intoxication. So, more than an increase in blood pressure, sugar as well as fat can directly block the effects of cannabis.

And beyond sugar, caffeine blocks other effects facilitated by THC. (8)

Conversely, leptin is also found in healthy food that brings on a genuinely sated sensation. For example, Kesslemen also briefly mentioned broccoli as a tool to get out of a green out, without much explanation. In short, broccoli is one of the foods that picks up leptin, sustainably. Fructose, the sugar from fruits, on the other hand, causes leptin resistance (when the body becomes desensitized to leptin). (1, 2, 7, 9-11)

Photo courtesy of Monika1607.

Leptin, a natural cannabinoid inhibitor

A cannabinoid receptor (CB1R) antagonist, a cannabis blocker, was developed as a weight-loss tool. This drug, rimonabant was, however, pulled from the market due to causing severe depression as well as other negative side effects. (12) This is why leptin appears to possess deeper pharmacological functions that cannot be explained by endocannabinoid inhibition since healthy food doesn’t necessarily cause depression.

Many studies and reviews on leptin, including the inhibition of appetite and the increase in cancer-driving messengers, are often left without an analysis on the CB1 receptor. The first google search on leptin and the feeling of fullness produces a Harvard University article released in March, 2020, but fails to answer the question. (13)

Havard did analyze cannabinoid receptor’s effects on leptin signalling in a study in 2015 that did not analyze the effect in reverse, leptin’s ability to inhibit CB1 receptors. (11) A quick search on PubMed reveals that several of leptin’s effects are dependant on blocking that cannabis receptor.

An additional link is CHOP (1), and serotonin (14), as well as insulin’s ability to block leptin (15). Sugar and fat will block cannabis, but they will indirectly increase serotonin and lower inflammation – which should put the heart at risk. Yet, leptin has been shown to help the heart, a cardioprotective agent. (16) Science clearly has far more to learn about this fronteir of metabolism that may hold the key to thwarting obesity.

Glucose and fat can cause cancer by blocking cannabis
Glucose, alongside fat, increase leptin when they are burned into energy. A feedback loop occurs between leptin and serotonin, which will be modulated by the endocannabinoid system. Essentially, leptin appears to replace the CB1 receptor as a modulator of nitric oxide synthesis. Further connections between the CB1 receptor and serotonin exist, but are not displayed in this diagram.

Stay tuned for a new theory on how the messenger, PIK3, might be a major contributor to Vaping Associated Lung Injury. And remember to check out this story on how the hormone, ghrelin, causes the munchies.

Show your work

  • Leptin Deficiency is rare but directly associated with obesity.
  • Leptin Resistance is common and likely occurs through deficient CB1 receptors via the protein, CHOP. (1)
  • The deletion of CHOP reduces leptin resistance in mice.


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