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

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

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Department of Human Nutrition and Metabolism, Braun School of Public Health, Hebrew University-Hadassah Medical School, Jerusalem, Israel.
Eating Disorders Institution, Psychiatric Division, Rambam Medical Center, Haifa, and Faculty of Social Welfare and Health Sciences, Haifa University, Israel.



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).


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.


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


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

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