The impact of Δ9-THC on the psychological symptoms of anorexia nervosa: A pilot study

Yosefa Avraham, Yael Latzer, Dalia Hasid, Elliot M. Berry

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: Δ9-Tetrahydrocannabinol (Δ9-THC) is the active compound of Cannabis sativa with appetite-stimulating 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 self-reported 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.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)44-51
Number of pages8
JournalIsrael Journal of Psychiatry and Related Sciences
Issue number3
StatePublished - 2017

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ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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