Seventy-five percent of the patients who received THC pills said their food tasted better compared to 30 percent of patients who were given placebos.
The effect was especially strong for savory foods like hamburgers, baked beans, chicken and mushrooms. While the patients who had taken THC pills said these foods had improved the most in taste, the placebo patients noticed no difference.
While the researchers admit that there has been plenty of anecdotal evidence for marijuana’s ability to improve appetite, this is the first rigorous, double-blind study ever done on the subject.
Loss of appetite is a common – and serious – problem among patients undergoing chemotherapy.
Nearly every patient in the study reported a change in their sense of taste after getting diagnosed with cancer. Many also said they found the smell of food off-putting.
Only a few patients in the study reported feeling the psychoactive effects of marijuana.
However, the researchers did say the study only involved terminal patients, so there are still many unanswered questions to explore.