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Lifestyle, Research

A Comprehensive Guide to Intermittent Fasting and Cannabis Use for a Healthier Lifestyle

Lemetria Whitehurst

by Lemetria Whitehurst

July 18, 2023 08:00 am ET Estimated Read Time: 6 Minutes
A Comprehensive Guide to Intermittent Fasting and Cannabis Use for a Healthier Lifestyle

Various approaches are being explored to improve overall well-being as the world of health and wellness continues to evolve. Among the most intriguing of these practices are the recent use of cannabis in conjunction with intermittent fasting. Independently, both have gained recognition for their unique health benefits.

Cannabis, long appreciated for its potential therapeutic properties, and intermittent fasting, known for its role in weight management and disease prevention, each offer substantial benefits. 

However, combining these two practices may enhance their individual effects, leading to even more impressive health and wellness outcomes. This article aims to delve deeper into the benefits and effects of combining cannabis and intermittent fasting while shedding light on the associated risks. Let’s take a look at what science says about combining cannabis with your intermittent fasting routine. 

  1. What Is Intermittent Fasting?
  2. Benefits of Combining Cannabis and Intermittent Fasting
  3. Enhancing Your Fasting Experience with Cannabis
  4. The Bottom Line

What Is Intermittent Fasting?

Intermittent fasting is a dietary practice that cycles between periods of eating and fasting. Instead of focusing on what foods to eat, it primarily concentrates on when to eat. Common methods include the 16:8 method, where you fast for 16 hours and eat within an 8-hour window, or the 5:2 method, where you eat normally for five days of the week and limit your calories to 500-600 on two non-consecutive days.

The primary goal of intermittent fasting is to induce a state of caloric deficit, which can aid in weight loss, improve metabolic health, and even extend lifespan.  Always speak with a healthcare professional before embarking on intermittent fasting to ensure it’s suitable for your individual health needs.

Benefits of Combining Cannabis and Intermittent Fasting

Embracing both cannabis use and intermittent fasting can offer several interconnected benefits that elevate your overall wellness. Here are just a few of the benefits: 

Enhanced Appetite Control

Managing hunger can be challenging while fasting, but cannabis could be a powerful ally. Cannabis is known to aid in appetite regulation, making adherence to your fasting routine more manageable. Its mood-boosting properties can also mitigate stress and anxiety, common catalysts for overeating.

Boosted Cognitive Function

Both marijuana and intermittent fasting contribute to improved cognitive function, enhancing focus and concentration. Whether tackling a demanding work assignment or prepping for a test, the combination can help you maintain your productivity during fasting.

Mitigating Inflammation

Inflammation, a stealthy instigator of chronic diseases like diabetes, arthritis, and heart disease, can be combated by both intermittent fasting and cannabis, both effective anti-inflammatory treatments. Their combined effects could further mitigate inflammation, promoting a healthier lifestyle.

Elevated Energy Levels

Intermittent fasting contributes to increased energy and improved athletic performance. Supplementing intermittent fasting with cannabis could potentially lead to an additional energy boost, as some cannabis compounds appear to enhance endurance and performance. Furthermore, the effect of cannabis on your mood can contribute to your overall vitality.

Boosted Metabolism

Both intermittent fasting and cannabis can contribute to a more efficient metabolism. Intermittent fasting enhances insulin sensitivity, leading to improved blood sugar control and a metabolic boost. Introducing cannabis could enhance this effect since some compounds have contributed to glucose regulation and metabolic improvement. Besides reducing inflammation, cannabis could also help reduce inflammation, a known contributor to metabolic disorders.

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Enhancing Your Fasting Experience with Cannabis

Gradual Introduction

Integrating cannabis into your intermittent fasting routine should be done cautiously, beginning with small doses. This approach allows you to gauge your body’s response to cannabis intake. Remember that cannabis’s effects vary widely based on your tolerance and consumption method.

Choosing Your Strain

Selecting the right cannabis strain is paramount. Each type of cannabis carries distinct effects, and while some are more stimulating, others are calming. Strains rich in CBD, which have anti-inflammatory and non-psychoactive properties, could be particularly beneficial during fasting periods. However, cannabis strains high in THC, which can stimulate appetite, aren’t always the most suitable when attempting to regulate your food intake.

Edibles and Tinctures

The method of cannabis consumption is important. Edibles and tinctures could provide a more consistent, controlled dosing experience when combined with fasting on an intermittent basis. These methods also tend to have longer-lasting effects, beneficial during fasting periods. Be aware, however, that edibles usually don’t take effect immediately and may sometimes have a stronger effect than other consumption methods.

Timing Your Consumption

When you consume cannabis, it can significantly influence your fasting. Once you have broken your fast, cannabis may enhance the effects of your intermittent fasting, helping reduce stress, suppressing your appetite, and reducing inflammation. As always, observe how your body reacts and adjust accordingly.

Potential Risks and Side Effects

While the combination of intermittent fasting and cannabis can bring numerous benefits, potential side effects should not be overlooked. If you are considering incorporating cannabis into your intermittent fasting plan, here are a few things to consider:

Dizziness and Nausea

Dizziness and nausea may result from electrolyte imbalance, which is common during fasting periods. Hydration and supplementation can help manage these symptoms. Incorporating essential electrolytes such as sodium and potassium into your diet is crucial. Sodium is critical for managing water balance in your cells and aids nerve and muscle function, while potassium is essential for heart function and digestion. Magnesium supplements can also be beneficial, as magnesium plays a critical role in various bodily functions and aids in electrolyte balance. If symptoms persist, speaking with a medical professional is always a good idea.

Impaired Cognitive Function

While cannabis can boost focus, certain strains or high doses can impair cognitive function. Don’t go overboard with your dose, and carefully choose your strain to manage these effects.


Combining cannabis with fasting has the potential to cause dehydration, as fasting can decrease fluid intake, and cannabis has a diuretic effect. Make sure to hydrate adequately during fasting periods.

Increased Appetite

Certain strains or dosages of cannabis can stimulate appetite, making fasting more difficult. Careful strain selection and controlled dosing are key to managing this potential side effect.

The Bottom Line

Incorporating cannabis into your intermittent fasting routine can offer benefits such as improved focus, inflammation reduction, and a metabolism boost. However, potential side effects such as dizziness, cognitive impairment, and dehydration should not be dismissed. Start with small cannabis doses, select the appropriate strain, and consider timing your consumption post-fast. Considering potential risks, consulting a healthcare provider before starting this regimen is crucial. Considering your health history, their personalized advice can ensure a safe fasting experience.

Note: The content on this page is for informational purposes only and is not intended to be professional medical advice. Do not attempt to self-diagnose or prescribe treatment based on the information provided. Always consult a physician before making any decision on the treatment of a medical condition.

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