Anorexia Nervosa

Technically called anorexia nervosa but often referred to as simply anorexia, is an eating disorder characterized by weight loss, a lack of appropriate weight gain during pregnancy, difficulty maintaining an appropriate body weight for stature, height and age, and finally, a distorted body image. Anorexia usually consists of people restricting the number of calories they consume on a daily basis. Sufferers may also exercise compulsively, binge eat or purge their food with the help of laxatives or vomiting.

People of all ages, genders, races, sexual orientations and ethnicities struggle with anorexia; it is not limited to a certain group of people. Generally speaking, the disorder begins around adolescence, but it may begin at any time. Keep in mind that just because someone doesn’t look underweight doesn’t mean they aren’t struggling with anorexia.


The following criteria must be met in order to be diagnosed with anorexia nervosa.

  • Intense fear of gaining weight and/or becoming fat even when the person is underweight.
  • The restriction of energy intake in relationship to the requirements that lead to a significantly low body weight when considering context including age, sex, physical health and overall developmental trajectory.
  • Denial of the seriousness of the current body weight, disturbance in the way in which body weight or shape is experienced and a connection between body weight or shape with self-evaluation.

Emotional and Behavioral Warning Signs

There are a variety of emotional and behavioral signs of anorexia nervosa, but everyone may express the disorder differently. Some common signs include drastic weight loss, a preoccupation with weight loss, calories or dieting, complaints about being “fat,” avoiding certain foods, concern about eating in public, limited social spontaneity and dressing in layers to hide weight loss.

Physical Warning Signs

Physical warning signs of anorexia include dizziness, fainting, sleep problems, stomach cramps, difficulties concentrating, dry skin, brittle nails, thinning hair, cavities, muscle weakness and poor wound healing.

Medical Marijuana and Anorexia Nervosa

Medical marijuana can be used to help treat anorexia nervosa. In the state of Maryland, anorexia is considered a qualifying condition for being a medical marijuana patient. Medical marijuana may increase appetite, which could have a positive effect on those suffering. Cannabinoids found in cannabis can also correct endocannabinoid deficiencies that many people suffer from when they have an eating disorder.

If you’re interested in learning more about how medical marijuana can play a part in recovering from anorexia, Herbology in Maryland wants to help. Visit us in Gaithersburg and our experienced patient counselors will help guide you in the right direction.