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Marijuana and Weight Loss: Everything You Need to Know

Surely you have ever heard that marijuana makes you hungry and that its consumption can make you fat. There is part of the truth since, as we will see later, Cannabis activates certain hunger mechanisms. But some studies claim that marijuana is completely compatible with weight loss. Our article today is about marijuana and weight loss.

Here’s a surprising fact: You aren’t always hungry when using Cannabis. It happens many times. This does not mean that all consumers become junk food obsessives who will take daily night trips to satisfy their cravings.

The plant has helped some people lose weight. We will see later in the numerous scientific studies reporting on it. It sounds weird, but there is scientific and anecdotal data to back it up. Curious? Here’s everything the science says about losing weight with marijuana.

Marijuana and Weight Loss What Does Science Say?

Research shows that smoking marijuana affects the mechanisms that trigger hunger in our brain. Receptors in our brain trigger the release of hormones that make us feel hungry. Besides, it causes us to gulp down everything in sight.

But while there is evidence to support the stereotype of the purse-eating potato chip smoker. It doesn’t mean it’s entirely true. Other studies have shown that smoking marijuana does not lead to weight gain. That’s why marijuana use and weight loss should not be contraindicated.

In 2011, the results of two national surveys conducted in the USA revealed:

“that despite evidence that cannabis use stimulates appetite in clinical trials and laboratory studies, users are less likely to be obese than non-consumers.”.

A study in 2019 confirmed that startling fact in a longer. But why does this happen? In a 2018 study, it is theorized that you are storing less fat and burning more calories in the long term when you use Cannabis regularly. While you may be eating more, your metabolism is also getting a boost and burning more energy.

Science Confirms Link of Marijuana and Weight Loss

According to an article published in the International Journal of Epidemiology, people who regularly smoke marijuana are less likely to be overweight or obese than those who do not. The study included more than 30,000 participants.

Everyone gained weight during the three years of the study. Those who smoked weed gained the fewest kilos, a plus for marijuana use and weight loss. We can determine it by comparing the Body Mass Index of the participants in the study just discussed.

Researchers linked to that study theorize that Cannabis can create cellular changes that affect weight.

It’s not the only study that indicates that marijuana and weight loss are compatible and that Cannabis smokers may weigh less than non-smokers. A 2011 study from the American Journal of Epidemiology concluded that even if herb use increases appetite,

“People who use Cannabis are less likely to be obese than those who do not.”

Other studies indicate that many cannabis users have narrower waists than non-users and lower cholesterol levels. Furthermore, these results are true regardless of sample size or factors such as age and sex.

Why is Marijuana Helpful for Weight Loss?

Once we have seen why marijuana and weight loss are not a fantasy, it is time to understand why. Researchers speculate that it is due to tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the psychoactive compound in marijuana. To test the relationship between THC and weight loss, researchers at the University of Calgary examined obese mice and regular weight mice, which were given THC daily.

The researchers found that while THC did not affect the size of mice that were already of average weight. It did cause obese mice to lose weight. The researchers hypothesized that this was because THC caused changes in the gut flora that help regulate weight loss and digestion.

Other studies have replicated these findings, leading some researchers to conclude that there is “a correlation between cannabis use and lower BMI,” said Dr. Sunil Aggarwal, a cannabis physician and researcher. “This association holds even after controlling for other variables,” such as age, gender, or why a person smokes marijuana, to begin with.

It’s not simply about your body breaking down what you eat faster. According to Joseph J. Sabia, a professor at the University of San Diego, people who use Cannabis normally also drink less, which means their total caloric intake is lower.

Besides, marijuana reduces stress levels, helps you have a better and more restful sleep, and relieves body pain. These are all things that help you lose weight. Not only do you feel better, but you also have the extra energy to get started and stick with an exercise plan.

A Scientific Explanation

With that said, there is also some evidence that the effects of marijuana on weight fluctuation are more complicated than we can suggest. Didier Jutras-Aswad, a neuroscience professor at the University of Montreal, has studied how Cannabis affects neurobiological circuits’ functions that control appetite.

“Cannabis is known … to cause a temporary increase in appetite,” which can lead to weight gain, he said. However, he admitted that “as to whether it causes long-term weight gain, the available data is limited.”

It’s important to note that marijuana is not a recipe for weight loss: If you don’t exercise and have unhealthy eating habits, then smoking weed probably won’t help you have a lower BMI.

Marijuana and Weight Loss: Diabetes Control

Unfortunately, weed is not the answer when it comes to losing weight, at least not yet. Although these studies are certainly interesting, it is not recommended for this purpose. After all, there are conflicting appetite-stimulating and appetite-suppressing effects of cannabis compounds.

Even more concerning, Cannabis can have the opposite desired effect in some cases. There have been studies showing a correlation between cannabis use and an increased risk of prediabetes, a state in which blood sugar is abnormally high and often leads to the development of diabetes.

But that doesn’t mean that marijuana has no potential as a weight loss aid, and marijuana and weight loss are compatible. It is simply not advisable to prescribe marijuana for weight loss.

Finally, with the laws surrounding marijuana becoming laxer already in many countries, researchers have new opportunities to explore its medical applications. The research on Cannabis and cannabinoids has been hampered over the past half-century because all of them are classified as drugs prohibited at the level of heroin or alcohol.

It makes research activities very difficult and restricts funding for these research purposes. Furthermore, researchers discovered the endocannabinoid system recently, and we are still finding its complex role in health and disease. So surely, there is still a lot to do on the subject of weed and weight loss.

Final Words

 There seems to be obvious promise in scientific studies, but more research is still essential.

But let’s end with positive scientific data regarding marijuana and weight loss, as well as diabetes control. In one study, type 2 diabetics treated with the cannabinoid THCV were found to have lower blood sugar and better pancreatic function. Researchers and drug companies further investigate whether this cannabinoid can aid in weight loss and in treating diabetes. We tell you everything we know in our article on marijuana and diabetes.


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