Marijuana & Obesity Rates
The current trend of cannabis-related weight loss appears to go against common “stoner” preconceptions. Don’t marijuana users consume more calories, as the stereotype goes? How can individuals who eat more weigh less? Is it true that cannabis users have better weight-to-height ratios than non-users? Looking to try something new? Check out this.
Take the American Journal of Epidemiology. In 2011, researchers published cross-sectional data from two population-based surveys with over 50,000 participants. Although obesity rates in the two surveys were 22.0% and 25.3%, respectively, among individuals who reported no cannabis use in the previous year, obesity rates dropped to 14.3% and 17.2%. Tobacco smoking status was not responsible for these variations.
This finding is perfectly in line with a growing number of studies. For example, in a 2005 literature review of 297 medical records, the Journal of Addictive Diseases found that obese people had a lower rate of cannabis use in the previous year than those with a lower BMI.
Even if you don’t smoke marijuana, you’re probably familiar with the munchies — that overpowering desire to consume everything in sight after smoking it. Others claim, however, that smoking cannabis does not only make them eat less but also help them lose weight.
Cannabis use has been linked to lower body weight, but it isn’t as simple as it appears. Here’s a rundown of what we know and don’t know about the connection between cannabis smoking and weight reduction.
Does the Research Really Link Cannabis to Weight Loss?
A 2011 study of two polls was largely responsible for much of the discussion regarding smoking marijuana to lose weight. Obesity rates were greater among individuals who reported not using cannabis than those who used it at least three days per week, according to the researchers.
A studyTrusted Source published similar findings before those were made public, when it looked at the link between cannabis and obesity in teenagers.
A meta-analysisTrusted Source of the link between cannabis use and body mass index (BMI) has found that cannabis consumers had lower BMIs and obesity rates, but an increased calorie intake.
How Does Cannabis Affect Hunger?
According to a 2014 story by Innovations in Clinical Neuroscience, smoking or consuming cannabis can stimulate cannabinoid (CB1) receptors in the brain, which would cause an increase in hunger. These receptors secrete a hormone that stimulates food intake.
Cannabinoid receptors are present in humans by nature, and cannabinoids, which are chemicals found in the cannabis plant and include cannabidiol (CBD) and tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), attach to these receptors.
Research in animals also suggests that cannabis may trigger the release of ghrelin, an appetite-stimulating hormone.
Does Cannabis Directly Cause Weight Loss?
The 2019 research did not establish a direct link between cannabis and weight reduction. In fact, the researchers stated that people should not use cannabis as a weight-loss method.
According to Dr. Jordan Tishler, a medical doctor and Instructor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School, the 2019 study does not demonstrate anything. “There are no studies on using cannabis to lose weight,” he adds.
The reality is that only five FDA-approved substances have been scientifically proved to cause weight loss beyond calorie restriction, and cannabis is not one of them.
There are a number of external factors that may influence weight reduction. You must also be aware of how much you burn. When we sleep, we burn a substantial amount of calories. As a result, getting good sleep is critical for losing weight. Poor sleep can also cause hunger; as any insomniac or midnight snacker will tell you.
If you have difficulty sleeping, it’s worth looking for marijuana strains with a lot of CBD. Marijuana use produces relaxation feelings. According to a 2017 research, it might also help improve REM sleep and tiredness levels.
CBD and Exercise
CBD has a beneficial second effect as well: it increases your attention on whatever you’re doing. CBD also helps you pay greater attention to whatever you’re doing. If you’re having trouble pushing yourself to exercise, CBD might help you stay focused enough to get through your resistance. It’s probably best to use it for continuous activities like running or cycling rather than resistance exercises like weightlifting.
There is a gold age for cannabis research, but additional study will be required to determine which cannabinoid combinations are the most effective for weight reduction. But if you live in a state where it’s legal, talk with your doctor and dispensary about experimenting with high THCV or heavy CBD strains to assist you lose weight. Avoid THC-heavy strains because they boost appetite, or use CBD drops to counteract the appetite increase if you must take THC.