Anyone who has been remotely associated or reads about the world of cannabis knows there cannot be a topic more divided, controversial, and with more claims than this one. It is a very common conviction to come across a few articles that either present weed in such a bizarre negative light or a few that takes away all that is bad with the plant. Of course, the world of herbs has had its share of popularity, but it does not seem to trickle down anytime soon.
We have heard about the medical miracles of marijuana, and there has been a considerate increase in the number of people who opt for the green way to get rid of any critical condition. However, recent studies and research have hinted at marijuana being the solution for a slim waistline, reduced weight, and even a lower BMI index. This notion is quite contradictory as the use of weed is generally associated with the concept of ‘munchies’ and how smoking up induces hunger that you otherwise might not have known. In fact, cannabis is also associated to help increase appetite, especially among cancer patients. Owing to the munching nature of stoners, we have seen some unusual menus, over-the-top late-night stores, and not to forget, most of Ben & Jerry’s Ice cream Flavours.
The general notion and aura of stoners have also been associated with unhealthy habits like driving to a drive-through at 3 am, irregular sleeping patterns, a lot of health complications, etc. Most of our movies also show the weed-lovers in a light that gives off the vibe of being extremely unhealthy. Owing to this fact, the world was pretty stumped when the research regarding Marijuana and its link to weight loss made rounds. Of course, there is always a room for an inspection, and that is exactly what we are going to present in the article.
Let’s get started.
What does Science say about Cannabis and Losing Weight?
You might have seen people smoking weed to induce hunger or increase their appetite, but when we look at the surveys and studies, a whole another contrasting world paints a view.
A study by the International Journal of Epidemiology stated that people who consume marijuana are less likely to be obese or overweight than the people who do not pay heed to the weed. Similarly, in 2011, we saw a lot of uproar in the weight loss and cannabis community pertaining to the review of two surveys. Conducted by American Journal of Epidemiology, the survey results concluded that the rates of obesity were higher among people who did not use cannabis as opposed to the ones who used marijuana at least 3 days in a week.
If you’re contemplating about the study, another research conducted and published made the same conclusion, ensuring that there was indeed some factor that pushed weed-consumers towards not being obese. It is also concluded that marijuana-users have lower BMIs and obesity rates. But in contrast, they also had higher calorie intake.
Other studies have also reasoned that people who consume marijuana have trimmer waistline and lower cholesterol levels, notwithstanding the samples size, age, or gender.
These studies are presented, irrespective of the way of consumption of cannabis. You could be rolling a joint, lighting a bowl with your favourite bong, or only showing the artistic side with munchies – the results remain the same.
Why might Cannabis be related to Weight Loss?
Researchers suggest that Tetrahydrocannabinol or more popularly known as THC is the reason behind all the weight loss chaos. THC is also responsible for the intoxicated and inebriated high that we feel.
To confirm the speculation, a study was carried out in the University of Calgary that used obese mice and regular weighed mice to gauge the change when both participants were given THC daily. The result shared showed that while the normal weighed mice did not have any effect of THC, the obese mice did lose weight. This was attributed to the changes caused in the gut microbiome by the THC that helps manage weight loss and digestion.
Other studies conducted in Poland, UK, Hungary, Italy, and elsewhere also came to the same conclusion and findings, suggesting that there is a correlation between cannabis use and the subsequent reduction in the BMI. “This association holds even after controlling for other variables,” says Dr Sunil Aggarwal, a Washington-based physician and cannabis researcher.
With cannabis, we can never paint a picture with just white and black. Here, everything resides in the grey matter and there are a few studies that suggest the opposite.
For instance, Didier Jutras-Aswad, a professor of neuroscience at the University of Montreal, researched on how cannabis affects the functions of neurobiological circuits controlling appetite. The conclusion suggested that consuming cannabis leads to an increased appetite, which can be associated with weight gain. However, there is no long-term data to assume this entirely.
There are also a few notions for Weight Loss from Marijuana that stems from general behaviours. For instance, smoking or consuming marijuana leads to a decrease in drinking habits that reduces the calorie intake that comes from alcohol. Reasoning on the same grounds, it is said that marijuana relieves the symptoms of pain and stiffness, which makes it easier for people with mobility issues to move around.
Lower stress and Improvement in sleep also aids in the weight loss process as you won’t be binge eating to lighten the stressful situation or losing sleep over other matters.
Truth or Myth – The Conclusion
There is no correct and simple answer to the questionable role of cannabis in aiding or inducing weight loss. It is, however, important to note that all the research merely suggests a link between marijuana and lower BMI. This does not accurately or entirely conclude that marijuana is an effective way to lose weight. It also does not negate all the harmful connotations involved with smoking weed.
The world of cannabis is a confusing one, but it doesn’t help if you have an unhealthy lifestyle and are putting the blame of weed for a weight loss that won’t happen anyway.
This brings us to the end of our blog on losing weight with Cannabis. I hope this was helpful and informative.