Cannabis and Weight Loss: An Unlikely Combination
Cannabis consumption might help you maintain a healthy weight
New research finds that cannabis has the potential to help consumers maintain a healthy weight. Are you surprised?
People associate many things with cannabis – weight loss isn’t one of them. And while scientific evidence supports the Doritos-ravaging stoner stereotype, new research shows that cannabis consumption might help you maintain a healthy weight.
The International Journal of Epidemiology studied more than 30,000 participants to learn if they are less likely to gain weight through cannabis consumption. Their findings are a surprise, even to those of us steeped in cannabis education. In short, people who regularly consume cannabis are less likely to become obese or overweight when compared to those who don’t.
The study, conducted over three years found that while all participants put on weight, those who consumed cannabis experienced a lower volume of weight gain than those who abstained. The researchers think that cannabis might create cellular changes that influence weight gain. Other studies offer similar findings. 2011 research conducted by the American Journal of Epidemiology found that while cannabis is shown to stimulate a person’s appetite, cannabis consumers are less likely to be obese than non-consumers. Similar studies have also found that, in contrast to popular belief, cannabis lovers have smaller waistlines than those who abstain, and they have lower cholesterol levels.
Scientists think THC, the compound responsible for cannabis’ psychoactive effects, is also responsible for the belly-busting attributes of our favorite plant. Researchers at the University of Calgary put this theory to the test by giving fat mice – and trim mice – a daily dose of THC, and compared the results. They discovered that while THC had no impact on the size of the mice who started the study at a healthy weight, it caused the fat mice to slim down. Researchers hypothesize that THC changes the gut microbiome in such a way that it helps to regulate weight loss and digestion.
Additional studies backup the University of Calgary findings, leading many scientists to conclude that there is indeed a correlation between cannabis consumption and a reduction in body weight. The results hold across genders, age groups, and reasons for use (recreational or medical).
Researchers are quick to point out, however, that we are in the early phases of understanding how marijuana impacts weight. Evidence suggests the effects of cannabis on weight fluctuations are, like everything else surrounding this historically misunderstood plant, complicated. Every cannabis consumer knows consumption often leads to the munchies, and if you eat a bag of Doritos or a pint of ice cream, you will gain weight. Still, this new research suggests that consumers who avoid post-smoke munchies might enjoy a reduction in overall body fat.
Of course, other habits are essential for maintaining a healthy weight, and consumers shouldn’t assume they can smoke-off their extra baggage. If you don’t exercise regularly and have less-than-ideal eating habits, consuming cannabis won’t help you lose weight. It will probably have the opposite effect.
It’s also essential every person pays attention to the quality of their food sources. Fast food, processed food, and foods with hidden fat and sugar are the enemy of healthy weight. It’s becoming increasingly difficult to avoid these kinds of foods, and when you factor-in stressful lifestyles and anxiety, you’ve got the perfect recipe for weight gain.
We should mention cannabis is helpful for general stress and anxiety relief. Emotions influence how our bodies metabolize calories. Controlling your stress levels with cannabis is a positive way to reduce the metabolic impact of daily stressors.
It’s also worth noting that CBD is known as an appetite suppressant, making it an excellent option for consumers battling a compulsive desire to eat. CBD alone does not get you high, meaning it can be consumed during the day without hindering your ability to work or run errands.
Cannabis is no substitute for an excellent diet, but it helps maintain a healthy weight, and even more-so when included as part of an overall healthy lifestyle. Relieve your body and mind with an ancient natural remedy.