One of the most widely spread stereotypes about marijuana consumption is the idea that it creates an irresistible urge towards junk food. These are the so-called weed munchies. In fact, weed is known to help with inflammation (even with things like gastroesophageal reflux disease) so, theoretically, it would make one eat more rather than less.
Still, according to some of the recent surveys, it has indicated that weed consumption may have a correlation with weight loss. It is also noticed that a smaller sample of cannabis users struggle with obesity (when compared to non-consumers). So, what gives?
The first potential reason why weed might make one lose weight would be due to the fact that for a lot of people weed is an alternative to alcohol. Compared to alcohol, weed really has no calories. This alone makes the difference.
Another weed stereotype is that it calms people down and makes them dormant, this is not always the case. Different strains of weed have different effects on different people. With so many variables, there are some who actually get more active.
Weed might also affect metabolism and cause one’s muscles to burn more calories on their own. Also, seeing as how people burn a lot of calories in their sleep and weed is known to help with sleep-related issues, this too may make a difference.
Every single one of these lifestyle changes can explain a slight shift in one’s BMI but together, they will make a noticeable difference. Still, there’s more…
2.Cannabis and hunger
One problem with cannabis as a means of weight loss is the fact that it triggers the release of ghrelin. This is the appetite-stimulating hormone that is the main culprit for the so-called weed munchies we mentioned in the introduction. In a way, cannabis can increase your food cravings and, therefore, your food intake.
In the introduction, we’ve also mentioned the concept of junk food, which is something that people resort to for convenience. On the other hand, those who are on an organic diet or even grow their own foods/ingredients shouldn’t have a problem with these issues. In countries and regions where this is legal, people even resort to growing their own weed in their gardens. This is why you can get suitable cannabis seeds in Australia while this isn’t necessarily the case in the rest of the world.
3.Better insulin control
While there’s really no direct correlation between insulin control and cannabis consumption, the studies show that the average weed users have an advantage in this field. Other than this, they also have a lower BMI and smaller relative waist circumference.
One thing must be clear from the very start – it is still unclear what is the direct correlation between these two factors. This is merely something that compares averages but the scientific and physiological explanation is yet to be established. Also, body samples used for these studies, although far from insignificant, are too small to be conclusive.
Previously, we’ve mentioned that weed affects inflammation. Well, this is one of the reasons why CBD oil is so popular amongst athletes. With better recovery, the results of the training are amplified. This alone can drastically help with weight loss and help one reach their fitness goals. In a way, this could allow athletes to push themselves further in their training.
The problem is that the use of cannabis in various forms may not be completely legal. For instance, some sports organizations like the UFC were quite strict about the use of marijuana (in any form and quantity). Diaz brothers, in particular, had quite a troubled past with getting banned for its use. As of 2021, this is no longer an issue but this is still not the case in every country and with every sport.
5.Problems with studies
One of the biggest obstacles when it comes to studying the effects of cannabis is the fact that it’s not a universally legal substance. This is why all the studies are quite localized. Even in the places where cannabis is completely legal, there are a lot of people who are still reluctant to even consider it. This is mostly due to the fact that their mindset is still affected by the fact that marijuana was both stigmatized and criminalized in the past. In other words, making a valid study regarding marijuana is not likely anytime soon.
In the end, the results are inconclusive. On the one hand, cannabis helps people who can’t eat due to inflammation and increases appetite because it increases the levels of the hormone ghrelin. However, the lifestyle habits of the majority of cannabis users tend to ensure that they have a lower obesity ratio than their counterparts. This is something that the majority of surveys suggest.
So, to make the long story short, while some weed users have a lower BMI there’s no proven correlation as of today.