◼️ Contrary to popular belief, the herb doesn’t produce weight gain; In fact, it could even help you lose some pounds.
Have you ever heard that smoking marijuana increases appetite? Well, that’s not totally false. Research shows that smoking really affects the mechanisms that trigger hunger in our brain: the receptors in our brain cause the release of hormones that make us feel hungry, which makes us devour everything we have in sight.
However, even though there is some truth in that idea, it is not 100 percent true. Some studies have shown that smoking marijuana doesn’t lead to weight gain, in fact, it could help you lose it.
It is important to keep in mind that cannabis is not a definitive solution to lose weight: if you do not exercise and have unhealthy eating habits, smoking marijuana probably will not help you to have a lower BMI. However, according to a 2011 study by the American Journal of Epidemiology, “people who use marijuana are less likely to be obese than people who don’t” even if their consumption increases their appetite. Other studies have also shown that many cannabis users have smaller waists than those who don’t, as well as lower cholesterol levels. In addition, these results have proven to be true, regardless of the sample size or factors such as age and sex.
SO WHAT’S GOING ON?
Researchers speculate that it is due to tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the compound in marijuana that causes people to be drugged. To test the link between THC and weight loss, researchers at the University of Calgary examined mice, with normal weight and obese, to which THC was administered daily. The researchers found that THC had no effect on the size of normal-weight mice, but it did cause obese mice to lose weight. The researchers hypothesized that this was because THC caused changes in the gut microbiome, which helped regulate weight loss and digestion.
Other studies, conducted in Poland, Italy, Hungary, Canada and the United Kingdom, have replicated these findings, leading some researchers to conclude that there is “a correlation between marijuana use and BMI reduction”, said Dr. Sunil Aggarwal, a cannabis researcher. “This association is maintained even after controlling for other variables, such as age, sex, or why a person smokes marijuana (for example, a cancer patient who uses marijuana as a method to relieve pain)”.
Also, there is evidence indicating that the effects of marijuana on weight fluctuation are more complicated than suggested by Aggarwal. Didier Jutras-Aswad, professor of neuroscience at the University of Montreal, has studied how cannabis affects the functions of the neurobiological circuits that control appetite.
“It is known … that cannabis causes a temporary increase in appetite, which can actually lead to weight gain”, he said. “However, about whether it really causes weight gain in the long term, the available data is limited.”
In summary: we still have a long way to go in terms of research. But be careful. Maybe one day, when you want to lose weight, medical advice will be, “light up a joint.”