Will Cannabis Help You Lose Weight?
Much contradictory information can be found online on the effect of cannabis consumption on weight. On the one hand, everyone knows that marijuana smoking has a strong appetite-enhancing effect. Even if you have never tried smoking weed, you probably have heard about the midnight munchies and the irresistible craving for salty, sweet, or fast food that surely increases weight. On the other hand, scientific evidence shows that cannabis use is also associated with reduced body mass index. So, who’s right, and what can you expect from cannabis if you are conscious about your weight?
Before you read on to find out more about this topic, just know that all canabis have different THC levels. It all comes down to the quality of the Online Dispensary Canada that you choose (if you are Canadian). The better the quality, the higher the THC in cannabis strains.
Effect of Cannabis on Hunger
Smoking or ingesting cannabis triggers almost uncontrollable hunger. Also known as “munchies,” this hunger kicks in soon after you smoke marijuana or consume cannabis in the form of edibles. It happens because cannabis stimulates cannabinoid receptors in the brain, which release a hormone responsible for increased appetite and food intake. Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) is the main component responsible for this effect, so THC-rich strains, such as the White Gushers strain, are known to cause the strongest munches.
The problem is that marijuana smokers do not crave any food. It is mainly the “junk” food that seems the most desirable after consuming cannabis. Chips, cookies, chocolate bars, ice cream, hot dogs, and other delicious but hardly healthy products are the main target. These calorically dense products contain much sugar, salt, and disease-promoting chemicals. More importantly, they have been found to increase obesity and obesity-related diseases.
People with low body mass index due to diseases such as cancer or human immunodeficiency virus may find this cannabis side effect appealing. It may help them increase their appetite and calorie intake and fuel their bodies with essential nutrients. On the contrary, people who are obese, susceptible to fast weight gain, or simply want to keep fit may be willing to stay away from cannabis. However, research shows that it’s not that simple.
Can Cannabis Help Lose Weight?
Paradoxically, some studies show that marijuana lovers have lower body mass indices than those not consuming it. There may be several explanations for this perplexing data.
The amount of Cannabis Is Important
The amount of cannabis consumed may explain why some people gain weight while others do not. Low doses of marijuana do not cause a significant increase in appetite, so weight gain is unlikely. Those who smoke marijuana regularly and use high dosages or THC-rich strains may be more likely to experience strong hunger and eat more.
Effect on Activity and Metabolism
Marijuana may increase metabolism and reduce energy storage, which ultimately helps lose weight. However, using marijuana excessively as a major weight loss method is not recommended. While it may help promote weight loss, regular exercise and a healthy, balanced diet are still a priority.
Effect on Sleep
Research shows that sleep deprivation is a significant obesity-promoting factor. Cannabis may help improve sleep quality by:
- Reducing pain;
- Alleviating anxiety and stress;
- Relaxing the muscles;
- Positively affecting the nervous system.
In this way, by helping you regulate your sleep cycle, marijuana may also indirectly affect your weight.
Marijuana Increases Activity and Mobility Levels
Some people may become more active after consuming cannabis. It is even becoming popular to combine cannabis consumption with physical exercise. For some people, this combination results in some expected benefits:
- Increased motivation;
- Faster recovery;
- Greater enjoyment of physical activity.
In other words, the more you move while being in the marijuana craze, the more calories you burn. Since marijuana reduces pain levels, it may also improve mobility and encourage you to move more daily.
Marijuana and Limited Alcohol Intake
Did you know that alcohol contains lots of calories? Drinking alcohol regularly may have severe health repercussions and increase weight. Marijuana seems a better alternative, as it makes people drink less alcohol.
Marijuana and Stress
When you are stressed or anxious, you tend to seek consolation in comfort food. Delicious food helps reduce negative emotions, but it is a sure way towards weight gain. Since marijuana effectively fights stress, it can make you less susceptible to guilt-provoking emotional eating.
Based on what the scholars have found so far, there is no direct effect of marijuana consumption on weight. It can affect weight indirectly by increasing/reducing appetite, affecting energy and metabolism, improving sleep, etc. However, the effects may vary significantly based on many factors, such as:
- Chronic or acute diseases;
- Cannabis dosage;
- THC levels.
Most of the studies conducted recently warn that more large-scale research is needed. It means that you should not rely on cannabis as an effective and evidence-based weight loss method. Researchers are yet to uncover the complex effects of cannabis on the human body and reveal specific associations between marijuana use and weight for different population groups. Meanwhile, you can enjoy moderate cannabis use and be careful with the munchies!