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Connecting marijuana with weight loss might sound strange to many people who know about stoners and their tendency to get the munchies. People generally think that marijuana could make you gain weight because it increases your appetite by releasing certain hormones in the brain that make you feel hungry or famished.
However, recent research provides evidence to support the idea that certain types of marijuana can actually be helpful for promoting weight loss and assisting with dieting, contrary to what most people believe.
While weed is not a magical solution for losing weight, ongoing research suggests that cannabis may actually help with weight loss. One study from 2011, published in the American Journal of Epidemiology, found that people who used cannabis were less likely to be obese compared to those who didn't use it.
In another study, researchers at the University of Calgary and the Canadian Centre for Addiction studied the relationship between cannabis use and body mass in mice. They also looked at the impact of cannabis on gut microorganisms. The mice were fed either a lean protein or a high-fat diet, along with THC (a compound in cannabis) or a placebo, for six weeks. The mice on the high-fat diet without THC gained up to 20% more body mass, but the mice on the high-fat diet with THC did not gain any weight by the end of the study.
The researchers also examined the gut microorganisms and found that obese mice had a higher ratio of Firmicutes to Bacteroides microbes, which was brought under control in the mice exposed to THC. This prevented weight gain in those mice. Another microorganism called 'Akkermansia muciniphila' increased in number in the THC-exposed mice on the high-fat diet, but not in the mice on the lean diet with THC. This suggests that THC may interact with gut microbes responsible for weight gain and prevent it.
Similar studies conducted in different countries, like Canada, UK, Hungary, Italy, and Poland, produced similar results, leading to the conclusion that the use of cannabis may have significant effects on reducing BMI (body mass index).
Obesity is often linked to our eating habits and lifestyle choices, but nowadays, stress has become a significant factor contributing to weight gain. When people are stressed, a hormone called Cortisol is released, which prepares our body to react quickly in a challenging situation. However, during this state, the body tends to burn fewer calories and fats than usual, making it hard for stressed individuals to lose weight and negatively affecting their overall health.
Recently, there has been increased research on the connection between marijuana and stress reduction. The THC found in marijuana can create a euphoric feeling, making people feel happier, calmer, and more relaxed. Using THC to destress might help with weight loss, but we still need more scientific evidence to support this claim.
Another component of marijuana called CBD can also be helpful for managing stress. Studies have shown that CBD can reduce Cortisol levels in the body, which may enhance metabolism and help burn excess fat. While the potential benefits of using marijuana for stress and weight loss are promising, more research is needed to confirm its effectiveness.
Marijuana contains two main active components: CBD and THC. CBD is considered an appetite suppressant and helps regulate appetite while protecting insulin-producing cells, which can lead to weight loss. On the other hand, THC boosts appetite and gives the "high feeling," often causing the "munchies." These two components work in an unexpected way together.
Even though THC and CBD send conflicting messages to the brain and make cannabis users eat an average of 600 more calories per day than non-users, a study by NCBI found that cannabis users were 54% less likely to have metabolic syndrome compared to non-users.
Related article: THC and CBD, and the Entourage Effect!
Justin Kander, a Research & Development Coordinator at Aunt Zelda's, explains that consuming cannabis can improve overall health, including maintaining a proper weight, by affecting the endocannabinoid system. Certain cannabinoids, like THC and CBD, may have potential in controlling weight or symptoms related to obesity. THC has been suggested as a possible treatment for obesity, while CBD and THCV may benefit obesity-related fatty liver disease. More research will help us better understand how to make the most of each cannabinoid's effectiveness.
A study published by the National Center for Biotechnology Information highlights the potential of both THCV and CBD in treating obesity-related fatty liver disease, a condition that can increase the risk of heart attack and stroke. Therefore, using THCV and CBD may help reduce the occurrence of some of the leading causes of death in the Western world.
Remember, some types of marijuana can help you stay focused on your daily tasks without giving you a strong "high" feeling. This could actually be useful for your weight loss goal. I know it might sound unbelievable, but it's worth considering.
1. Be mindful of your munchies consumption: When using marijuana, some people experience increased appetite, often referred to as the "munchies." However, this benefit varies from person to person and can lead to overeating if you don't have strong self-control. For example, you might find yourself devouring a large pizza or indulging in unhealthy snacks due to the intense hunger caused by the munchies. To avoid this, it's essential to be aware of your eating habits while using marijuana and try to make healthier food choices.
2. Use the high to exercise your ass off: Some individuals have reported that being "stoned" can enhance their exercise experience. They find that consuming high THC sativa strains before their workouts allows them to feel more relaxed during pre-workout stretching. Moreover, it helps improve their focus and body awareness during the exercise session. After the workout, consuming CBD strains can be beneficial, as CBD is believed to reduce inflammation and aid in post-workout recovery.
Related article: 4 Reasons Why I Exercise While High
3. Marijuana Strains: When considering using marijuana for weight loss, the type of strain you choose matters. There are specific strains known as "munchies free," which have higher certain terpenes levels. Some terpenes are believed to help control food cravings and appetite, making it easier to resist overeating and avoid regrettable munchie sessions. By opting for strains with higher certain types of terpenes, you can potentially support your weight loss goals without feeling the intense hunger commonly associated with marijuana use.
Related article: Cannabis Terpenes and Their Effect on Appetite and Metabolism
One last time, "IT IS UP TO YOU!"
People may judge and criticize you if they find out you use marijuana, often using negative terms like "stoner." Whether you choose to use marijuana while maintaining a healthy lifestyle or let it lead to an unhealthy, lazy, or overweight lifestyle is your decision.
However, don't complain to me about the negative stigma surrounding marijuana because you have control over how it affects your life. Louis Santiago, Director at CannaSense Total Wellness, shared his experience with marijuana, emphasizing that moderation is essential in life: "I concur with all those finding's and add moderation is the key to almost everything in life, the same lame excuses that Cannabis makes people lazy; can also be used to say it helps people focus and debunk the fable. It's all up to the individual and their commitment to good health."
Santiago himself has been using marijuana since a young age but has managed to moderate his usage. Despite his marijuana use, he achieved impressive feats like running marathons, participating in triathlons, and completing long bike rides.
So, if you can handle marijuana responsibly and accomplish positive things in your life, that's something to be proud of.
Cannabis may not seem directly related to weight loss, but scientific research suggests otherwise. However, it's challenging to determine if cannabis directly affects weight loss.
As marijuana becomes more socially accepted and legal in many states, conducting scientific studies becomes easier. People are also more open about their cannabis use, leading to significant growth in the industry. This could lead to more research challenging our existing beliefs about marijuana.
I strongly believe that the United States should remove cannabis from being categorized as Schedule 1 drug, which currently puts it in the same class as heroin and LSD, with no recognized medicinal value. Studies have shown medical benefits of cannabis, such as THC killing cancer cells without harming healthy ones. Removing cannabis from the schedule system would allow more thorough and accurate research, leading to a better understanding of its medicinal benefits and potential drawbacks.
If you support ending cannabis prohibition in the United States, reach out to your legislators and let them know. Cannabis could have many more benefits beyond just preventing Metabolic Syndrome.