Rushing to the fridge after you had the munchies is one of the most common things among pot smokers. But why do most people stashing considerable amounts of food in their stomach after a few puffs from a joint ultimately end up being thinner than those who do not prefer smoking weed? Or at least that’s what a recently published study is insinuating.
An intriguing study published in the American Journal of Epidemiology discovered an unusual link between the use of cannabis and body weight, and it’s not what you would expect. In fact, it’s exactly the reverse side of the coin, since the team of scientists investigating this matter have shown that the obesity rate is lower by approximately a third in people who regularly use marijuana (at least three times a week to be more precise), compared to the ones who don’t use it at all.
To reach such a surprising conclusion, researchers have analyzed data coming from two considerable national surveys of the American population, summing over 52,000 participants. Insight from the first survey revealed that 22% of the non-ganja smokers were obese, compared to only 14% of those who regularly smoked weed. The other survey presented similar facts: 25% of nonsmokers had weight problems, compared to only 17% of those who did smoke.
The two surveys bring strong arguments in favor of low obesity risk being related to the casual use of cannabis, although other aspects that could contribute to body fat such as cigarette smoking, age and gender should be taken into account. However, the newly discovered connection between weed and body mass shouldn’t be mistaken with the herb being a possible weight loss treatment. It only keeps you slimmer than the nonsmokers.
It would be a bold decision to entirely credit this survey, since numerous other factors should be taken into account. When thinking that medical marijuana is mainly used to stimulate appetite in people with cancer, AIDS and other diseases, and that those people are not predisposed to get obese because of their condition, we might have to slightly incline the survey balance. Another example is that of highly religious people who are extremely unlikely to smoke pot, but very likely to get obese because they compensate most vices they have through eating.
The connection between cannabis and reduced obesity is indeed intriguing, but this should not make people go wild on consuming the herb in order to get their body fit. After all, there’s no denial that weed causes an increase in appetite, which may lead to more calories turned into fat than you can handle.
This leads us once again to the peculiar results of the two surveys that raise questions in regards to why marijuana smokers don’t get fatter by consuming a plant that undeniably stimulates appetite. To partially solve this riddle, researchers have proposed that regular smokers may be tolerant to the side effects encountered by smoking cannabis.
Another hypothesis suggests that some people may find a substitute in marijuana. Contrary to a gourmand, a cannabis lover would like to smoke more pot instead of eating more. There’s also a chance that other active ingredients from the herb (such as CBD) may cut on the appetite-increasing result of THC, similar to how it acts on its paranoia-inducing effects.
We might not know the precise cause of this yet, but it’s only logical to assume that more studies performed in this direction will highlight more unusual properties of this plant that already has countless recognized usages and applicability.