How Medical Marijuana Could Promote Weight Loss
Updated: Jul 10
When most people think about marijuana and eating, one word comes to mind: munchies. The desire to eat more food after consuming cannabis can certainly occur. But did you know that certain strains of medical marijuana can also be used to promote weight loss?
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the prevalence of obesity in America is 42.4%. A growing concern in the medical community is the severe consequences of obesity like high blood pressure, heart disease, stroke and even death.
Obesity is defined as weight that is higher than what is considered a healthy weight for a given height and is typically measured by Body Mass Index or BMI.
Many cannabinoid receptors are located in the body’s nervous system. The body’s endocannabinoid system (ECS) uses these receptors to monitor essential functions and levels in the body, including appetite and digestion. Marijuana’s two main cannabinoids, cannabidiol (CBD) and tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), when interacting with these receptors, can create effects that promote weight loss.
Research Connecting Weight Loss with Cannabis
While research on this topic is still forthcoming, many studies exist today to prove that cannabis is an effective tool for weight loss. For example, a study published in the American Journal of Epidemiology concluded that the prevalence of obesity is almost a third lower in cannabis users than in nonusers after nearly 51,000 respondents disclosed their cannabis use frequency and their BMI.
In addition, the Journal of Addictive Diseases reported in a 2005 study that the rate of cannabis use in the last 12 months was lower in obese patients than in patients with a lower BMI after reviewing 297 medical charts.
The American Journal of Medicine conducted a such study that surveyed 4,657 adults (579 claiming to be regular marijuana users). The study found individuals who consumed marijuana three to five times weekly had 16% lower fasting insulin levels and also found significant associations between marijuana use and smaller waist circumferences.
Finally, it is important to note that although marijuana is associated with consuming more calories, a study in Public Health Nutrition and the American Journal of Cardiology shows that marijuana users, on average, do indeed eat more than non-marijuana users, but see no impact on their BMI.
Strains to Consider for Weight Loss
Certain strains of cannabis produce different reactions for different needs. For example, some strains promote sleep while others promote alertness. In terms of weight loss, certain strains help control appetite or increase activity, both resulting in weight loss.
For the most part, sativa strains promote energy and focus and are therefore ideal before a workout to help boost energy levels. Other strains to consider include Durban Poison, Blue Dream, Grapefruit, Cherry Pie, Green Crack and Super Silver Haze.
Regardless of the amount or type of marijuana you consume, it is important to remember that obesity is caused by several factors and consuming a large number of calories daily without burning them off will lead to weight gain. Medical marijuana could be a tool, among other resources, used to promote weight loss. As always, remember to speak with your doctor regarding any questions specific to your health and lifestyle.
If you are a Missourian suffering from a qualifying condition, you may be eligible to treat your ailment with medical marijuana, which includes both THC and CBD products.
Click here to learn more about what Missouri Marijuana Card's certified medical marijuana physicians can do for you, or give us a call at 877-303-3117 and our friendly patient support team can walk you through the entire process, and set you up with an appointment through telemedicine.