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Could Marijuana Help in Weight Loss?

Elizabeth Renter
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January 17th, 2013
Updated 05/20/2013 at 12:41 am
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marijuanaleaves1 265x165 Could Marijuana Help in Weight Loss?In a stunning look at the medicinal properties of marijuana use, a study published in the American Journal of Epidemiology has found that obesity rates are lowered by roughly one third in those who smoke three times weekly. The research included 52,000 participants, with findings concluding that 22% of those who did not smoke marijuana were obese, compared with just 14% of the regular marijuana smokers.

The “munchies” (increase in appetite after smoking marijuana) are very real. Just ask anyone who smokes marijuana on a regular basis. It’s this “benefit” of increased appetite that makes marijuana an effective treatment for people suffering from the lack of appetite so common with cancer, AIDS, and other diseases. So, how could any study find that marijuana smokers are less likely to be obese?

Two surveys were analyzed for the American Journal of Epidemiology study. Each showed that pot smokers were less likely to be obese. But, before you try and track down marijuana for your next weight loss cure, read on.

There are many potential explanations for the findings. Firstly, as Maia Szalavitz with TIME reports, pot-free people could be substituting food for pot as their “unhealthy” habit. Another potential explanation, that some pot smokers are smoking because they are sick. Diseases like cancer and AIDS often result in a lower-than-normal body weight.

Finally, there’s the explanation that Szalavitz fails to consider: that many marijuana smokers don’t use their recreational drug of choice to gorge themselves at every chance. Perhaps marijuana smokers are cognizant of the fact that smoking causes the munchies and so they act accordingly—maybe allowing some extra indulgence while “high” but reverting to a more healthful lifestyle in between “sessions.”

Maybe, and you can call me crazy, but maybe many marijuana smokers are more concerned about their health and maintaining a healthy weight than non-pot-smokers.

These are just possibilities.

These explanations seem especially relevant when one considers that THC is shown to increase appetite; that it’s accepted by some mainstream medical doctors as a solution for weight gain, and that a now-banned substance in Europe once used the exact opposite effects of THC for a diet aid. (Incidentally, this now-banned substance caused severe depression and suicidal thoughts.)

What is likely true is that someone who is obese or who is at risk for obesity and who is not a regular smoker will not find their diet cure-all in a joint. For a non-smoker, marijuana won’t likely help you drop the pounds. Instead, try utilizing vitamin D or including hot peppers into your meals – just 2 of many natural weight loss tips. However, if you are a smoker, rest assured that your marijuana may have yet another benefit.

Additional Sources:

HealthLand.Time.com

From around the web:

  • http://www.myjumpmanual.com/ Wilfred Mork

    These explanations seem especially relevant when one considers that THC is shown to increase appetite; that it’s accepted by some mainstream medical doctors as a solution for weight gain, and that a now-banned substance in Europe once used the exact opposite effects of THC for a diet aid. I am so impressed to read your blog.

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  • james228

    great study and very interesting, i am aware of the medicinal factors of cannabis but as a weight loss treatment, this ure is the first time i have heard it, but since it's the brainies that has proven and studied it already, well then that's great news especially for those who are already enjoying the other perks of this miracle drug.

  • Phil Camp

    Perhaps pot smokers drink less alcohol, which will put on weight if you drink more than a very moderate amount (beer especially).
    You also get munchies from drinking, and are likely to be hungry right before bed, the worst time to fill up on fattening foods.

  • scottindallas

    I'm inclined to believe (at least it's true for me) that I am attracted to healthier foods when high. This really is a conditioned choice, but fast food really turns me off, and I'm left looking for healthy options, a McD's salad if nothing else. I can certainly eat too much, and suspect I've given my stomach stretch marks on occasion, but if you're eating healthy food, that's not as bad as a "super Value Meal"

  • Bill Myers

    Overeating can also occur as a result of stress. Perhaps Marijuana helps alleviates stress, and thus reduces the desire for consuming "comfort foods".

  • James

    Another possibility is that marijuana smoking correlates with tobacco smoking, which is historically known to be an extremely powerful appetite suppressant.

  • http://www.myjumpmanual.com fat weight loss

    These explanations seem especially relevant when one considers that THC is shown to increase appetite; that it’s accepted by some mainstream medical doctors as a solution for weight gain, and that a now-banned substance in Europe once used the exact opposite effects of THC for a diet aid. I am so impressed to read your blog.

  • http://www.myfatdr.com/ Laser fat loss

    Losing fat is the common thing nowadays. I was looking this type of the allocation for weight loss and this Marijuana will be useful to all. Try it for losing fat.

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  • Brian B

    This is BS. How can you lose weight when you're eating a bag a Doritos a day?

    • Corrina

      Thc gets stored in your fat cells & slowly eats them away, everyone I know wonders how I can constantly eat mainly junk food and not get fat I've never been above size 8 & I don't exercise ever but people that don't know me well assume I'm always at the gym & don't believe that I've never stepped foot in one. Having it 3 times a week is all that's needed to help with weight loss.

  • Michelle

    I believe it can because I did it and loss weight and now that I stop my weight is back lo