Studies have shown that cannabis can be a powerful appetite stimulator. This concept has spawned countless tired jokes of pot smokers getting “the munchies”, causing them to be unproductive, sit on the couch, eat junk food and gain weight. While we have smashed the myths of the typical lazy stoner, few would deny that there are some strains of cannabis that do increase appetite. Medical science professionals involved with a new study seem to think their findings could also help to quell the notion that cannabis use causes weight gain.
Researchers at the University of Miami studied a possible link between ingesting cannabis and the user’s BMI. They found that those who used cannabis had a lower BMI than that of non-users. The study found that people who didn’t ingest cannabis have a BMI that’s typically 3 percent higher than users. While correlation certainly is not causation, one might think one of the reasons for this could be the fact that cannabis is legal and close to legal in states like Colorado and California. Both of these states have some of the fewest obese citizens in the nation. When more studies like this one are done, important predictors such as physical activity, socioeconomic status and other drug use need to be taken into consideration, researchers say. The study was published in the Journal of Mental Health Policy and Economics and took some data from the National Longitude Survey of Adolescent Health.
The more we see studies being done on cannabis and its relation to healthy body weights, the better news we get. This recent survey seems to confirm a 2013 study published in The American Journal of Medicine that found that cannabis users had lower rates of obesity, lower levels of fasting insulin and insulin resistance and smaller waists. Based on this data, researchers concluded that cannabis could help improve insulin control, and could work to better regulate body weight.
We are certainly not suggesting people start using large amounts of cannabis with the hopes that cannabis alone will cause them to lose weight. However, some cannabis products can help you in your overall health and fitness goals – for instance, hemp seeds are packed with amino acids and can make a great addition to smoothies. As with far too many things regarding the medical science behind the cannabis plant, no one really knows exactly why there’s a link between ingesting the plant and a lower body mass index. Chalk it on up to another bad outcome of the drug war and the Schedule 1 classification of cannabis.