Contrary to popular culture, science says cannabis may help you lose weight. Although it is stereotypical to associate marijuana use with getting “the munchies”, however, recent studies indicate otherwise. In fact, several studies show that pot users’ body mass index (BMI) is actually 7% lower compared to non-users.
Cannabis does cause a temporary increase in your appetite, as it can affect the function of neurobiological circuits that controls it. But limited data is available that indicates it can cause weight gain in the long term. On the contrary, several studies conducted in the US, Canada, UK and other parts of Europe concluded that there really is a correlation between cannabis use and the reduction in BMI.
Much research conducted reveals that weed users weigh less than people who don’t use pot. The 2011 American Journal of Epidemiology study even infers that if you are smoking weed, you are less likely to be obese, and you may have lower cholesterol levels than those who don’t.
This may be a surprise to you, but don’t worry—in this article will explain further the relationship between cannabis use and weight loss.
Benefits of cannabis for diet
It is important to remember that marijuana is not the cure-all when it comes to weight loss, however, it has several benefits that can help you lose weight. When marijuana is used in combination with proper diet and exercise, it could be safer and more effective compared to other medications used for weight loss.
1) Different cannabinoids present in marijuana have different effects on appetite.
There are many different marijuana strains, which naturally have different effects on your body. Some strains promote appetite, some suppress it, while others promote wakefulness, focus, and more energy.
Some cannabinoids can regulate weight by interfering with the cannabinoid receptors of your brain. Like the tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) which is usually associated with the “munchies”—this cannabinoid is usually found in high doses of the Indica strains. Cannabidiol (CBD), on the other hand, suppresses the appetite. Using marijuana strains high in CBD content is likely to promote weight loss.
2) Cannabinoids can control blood sugar levels.
As mentioned above, marijuana contains different cannabinoids that produce different effects—just like the lesser-known tetrahydrocannabivarin (THCV). THCV plays a role in regulating your blood sugar levels, which in turn affects the feeling of hunger. High blood sugar level suppresses the appetite, while low blood sugar level promotes hunger.
Studies found that those who regularly consume cannabis have 16% lower fasting insulin levels. Insulin directly impacts the appetite, and cannabis can effectively regulate the process of insulin production. As a result, it can help manage hunger thereby allowing you not to overeat and help you make healthier food choices.
3) Cannabis helps you have a better focus.
Sativa marijuana strains, unlike Indica strains, not only helps in suppressing appetite but it also promotes awareness and focus. Sativa makes you more mentally alert, thus it can help you to have more clarity and become more productive. Sativa strain allows you to become more physically active and have sustained energy.
How to include marijuana into your weight loss plan
And now you know that weed can help you lose weight, you may become more eager to visit your favorite marijuana dispensary. However, we’d like to remind you that pot alone can only do so much. You still need to be disciplined with your routine—eat healthily and exercise.
The best way to incorporate marijuana into your weight loss plan is to consume it before exercising. Choose the right marijuana strain to help up your energy level, boost your metabolism, and help you focus. Also, consuming marijuana before working-out can help relieve pain after you finish your exercise routine.
Choosing the right strain for weight loss
For your weight loss plan to benefit from cannabis, it is crucial to choose the right strain. Pick strains that are appetite-suppressing, can bring you more energy and focus like those with high CBD and/or THCV cannabinoid contents. If you are not sure, you can always ask your trusted budtender.
Below are some of the well-known marijuana strains that can aid in weight loss.
1) Durban Poison.
Durban poison is a very popular marijuana strain from South Africa. It can help you last longer and be more focused during your workouts. This strain offers a sweet and earthy flavor.
When using this strain, make sure to dose properly though as it is known to promote a higher level of anxiety.
2) Grapefruit strain.
Grapefruit Sativa strain is known for treating stress, depression, and even PMS. Grapefruit strain can help you become incredibly active and motivated, and at the same time won’t increase your appetite.
3) Blue Dream.
Did you know that stress can lead to obesity? And this is why the blue dream strain is good for weight management because it helps lower your stress level. This Sativa-dominant strain is known for giving relief and curbing the appetite. It will help you to stay motivated, more focused, and have more energy.
Credit: Olivia Davis is an enthusiastic, creative author and the Communications Assistant at Dr.Green Relief – Medical Marijuana Doctors. Our mission is to aid patients with qualifying conditions to get their MMJ Card so they can use, possess and cultivate medical marijuana legally.