Marijuana and obesity – what the studies show
02/24/2016 / By Claire Rankin / Comments
Marijuana and obesity – what the studies show

Obese or overweight people have large amounts of body fat which can result in health problems such as diabetes, cancer and high blood pressure. They are also more prone to develop insulin resistance, which is a precursor to diabetes. How does marijuana use help to control obesity?


Although marijuana use is commonly associated with increased appetite, usually referred to among marijuana users as “the munchies”, it would appear that cannabis use can be helpful in managing obesity.

Obesity and cannabis studies

A recent study demonstrated that cannabis use leads to a lower BMI (Body mass Index), lower fat mass and lower fasting insulin levels. This means there would be less chance of developing pre-diabetes. However, the study does not indicate that using cannabis leads to improved blood sugar regulation.

The study concludes that “Cannabis use was associated with lower BMI and such an association did not occur through the glucose metabolic process or related inflammatory markers. The association between cannabis use and insulin resistance was mediated through its influence on weight.”

Increasing research into marijuana therapies that show the positive aspects of cannabis and managing weight may eventually lead to cannabinoid use for this purpose, in combination of course, with an improved, healthy diet and exercise regime.

As far as obesity among young people goes, a further study entitled Cannabis Use and Obesity and Young Adults indicates that the data compiled indicates that there is a lower incidence of overweight and obesity among young adult cannabis users.

Research involving 3617 participants aged between 18 and 30 years of age shows that those ingesting cannabis regularly ate more calories but had a lower BMI than non-users.

Legalizing MJ is linked to falling obesity rates, despite the widely accepted view that cannabis increases an individual’s appetite. Researchers found that there was a 2 to 6 percent reduction in the probability of obesity among cannabis users.

In conclusion, legalizing marijuana could bring down obesity rates and has the potential to help with other health related issues, thereby challenging the world’s stereotyped view of cannabis. Of course, ingesting cannabis is not a magical cure for weight problems. The proven methods of incorporating healthy, organic foods and supplements is the best start in controlling weight and hopefully ongoing research into marijuana and obesity will reveal more benefits of the plant in time.



Effect of MJ

MJ and Body Weight

Cannabis and Young Adults

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