Does marijuana make you gain weight or increase your metabolism and decrease your mass?
Summer is upon us and everyone wants to be beach body ready – or at least try to look good! In 2022, we clocked $76 billion in sales in weight loss programs, diet soda and low-calorie frozen food, to gym memberships and more. Everyone wants a silver bullet and the choice du jour is Ozempic, the diabetes drug. From the cabbage diet, to fasting to the gut buster, everyone wants a trick to lose weight. But does marijuana increase your metabolism and you shed pounds?
It is clear alcohol helps gain but what about cannabis? Does it affect your system and your stomach/body size?
There’s some evidence that cannabis interacts with cannabinoid receptor 1 , which plays a role in metabolism and food intake. High amounts of cannabis appear to increase metabolism and reduce energy storage, resulting in a lower BMI. But like most effective weight tools, it takes time as opposed to sudden weight loss.
Different cannabis strains have different effects on these neurons. “THC may increase appetite, but CBD helps carbohydrate metabolism, fasting insulin, and metabolic function, mitigate and curb cravings—they work synergistically,” says Junella Chin, M.D., an integrative medical physician in New York and California specializing in medical cannabis and osteopathic neuromuscular medicine. “Having a cannabis formulation that is balanced in THC:CBD, or dominantly CBD, is helpful in minimizing the munchies.”
In 2013, the American Journal of Science released a report that noted the low prevalence of obesity in cannabis users despite an abundance of empirical and anecdotal evidence linking marijuana users to high caloric diets. According to the study, “the most important finding is that current users of marijuana appeared to have better carbohydrate metabolism than nonusers,” Murray Mittleman, an associate professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School and the lead author of the study, told Time. “Their fasting insulin levels were lower, and they appeared to be less resistant to the insulin produced by their body to maintain a normal blood-sugar level.
What about “the munchies” the long-standing association between weed and snacking.
A study showed an increase in sales of “junk” food, largely defined as chips, cookies, and ice cream, in U.S. states where cannabis is now legal.
However, you should keep in mind that correlation doesn’t mean causation. Just because there was increase in sales of these foods where cannabis is legal doesn’t mean that the cannabis was responsible.
Body maintenance is tough thing and you should should consult your physician before you start a significant weight loss program. Changing your body takes time and you should never expect large changes in a short period of time. And it is not healthy for you system. Exercise, a sound diet and sleep are key factors to maintain a healthy body.