The alarmingly rising obesity rates around the globe have many people seeking more ways to lose weight with weed or at least switch to a healthier lifestyle.
Nowadays, many individuals have started acknowledging that marijuana can help them lose weight, or at least aid their weight-loss journey. But is there any truth to this? Let’s take a closer look at what the research says so far.
How marijuana affects appetite and metabolism
One thing everyone knows about marijuana is that it is known for stimulating appetite, commonly known as ‘The munchies.’ This sensation is primarily due to THC; a psychoactive compound in cannabis. THC is also used to evaluate the strength of a specific marijuana strain.
THC triggers the CB1 receptors in an individual’s brain, increasing the sensitivity to the smell and taste of food. This, thus heightens the motivation to seek out and consume calories to lose weight with weed.
According to some studies, the higher dosage can have the opposite effect, i.e. suppressing appetite and food intake. But all these are variable factors that depend on personal tolerance and many more to lose weight with weed.
Chronic marijuana use may also slightly boost metabolism. A study found that long-term cannabis users, on average, had higher resting metabolic rates compared to non-users. But the increase was modest — only about 100 extra calories burned daily. More research is still needed here to understand if you can lose weight with weed.
Marijuana and weight gain
Upon looking at some more studies; we found that marijuana may actually have a direct influence on body weight. There is a chance that weed can contribute to weight gain over time if consumed regularly.
One study followed about 4500 participants; young adults for a quarter of a century. There was not much of a relevant link between obesity and marijuana at the start of the study.
But as time passed on; the study found that the people who consumed marijuana heavily were more likely to get obese or overweight.
However, it’s ambiguous if marijuana use directly causes weight gain. People who regularly smoke weed may have other lifestyle factors contributing to obesity. More controlled research is still needed.
Can marijuana aid weight loss?
Given its tendency to boost appetite, marijuana would seem more likely to hinder rather than assist weight loss efforts. However, evidence suggests certain cannabis strains and components may promote weight loss under specific conditions.
For example, THCV is a compound in marijuana that appears to suppress appetite and enhance satiety. Animal studies indicate THCV helps reduce food intake and body weight gain. But human research is minimal.
Some research points to the cannabis compound CBD as a potential appetite suppressant and weight loss aid. In rat studies, CBD increases metabolism, reduces fat accumulation, and lowers body weight. But again, human trials are lacking.
Additionally, a few small studies suggest marijuana users tend to have healthier insulin levels and lower insulin resistance. Improved insulin functioning could potentially enhance weight loss. However, more rigorous studies are essential to know if any of this translates to real-world weight management for people.
Best marijuana strains for weight loss
While no marijuana strain can magically slim you down, certain varieties may be slightly better suited to accompany a weight loss regimen. Strains that are said to suppress appetite, improve mood, boost energy, and reduce inflammation are often recommended. These include:
– Durban Poison: A sativa-dominant strain and energizing “wake and bake” favorite, Durban Poison may help curb appetite and uplift mood.
– Harlequin: This CBD-rich strain can provide clear-headed energy and stress relief without intense appetite stimulation, thanks to its low THC content.
– Jack Herer: Jack Herer delivers feelings of euphoria and creativity, paired with an energetic buzz that may motivate you to move more and combat stress eating.
– Super Lemon Haze: With a citrusy, sweet flavor profile, this lively sativa-dominant hybrid may stimulate metabolism and suppress appetite slightly.
– Green Crack: As the name suggests, Green Crack gives an intense energetic high that can get you up and moving, not sitting on the couch with snacks.
Remember that effects will vary based on your body’s chemistry and each strain’s unique cannabinoid profile. It may take some experimentation to find what works best for you.
The role of terpenes
Some researchers believe that terpenes – the compounds in marijuana responsible for its distinctive aromas – may also affect appetite and weight regulation to lose weight with weed.
Terpene linalool has shown appetite-suppressing effects in animal studies. Meanwhile, the terpene pinene appears to promote glucose metabolism, which might help people lose weight with weed.
Animal studies indicate that some terpenes may have anti-obesity effects. For example, beta-caryophyllene activates CB2 receptors and may help reduce inflammation contributing to obesity to lose weight with weed. Myrcene also acts on CB2 receptors and seems to regulate metabolism-related genes.
The entourage effect posits that terpenes work synergistically with cannabinoids like THC and CBD to enhance their impact. Some suggest terpene profiles may influence whether a particular marijuana strain stimulates hunger or curbs overeating to lose weight with weed. However, human research is sorely lacking in this area.
Pros and cons of weed and weight loss
Using marijuana or its components specifically to aid weight loss efforts comes with some potential upsides as well as drawbacks to consider:
– May slightly stimulate metabolism
– Provides energy/motivation for physical activity
– Could reduce inflammation/insulin resistance
– Certain compounds (THCV/CBD) may suppress appetite
– Some terpenes may have anti-obesity effects
– Can enormously increase appetite and food intake
– May negatively impact sleep quality
– Risk of dependence/addiction exists
– Smoking form has respiratory risks
– THC can alter cognition and mood
– Interacts with many medications
– Legality issues in many areas
– Not a standalone solution for weight loss
For medical marijuana patients, discussing openly with your healthcare provider is advised before using cannabis for weight management. Given your health status and history, they can help you weigh the potential benefits against the risks.
Is marijuana an effective weight loss aid?
Currently, unfortunately, science cannot definitively prove the effectiveness of the method to lose weight with weed. However, some new studies do show that some marijuana strains can deprive consumers of their hunger cravings and improve metabolism to lose weight with weed.
Some rigorous human research in these areas exploring different paths can help us definitively come to a conclusion that will help people lose weight with weed.
Marijuana can also interact with certain medical conditions and medications to lose weight with weed. Of course, smoking also poses health risks to lose weight with weed. For medical marijuana users, it should be part of an overall healthy lifestyle.
The bottom line is that marijuana should not be viewed as a quick fix or miracle cure for a healthy weight. However, with more research, specific compounds of marijuana may one day support scientifically backed weight management strategies.