Preclinical studies suggest that weight gain and increased food intake are some of the effects of marijuana consumption. However, new research proposes that individuals who smoke marijuana weigh less in comparison to those who do not. These findings go against the belief that users of cannabis pile on the pounds due to the munchies.
The new study used data obtained from the National Epidemiologic Survey of Alcohol and Related Conditions to examine the BMI of 33,000 participants aged 18 and above. Conducted by Omayma Ashaarawy and James C. Anthony, the study was reported in the “International Journal of Epidemiology.”
Alshaarawy, an assistant professor of family medicine at the Michigan State University, who also happens to be the lead author of the study, stated that the research, which was carried out over a three-year period, found that all its participants demonstrated an increase in weight. However, the researchers were surprised to find that those who consumed cannabis had a lower increase in comparison with those who did not. Their findings also propose that overall, persistent or new users of marijuana were less likely to be obese or overweight.
The study discovered that users of marijuana, even individuals who hadn’t used it for a long while, actually had a higher likelihood of being at a healthier and normal weight while also staying within that weight range; the study reported that 15% of regular users could be categorized as obese as compared to 20% of non-users.
The actual difference in weight among non-users and users was found to be an average of two pounds, with the researchers noting that this was observed in more than 30,000 of the participants.
In the report, Alshaarawy also suggested that there are several factors that may explain what about cannabis affects weight. She hypothesizes that the use of marijuana could modify how certain receptors or cells responded in the body, which could in turn impact weight gain; another theory could be a behavioral factor like an individual becoming more conscious of their intake of food because they were worried about gaining weight after eating because of the munchies.
As no scientific conclusions have been made, she states that more research needs to be conducted on this particular topic and cautions on the use of cannabis as a diet aid. Alshaarawy adds that individuals shouldn’t consider the use of marijuana as a way to lose or even maintain weight, as there are too many health concerns related to marijuana that could outweigh the possibly positive but modest impacts the plant has on weight gain.
The entire cannabis sector, including companies such as BevCanna Enterprises Inc. (CSE: BEV) (OTCQB: BVNNF) (FSE: 7BC), is likely to have their attention piqued by this research since it dispels a common perception that cannabis users more often than not pile on unwanted pounds.
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