Cannabis Has Been Linked to Weight Loss

belly-2473_1280Although it has been notoriously used to help patients with its hunger-inducing properties, a recent study now shows that cannabis consumption may lower a person’s body mass index (BMI).

New research that was published in Journal of Mental Health Policy and Economics shows that people who consume cannabis have a lower BMI compared to those who do not consume cannabis.

Researchers considered information regarding cannabis use and BMI gathered by the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health. What they found was that women tended to have a CMI that was about 3.1 percent lower than those who do not consume cannabis, while men had a BMI that was about 2.7 percent lower than non-consumers.

This compelling data shows that, contrary to popular belief, those who consume cannabis are not going to gain more weight from getting the munchies. The lead study author, Isabelle C. Beulaygue, wrote, “There is a popular belief that people who consume marijuana have the munchies, and so [they] are going to eat a lot and gain weight, and we found that it is not necessarily the case.” Beulaygue works at the University of Miami as a research support specialist in interventional radiology.

This study contradicted past studies on cannabis and weight gain. One reason for this is that researchers took considerations like a person’s lifestyle into consideration. While this does seem to suggest a new weight loss drug in the future that utilizes the properties of cannabis, Beulaygue said that cannabis will not be recommended as a future weight loss tool by researchers.

It’s not completely clear how cannabis and weight loss are connected, however studies from 2011 show that cannabinoids have the ability to break down blood sugar more quickly. One study in particular called, “The Impact of Marijuana Use on Glucose, Insulin, and Insulin Resistance among US Adults” also shares how people who consume cannabis have a lower prevalence of obesity and diabetes mellitus.

This is another step toward understanding one of the countless ways that cannabinoids interact with our bodies’ complex systems.

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