Whether it is legal in your hometown, or it is not, you have most likely tried this substance – or know someone who has – in your lifetime.
Cannabis is a plant that comes from the cannabis family and can be found all over the world. It is used for many purposes such as food, medicine, clothing, and more.
The main purpose of marijuana is to get high, but it is also used by those who wish to unwind and relax.
There have been many rumors surrounding this drug over the years, and one of them is that smoking weed can make you lose weight.
Well… can weed make you lose weight?
The truth about how marijuana affects your body is actually much different from what most people think. If you are wondering if weed makes you lose weight – and, if so, how – then keep reading to find out why.
The Relationship Between Cannabis And Low BMIs
Back in 2011, a study took place in which researchers concluded that obesity rates were actually higher amongst people who did not smoke cannabis, compared to those who smoked cannabis at least 3 times a week.
Since this research – Obesity and Cannabis Use: Results From 2 Representative National Surveys | American Journal of Epidemiology – was released, several other studies have also found that there is a relationship between low BMIs and cannabis use, even in low doses.
However, despite these results, there has been no definite link made between the two. This is because it’s difficult to pinpoint exactly what causes the weight gain or loss, and whether it is the cannabis use that causes the weight loss, or vice versa.
The reason we are unable to make a definitive conclusion about the connection between weed and weight loss is because factors such as genetics, diet, exercise levels, sleep patterns, and more all play a role in how much you weigh.
The fact remains, however, that many people do report losing weight after using cannabis.
How Can Weed Make You Lose Weight?
There are various aspects that may affect a person’s weight while smoking cannabis.
First and foremost, there has been evidence found to indicate that high amounts of cannabis can increase a person’s metabolism.
It has been reported that an intake of cannabis interacts with specific cannabinoid receptors, and stimulates the body’s natural endocannabinoid system.
This interaction leads to increased energy expenditure, which means your body will burn calories faster than normal.
Another factor that could be responsible for weight loss when smoking cannabis is the way it impacts a person’s appetite.
It has been shown that CBD (the active ingredient in cannabis) reduces hunger by increasing satiety hormones, which then reduce cravings for food.
Cannabis also increases the level of serotonin in the brain, which helps regulate mood and appetite.
A third possible cause of weight loss whilst smoking cannabis is due to its ability to suppress uncomfortable symptoms that come along with mobility problems.
For example, if someone suffers from arthritis, they may find their joints become less painful when they smoke cannabis.
In turn, this will mean that they can move around more often due to reduced pain, which will lead to them burning more calories throughout the day.
Relaxation And Sleep
Weed is known for helping individuals to relax and unwind. Did you know that when a person is less stressed, they are less likely to overeat?
Many people will indulge in copious amounts of comfort foods when they are experiencing low moods, and this can lead to weight gain.
Additionally, it has been discovered that those who sleep less during the night are more likely to experience weight gain. Poor sleeping patterns have been linked to weight gain in many studies.
Seeing as smoking cannabis has been known to help those suffering with insomnia, this can also be linked to weight loss.
A Case Of The Munchies
Some people may be confused reading this article, especially the section in which we mentioned that smoking weed can suppress hunger.
A common side effect of cannabis usage is increased hunger: these cravings after/during smoking have popularly been coined as the term, ‘getting the munchies’.
So, how can cannabis suppress your hunger, but also cause you to crave snacks?
As we previously mentioned, CBD is a major component of cannabis, and it interacts with certain cannabinoid receptors in the brain.
When activated, these receptors send signals to other parts of the brain that control our appetites.
CBD is the element in cannabis that causes smokers to feel calm and chilled.
THC, the other main component of cannabis, has a whole different list of side effects. Whereas CBD makes a person feel relaxed, THC makes them feel energized. It can trigger feelings of euphoria, anxiety, paranoia, and even psychosis.
When consumed together, the two cannabinoids create a synergistic effect – meaning that the positive aspects of each compound are amplified.
This results in a feeling of, mainly, relaxation (depending on the intake). The combination of CBD and THC works like an antianxiety drug.
The high levels of CBD make the user feel relaxed, while the higher levels of THC give them energy.
It is the THC that causes the user to experience certain cravings, increasing their hunger. This is why some people get the feeling of being hungry after smoking weed.
Cannabis affects every person differently: some feel less hungry after smoking, while others experience intense cravings for junk food. Each individual reacts differently to the various components of cannabis.
Therefore, some users may lose weight, while others may gain a few pounds.
Is Smoking Weed Good For You?
This is the age-old argument that is often used by cannabis smokers: weed is natural, and unlike many other drugs, you cannot overdose on the substance. Therefore, it is good for you.
While weed is, arguably, the better recreational drug to consume compared to other substances like cocaine or alcohol, there are still risks involved.
The Dangers Of Smoking Weed
There have been 0 deaths reported from cannabis use, but that does not mean that it is a healthy habit to take up. There are several health issues that can be caused by frequent cannabis usage, including lung cancer and mental illness.
Weed contains a number of toxins and carcinogens similar to those found in tobacco smoke: carcinogens, in particular, have been linked to the development of cancer.
To fully comprehend the impact of marijuana on lung and other respiratory malignancies, more research is required.
There is, however, just limited evidence of a link between ongoing, habitual, or long term marijuana use and testicular cancer. It has also been linked to low sperm counts and erectile dysfunction.
The most well-known danger that cannabis poses to your body is its association with mental illnesses, such as schizophrenia. Cannabis can cause hallucinations, delusions, paranoia, and even psychotic episodes.
It is particularly dangerous for those who suffer with pre-existing mental illnesses, as it can cause these individuals to suffer even worse symptoms.
The Advantages Of Smoking Weed
While there are dangers to smoking marijuana, there are many positives that can come from using the plant.
One of the biggest advantages of smoking weed is that it provides a quick and effective way to relax. If you are stressed out about work, school, or any other issue, smoking weed will help you unwind.
When consumed in small doses, it can have a positive effect on a person’s mental health.
Cannabis has also been linked to helping treat anxiety, depression, insomnia, PTSD, and chronic pain.
Some studies have even reported that cannabis use can assist those diagnosed with certain cancers, although it has not been confirmed that it can cure or control the disease.
All in all, in small doses, cannabis can have a positive influence on one’s life. It is a better alternative to alcohol and other harmful substances. However, smoking becomes an issue when the user becomes dependent on the drug.
Can smoking weed help you lose weight? Well, there have been several studies that have found links between weight loss and cannabis use, but this is not something that we recommend doing. We suggest trying other ways to lose weight before turning to pot.
Smoking weed should never be taken lightly. Although it is relatively harmless, it can still have negative effects on your body if abused.
The best thing to do is to avoid smoking too much at once, and always try to limit your consumption to only two times per week.
We do not condone cannabis use altogether, as it can lead to addiction and other problems, but there is no doubt that it can be used as a tool to improve people’s lives in small doses.
Overall, if you are seeking a way to lose some weight, we recommend that you speak to your doctor before taking up cannabis use.
There are plenty of alternatives out there, and you don’t want to risk obtaining an addiction if you are not, already, a regular cannabis smoker.
We hope you found this article helpful.