Pot smokers are bound to get the munchies, and are therefore overeating, which means marijuana couldn’t possibly be slimming, right? Wrong! The studies and the evidence suggest that there is a real link between marijuana and weight loss. This article explores the ways marijuana may affect the metabolic system, causing weight loss for those who use it.
The effect that marijuana has on weight loss and metabolism is incredible, and has become a motivating factor for people to use cannabis. Although most of us are familiar with the fact that weed gives you the munchies, and can in fact contribute to over eating, most of us don’t know how it affects the metabolic system. And although it can be easy to assume that pot smokers should just get fat from over eating all the time, the evidence suggests otherwise.
Numerous studies have supported the theory that marijuana in fact slims, rather than fattens, although the link between the two is currently still blurred. However, there are ways to make use of a marijuana diet to successfully achieve weight loss. In this article, we will explore the different ways that marijuana can affect the metabolic system, and ways to make it work in an endeavor to lose weight.
Marijuana lowers fasting insulin
Before we delve into studies, we should explore the role of insulin in the body. Insulin is produced first and foremost by the pancreas, and insulin is basically the vehicle through which sugar can get into the cells so that those cells can then convert that to energy. What happens when this system is out of balance is that the body can tire quickly or glucose can build in the blood and damage arteries. Fasting insulin is the kind of insulin that the body produces before eating, or when fasting.
A study conducted by the American Journal of Medicine concluded in a study of over 4,500 adults that smoking weed at least three times a week lowered fasting insulin by 16%. It seems that cannabis works by promoting insulin absorption in the body, making it easier for the body to produce the good kind of cholesterol. These factors help to make the metabolic system of the body more efficient overall.
When we observe Western society as a whole, and how much sugar is a part of the regular diet, it makes sense that cannabis can cause weight loss, at least in Westerners. The truth is, if a regular diet is maintained (that means not being a sucker to the munchies), then the body is generally more able to digest and process the amount of glucose arriving in the body. This gives the body energy, rather than glucose turning into the kind of cholesterol that blocks arteries and causes obesity.
Cannabis and exercise affect the endocannabinoid system in similar ways
One of the reasons it feels so natural to use marijuana is because it is full of cannabinoids, and these are compounds the human body is very familiar with. In fact, there is an endocannabinoid system in the human brain, which is a system governing appetite, pain management and memory. Usually, cannabis stimulates the endocannabinoid system in a way that causes a dramatic increase in appetite, causing something more like an insatiable appetite. This is what most people call the munchies, and is probably one of the most common experiences associated with smoking weed.
Interestingly, exercise excites the endocannabinoid system in the brain much the same way that cannabis does. This is probably the body’s way of handling pain after a strenuous workout. It is possible that the link between marijuana and weight loss is the overall feeling of “wellbeing” that leaves you requiring nothing more really.
Another theory about long term use
A 2013 study basically confirmed that long term marijuana use had an effect on weight and metabolism because all groups tested showed significantly lower obesity rates in cannabis users, compared to people who hadn’t used marijuana in 12 months, for example. This shows a link between using marijuana long term and the effects that it can have on metabolism.
The most popular cannabinoid in marijuana is THC, usually causing the cerebral high and the biggest perpetrator for the munchies. It is THC that stimulates the appetite in such a way that the user can’t stop eating. However, when there is a constant stimulation of the CB1 receptor by THC, it loses sensitivity and the receptor doesn’t express so strongly after a while. So long term stimulation of this particular cannabinoid receptor can cause hunger signals to decrease over time.
How you can take advantage of the “Marijuana Diet”
This is written in just about every article ever written about weed – choose your strain! If you’re actually going down the road of using marijuana for weight loss on purpose, then you have to know what weed you are using. Overall, most strains of cannabis will cause that receptor to tickle in just the way you don’t want it to. There is a special compound called THCV which pops up in certain landraces from Africa. This compound is known to suppress appetite rather than increase it, but subsequently blocks THC, meaning you don’t really get high and you don’t really get the munchies.
Budtenders may or may not know which strains have THCV in them, making it suitable for your weight loss endeavor, but we have taken the liberty of picking out a couple of strains for you that can block the munchies.
The most popular appetite suppressing strain of cannabis is Durban Poison. This strain gives the user a lot of energy to keep them active, which helps when you’re trying to lose weight. It also happens to be heavy with the compound THCV, meaning it can really assist in suppressing your appetite.
Finally, if you want to lose weight and keep using marijuana, you can – so long as you keep your munchies under control. Marijuana is working through your body and regulating the endocannabinoid system and homeostasis overall in the body for better well-being. If you are at all concerned with your overall health, you can choose diet appropriate munchies, such as fruit or nuts. This gives space for marijuana to do its regulatory work without interfering with sugary or fatty foods. The best way to use marijuana to complement weight loss is to really examine your diet.