Modified on: 20/09/2022
Here is how marijuana consumption can help control body weight
As is well known, marijuana consumption generates different kinds of effects on the body.
The best-known ones range from the so-called ‘munchies’ – the urge to ingest high-calorie foods in larger than normal quantities – to the widespread feeling of relaxation and peace that users report experiencing.
In recent years, scientific studies have focused on finding irrefutable evidence of numerous tendencies reported by chronic cannabis users.
These include an apparent correlation between marijuana use and decreased body weight.
But what evidence do we have? More importantly, how might the two be connected?
Let’s look at the known interactions between marijuana and our metabolism.
Marijuana and metabolism: how do they interact?
As I said, the first association that comes naturally is undoubted with the stimulation of the sense of hunger, a direct consequence of the action of THC on the human endocannabinoid system.
The numbers, however, seem to say otherwise. Let us look in more detail.
Over the last few years, many studies have investigated the relationship between CBD and human metabolism. What is known is that cannabidiol interacts with the endocannabinoid system via CB1 and CB2 receptors, which are present from the brain to the immune system.
These receptors are responsible for various physiological processes, such as the perception of appetite or pain, the sense of sleep and the digestive process.
Among the many functions regulated by the endocannabinoid system are also those related to energy balance and metabolic action.
The receptors stimulated by CBD absorb nutrients in food more intensely, intensifying the various digestive and food energy conversion phases.
That smoking marijuana triggers an abnormal appetite – the munchies are beyond doubt. But then why are habitual smokers objectively less affected by weight control problems such as obesity?
Let’s find out together.
Does marijuana speed up the metabolism? The study
Speaking of cannabis and metabolism, we cannot fail to mention the study initiated in 2011 by Yan Le Strat, a French psychiatrist at the University of Paris.
As I said, the study was started in 2011 and has not yet been completed. Dr Le Strat’s goal was to precisely carry out research lasting several years to assess the long-term effects of cannabis on metabolism.
Comparing two groups of people, the first of regular marijuana smokers and the second of non-smokers, the first interesting observation concerns the percentage of subjects suffering from obesity.
For cannabis users, subjects with obesity-related problems were 16%.
Looking, however, at the second group – made up of volunteers in the same age group and geographical area as the members of the first – the percentage reached 26%.
A considerable gap that led Le Strat to want to investigate, in subsequent years, a possible correlation between the use of marijuana and the weight loss observed, leading him to hypothesise a metabolism-accelerating action.
The doctor felt he could confirm the link between the two factors, but determining mathematical certainty is not yet possible, at least to date.
However, studies on the relationship between marijuana and human metabolism do not only come from France.
The biological effects of marijuana on metabolism: the study from the US
As I said, curiosity and subsequent scientific investigation into the interaction between marijuana and metabolism are not limited to the old continent.
Even from the USA, we receive essential material to understand whether there is a direct relationship between cannabinoids and slimming.
Is there a direct relationship between cannabinoids and slimming?
To this end, an elite research team was formed, choosing members from the most renowned American universities, and the results, published in ‘The American Journal of Medicine’, provide interesting food for thought in this regard.
According to the findings, marijuana induces a better response to insulin function.
But the benefits of cannabis are not limited to this: it appears that consumption of this particular plant provides valuable assistance in preventing the onset of diabetes—a not insignificant discovery.
Moreover, research shows that regular use can improve blood sugar control while also increasing HDL cholesterol levels – the ‘good’ one, to be precise.
The findings of this study open up new avenues toward the discovery of alternative therapies against obesity and diabetes.
Observing the behaviour of volunteers who were used to smoking marijuana, it also appears that this habit considerably reduces the intake of alcohol and, consequently, of all those so-called empty calories – those with no nutritional value – typical of alcoholic beverages.
In conclusion, does smoking cannabis make you slim?
That marijuana interacts with our metabolism is now a fact. With the discovery of the endocannabinoid system, we have been able to gain a great deal of information on how this interaction is possible and occurs in detail.
However, the issue surrounding cannabis and its effects on our bodies is still quite controversial.
As we have seen, analysis of the behaviour and characteristics of different groups of regular users leads us to conclude that there is a close correlation between the use of marijuana and a decrease in obesity-related problems.
The insulin response of a sample of volunteers also seems to be improved by cannabinoid intake.
However, the studies are still in progress and make it impossible to objective the findings, as they do not occur in all cases.
The human organism is such a complex machine that observing one parameter cannot be sufficient to deduce an absolute truth.
Even if they share certain aspects, such as age or origin, the people examined are all different and respond to stimuli based on many variables, which cannot be reduced to whether or not they consume cannabis.
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