Marijuana and Weight Loss: What You Should Know

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Can smoking weed really help you to lose weight?

The use of marijuana has really lit up in recent years, especially since its renowned recognition for medical use. And as research continues, we’re starting to see more and more benefits of this wondrous plant.

This includes the use of marijuana for weight loss.

But before you swap out diet and exercise for smoking a bong on the sofa, this article will show what’s really going on and how marijuana could be the new way to managing weight.

Let’s dive right in…

Marijuana Strains

The two main compounds of the plant are tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD). These interact with the body’s endocannabinoid system to produce various effects.

THC is the psychoactive compound that produces the well-known ‘high’, and can give you a boost in energy. CBD on the other hand has more medical effects such as pain relief and appetite stimulation. Cannabis strains come in the form of two main variants – sativa and indica.

It’s useful to know the differences between sativa vs indica as they can help you determine what medical or recreational effects you’re after. Sativas are generally higher in THC, whereas indicas are higher in CBD. But you can also get hybrid strains that mix different levels of each for desired effects.

Medical Benefits of Marijuana

Many people all over the world are experiencing the benefits of marijuana for medical use. In fact, before it was outlawed, civilizations were using it this way for thousands of years. It’s only recently getting the recognition it deserves.

It has been shown to relieve pain and sickness in cancer patients, reduce the effects of glaucoma, relieve muscle spasms for those with multiple sclerosis, revive appetites in those with HIV and AIDS, and reduce seizures in those with epilepsy.

And that’s just to name a few. The psychological effects include reducing anxiety and depression while elevating mood and overall well-being. When these are in check, you’re much more likely to pursue healthier habits and have the drive to do more.

What About Marijuana and Weight Loss?

Weed has that long-standing reputation that it’ll give you the munchies. And yes, this is true. When consumed, cannabis stimulates cannabinoid receptors in the brain, causing it to release ghrelin – the hormone that increases appetite. But, depending on the strain of marijuana (more on this later), it can also suppress it.

In addition to directly affecting the amount of food we consume, cannabis also has an indirect influence on our ability to lose weight. Numerous studies have been conducted on fit and obese cannabis users and non-users, and now we’ll look at what they’ve discovered.

Lower Stress Levels

Excessive stress can be a huge drain on your physical and mental health. In times of high stress, we may be inclined to eat more comfort foods. One of the main reasons for this is that it triggers the release of the stress hormone cortisol, an appetite stimulant. 

What’s more, if cortisol is constantly being released, it also helps the body to store fat as it is the body’s survival mechanism. By using marijuana, you can dramatically reduce stress levels and anxiety, thus combating these effects.

Improved Sleep

Sleep is vital for the body to rest, heal, and recuperate so that we can wake up fresh for the day ahead. Without adequate sleep, we open ourselves up to a wide range of health issues, from high blood pressure and inflammation, to stress, depression, and yes, weight gain.

Sleep can be affected by many things like recurring thoughts, physical pain, and excess stress. But using marijuana can help reduce all of these factors, allowing you to relax and wind down into the land of nod.

Improved Mobility

Heavy weed users may want to just relax and lay about doing very little. But, because it helps relieve pain, stiffness, and inflammation, those with mobility issues like arthritis, will find movement much easier. And the more you can move, the better your chances of losing weight.

Reduced Alcohol Intake

Because it’s a drink, it’s easy to forget that alcohol contains a lot of calories. What’s more, is that excess drinking can make you want to eat more junk food, is detrimental to sleep, and affects how the liver breaks down fats.

Research indicates that many frequent cannabis users tend not to drink as much. As alcohol can heighten the effects of weed, users don’t feel the want or need to drink in excess. So less booze means less weight gain.

Can Boost Metabolism

Studies have found that marijuana use can also cause an increase in metabolism. It does this by interacting with cannabinoid receptors, reducing the need to eat more and store excess energy.

So rather than store more fat than required, the metabolism is ramped up to use what’s already stored to fulfill energy requirements.

The Downsides of Marijuana

With the many benefits it can bring, marijuana is not without its negatives. For starters, smoking it can be harmful to the lungs, especially if mixed with tobacco. Then there are the edibles which can be high in sugar and fat – not good for weight loss!

It can also hinder cognitive function and mobility, affecting your ability to drive or operate machinery. The other mental effects can cause hallucinations, psychosis in young users, and can also lead to a psychological dependency with heavy use.

There are some ways around these downsides though. Rather than smoking, you could use a vaporizer, which is much less harsh on the lungs, or by eating healthier edibles. Limiting use and being responsible with it is the best way to mitigate most of the negative effects, just as you would with alcohol.

The Need For Weed?

As you can see, there are many benefits to adopting the use of marijuana for weight loss reasons. And while many indicate means to combat weight loss, there’s still a lot of room for further research.

If you are thinking about it, be sure to do a little research yourself or consult your physician. The more you know, the more likely you can decide if it’s right for you and what steps to take to get the most out of marijuana. It might just be the very thing you’ve been searching for.