Most of us share a love-hate relationship with the weight loss diets of the year. The lengthy meal breaks, odd recipes, and the barely present portions could make weight loss overwhelming and stressful, sometimes even pushing you to overeat. But recent studies indicate that it is possible to adopt a rather fun and effective diet that could aid in your weight loss – the marijuana diet.
The marijuana diet is gaining popularity across the globe, especially with legalization. The rapid growth in interest in the health benefits of cannabis aided further research to understand its actual value to humanity. Today, a significant amount of studies indicate the compounds of the plant could be beneficial to support weight loss. So how does marijuana help with the process? Well, let’s understand the science behind it.
Marijuana and Weight Loss
Cannabis has been long associated with the ability to stimulate appetite. Most cannabis users have experienced “munchies”, which is an increased feeling of hunger. The presence of cannabinoids known as THC and CBD are responsible for this feeling. These cannabinoids bind at the CB receptor’s sight to influence neurotransmitters that directly affect appetite and several other critical functions of the body.
While it might seem counterintuitive to suggest that a substance that triggers hunger could help with weight loss, it is essential to note that not all strains stimulate the appetite. Some strains, available on online weed stores or dispensaries, can, in fact, suppress appetite and improve focus and energy. Sativa is an example of such strains.
The reason behind this is the presence of yet another cannabinoid known as THCV. The compound is observed to reduce appetite by improving digestion. It influences the gut microbiome to favor weight loss. Also, these strains do not induce a stoner feeling that is often accompanied by intense food cravings.
Apart from these effects, there are a few indirect ways in which marijuana influences weight loss.
Combining Marijuana and Exercise
The relationship between appetite and marijuana is only one of the many ways the plant can influence weight loss. The many therapeutic properties of the plant, such as anti-anxiety, anti-inflammatory can also support other weight loss techniques by optimizing its results.
Inducing marijuana into your exercise regimen is one such method. Different strains of marijuana have variable effects on the body. Utilizing appropriate strains before and after exercising can boost your performance, and promote proper rest to accelerate the weight loss journey.
For example, consuming energizing strains before exercise can increase stamina. It will help extend your limits and workout longer than usual. These strains also help improve focus to keep you motivated for a long time.
Similarly, seeking the benefits of relaxing and pain-relieving strains post-workout can bring amazing benefits as well. Proper rest after an intense workout is crucial to provide time and energy for recovery. Recovery helps the body cope with pain, inflammation, soreness, and fatigue and go back to the workout the next day. Thus a combination of marijuana and exercise can put you on an accelerated path to weight loss.
Here we have observed that marijuana can be utilized in several ways to promote a healthy lifestyle and support weight loss. Now, let us explore the body of research available to get a better idea of the effectiveness of marijuana for weight management.
Studies About Marijuana And Weightloss
The relationship between marijuana use and obesity has been the anchor for several studies in the last few years. A study from 2010 aims to understand the correlation between marijuana use among young adults and obesity. The study results suggest that non-users of this age- group show a higher probability of being overweight or obese.
Similar findings were observed in a review conducted the following year. It compares the probability of developing an obesity problem among 50,736 respondents based on marijuana use. The results clearly show that individuals who do not use marijuana are more likely to suffer from obesity than those using it at least thrice a week. The prevalence of obesity among non-users is as high as 22% compared to 16.1% among cannabis users. The authors of these studies note that the proportion of obese participants declined with the frequency of cannabis use.
Another study conducted by the American Journal of Medicine showed that 579 participants, who were chronic cannabis users, reported 16% lower fasting insulin levels. The ability of marijuana to balance insulin levels in the body ensures an optimum level of glucose absorptions. It supports an elevated metabolism that can aid in effective weight loss.
The ability of marijuana to balance stress levels in the body is another way the plant could help with weight loss. Stress eating is a common phenomenon. It is also one of the most common reasons for weight gain, as most people tend to choose unhealthy foods to munch during this time. The benefits of cannabis to ease stress and anxiety can be useful to cope with stress eating.
A recent study from 2018 gives us a better idea about marijuana use and its effects on BMI. The study results suggest that cannabis users tend to have lower BMI, which means lesser chances of obesity. This effect could be because cannabis usage tends to reduce alcohol consumption, improves metabolism, increases energy to motivate into pursuing physical activities, and helps cope with sleep issues. While no apparent cause is discussed in the study to reason this effect, these are some of the ways the herb might influence weight loss.
Marijuana, like many other gifts of nature, has a different effect on each user. There are several factors, including body parameters, that influence the success of marijuana usage.
While a strong body of research indicates a correlation between marijuana usage and weight loss, there is still very less understanding of the reason behind this relationship.
So far, it is evident that marijuana can optimize the results of other weight loss techniques that involve physical activity, sleep, a balanced diet, and stress reduction. Further research will help us know more about the effectiveness and safety of marijuana for weight management.