The very thought of medical marijuana may seem counterproductive, given the effects of recreational marijuana, which is typically the desire to eat more. However, there is some medical evidence to suggest that, in proper doses, medical marijuana may help with weight loss.
Weight Loss Potential
A study published in the American Journal of Medicine stated that medical marijuana may actually discourage obesity on a biological level. Researchers reviewed over 4,600 adults via the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey. Statistically speaking, marijuana users had small waist circumference measurements, as well as lower fasting insulin and insulin resistance levels. While this study was not meant to be conclusive, it did present a theory that medical marijuana may well affect the metabolic rate of the human body.
Meanwhile, a team of researchers, including Dr. Yann Le Strat, published a study in the American Journal of Epidemiology, stating that obesity was actually reduced in one third of all marijuana smokers who smoked three times a week or more. This was in contrast to subjects who did not smoke marijuana, and who did not lose weight. About 22 percent of the over 50,000 respondents who did not smoke were obese, compared to 14 percent of marijuana users.
So why does evidence indicate a correlation between cannabis use and weight loss, especially considering that the drug has been observed to increase appetite? One of the theories is that appetite stimulation may merely be a sign of slow tolerance; in other words, long-time users don’t feel the effects as powerfully as those new to treatment and it takes time to adjust. Another theory is that medicinal marijuana users may be seeking comfort, or alleviation, by wanting more of the drug, rather than actually wanting food. Of course, these theories are unproven and much of what THC can do for weight loss remains a mystery. It is the hope of the medicinal marijuana advocate that more studies be ordered on these healing properties especially in lieu of marijuana legalization sprouting up across various states.