Many people associate taking cannabis with the ‘munchies,’ and naturally assume that patients must be laying around and eating chocolate cake all day. However, nothing could be further from the truth, and that’s according to numerous studies.
In fact, not only are cannabis users not on the whole obese, they actually run less risk of becoming morbidly overweight than people who don’t take medical cannabis, as we are about to reveal…
While the ‘munchies’ are a good thing for a variety of people suffering from appetite issues, as a result of HIV or toxic cancer treatments, cannabis is thought to speed up a person’s metabolism, and is now being associated with lower BMI rates, especially in the West.
It’s an interesting statistic that cannabis consumers eat or drink up to 600 more calories per day than non-users. Although, paradoxically, cannabis patients score lower on the body-mass index (BMI) scale, on average.
According to studies, like the one in the highly acclaimed Journal of Mental Health Policy and Economics, regular consumers of cannabis have a lower BMI than those who do not use cannabis. At the same time, researchers from the University of Miami found that women who used cannabis on a daily basis had a 3.1 percent lower BMI and male users had a 2.7 percent lower BMI than those who do not.
While scientists are still baffled by this peculiar metabolic anomaly, all agree that the endocannabinoid system, found in humans, is a major factor at play when it comes to metabolism. Accordingly, many claim that medical cannabis provides a type of “cardiometabolic protective effect,” in that cannabis may positively affect nutritional wellness.
There are two main compounds in cannabis which are considered to be responsible for this jolt in the metabolism, namely THCV and CBD, among others. Some studies, like the one carried out by GW Pharmaceuticals in the UK, have demonstrated that these compounds help to raise metabolism, speed weight-loss, and even lower cholesterol.
As Dr. Steph Wright, from GW, told reporters recently, “The results in animal models have been very encouraging. We are interested in how these drugs affect the fat distribution and utilization in the body as a treatment for metabolic diseases.”
GW Pharmaceuticals are not alone in their research. A study published in the American Journal of Medicine, demonstrated how cannabis manipulates the body’s insulin production, transforming the metabolism into a well-oiled machine to keep obesity at bay.
Another study, conducted by the University of Nebraska College of Medicine, Omaha, and the Harvard School of Public Health, found that cannabis use was linked to fasting insulin levels, as well as significant associations between cannabis and a smaller waistline.
Conclusive clinical trials still need to be carried out to research this fascinating paradox further. In the meantime, perhaps medical cannabis patients don’t have to worry so much about eating that second piece of cake before bed.
[Image credit- Wikimedia.Commons]