By: Cannabis Column
A recent study suggested that marijuana may speed up your metabolism, which could lead to weight loss in the long run. Does that mean that weed makes you lose weight? Or is this just another baseless claim?
In this article, we'll take a look at the research on marijuana and metabolism to find out if there is any truth to this claim. Spoiler alert: there is! Read on to learn more.
Does marijuana affect metabolism?
Much of the discussion surrounding weed use for weight loss was prompted by a 2011 review of two national surveys conducted from 2001 - 2003.
According to the review, obesity rates are higher among people who have not used cannabis compared to those who use cannabis three or more times per week.
Similarly, a 2010 study published in The American Journal of Drug and Alcohol Abuse examined the association between marijuana use and obesity in young people and came to similar conclusions.
There is some anecdotal evidence that cannabis may help lower obesity rates and improve body mass index (BMI) by: ● Lowering alcohol consumption ● Increasing levels of physical activity in some people ● Helping resolve sleep issues ● Influencing the cortisol/stress response ● Relieving aches and pain that may impede activity
In addition, these findings were further supported according to a 2018 review in the peer-reviewed journal Cannabis and Cannabinoid Research, which examined the relationship between cannabis use and body mass index (BMI). It found that cannabis aficionados generally have lower BMIs and obesity rates despite consuming more calories - which suggests some effects on metabolism.
Does smoking weed make you lose weight?
In short, yes, cannabis does speed up your metabolism. In theory, smoking weed could make you lose weight, although there are many factors involved in weight loss or gain. So, just how does THC boost your metabolism?
In a 1978 study, pioneering research explored the link between THC and metabolism. Researchers found that marijuana users increased their metabolic rate as soon as they smoked cannabis, with metabolic rate peaking 15 minutes after ingestion. The researchers found that THC induced immediate "stimulatory effects'' in metabolism, ventilation, and respiratory response to carbon dioxide. At least some of these effects were mediated by the beta sympathetic nervous system.
THC influences the gut biome, which can also affect weight gain or loss. For example, a bacteria group called Firmicutes is associated with obesity, but another called Bacteroidetes is not.
In an animal study conducted by the University of Calgary in Canada, overweight mice with high-calorie intake were administered THC. This led to a normalization of their gut bacteria, which contributed to their weight loss.
What are the best strains for boosting metabolism?
Jessica Gerlock, a certified personal trainer, shed over 100 pounds by smoking marijuana and found that Sativa-type strains gave her the most energy and focus. According to Jessica, cannabis helped her moderate her eating, her post-workout recovery, and boosted her performance in strenuous sports. And more research seems to support that Jessica may have indeed been on to something when she added cannabis to her weight loss routine. In 2013, researchers in the American Journal of Medicine found that marijuana consumers were better able to metabolize carbohydrates than non-consumers, leading to more successful weight loss outcomes.
If you are already familiar with cannabinoids such as THC and CBD, it may be worth getting to know THCV - it has shown promise for controlling appetite. THCV can be found in Girl Scout Cookies, Durban Poison, and THCV capsules or sublingual tabs. Does marijuana slow metabolism in some people? While some strains of marijuana may make you feel more relaxed, mellow, and chill, there is currently no evidence to support the claim that it slows metabolism in certain people. So, if you're looking to slow down your active metabolism, you might want to steer clear of high-THC marijuana. But if you're looking to speed it up, it might be just what you need.