There’s always a slew of repackaged fad diets hitting the mainstream as a way to lose a few extra pounds or keep one’s current weight under control. But the pot smoker seems to have a built-in advantage. Several scientific studies indicate that pot smokers are indeed thinner and boast smaller waist sizes than their counterparts, and current data analyzed by researchers from the University of Nebraska of nearly 5,000 adults sheds more light on this phenomenon.
Pot smokers weigh less
Ironically, cannabis use accompanies higher calorie consumption (an average of 600 calories more consumed per day than non-smokers). Yet somehow, this extra intake has no bearing on BMIs (body mass indexes), and in fact, pot smokers show a reduced likelihood of obesity than non-smokers.
Researchers from the University of Nebraska, the Harvard School of Public Health and Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center tested 4,600 adults with regards to their blood sugar control, cholesterol levels and waist circumference.
With factors like as age, gender tobacco and alcohol use taken into account, they found that the 12 percent of whom were current marijuana users had much smaller waist circumferences than non-smokers, better regulated insulin levels and higher levels of HDL (good cholesterol). 42 percent of the group reported having smoked weed in the past, and while their results weren’t as great as current smokers, they also showed similar outcomes.
Despite the fact that scientists don’t have all the answers as to why marijuana users have lower instances of obesity and diabetes, they do note cannabis’ anti-inflammatory properties, neuroprotective effects, better metabolization of carbohydrates and endocannabinoid benefits all contribute to these findings.This is elaborated on by NORML,
Endocannabinoids and their receptors are found throughout the body: in the brain, organs, connective tissues, glands, and immune cells. In each tissue, the cannabinoid system performs different tasks, but the goal is always the same: homeostasis, the maintenance of a stable internal environment despite fluctuations in the external environment…
Cannabinoids promote homeostasis at every level of biological life, from the sub-cellular, to the organism, and perhaps to the community and beyond.
These findings point to what could eventually become a strong case for medical marijuana advocacy. Obesity has become incredibly common, with more than one-third of U.S. adults falling under this category. Diabetes isn’t far behind, with almost 90 million people currently diagnosed with the condition.
While some studies suggest that marijuana use may be more effective as a preventative measure rather than a treatment, a low-dose cannabinoid regimen may be useful for a wide spectrum of people in conjunction with diet and lifestyle changes.