Can Marijuana Help You Lose Weight?


For as lazy and constantly hungry people who smoke weed are made out to seem, there’s no evidence that pot smokers are more overweight than those who don’t consume cannabis. In fact, marijuana can actually help you lose weight. Want to shed a few extra pounds? Weed might be able to help.

A Number of Studies Show Cannabis Consumers Have a Lower Body Mass Index Than Non-Cannabis Consumers

There are several studies that show cannabis consumers have lower body mass index (BMI) than people who don’t consume cannabis. BMI is the measure of body fat based on height and weight, and is used to determine whether a person is under or overweight. Cannabis, it seems, helps keep BMI down.

A 2016 study found that “daily female marijuana users have a BMI that is approximately 3.1% lower than that of non-users, whereas daily male [marijuana] users have a BMI that is approximately 2.7% lower than that of non-users.”

In a 2011 study, regular cannabis consumption was linked to reduced obesity rates by almost one-third. An analysis of two national surveys found that only 14-17 percent of individuals who consumed marijuana three times a week were obese, compared to 22-25 percent of non-cannabis users.

Researchers at Oregon Health and Science University not only found that people that smoke cannabis more than five times a month have a lower BMI, but are also more physically active than people who don’t consume cannabis at all.

Why is this though? What’s in weed that helps lower a person’s overall body mass?

Why Weed Helps You Lose Weight

A person’s endocannabinoid system plays a large role in both weight development and maintenance. It also controls appetite, sending signals from the central nervous system to the brain when it’s time to eat. CB1 receptors are responsible for controlling energy balance and a person’s body weight, and also affect the organs that regulate energy metabolism.

In 2015, a study was published that found treating obese rats with THC helped to reduce weight gain, fat gain, and energy intake. Both obese and normal weight rats were treated for four weeks with THC. Obese rats lost weight, and the normal weight rats did not.

Further research on the study revealed that THC affects changes in the gut microbes that are believed to attribute to healthy weight levels. In the intenstinal microbes, microorganisms work to break down food and support the maintenance of good health. These microorganisms also encourage weight loss and gain. It’s believed that the antimicrobial properties present in THC help contribute to the healthy function of these microorganisms.

Smoking weed and not exercising and eating healthy isn’t likely to help you lose a bunch of weight. Combine a good strain of weed with regular exercise, plenty of sleep, a healthy, balanced diet, and plenty of water however, and you’re likely to see that it helps you shed those unwanted extra pounds.