Weed and Weight Loss
While you may have never expected marijuana and weight loss to be in the same sentence, marijuana can actually be a useful piece of a weight loss plan. While stoners typically have the reputation of being couch potatoes and lazy (which doesn’t exactly scream fit and in shape) the science doesn’t back this up.
What the science does back up is that when done right smoking marijuana leads to weight loss. This article will explain how smoking marijuana leads to weight loss and how you can implement smoking weed as a weight loss tool.
What The Research Says About Marijuana and Weight Loss
Over the course of the last decade or so tons of research has gone underway about everything marijuana. The increased studying of marijuana comes partially because of the movement to increase its legalization across the states. In addition to the stoner movement and the push for recreational legalization, there has also been a wave of medical research looking into how the herb can aid in a number of different diseases and disorders. One area of this medical research is weight loss, and a 2011 study kicked off the talk about marijuana usage as a good mechanism for weight loss. Since that initial study countless others have also concluded similarly. There have also been countless surveys and studies that show that there is a negative association between marijuana usage and someone’s weight.
This means that someone who smokes more weed is less likely to be fat. What’s quite shocking about this association is that while cannabis users have a lower BMI on average they also typically intake more calories than a non smoker. Nonetheless marijuana has a lot of current research that supports its effectiveness in being used to lose weight.
What Explains the Research
Surely there are reasons for why marijuana can be helpful in aiding weight loss.
With that said, we unfortunately can’t pinpoint one specific reason for it’s usefulness– instead researchers have come up with a list of potential small changes that together lead to weight loss.
It can Increase Mobility
Again, although marijuana has the stereotype of creating couch potatoes it can actually make people more mobile. This is particularly true for people who suffer from joint and/or muscle pain. This is because marijuana is a powerful pain reliever.
Someone who is overweight has more pressure on their joints, and often this can lead to them walking or exercising less (since it’s painful for them). Weed can save the day though by suppressing this pain and therefore allowing them to exercise more.
It Likely Means You’ll Drink Less
Often people are drinkers or smokers, not both. This is particularly true amongst the younger generation as there are tons of surveys showing that college kids who smoke more drink less in turn. And this is great news for cannabis weight loss enthusiast because drinking is associated with weight gain. Beer on average has over 150 calories per serving, so if you’re drinking more than a few of them those calories can add up to be quite a lot.
People who drink after they eat dinner can end up intaking the calories of a whole second dinner. With that understood it’s easy to see why smoking weed would be more friendly to your BMI. The fact that marijuana users typically drink less helps explain why they are also less often overweight. A good bong, typically has zero calories! Perhaps marijuana can even be used by drinkers in order to start drinking less.
Everyone who has smoked weed before knows that it lowers stress, and this is great for weight loss. Excessive stress is almost never good and that holds up when it comes to your BMI. Stress leads your body to not break down calories as efficiently as it otherwise could and so stressing out can actually cause you to gain more weight than you otherwise would’ve. There are also secondary trickle down effects of stress that lead to gaining weight.
For example, being over stressed makes someone less likely to work out and eat healthy foods, and this makes losing weight extremely difficult. Smoking weed can rid you of excessive stress and make it easier for your body and mind to operate at it’s best.
Weed Improves Sleep
Getting adequate amounts of sleep is vital in achieving weight loss. A lack of sleep leads to more ghrelin and less leptin… and this means weight gain. Marijuana can aid in helping people fall asleep faster, and this ultimately means getting more sleep.
Marijuana is especially helpful in this respect for insomniacs and it has shown to be quite effective in helping those who suffer with the condition.
In addition to that, marijuana’s pain relieving effects also contribute to better sleep as it’s both easier to fall and stay asleep without any nagging pains.
Cannabis Boosts Metabolism
Lastly, cannabis boosts metabolism, which is the chemical reaction that converts food to energy. The higher someone's metabolism is the more they can eat without gaining weight. Everybody has their own metabolic rate and the variables that determine this rate are complicated and ever changing.
One thing we do know however is that weed can stimulate and increase this rate, meaning smoking weed can lead us to be able to eat more food without it turning into gained weight.
This explains why the munchies don’t doom marijuana as a weight loss supplement, since all the extra calories intake from the munchies are offset by the increase in metabolism. In fact, they are likely more than offset as the increased metabolism effects lasts much longer after a smoke session than the munchies do when you’re high.
Weight loss might not be the first thing that comes to mind when you think about smoking weed, but that doesn’t change the fact that it is a great weight loss aid. Cannabis for weight loss works because it can increase mobility, leads to drinking less, lowers stress, improves sleep, and boosts metabolism.
That said, smoking cannabis shouldn’t be the only thing you are doing if you’re trying to lose weight. Weed is merely an aid and not a miracle weight loss drug, you still need to exercise regularly and eat good.