Seems like maybe it pays off to smoke more than a little weed. According to a study published in the American Journal of Medicine, people who regularly smoke marijuana may have better control of their blood sugar and may be skinnier than non-marijuana users.
The research shows that people who reported regularly using marijuana had a lower risk of insulin resistance and had lower fasting insulin levels, compared with people who never used marijuana. Researchers also found an association between using marijuana and having a smaller waistline and higher levels of “good” HDL cholesterol, compared with non-users.
“We found that marijuana use was associated with lower levels of fasting insulin and (insulin resistance), and smaller waist circumference,” say the scientists from Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, the University of Nebraska and the Harvard School of Public Health.
The new study included data from 4,657 people who were part of the National Health and Nutrition Survey from 2005 to 2010. Among all the study participants, 1,975 had used marijuana before but weren’t current users, and 579 were current marijuana users. There were 2,103 people who had never used it.
Researchers found that the associations between marijuana use and insulin and cholesterol levels were especially pronounced among the current users
Pot smokers had 16% lower insulin levels than their non-smoking counterparts. They also showed a 17% decrease in insulin resistance, a condition that makes glucose difficult to absorb for the body. These appear to be pretty serious health benefits for a very over-weight US.
More than one-third of U.S. adults (35.7%) are obese. In 2008, medical costs associated with obesity were estimated at $147 billion; the medical costs for people who are obese were $1,429 higher than those of normal weight. Over 1.9 million new cases of diabetes were diagnosed in people aged 20 years and older in 2010–the latest Morbidity and Mortality report (MMWR) released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention shows that from 1995 to 2010, there was at least a 100% increase in the prevalence of diagnosed diabetes cases in 18 states. Forty-two states saw an increase of at least 50%.
So, smoke up people–it just might save your life.