No one’s denying that people usually get the munchies after smoking pot or eating cannabis edibles. All that is definitely true, so much so that many people who are ill and have no appetite or people who need to put on weight often use medical marijuana to help stabilize their body mass at a healthier weight.
But what about the rest of us who are not trying to gain weight? The myth so far has been that people who smoke pot eat more and therefore weigh more. New scientific research, however, is contradicting this popularly held believe.
According to the journal of Obesity Biology and Integrated Physiology, researchers have found that cannabis users have a lower body mass index. Basically, pot users are on average thinner than non-users. Not only that but there’s good news for diabetics and pre-diabetics: Cannabis users have lower blood glucose levels than non-users.
That’s not where the good news ends, either. Several studies show that cannabis users have a higher caloric intake on average than non-users despite the fact that they had a lower body weight. This means that using cannabis may encourage the munchies and make you eat more, but your metabolism simultaneously gets a little boost that prevents weight-gain. Who would’ve ever thought that marijuana makes you skinny?
The reason for the metabolism boost is that Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) stimulates the production of a hormone called ghrelin. Ghrelin is a poweful appetite stimulator and is often called “the hunger hormone” in the scientific community. However, ghrelin also plays a big role in helping our bodies break down and metabolize carbohydrates.
Wait! It gets even better: Scientists at the University of Nebraska, the Harvard School of Public Health, and Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center found that marijuana users had a smaller waist circumference than non-users.
In yet another study of 52,000 participants, it was reported — and published in the American Journal of Epidemiology — that rates of obesity are 1/3 lower in cannabis users versus non-users. Cholesterol levels also proved to be healthier in cannabis users as well.
So there you have it: You may be eating more after taking a few tokes but the same stuff that makes you crave all kinds of crazy foods is keeping your body from retaining fat! Now that’s reason to celebrate with a few hits, no?