Much has been said about the ways that marijuana can help people increase their appetites thanks to the munchies, but now a new study has suggested that smoking marijuana may help people with weight loss.
The study was just published in the journal Health Economics and was carried out by a group of researchers from San Diego State University and Cornell.
The study begins with the observation that states, where medical marijuana has been legalized, have experienced noticeable declines in rates of obesity. In fact, the probability that a person living in a state where medicinal cannabis is legal has decreased by 2-6 percent.
Those working on the project also discovered that states with medical marijuana had seen a $58-$115 drop in per-person costs related to obesity, according to Bustle.
So how exactly are people losing weight by smoking weed—what about the munchies?
Well, the study has concluded that it has a lot to do with the ways that medical marijuana contributes to changes in people’s behavior.
“For older individuals,” researchers wrote in their report, medical marijuana tends to encourage “increases in physical mobility may be a relatively important channel” for weight loss.
“While for younger individuals, a reduction in consumption of alcohol, a substitute for marijuana, appears more important.”
The primary argument the study makes is that when people smoke weed, they’re less likely to drink as much as their non-weed smoking friends and family. And apparently, people consume way more calories by drinking than they do from munchies-related eating.
To contextualize this, consider these stats from Bustle: two beers have as many calories as two slices of Domino’s pizza, and four beers are the caloric equivalent of 44 Oreos cookies.
The way the authors of the study put it, medical marijuana often produces a move away from drinking a lot of high-calorie alcoholic beverages and a “substitution toward lower-calorie recreational ‘highs.'”
Chalk up yet another potential benefit to using ganja to get high.