In some ways, it might be easy to assume that smoking weed would contribute to weight gain. Weed gives you the munchies, after all.
But, it turns out that’s not the case. In fact, a brand new study found that folks who consume cannabis tend to gain less weight than people who do not consume cannabis.
New Study on Weed and Weight
The new study on weed and weight gain was conducted by researchers at Michigan State University. Findings from this study were recently published in the scientific journal International Journal of Epidemiology.
In the study, researchers compared data from two groups of adults taken over a three year period. Specifically, researchers examined data on changes in body weight.
One group was made up of people who consume cannabis. And the other was comprised of people who have never consumed cannabis.
After analyzing the data, researchers discovered some interesting trends.
For starters, all participants in the study increased in body weight over the course of the three years. But those increases were noticeably smaller among the weed consuming group.
Additionally, the study found that adults who are new or regular marijuana consumers are significantly less likely to be overweight or obese than people who never consume marijuana.
“We found that users, even those who just started, were more likely to be at a normal, healthier weight and stay at that weight,” lead author Omayma Alshaarawy told local news source Click On Detroit.
“Only 15 percent of persistent users were considered obese compared to 20 percent of non-users.”
While researchers identified clear trends in the data, the mechanisms driving these trends are much less clear.
Specifically, researchers do not know why people who consume weed tend to gain less weight than people who don’t consume weed.
But they’ve got some ideas:
“It could be something that’s more behavioral like someone becoming more conscious of their food intake as they worry about the munchies after cannabis use and gaining weight,” Alshaarawy said.
“Or it could be the cannabis use itself, which can modify how certain cells, or receptors, respond in the body and can ultimately affect weight gain.”
She added: “More research needs to be done.”
New Research Aligns with Previous Data
This is not the first study to look at weed and body weight. It’s not even the first study to find links between weed and lower body weight.
In 2016, researchers at the University of Miami looked at possible connections between marijuana consumption and body mass index (BMI).
BMI is a way of measuring body weight in relation to height. In general, it is often used to gauge “healthy” weight ranges for different types of bodies.
Interestingly, the 2016 study discovered a correlation between weed consumption and low BMIs. In particular, people who consume weed regularly tend to have a lower BMI.
Specifically, this study found that females who consume weed daily have average BMIs that are 3.1 percent lower than females who don’t consume weed.
Similarly, weed-consuming males have an average BMI that is 2.7 percent lower than their non-weed consuming peers.