• New research has found that rates of obesity and diabetes are a third lower in regular cannabis users than those who don’t use cannabis at all
  • Despite consuming 600 more calories a day, regular cannabis users had lower BMI than non-cannabis users
  • Could cannabis be the secret to staying thin?

A new study from researchers at the University of Nebraska may have just found that people who regularly consume cannabis are less likely to develop diseases related to poor physical health, such as obesity and diabetes.

Researchers studied over 4,600 adults (12% regular cannabis users, 42% previous cannabis users, 46% never consumed) to try to find out why cannabis users’ increased calorie intake doesn’t seem to be reflected in increased BMI.Each participant was tested for several control measures of blood sugar control: their insulin resistance, cholesterol levels, fasting insulin and glucose levels, and waist circumference.

Each participant was tested for several control measures of blood sugar control: their insulin resistance, cholesterol levels, fasting insulin and glucose levels, and waist circumference.

“Rates of obesity were lowered by a third in people who regularly consume cannabis than those who had never consumed…”

Researchers found that regular cannabis users’ waist circumferences were considerably smaller than those who had never used cannabis, cannabis users also had higher levels of “good cholesterol” (HDL).

Rates of obesity were lowered by roughly a third in people who regularly consume cannabis (three times a week); 22% of non-cannabis were obese, compared to just 14% of regular marijuana smokers.

Possibly the most significant difference between those who smoked marijuana and those who never did was that current smokers’ insulin resistance (where the body has trouble absorbing glucose from the bloodstream) was reduced by 17%, with their overall insulin level being reduced by 16%.

While the results of the study show cannabis users do have less chance of developing diabetes or becoming obese, researchers are still unsure as to why.

Cannabis’ anti-inflammatory properties, its neuroprotective effects, better metabolization of carbohydrates and endocannabinoid benefits were all noted as possible reasons for these findings, although further research will be needed to have a better understanding of why cannabis users are more resistant to diabetes and obesity, despite eating the infamous “munchies.”

References and further Reading

https://academic.oup.com/aje/article/174/8/929/155851/Obesity-and-Cannabis-Use-Results-From-2

https://search.proquest.com/openview/8922c769f28a150e0388343dfcf4f24c/1?pq-origsite=gscholar&cbl=27582

https://alzheimer-forschung.de/images/user-images/forschung_publikatonen/Forscher%201999/Behl_Publication_1.pdf

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/1251930