Cannabis and weight loss

Cannabis and weight loss

Does weed make you loose weight? there is still no proof that you can lose some extra pounds just by munching cannabis. Although a number of researchers believe so. And the number of researchers who support this point is increasing day by day.

We are going to discuss that consumption of cannabis might make you slimmer in light of the experts’ opinions.

An overview of the research:

Let’s get to know about two terms before getting into the topics of weight loss and cannabis:

Endocannabinoid system:

Does weed make you loose weight?Endocannabinoid system consists on receptors, lipids and enzymes. This system plays its vital role to maintain balance in human body.


Our body is capable to convert both food and liquid into energy. This conversion process is known as metabolism.

Dr. Adie Rae who is neuroscientist and scientific advisor to Weedmaps believes that endocannabinoid system is involved with metabolism. Human body gains weight when metabolism gets slower and slow metabolism happens if endocannabinoid system is off kilter.

Does weed make you loose weight? It’s not quite that simple. Dr. Rae pointed out the paradox that “THC causes the munchies, but chronic cannabis use appears to be protective against metabolic disorders such as obesity.”

Below are the associations between regular cannabis consumption and metabolism have been observed:

  • Lower obesity rates
  • Lower Body Mass Index (BMI)
  • Smaller waist circumference
  • Better insulin resistance
  • Lower incidence of diabetes
  • Lower rates of fatty liver disease

According to Dr. Rae, “Hemp seed oil, not resin oil, may help protect against diet-induced fatty liver disease.”

Studies on cannabis and weight loss?

A study was published in the journal Brain Sciences back in 2019, this study showed that a certain population has lower obesity rates. This study has conducted in older African American adults who were living in economically challenged areas of South Los Angeles. It was observed that the lower obesity rate among those people was due to consumption of cannabis.

Another study wrote in the American Journal of Epidemiology back in 2011. This study analyzed a comparatively more diverse population. Researchers concluded that “the prevalence of obesity is lower in cannabis users than in nonusers.”

Concerning diabetes, a 2020 study published in the Journal of Viral Hepatitis looked specifically at patients with chronic hepatitis C. Researchers are determining that cannabis use was associated with a lower risk of diabetes in this patient population.  

A 2017 study published in the journal PLoS One examined the correlation between nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) and marijuana consumption. Researchers determined that active marijuana use was a protective factor against NAFLD. 

Stories of cannabis consumers:

A 52 years old plumber, James Munster described himself as a life long stoner. E has been smoking since he was 15 years old. Also, he consumes cannabis on daily basis.

In an interview, Munster shared, “My whole family is overweight. My three brothers, my sister, and my parents. I’m the only one in the family who has never been on a diet. And I’m also the only one who has been smoking weed my whole life.”

He claimed he exercises only once or twice a week. He is 6’1 and weighs 176 pounds. “I really think the weed has always kept me in balance. I don’t know about all the science behind it, but it’s just something I feel in my gut,” he says with a laugh. 

Daily mail was informed back in 2018, by Ayan Ikra who is a Canadian resident that it was cannabis consumption which led him to shed more than 100 pounds. Ikra said, “I am smoking weed daily and I’m happy with that. I hate the stigma around it. I want to show that smoking weed can help you lose weight.”

What the experts say about cannabis and weight loss:

As Dr Rae described, “THC is definitely the active compound in whole-plant cannabis that is responsible for inducing appetite. The body’s metabolic hormones are involving in this phenomenon. This is what makes it an effective medicine for palliative care, IBD, wasting syndrome, and people with cancer.”

The use of cannabis for a shorter period of time is helpful to stimulate the appetite but to use cannabis for a longer period of time do the opposite.


Although we have enough evidence for losing weight by consuming cannabis, this field still needs to be researched thoroughly. “There haven’t been many prospective studies on cannabis and weight loss. That is, we hadn’t measured people before they started using cannabis and watched what happened to their weight, BMI, or body composition as they progress through prolonged periods of using cannabis,” said Dr Rae. “Almost everything we know about cannabis and weight is gleaning from studies that compare cannabis users to non-users.”

Dr Rae explained, “As a short-term weight-loss tool, cannabis alone is probably not very effective. However, over a lifetime of using cannabis, it appears to protect against obesity and other metabolic disorders. When taken consistently as a micronutrient, rather than a weight-loss ‘drug,’ cannabis could help to support normal endocannabinoid system function and maintain a healthy weight.”

Recommend you also read: What is CBD isolate, and what is it used for?

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