Will you gain weight if you use cannabis? A good, but not very easy to answer question. Learn more about how weed influences the way our brain thinks about food.
Will you gain weight if you use cannabis? That question is not easy to answer. The fact is that cannabis users generally eat more and less healthy food when they are stoned. After all, everyone has heard of the munchies.
Cannabis and weight gain
Marijuana does have an effect on weight gain. This is because cannabis contains various concentrations of cannabinoids. The best known of these are tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD). And in addition, cannabis also contains terpenes.
The relationship between the use of cannabis and weight gain is not easy, but it is clear that the use of marijuana influences the fact that we treat food differently.
These psychoactive chemicals have an effect on the CB1 and CB2 receptors. These receptors are located in the brain that are part of the human endocannabinoid system.
This complex but important endocannabinoid system plays a key role in regulating appetite, stress and many other factors that influence weight gain.
No matter how you consume cannabis, whether you eat it or smoke it ... it affects the neurobiological circuits in the brain. Here the appetite is regulated and that causes the "munchies" to increase temporarily.
It appears that the feeling of being saturated is temporarily suppressed. A study by the Yale University School of Medicine shows that THC activates the CB1 receptor. This leads to a different appitite behavior and to reduced activity of the neurons that are responsible for feelings of satiety.
It is precisely this effect that is also used in the medical world for patients who have difficulty eating. Here it is used to stimulate the appetite.
However, this appetite stimulus does not always result in weight gain. It has only been shown that weight loss is suppressed.
This suggests that the stimulation of the desire to eat is only part of what leads to weight gain in certain cannabis users.
Body Mass Index (BMI)
Studies by the American Diabetes Association are known to show that marijuana users, compared to non-users, have a higher percentage of abdominal fat and increased insulin resistance.
Cannabis strains with a high to moderately high THC appear to ensure that users are more likely to gain weight.
There also appears to be a difference between male and female users. Among cannabis users, there appears to be a considerably greater increase in weight in men, compared to female marijuana users. The reason for this is not yet entirely clear, but scientists are looking for it somewhere in the area of differences in neurobiological goals, as well as general psychology.
The relationship between the use of cannabis and weight gain is therefore not easy. But it is clear that the use of marijuana influences the fact that we treat food differently.