Marijuana and weight loss…sounded like an oxymoron to me when I first read about, but there is some solid evidence behind the claim that marijuana can help you lose weight. As someone who has struggled with my weight my entire life, and as a medical marijuana user I had to check this out!! I did keep my weight in check, with extreme diet and exercise until 12 years ago when we were in a serious car accident that left me with multiple debilitating injuries and trauma induced illnesses. It seemed the damage to my body wasn’t only life long Pain, a total change in my routine, but with the inability to exercise at a high level, weight gain! It seems no matter what I do the weight comes on so easily and seems impossible to take off.
Weight loss associated with consuming marijuana seems backwards, since one of marijuana’s best known side effects is “the munchies”. However, it seems there is a little known substance in particular strain called Tetrahydrocannabivarin (THCv). In its purest form it is an appetite suppressant. According to the little research done and we all know why the research that needs to be done to prove what we all know about the health benefits of marijuana is not being done due to Federal Law deeming marijuana a schedule 1 drug, therefore not giving researchers the ability or money to do large scale studies. So as with all the other benefits of this miracle plant we have to do our own research or depend on others who are looking for answers also.
So I’m not going to get all technical with the terms and process on how and why weight loss is helped by smoking marijuana. But give you the basics of what strains and why they seem to help with weight loss. It seems THCV causes the effects of THC to hit much faster, but also wear off a bit faster. That doesn’t appear such a bad thing to me, just take another hit sooner. The issue is THCV is only produced in tiny quantities in the plant. It is expensive and hard to extract this compound Naturally, so little has been said or written about this benefit of the plant. But as we all know, new things are being discovered daily and new hybrid strains are being grown to treat specific illnesses, so it’s only a matter of time before these super growers figure out the best combination of strains to produce this “side effect” to benefit those of us who struggle with weight loss.
In the mean time strains with higher levels of THCV are hard to find in your local dispensary, according to Leafly. Leafly also noted the compound is produced in small amounts and few strains have been developed to boost this side of the plant. What we do know is THCV is most abundant in sativas, especially strains from Africa. You should look for Africa hybrids, like Durban Poison, Super Silver Haze, Pineapple Purps, G13, (G13 also has a calming effect that can be helpful for recovering from stressful workouts) strains that include sativa’s with the name Dougs Varin and Purple Purps. If you are looking for a more sedative effect, try high humulene strains like Tahoe OG and Master Kush. For a hybrid with relatively high levels of both try Cherry Pie. Remember genetics alone can’t promise a high THCV content and therefore weight loss success, because Cannabinoid vary from harvest to harvest.
A report from The American Journal of Medicine suggests that smoking pot could be linked to better metabolic health, since studies have shown that regular pot smokers have lower insulin levels, lower BMI, and smaller waist sizes than non-smokers. As a matter of fact, states with legal medical Marijuana laws have seen a 2-6 % reduction in obesity. Recently researchers conducted animal studies that showed THC has its own weight-loss benefits, it can even reduce weight gain while you are still consuming a high calorie diet. Even if your daily toke causes you to get “the munchies”, it won’t cause you to gain the same weight as non-marijuana users would.
When researching for this article, the information made perfect sense to me, since I’ve never seen an overweight hippy from the 60’s. Most marijuana users are lean and I’m sure science would blame this on all the “harmful” chemicals inhaled when smoking cannabis. To the contrary I believe that all parts of the plant are meant to be helpful and healing to the body. Even when it comes to weight loss, there are many great benefits to still be discovered about this herb. Stay tuned to my blog for updates, as I try different strains not only to help with pain control, but maybe also lose some weight along the way.