WEED AND ITS POSSIBLE ASSOCIATION WITH WEIGHT LOSS

Research has revealed that Cannabis users are not as obese as non-users. Scientists are attempting to understand why.

When cannabis was legalized in Canada, the media had jokes on how grocery stores run out of tales about a brave Girl Guide running out of cookies outside a dispensary. Even though there may be amusing anecdotes the cookies hid a more significant
and shocking public health notice – weed might aid people to reduce weight.

The link between body weight and weed consumption has become quite transparent within the last ten years. A University of Paris psychiatry professor, Dr. Yan Le Strat, in 2011 issued a study of two arrays of surveys information from 2001 – 2003 in the Epidemiology American journal.

The first survey details were sourced from the National survey on Epidemiology on Alcohol and associated conditions and had 43,093 survey respondents. It revealed that 16.1% of weed users were obese as compared to 25.3% of non-users. The second survey details were sourced from the National Comorbidity Survey. Considering the 9,283 respondents, 17.2% of weed users were obese as compared to 25.3% of non-users.

Remarkably, the outcome was more noticeable when heavy weed users – people who smoke weed over three times weekly – were contrasted with people who have never used marijuana. A considerable survey in Australia of 2,566 involving 21-years-olds found
almost the same. Similarly, weed users were less prone to be overweight.

Le Strat quickly draws attention to the fact that surveys only offer a view of time. He also added that they only reveal a relationship and do not demonstrate an underlying relation. Cigarettes with tobacco are known to lead to weight loss, and weed users frequently smoke tobacco. Nonetheless, the results persisted even after amending for tobacco consumption. Furthermore, the survey done in Australia was modified for tobacco consumption, the existence of depression or anxiety as well as physical activity.

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All the same, Le Strat is still open to the idea that the reduced body weight in weed users was not an immediate outcome of cannabis. Likewise, he added that they attempted to consider numerous difficult factors although he said there are chances that they did not take into account all of them. According to him, only preliminary information other than a one-time survey could show an immediate relationship.

Luckily, this kind of research could be believed to exist. 21 states in the USA made medical marijuana legal since 1996 – 2014. An economics professor at San Diego University, Joseph Sabia together with his group of statisticians and economists took information from the Behavioral Risk factor system of surveillance, an annual survey taken by the USA disease control and prevention centers. They studied the data to understand how overweight, physical activity, drinking, obesity, and binge drinking rates varied in each state after some time and when the laws were amended. Generally, they found out that the possibility of obesity reduced by 2-6% in states which legalized medical marijuana.

Sabia’s study produced several possible justifications for the reduced weight in states that made medical marijuana legal. Young individuals were less prone to binge drinking. Possibly they replaced alcohol with cannabis which is calorie-free. Middle-aged individuals were more inclined to work out. Maybe medical marijuana helped with the chronic pains which might have led to them not exercise before.

Among the justifications he gave, none offered an answer to this teasing query. Could using weed be the direct cause of weight loss, regardless of their lifestyle choices? There are numerous chemicals in cannabis smoke, and about 61 are believed to be unique to marijuana. CBD together with THC are the two of the most popular and best-studied compounds. Western Scientists like to do placebo
control tryouts using isolated constituents in the form of a pill. To date, high-dose CBD has been tried in clinical tryouts on patients who have diabetes though no weight loss has been witnessed.

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A University of Toronto psychiatrist and researcher on obesity, Dr. Sanjeev Sockalingam said that for some individuals cannabis is part of the way out. Although he said, he would not recommend weed to someone suffering from obesity.

Indeed, in the nonexistence of placebo-control tryouts, one wouldn’t say that any specific cannabis non-user would benefit from the beginning. The population tryouts show that the people using them have known how to make it a part of a leaner lifestyle.

Matt Strauss is an assistant clinical professor and a critical-care Physician. Also, he is a journalist at Toronto University.

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