Does Weed Make You Gain Weight, or Does Smoking Weed Make You Lose Weight?
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Cannabis is well-known for initiating the munchies, but does weed make you gain weight, or does smoking weed make you lose weight?
Although the answer may seem obvious, recent scientific evidence has shown that the issue of weight gain and loss may not be as clear-cut as many assume. In this article, we discuss the issue of weed and weight loss.
Does Weed Burn Calories?
Many pot smokers experience the “munchies,” characterized by a massive increase in appetite and a need to take in calories. But research reveals that marijuana legalization has been linked with lower obesity rates in some states.
How many calories does weed burn? The consumption of cannabis itself will not necessarily lead to your body burning calories, but marijuana can impact your journey if you’re trying to lose weight.
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Lower Body Mass Index (BMI)
Your BMI is a measure of body fat based on your height and weight. It’s one of the most common ways of deciphering whether your weight is healthy.
In a 2018 research review that examined 17 separate studies, it was found that the average BMI of cannabis users was three pounds lower than non-cannabis users.
Another study went even further with its findings. It found an inverse correlation between the frequency of cannabis use and BMI. In other words, more frequent use was linked to a lower BMI.
Many people search for weed that makes you lose weight because of the discovery that weed could help regulate your metabolism. Since the endocannabinoid system (ECS) regulates appetite and metabolism, scientists have long wondered whether weed could impact your metabolism.
Although more research is required, current research reveals that there is a strong argument that weed regulates metabolism. If this is proven true, it would also impact overall calorie intake.
Does weed make you gain weight? The data shows that although THC is liable to increase your appetite, other cannabinoids within weed have a counterbalancing effect. This would also explain why many people don’t experience munchies while smoking.
In particular, CBD and THCV (found in “diet weed”) have been shown to dial back THC’s effects on the appetite.
A 2022 scientific review recently found that CBD plays a critical role in reducing your appetite and increasing how full you feel. It found that smaller doses of CBD appear to have a limited impact on appetite, but larger doses could result in significant appetite suppression.
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It’s no secret that marijuana is a method of relieving stress. Cannabis’s interactions with the ECS and the regions of the brain with cannabinoid receptors regulate and improve your mood.
With stress being a significant factor in weight gain, relieving stress with weed could help you prevent binge eating and achieve your weight loss goals.
How Many Calories Does Weed Burn?
Cannabis itself is incapable of burning calories, but there could be such a thing as the best weed for weight loss.
If the science is further reinforced in the years to come, marijuana use could support your weight loss journey when used correctly. There is also an argument that cannabis combats stress, which is a significant contributor to weight gain, and that it can even encourage healthy lifestyles.
But until this time, cannabis strains for weight loss should be used responsibly to avoid any unintended side effects, such as paranoia.
However, if we assume that the best CBD strains for weight loss can help you during your weight loss journey, everybody’s calorific loss will differ because everyone’s metabolism differs. This is why some people appear to lose weight with little effort, whereas others require wholesale lifestyle changes to achieve the same result.
Synthetic THC and Weight
THC’s proven mechanisms have led pharmaceutical companies to create synthetic THC products. These pharmaceuticals isolate THC and use it in drugs that aid in clinical weight gain.
For example, Dronabinol is one of the few FDA-approved drugs that use THC. This medication has been used successfully to help underweight people with HIV, anorexia, cancer, and more to increase their appetites.
A study into Dronabinol found that the drug showed a modest advantage for underweight people over a placebo.
More than anything, the emergency of Dronabinol demonstrates THC’s role in stimulating the appetite, which is why you feel the munchies and why weight gain is possible.
Can Stopping Weed Cause Weight Loss?
Many people wonder, “Does quitting weed cause weight loss?”
Quitting weed for any reason could influence your weight. If you regularly binge eat due to the munchies, quitting weed could conceivably reduce instances of binge eating, resulting in weight loss.
However, Cannabis Withdrawal Syndrome (CWS) could also be one of the causes. According to a 2013 study, it was found that decreased appetite and weight loss are common side effects of quitting weed. It was mentioned that this effect quickly reversed itself, however.
If you have no appetite without weed, CWS may be the cause. Typically, most symptoms of withdrawal will resolve themselves within a few weeks.
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Can Stopping Weed Cause Weight Gain?
Conversely, some have asked, “If I stop smoking weed will I gain weight?” And the answer is: it depends.
The scientific community has already found that Indica or Sativa for weight loss is a realistic proposition because cannabis increases the speed of your metabolism. Moreover, a University of Miami study found that regular cannabis users were 54% less likely to be diagnosed with metabolic syndrome.
Some of the impacts of metabolic syndrome include:
- Excess body weight
- Abnormal cholesterol
- High blood pressure
- High blood sugar
In theory, if you stop smoking cannabis, your metabolism could slow down, leading to weight gain. But so many factors are at play regarding weight loss/gain that it’s impossible to state that quitting pot alone is enough to cause you to pile on the pounds.
What’s Better, Indica or Sativa, For Weight Loss?
THC is the responsible party for appetite suppression. With this in mind, it may appear evident that strains with a low THC percentage will be more effective at suppressing your appetite and preventing munchies.
But it’s not as straightforward as that. Instead, it’s the ratio of THC vs. CBD that matters. Additionally, THCV is a crucial factor, which is why it’s often known as the “diet weed” cannabinoid.
Furthermore, separate theories exist regarding whether Indica or Sativa is the superior option. The arguments tend to be thus:
- Sativa – Energizing and uplifting to encourage activity.
- Indica – Sedating effects produce the couch-lock effect that prevents overeating and improves stress management.
Little to no research exists on the Sativa vs. Indica argument, but most anecdotal experiences reveal that the best weed for appetite suppression is usually Sativa.
Top Five Marijuana Strains for Weight Loss
Does weed make you gain weight? The opposite appears accurate, which is why more and more people have become interested in which strains can support weight loss.
But what strain of weed makes you lose weight? In this guide, we provide our top five strains to guide you in selecting the best strain for appetite suppressant.
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1. Durban Poison
Durban Poison is a pure Sativa strain from the South African city of Durban. Its distinct sweet and spicy smell has tantalized stoners for years.
It possesses up to 24% THC, but despite its high THC content, it’s also a type of weed with one of the highest THCV amounts. As a Sativa, Durban Poison will stimulate your creativity and overall mood. It even has anti-nausea characteristics and has been known to combat migraines effectively.
However, as a high-potency strain, newbies should beware of the potential for anxiety.
2. Blue Dream
One of the most popular strains worldwide is the Sativa-dominant hybrid strain Blue Dream. This strain was created from Blueberry Indica and Haze Sativa to provide a luxurious high that helps to suppress your appetite.
Blue Dream is one strain that will keep you motivated and focused on your day. Many users also report experiencing a burst of energy when consuming this Sativa hybrid.
It’s the ideal energizer strain if you’re prone to binge eating when you are at a low ebb before or after work.
Grapefruit is another hybrid strain that could help you in losing weight. One of its defining characteristics is its mouth-watering citrus scent. When smoked, you’ll note the tangy, zesty, sugary, and sour tastes all rolled into one.
Despite its appealing nature, Grapefruit Sativa is relatively uncommon. But for those who have consumed it, this stress reliever will leave you feeling energetic and happy. Expect THC levels of 20% with relatively low CBD levels of 0.2%.
Note that this is an Indica strain for weight loss because of its 70:30 ratio. Yet unlike many Indica strains, the composition of this strain won’t lead to the munchies.
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4. Northern Lights
Lack of sleep is a massive contributor to stress and weight gain. Northern Lights could offer the relief you’ve been searching for if you struggle to get enough high-quality deep sleep.
As one of the most famous strains in the world, Northern Lights is a weed that will relax you and cause cannabis-induced sleep. However, users should be aware that Northern Lights is best avoided if they have a busy schedule as its after-effects are potent.
5. Cherry Pie
Does weed make you gain weight? Not when you try out Cherry Pie. This strain is a delectable strain that tastes precisely how it sounds. While most people recommend Cherry Pain for its pain-relieving effects, it’s highly effective at relieving pain.
As an Indica-dominant hybrid, Cherry Pie weed ranges from 16% to 24% THC. It also has 1% CBD, so it’s commonly used in weight-loss programs that utilize medical cannabis.
Find the Best Cannabis Strains for Weight Loss with a Medical Marijuana Card!
Questions like “Do you lose weight when you stop smoking weed?” have created a massive amount of confusion among the cannabis community. But scientists have discovered clear evidence of a link between weight loss and cannabis consumption.
At Green Health Docs, we can support you in determining your eligibility for a medical marijuana card online. With your state MMJ card secured, you can access high-potency strains and pay less for all future cannabis purchases.
To discover your eligibility for your state’s medical marijuana program, contact Green Health Docs today.
This article has been reviewed by Dr. Anand Dugar, an anesthesiologist, pain medicine physician and the founder of Green Health Docs. Graduating from medical school in 2004 and residency in 2008, Dr. Dugar has been a licensed physician for almost 20 years and has been leading the push for medical cannabis nationwide.