NOV 30, 2022 5:15 PM PST

Losing weight with cannabis

WRITTEN BY: Helaine Krysik

The tried-and-true ways of losing weight typically involve following a healthy diet combined with a starting a fitness program. Eat better, move more. However, there is growing research indicating that cannabis may also help some people lose weight.

This may sound counterintuitive, since cannabis has long been associated with causing the munchies, and more recently, being associated with strain and food pairings.

The theory stems from studies showing that cannabis use, specifically THC consumption, reduces an elevated ratio of omega-6/omega-3 fatty acids; the elevated ratio of fatty acids that is responsible for obesity. When ingested, THC binds itself directly to the CB1 receptor, in effect tamping down CB1 receptor activity (CB1 receptors play a significant role in regulating our appetite and metabolism) subsequently causing the weight loss.

And even though cannabis causes an initial jump in CB1 receptor activity, causing the munchies, cannabis quickly shifts the activity into a reduced mode, resulting in the decrease in appetite and eventual weight gain.

Scientists have preliminary hopes that a combination of omega-3 supplements and cannabis could be very effective in helping promote healthy weight loss, as well as regulating the metabolism.

Medications and therapies designed for restricting the CB1 receptor is nothing new, as the pharmaceutical industry has been pouring resources into CB1 receptor drug development for years. However, the cannabis findings are encouraging since harsh side effects are associated with the CB1 receptor drugs currently available. One of the biggest benefits to the use of medicinal cannabis is the lack of debilitating side effects associated with treatment.

While all of this research is preliminary, it is very encouraging, strong evidence that THC consumption can help reduce obesity rates, promote healthy weight loss, and body mass index, all without the unhealthy side effects associated with other drug treatments.


Sources: Leafly, Cannabis Now, Cannabis and Cannabinoid Research

About the Author
Bachelor's (BA/BS/Other)
Helaine is a cannabis industry writer and marketing consultant. She has been active in the Illinois cannabis industry since 2020, and writes for a variety of national publications.
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