As research on medical cannabis soars, there’s a rising demand for the plant and its related products. Among the several inquiries we received lately, many boarders around medical cannabis for weight loss.
Logically, cannabis for weight loss sounds like a contradiction…
After all, cannabis users commonly report the typical “munchies” aftereffects. In fact, resources show the plant was first considered in the medical niche for its ability to increase appetite in patients with low-appetite symptoms, particularly those on chemotherapy.
Besides, it’s common knowledge that excessive food consumption is a key contributor to weight gain. So, it becomes somewhat confusing how the same cannabis – which should increase appetite and cause weight gain – could cause weight loss.
Let’s find out how – or if – it works:
But before we delve into scientific findings on cannabis’ relationship with weight loss, first things first…
The Cannabinoids and Weight Loss
Cannabis contains over a hundred chemical compounds named cannabinoids. Among the lot, THC is, so far, the most documented, chiefly for its toxic nature.
CBD is another famous compound; one preferred across a section of users because of its rich medical potency and, unlike THC, particularly for its non-toxicity.
CBD does not stimulate appetite and, hence, may not cause weight gain.
So if you’re dosing CBD (without THC), you shouldn’t be scared of weight gain. In fact, studies say CBD may counteract the hunger effect of THC and reduce the food-craving sensation. However, CBD-only formula may not give any significant weight-loss result.
Away from this famous duo, THCV may be an excellent plus to your weight loss equation. While THC may boost appetite, THCV counteracts the effect and suppresses hunger. THCV may also help regulate the blood sugar level.
If you’re particular about your increased appetite and the resultant weight gain, consider a cannabis strain with a high THCV level as it should help suppress your hunger.
Cannabis products, unlike your conventional drugs, are not recognized by the FDA as treatment. Hence, they may not be obtainable over the counter.
Cannabis’ cannabinoid profile varies across the different strains. Cannabis dispensaries offer lab test reports on the various strains to reveal the exact chemical components of each strain.
So, before you roll up, ensure the chemical composition promises your desired effects.
Cannabis, Improved Sleep and, Weight Loss
Besides eating frequency, weight loss is a function of other factors, including sleep routine.
Perhaps you never knew, sleep helps you burn calories. So, a good rest might aid your weight loss dream. Also, poor sleep patterns induce hunger. Night owls understand how tempting it gets to snack during those wee hours.
If you’re battling insomnia, you may go for strains with high CBD content, as this compound may improve relaxation.
CBD and Physical Exercise
Besides the calm and relaxation CBD brings, the compound also boosts focus on tasks. If you find it hard concentrating on your routine workout, you may try CBD to help fight reluctance and offer you the morale to complete the exercises.
CBD is best used for repetitive workouts like cycling, skipping, and treadmill and not for weight lifting and other resistance exercises.
THC and Weight Loss – A Surprising Twist
While evidence (mostly anecdotal) says cannabis may increase appetite and hence cause weight gain, somehow, it seems long-term marijuana users, regardless of the munchies sensation, are less likely obese than their non-smoking counterparts.
We can but assume this is because cannabis smokers are less prone to metabolic syndrome, which increases the chances of weight-gain-related concerns like diabetes and obesity.
A study carried out on obese mice shows that after four weeks of THC administration, the subject had lost weight significantly.
In the study, the compound was administered orally, unlike the common inhalation among human consumers. The authors mentioned that the oral administration of THC modified the mice’s gut flora, which made them lose weight.
As we await more research reports to clarify the links between weight loss and THC, we may, for now, be fair to think the dosing method may be a determinant. Perhaps, while inhalation may cause increased appetite, THC-only oral administration may cause the opposite.
However, how much marijuana is needed to experience a change in metabolic syndrome and other hunger-related effect is yet unclear.
More data is required to substantiate these little pieces of evidence and say exactly whether THC (as a stand-alone compound) supports or ruins your weight loss goal.
As cannabis research surges, more data is expected on the actual compounds and chemical combinations that may contribute to weight loss.
If you stay in cannabis-friendly states, feel free to discuss with your doctor on how THCV or CBD rich cannabis strains can aid your weight loss goal.
You may be cautious with full-spectrum cannabis products as they may make you hungry. If you must smoke CBD, some drops of CBD oil may help curb the ‘munchies’ effects.