Weed And Weight Loss | Marijuana in Australia & Weight Loss |
The number of people who are either overweight has grown exponentially in the ‘Western’ world.
In Australia an estimated 12.5 million Australians are obese or overweight. According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics, over 67% of us are ‘obese.’
For the record, a person is ‘obese’ if their body mass index (BMI) is 30 or higher. To be clear, BMI can present inaccurate measurements in some cases because it doesn’t take into account muscle mass. What is obvious, however, is that the average person is getting heavier with a higher percentage of body fat.
For these reasons, the weight loss industry is thriving. The industry is worth an incredible $78 billion per annum, showing no signs of slowing down. The industry offers everything from metabolism-boosting pills to meal replacements. Slick marketing keeps the machine going. However, you’ll see that many products are not worth the packaging they come in if you look at it objectively.
Oddly enough, one left-field solution that might offer real benefits is marijuana. Traditionally, weed associates with an increase in appetite (via the ‘munchies’). Yet, some research suggests that cannabis may be a viable weight-loss option. Let’s find out more in this article.
Weed And Weight Loss – The Studies
Certain marijuana strains can boost a person’s appetite. However, others could act as an appetite suppressant. There is also evidence that cannabis users have lower body mass index rates than non-users.
Research finds an association between cannabis use and BMI, but this doesn’t necessarily mean one affects the other.
Weed And Weight Loss- Other Research
Plenty more studies show that marijuana users tend to have a lower body mass index than non-users. A 2011 study by Le Strat and Le Foll, discovering this link. The researchers focusing on data from a pair of large surveys in the United States, which had a total of 52,000 participants.
In survey #1, over 14% of regular weed users are obese comparing to 22% of non-users. In survey #2, over 17% of regular marijuana smokers are obese comparing to over 25% of non-users. The association between cannabis use and reduced levels of obesity remained relevant. This remained the case when factors such as age, gender, and cigarette smoking were taken into account.
An Australian study by Hayatbakhsh et al., published in The American Journal of Drug and Alcohol Abuse in 2010, predates the two studies above but says the same thing! Overall, almost 51% of young adults reported the use of weed in the previous month or year. The analysis showed that those who used it were less likely to have a BMI of 25+ than non-users.
Again, these studies have noticed an association between BMI and cannabis use. However, this doesn’t necessarily mean cannabis use causes someone to lose weight.
How Does Weed And Weight Loss Work?
The honest answer is: It’s still unclear if marijuana causes weight loss! There are a few theories that require more research. For example, while THC is known to increase appetite, THCV could act as an appetite suppressant. Like other cannabinoids, THCV impacts the CB1 and CB2 receptors. However, it seems to act as an ‘antagonist,’ which means it blocks THC, reducing the likelihood of getting the munchies.
However, there is research that suggests that THC could also help us lose weight. A study by Cluny et al., published in PLOS One in December 2015, examined obese mice and mice at a normal weight. Both sets of mice received 2mg of THC per kilogram for three weeks and 4mg per kg for an extra week. While the THC did not affect the regular weight mice, it reduced fat mass, energy intake, and weight gain in the obese mice.
There is another theory, one which relates to the link between increased marijuana use and decreased alcohol consumption. A team of economists and statisticians used data from 1996 to 2014 on the states that legalized medical marijuana. Overall, the rate of obesity in the 21 states included in the study decreased by between 2% and 6%.
According to the head of the research, Joseph Sabia, one possible explanation was that young adults were less likely to consume alcohol when they had access to cannabis. As for middle-aged people, cannabis possibly did such a good job alleviating aches and pains that they could become more active than before.
What Strains Help You Lose Weight?
Bear in mind that research is ongoing, but the idea that THCV could help suppress appetite is gaining some traction. While it is intoxicating like THC, it offers a more clear-headed effect. Indeed, it may result in the THC content hitting you much faster than usual.
However, the effects of THC may also die off faster in strains with a reasonable level of THCV. The following represents our recommendations, but there isn’t any evidence that these are the best strains for weight loss.
1 – Durban Poison
One cut of Durban Poison contains around 1% THCV a while back. This was when it took third place in the Sativa category at the 2014 High Times Cannabis Cup in Seattle. The strain was famously brought from the South African town of Durban by an American activist in the 1970s. It is a pure sativa with THC content rising to 20%.
Durban Poison is potentially an excellent mood booster and also gives you enough energy to exercise. Indeed, its effects have been likened to a shot of espresso. The cerebral high inspires you and makes it likely that you complete those tasks you have been trying to finish. The clear-headed high lasts for several hours, and you probably won’t focus on food during that period.
The combination of energy and a light physical high ensure that Durban Poison helps you counteract those stressful feelings that build up. Rather than causing you to slink to the couch, this strain gives you a ‘get up and go’ attitude that usually translates to a greater level of physical activity.
2 – Dutch Treat
Despite the name, Dutch Treat was likely developed in British Columbia rather than the Netherlands. Its origins are completely unknown, and it possibly earned the name because it quickly became a favorite in Amsterdam’s coffee shop scene. It is a strongly indica-dominant hybrid with a THC content of up to 25%, not to mention a healthy level of THCV.
Those who use this strain feel as if they are flying through the air. The potent cerebral high makes you feel light and happy. It is the perfect ‘chill-out’ strain because it gradually alleviates stress. Eventually, you will be able to think clearly, while the euphoria could lead to inspiration.
As well as relieving the tension you feel in the body, Dutch Treat could keep your appetite at bay. Its ability to potentially reduce pain symptoms mean you may feel compelled to start exercising once again. Also, this strain may aid you in the quest for restful sleep, and if you feel energized in the morning, you’re more likely to get active!
3 – ACDC
Some research suggests that CBD could also help with weight loss. ACDC contains minimal THC but can have up to 24% CBD! It is a cross of Cannatonic and Ruderalis but seems to provide slightly sativa effects, if anything. Resin Seeds bred it as a medicinal strain that doesn’t provide a high.
Rather than feeling cerebral effects, you are more likely to enjoy the feeling of full-body relaxation. The combination of cannabinoids seems to provide an uplift in mood. You will feel ‘good’ without fully understanding the reason. Users of ACDC sometimes report a feeling of mild euphoria, but there is little danger of being stoned.
There is no doubt that recreational users will probably steer clear of ACDC due to its low THC content. However, it is still linked with a reduction in chronic pain and is also used to combat anxiety and stress. As well as feeling clear-minded, you are extremely unlikely to get a case of the munchies. Indeed, you may feel less hungry than normal.
4 – Green Crack
This marijuana strain was originally called Green Kush, but Snoop Dogg renamed it. He presumably did it because once you have Green Crack, you won’t go back (or something). It is a sativa-dominant hybrid that’s a cross of Sweet Leaf Indica and Skunk #1. It is a potentially potent strain with a THC of up to 21%.
There is no doubt that Green Crack is one of the world’s most loved sativa strains. The strong cerebral high makes you feel joyful, relaxed, and euphoric. Despite the potency of its effects, there is no heavy body high, and you may feel more energetic. It is a popular wake and bake strain, especially amongst creative types looking for early morning inspiration.
Overall, Green Crack offers a smooth high with no crashing comedown. It is often used to fight chronic fatigue. Therefore, if you don’t exercise because you feel tired all the time, a few tokes of Green Crack could have surprising effects. While it may not suppress your appetite, Green Crack can boost your activity level, which in itself could promote weight loss.
5 – Super Silver Haze
This is one of the world’s most popular marijuana strains and won numerous Cannabis Cup awards in the 1990s. Super Silver Haze is a strongly sativa-dominant hybrid that’s a cross of Skunk #1, Haze, and Northern Lights. Its THC content isn’t especially high by modern standards but is still reasonable at 18%.
Despite the moderate THC, Super Silver Haze’s effects make themselves known in rapid time. The high makes it almost impossible not to smile, and a boost of energy joins the uplifting feeling. You can safely use this strain in the morning because it boosts productivity without making you feel hazy and tired.
Super Silver Haze has long been a popular medicinal marijuana strain and is regularly used to help with fatigue and stress. It is also commonly used to deal with chronic pain because it helps you feel better without sedative effects. The balanced physical and mental effects ensure that this strain is a fantastic all-rounder.