A recent study
by the University of Montreal suggests that cannabis use doesn’t necessarily
cause weight gain. Several factors resulted in mixed results. These factors
include cigarette smoking, frequency, and environmental factors. The study also
suggests men and women experience “the munchies” differently. THC is likely to
stimulate your appetite, but not in every case.
Didier Jutras-Aswad of the University of Montreal told Yahoo
News, “The effects of these substances observed in highly
controlled laboratory settings are more complex than anticipated in real world
settings.” 1,294 cannabis smokers were evaluated. Males who didn’t smoke
cigarettes gained weight while males who smoked cigarettes showed no weight
gain, and in some cases, lost weight. Perhaps the appetite-suppressing
effects of nicotine cancel out the stimulation of the appetite from THC.
Jutras-Aswad hypothesizes that THC is the chemical most responsible for the
munchies. THC apparently affects men and women differently as well. “THC
and nicotine do not affect the neurobiological circuits controlling hunger in the
same way in men and women. . . We also know that these targets in the brain are
modified by hormonal factors that can fluctuate, in particular, during
menstrual cycles,” notes Jutras-Aswa. He also noted that women dieted more
after munchie binges.
All other triggers for and against weight gain such as
depression and exercise have been factored into the results of the study, with
intrigue and interest on cigarette use. “Smoking cigarettes appears to modify
the association between cannabis use and [weight gain] in young men.” The
downside is that although cigarettes suppress the munchies, they slowly kill
you and cost you a fortune.
Jutras-Aswad and his associates have offered some insightful
new information regarding cannabis and weight gain, but have summarized that
the results are inconclusive. The study indicates that varying factors combined
with cannabis smoking can increase or even decrease weight, concluding that
more research on the topic would prove to be a great next step.