As long as men and women have enjoyed eating, dieting has been a large part of human health and development. Especially in the modern era, where calories are a factor and every type of food you eat either kills you or make you unhealthy, going on a diet makes a difference between dying old or diabetes.
The people who smoke cannabis are usually depicted by film and television as being cartoonish stoners that alternate between getting high or ingesting massive amounts of fast food because of the munchies. If this is the case, why are some health wonks advocating that using cannabis helps lose weight?
In 2011, the American Journal of Epidemiology published a study that clearly indicated cannabis users enjoy lower levels of obesity, even if they only imbibed three times a week, than their non-cannabis using counterparts. This can be confusing, since cannabis is also used to stimulate the appetites of cancer patients as a form of medical treatment.
The American Journal of Medicine published a similar study in 2015 that also gave evidence to the claim that using cannabis lead to weight loss. Out of 4,657 adults that were surveyed, 579 claimed that they also used cannabis three or more times a week. These people ended up having lower insulin levels than their counterparts. If you are trying to lose weight, or keep the pounds off, low insulin is a good thing.
According to the science of our bodies, there is a clear connection between insulin levels and obesity. Normally, the liver produces glucose, sending it to your blood to convert sugar that has been consumed into glucose, which gives your body energy. Insulin stops the production of glucose. If the human body does not make enough insulin, diabetes can be a painful result for some. When the body does not use the glucose it has created, insulin helps store the excess energy as fat. If there is too much insulin, the increased amount can result in possible obesity.
It has been clearly demonstrated by numerous scientific studies that cannabis use regulates the production of insulin in the human body, preventing too much, or too little, from entering the bloodstream. This prevents obesity due to an overproduction of insulin, which would normally create fat out of the unused glucose. Additionally, one proven factor is that cannabis users have a lower fasting insulin rate than their non-cannabis using counterparts. This means that, in between meals, cannabis users are also not getting fat from excess glucose in their blood.
Any diet must be a combination of several factors to be successful, including what you are eating and how you exercise. All the donuts, fast food and high cholesterol food you see will never replace the positive benefits of fruits, vegetables, low-fat foods and low-cholesterol foods a person can eat to stay healthy and fit. How can cannabis help out, beyond this?
A study published in the journal Obesity demonstrates that cannabis users not only had lower fasting insulin, they also had a lower body mass index and a much lower percentage of fat. “The most important finding is that current users of marijuana appeared to have better carbohydrate metabolism than nonusers,” Murray Mittleman, an associate professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School and the lead author of the study, said. “Their fasting insulin levels were lower, and they appeared to be less resistant to the insulin produced by their body to maintain a normal blood-sugar level.”
In fact, cannabis users also were shown by similar studies to be 30 percent less likely to get diabetes, compared to those who don’t. Clearly, if you like to eat, using cannabis is beneficial whether you exercise, diet, or just enjoy food.