People have not turned to cannabis to lose weight. The stereotypical cannabis stoner is a long-haired plug of a guy fixed to a gaming console. If he or she is thin, it is because of inadequate attention to their health. Most users are moderate in their use and vary widely in body type. Recently, however, cannabis has been making some news on how to increase metabolism and lose weight.
“Metabolism” is an umbrella term covering the complex eco-system of the human organism. It includes integrated biochemical systems. That is, it consists of the buildup of substances (anabolism) and the breakdown of those substances (catabolism). Our interest is in the metabolism of food into energy. For instance, you chew a piece of steak into juices and fragments that you swallow. Your gastrointestinal system continues to breakdown the material into its smaller elements. The resulting molecules enter the bloodstream and liver that converts it into biochemical triggers on the endocrine system deploying hormones.
Healthy metabolism depends on genetics, gender, hydration, fat distribution, good sleep patterns, exercise, and more. However, it can help with weight loss because the consumption of cannabis can burn calories. That may seem strange when cannabis consumption can lead to munchies, Dunkin Donuts, and White Castle burgers.
Cannabis and Metabolism
Matter does not disappear. It takes some other form once converted. The properties of the matter converted transition into the output, but the process activates some.
Most Americans consume a daily diet that reduces metabolism and prompts weight gain. High caloric and fatty foods slow the process, reduces the resulting energy, and craves more such foods to sustain their level of consumption.
Technically speaking, THC (∆9-Tetrahydrocannabinol) and CBD (cannabidiol) act on the neural receptors CB1 and CB (albeit in different ways). The fatty foods you eat stimulate endocannabinoids AEA (N-arachidonoyl ethanolamine) and 2-AG (2-arachidonoylglycerol), which perk the appetite. Cannabis is, thus, recommended for those who have lost their appetite following chemotherapy or another condition because it can restore the balance or homeostasis among your integrated systems.
Cannabis contains hundreds of cannabinoids, which map to the Endocannabinoid System in the human body, an extensive neural receptors system throughout the organism. Among other effects, that system will release an endocannabinoid AEA or anandamide (often called “the bliss molecule”) when someone feels hungry.
THC, the best-known cannabinoid in cannabis, triggers the same effect when you use marijuana. That blissful satisfaction produced by the anandamide deployment reduces food cravings. CBD (cannabidiol) works differently. Instead of binding with neural receptors, it generates supportive and therapeutic effects that relieve inflammation and spasticity, calming systems and urges.
However, it also may produce the “munchies.” The Smithsonian reports research from “the University of Bordeaux has found that, in mice, THC fits into receptors in the brain’s olfactory bulb, significantly increasing the animals’ ability to smell food and leading them to eat more of it. A big part of the reason why you might eat more food after using marijuana, the research indicates, is simply that you can smell and taste it more acutely.”
So, how do we rectify this disconnect? Cannabis consumption can produce the munchies. Beyond that, what you choose to consume makes the difference between weight gain and weight loss. That is, you still can satisfy those munchies with water, high fiber, fresh fruit, and vegetables instead of high calorie, high-fat foods.
Cannabis use can take two paths, one that encourages a lousy diet and optimizes the diet. This indicates what good sense a moderate, balanced approach can make.
Can cannabis help you lose weight?
- An occasional cannabis break should increase metabolism and reduce appetite. Restored metabolism rates will process more inputs, increase energy, and discourage “the munchies.”
- A diet change away from fatty meats, starchy vegetables, sugars, and salts can improve metabolism. One cannabis or off, you will find benefit from a diet high in omega-6 and omega-3 fatty acids. A well-balanced diet should balance your appetite, metabolism, and resulting weight.
- Omega-3 fatty acids are easily accessed in the form of marketed fish oil supplements. You can also supplement your diet with regular use of seafood like salmon and cod. Most dietitians recommend including omega-3 to reduce the synthesis of AEA and 2-AG. Adding cannabis to the diet should reduce risk factors like stress and depression.
The science is still out.
With the limits on needed research, science has yet to address the question of cannabis, metabolism, and weight loss head-on. What we find is implications worth pursuit. It appears that a well-balanced diet in terms of food selection, as well as the volume and frequency of eating and exercising, is “the gold standard.”
You also might infer that a well-balanced diet and exercise still have room for occasional to moderate use of cannabis. In fact, science suggests cannabis can be a beneficial supplement. However, there is no science yet to indicate that chronic use of potent strains is a best practice for weight loss.
It also follows that cannabis can aid your weight loss strategy by reducing related distractions, anxiety, stress, and pain. Because each brain and body respond to cannabis intake differently, the choice of strain has particular importance.
For example, Grapefruit, Blue Dream, Northern Lights, Girl Scouts Cookies, and Durban Poison contain moderate to high levels of THC for focus, creativity, energy, and good mood necessary to a disciplined approach to weight loss.
However, you better option may be to make a high-potency CBD oil part of your daily routine:
- Charlotte’s Web Oil is a pricey supplement containing the chemistry to reduce exercise-related inflammation, restore a fatty-acid balance, and relieve stress.
- Lily CBD Daily Strength Oil is available in several sizes, low-cost to high. The hemp-derived oil should assure a night’s sleep, stress and anxiety reduction, and fast recovery from exercise
- Papa & Barkley Releaf Drops is a lower-priced option to relieve stress and anxiety and restore metabolism.
Some correlation between cannabis use and weight loss has followed from research on other targets. However, it likely will be left to Big Pharma to see the profit potential.