Is it True That Cannabis Can Help in Losing Body Weight

Is it True That Cannabis Can Help in Losing Body Weight?

In the past few years, marijuana has gained popularity as an effective treatment for various conditions. Its active ingredients, cannabinoids, and terpenes can change the brain function by binding to the receptors.

Since marijuana use causes munchies, it can help consumers gain weight. What about individuals who want to lose weight? Does the herb work for them as well? What are the different options to consume medical marijuana? Read on to learn more.

What is Obesity?

Obesity is a growing health problem among people in the United States. According to the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC), about 35 percent of adults are obese. Obesity is linked to severe conditions, such as heart disease, type 2 diabetes, erectile dysfunction, etc.

There are many reasons for weight gain. The common ones are—lifestyle, certain conditions, lack of sleep, and medications.

How to check if you are obese? The CDC recommends calculating the Body Mass Index (BMI) by dividing body weight in kg by square of height in meters.

  • BMI is less than 18.5 – Underweight
  • BMI is between 18.5 and 25 – Normal
  • BMI is between 25 and 30 – Overweight
  • BMI is greater than 30 – Obese

Marijuana & Weight Loss

Before we discuss marijuana and weight loss, it’s important to learn about the endocannabinoid system (ECS). It’s a complex system that exists in the body. Research says that ECS plays a vital role in regulating the energy and metabolism process.

Related- What is Endocannabinoid System & Does it Make us Healthier?

The endocannabinoid comprises three major parts-

  • Endocannabinoids
  • Cannabinoid receptors
  • Enzymes

The endocannabinoids are chemicals that are produced by the body naturally. They are similar to phytocannabinoids in marijuana. They activate CB1 and CB2 receptors. CB1 receptors provide significant effects on the brain regions that affect appetite and energy.

Researchers have found that CB1 receptors are also available outside the brain, including the liver, gut, pancreas, skeletal muscle, etc. The over-activation of CB1 receptors can lead to obesity.

There’s scientific evidence that marijuana users are less likely to obese than non-users. In 2011, the American Journal of Epidemiology published data of two surveys with about 50,000 respondents. Participants who didn’t use marijuana for 12 months had obesity rates in the two surveys were—22 percent and 25.3 percent. However, the obesity rates were reduced to 14.3 percent and 17.2 percent after using the herb at least 3 days per week. 

A review published in the Journal of Addictive Disorders concluded that the rate of marijuana use in the past year was lower in consumers who were obese than in people with lower BMI.

Additionally, the American Journal of Medicine reported that they find a link between cannabis use and smaller waist circumstances.

The Munchies

Marijuana causes munchies. It’s a well-known fact. In other words, cannabis users eat more than non-users. There’s a wide range of studies showing the herb increases calorie intake. But, there’s no significant difference in the BMI value.

For instance, a 2006 study reported that participants who consumed marijuana for over 1800 days consumed 619 more calories per day on average. However, they didn’t show any difference in BMI.

Similarly, in a study of 10,623 adults, aged 29-50 reported similar findings. Researchers concluded that marijuana use increased calorie intake, but the cannabis users had lower BMI

In fact, individuals who smoke cannabis regularly are less likely to put on extra weight than those who don’t consume the herb. In a study published in the International Journal of Epidemiology, researchers noted that participants who consumed marijuana gained fewer pounds. The results were determined by BMI.

Moreover, researchers studied the link between THC and weight loss. THC is a major psychoactive cannabinoid in marijuana, responsible for causing high effects. Researchers at the University of Calgary gave THC to both obese mice and mice with regular weight. THC didn’t affect the size of the regular mice. Interestingly, it caused obese mice to lose weight. Researchers believed that THC helped prevent weight gain by interacting with the intestinal microbes.

Choose The Right Strain For Weight Loss

Studies have found that THCV is effective in reducing weight. It can help suppress appetite, thus controlling cravings for food. It’s a CB1 and CB2 agonist. That means, it blocks tetrahydrocannabinol, thus preventing the consumers from getting high and munchies.

So, it’s important to look for cannabis strains that contain THCV. Some of them are Green Crack, Durban Poison, and Super Silver Haze.

However, you should try different strains and select what works for your condition. Start slow and take your time to analyze the effects of each strain before making the final decision. However, you can create a cannabis journal to note down your experiences with different appetite-suppressing strains.

How to Consume Marijuana For Weight Loss?

Well, it depends on your preferences. There are various cannabis delivery methods, and each works differently for different patients. So, you need to figure out what’s right for your condition.

The common methods of cannabis consumption are-


It’s the most popular method of delivering cannabinoids into the body. Smoking marijuana provides instant effects. However, research says that smoking carries some health risks. This is because burning cannabis produces toxins and tars.


A vaporizer is used for heating cannabis to extract its active ingredients in the form of vapors, which are then inhaled through the mouthpiece. Studies have found that vaping generates fewer carcinogens than smoking. Since combustion doesn’t occur so, this method preserves the original taste and medicinal value of marijuana.

Related- A Guide to Vaping Marijuana Safely


These are cannabis concentrates filled in dropper bottles. Tinctures are perfect for dosage control. To use marijuana oils and tinctures, just put a few drops under the tongue and the mucous membranes of the mouth will absorb the chemical compounds.


Edibles allow you to enjoy the therapeutic benefits by consuming marijuana-infused foods and beverages. That means you need not inhale the smoke or vapors. It’s important to note that after consuming edibles, you have to wait for a few minutes to feel the full effects. However, edibles last longer, usually 7-12 hours.

Related- Learn The Basics About Cannabis Edibles

How to Access Medical Marijuana Legally?

To access medical marijuana products from a licensed dispensary, you require a doctor’s recommendation. In most cannabis legalized states, an MMJ letter is valid for 12 months. And, you need to renew it every year.

You can apply for a medical marijuana recommendation San Francisco online. It’s a simple, three-step process-

  • Sign up an account
  • See a doctor online through HIPAA-compliant software
  • Receive an MMJ rec letter in PDF format via email

Key Takeaways

Marijuana use can help lose extra weight. It’s true that you experience the munchies after consuming the herb. But, various human and animal studies show that cannabis causes no difference in BMI or it lowers BMI. By choosing the right strains with THCV, consumption method, and dosage, you can get the desired results.

However, to make the most out of marijuana for weight loss, you need to adopt some healthy lifestyle choices as well. Remember, cannabis isn’t a prescription medication for weight loss. The herb won’t help you unless you exercise and change your eating habits.

Get your marijuana recommendation San Francisco to become an approved medical user.