Stoners are known for eating frozen pizza rolls and other questionable snacks when they get high. Naturally, you’d think all those empty calories could cause weight problems, but a new study says that isn’t the case.
People who regularly smoke weed are less likely to be overweight or obese compared to those who abstain, according to a paper published in the International Journal of Epidemiology. All 33,000 participants gained weight during the three year study, but those who smoked weed added the fewest pounds. This was determined by comparing Body Mass Index for all participants in the National Epidemiologic Survey of Alcohol and Related Conditions study.
“We found that users, even those who just started, were more likely to be at a normal, healthier weight and stay at that weight,” study co-author Dr. Omayma Alshaarawy, assistant professor of family medicine at Michigan State University, said in a statement. “Only 15 percent of persistent users were considered obese compared to 20 percent of non-users.”
The team can’t pinpoint why marijuana use is linked with lower BMI, but theorize cannabis may create physical changes in your cells that impact weight gain. Another possibility is that people who use cannabis may watch what they eat out of fear of munchies-induced weight gain.
Of course, this study doesn’t imply that toking up will make you thinner, and the team cautions against using it as a weight loss supplement.
“There’s too many health concerns around cannabis that far outweigh the potential positive, yet modest, effects it has on weight gain,” Alshaarawy said. “People shouldn’t consider it as a way to maintain or even lose weight.”
Your best bet for maintaining a healthy weight is to stick with the basics: exercise, limiting alcohol intake, and eating plenty of fruits and vegetables.
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