Marijuana and obesity is an unusual topic. Think about it; would you ever assume that cannabis can help you lose weight when it has historically been known to cause the munchies?
Well, unlike what most people think, there are specific cannabis strains that will have the opposite effect on your health, and may help treat obesity. Furthermore, the connection between obesity and eating is more complex than what you might think — but we’ll explain that further down in this article.
As of now, more than 35% of U.S. adults are obese, and more than 34% are overweight. Furthermore, obesity affects 17% of children aged 2-19 years. The most shocking stat, however, is the estimation that by 2020, 75% of the American population will likely be obese.
Are there specific cannabis strains that may be able to help with obesity and curb our insatiable appetite for sugar, saturated fat, and carbs? We’re going to take a look and find out here in this article, but first, let’s talk a little about obesity in the first place…
Before We Get to the Cannabis Strains, What Even is Obesity?
Obesity is a medical condition where an individual has accumulated so much body fat that it might have an adverse effect on their health. To get into specifics, a person is classed as obese when his/her body weight is at least 20% higher than it should be. Obesity is measured with the help of the Body Mass Index (BMI).
BMI is a statistical measurement that’s derived from your height and weight. While Body Mass Index isn’t the most reliable indicator, it provides doctors with information that they can use to compare you to the average person who has approximately the same height and weight that you do.
For example, if your Body Mass Index should be between 24-28 but you measure out at 30, then your BMI is 20% over the standard measurement, and you may qualify as obese.
What Causes Obesity?
In general, the balance between calorie intake and energy expenditure determines a person’s weight. If a person eats more calories than he/she burns, that person will gain weight – it’s as simple as that. Therefore the most common cause of obesity is the lack of physical activity and overeating.
With that being said there are additional causes that can lead to obesity. Here are the most popular ones:
A person is more than likely to develop some type of obesity if one or both parents are obese. This is often caused due to genetic deficiency, for example, Leptin the hormone that regulates and controls the amount of food we consume by sending signals to the brain when to eat more and less, doesn’t function properly.
2) Lack of Sleep
Research has suggested that lack of sleep doubles your risk of becoming obese. In a recent study conducted by Warwick Medical School at the University of Warwick, it was found that sleep deprivation significantly increased obesity risk among patients. According to Professor Cappuccio, the leading researcher on the team, lack of sleep can disrupt the hormone system producing less Leptin and more Ghrelin, a hormone that stimulates appetite.
3) Lack of Movement
Today’s lifestyle is causing more and more people to become overweight. Whereas once you had to physically move your body to complete a variety of simple tasks (such as cleaning the house, going out to buy food, or even just washing up), this has all seemed to become a thing of the past.
Technology is allowing us to become lazier, more than ever. You can order food online and have it delivered straight to your doorstep. Most households have dishwashers and who even thinks about cleaning up anymore when you’ve got different “technological help” that can do the hard work for you.
Furthermore, when was the last time you did something in the evening that involved physical activity apart from pressing on the remote control and working out your thumb? Most of us end our days on the couch glued to the screen, which means you are burning fewer calories and probably eating more than you should
Today’s society is too dependent on medication. Whether you have a headache and use painkillers, or use some antidepressant to get you through the day, you are putting substances into your body that creates an imbalance. The problem with most medication is that it comes with different side effects and sometimes those unwanted effects can cause a significant change in your body’s food habits.
Did you know? A 2014 survey from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) showed that 48% of people take at least one prescription drug within a 30 day period. Furthermore, 81% of adults in the U.S use OTC drugs to help with some sort of medical condition.
Next time you decide to take some medicine consult with your primary care doctor as it has been clinically found that weight gain is often associated with pharmaceutical drugs.
5) Psychological Factors
For some people, overeating is triggered by an emotional state. For example, sadness, stress, and boredom. Stress is one of the major causes of a variety of medical conditions, including obesity. At first, it may cause you to lose weight, but long-term “chronic stress” actually boosts your hunger. Cortisol, also known as the stress hormone increases during stressful times and makes your hormones go haywire. This often causes higher insulin levels, your blood sugar drops which cause you to want to eat sugary foods.
Research has also found that stress can lead to depression. It also may even promote the development of prostate cancer, and it is known to lead to chronic diseases such as cardiovascular disease, anxiety, and depression.
Marijuana Strains and Obesity: How it All Works
As we mentioned above, obesity can be caused by a number of factors – not necessarily just eating. Whether the underlying cause is biological, social, or environmental, obesity is a systematic problem and therefore cannot simply be blamed on the fact that you are “eating too much.”
Furthermore, even if you do have the munchies when smoking marijuana, obesity is caused by long-term food consumption and not from a one-off craving for chocolate or pizza often associated with smoking a cannabis joint. Some types of cannabis even have special terpenes or cannabinoids that actually suppress appetite.
In a recent study published in the Journal of Mental Health Policy and Economics, researchers found that in a sample of over 13,000 people, women who smoke daily had an average 3.1% lower BMI reading than that of non-users. Men had a 2.7% lower reading. Another study from the Inuit population showed that cannabis users were on average thinner and had lower blood glucose levels.
5 Best Marijuana Strains That Can Help Reduce Obesity
If you’re wondering which type of cannabis strains is best to treat obesity, you’re not alone. There are so many different cannabis strains on the market these days that it is often hard to determine which ones are best, and for what.
According to recent research, strains that contain the cannabinoid THCV tend to suppress appetite. This cannabinoid is an antagonist of the CB1 and CB2 receptors, which means it blocks THC and keeps you from getting the munchies — and getting high.
Cannabis Strain #1 – Durban Poison
This popular strain from South Africa is a favorite for those who want to lose weight and keep it off as it keeps you active and on track. This powerhouse marijuana strain with THC levels that can reach as high as 24% is perfect for giving you a happy head high and will definitely get you through the day. The important thing with Durban Poison is dosing, as it can create higher levels of anxiety.
Cannabis Strain #2 – Blue Dream
Another popular strain is a Sativa-dominant hybrid, Blue Dream. This cross between Haze Sativa and Blueberry Indica is known for giving relief and luxury and can also help curb that appetite. It is known for keeping you motivated and focused, providing a boost of energy that hits hard. It’s the perfect energizer strain and will definitely keep your mind off any food.
Cannabis Strain #3 – Grapefruit (Sativa)
This not-so-common marijuana strain is one that should be on everyone’s top 5 list. Known as the energetic and happy stress reliever, Grapefruit packs 20% THC and normally has a 70:30 percent Sativa/Indica ratio. It’s perfect for treating stress, depression and PMS, all while making you incredibly active and motivated. This cannabis strain will not increase your appetite or give you the munchies.
Cannabis Strain #4 – Northern Lights
As we mentioned above, one of the major culprits of obesity is the lack of sleep. Northern Lights is one of those marijuana strains that will definitely turn off the lights. For some patients, it provides a relaxed and sleepy feeling and is guaranteed to fight any sleep problems. Again, with this strain, it’s important to reach the right level of dosing, but if you get it right, you’ll be sleeping like a bear through hibernation.
Cannabis Strain #5 – Cherry Pie
This cannabis strain tastes as good as it sounds. If you are looking for a delicious strain that will relieve pain and curb appetite, look no further. Cherry pie is an Indica dominant hybrid that contains 16%-24% THC and 1% CBD. It is often used by people who suffer from PTSD, anxiety, and migraines but it is also used in many weight loss programs that combine medical cannabis.
[Risk Warning: It’s important to remember that the consumption of marijuana is the sole responsibility of the user and discretion should be taken. We advise you to take medical advice from a professional before engaging in any cannabis consumption whatsoever].