People who smoke marijuana or cannabis weigh less as compared to adults who don’t, a new study suggests.
The findings are contrary to the belief that marijuana users who have a serious case of the munchies that will ultimately lead to weight gain.
“Over a three-year period, all participants showed a weight increase, but interestingly, those who used marijuana had less of an increase compared to those that never used,” said lead author Omayma Alshaarawy from the Michigan State University.
For the study, published in the International Journal of Epidemiology, the research team looked at the Body Mass Index (BMI) of 33,000 participants, aged 18 and older, then compared the numbers.
While the actual weight difference among users and non-users was modest, around two pounds for a 5-foot-7-inch participant weighing about 200 pounds at the start of the study, the variance was prevalent among the entire sample size.
“An average two-pound difference doesn’t seem like much, but we found it in more than 30,000 people with all different kinds of behaviours and still got this result,” Alshaarawy said.
The researcher cautions that marijuana should not be considered a diet aid.
“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.”