Every day, millions of people around the world go about their day with the same physical preoccupations: losing weight, getting fit, improving their health and feeling more confident. With hundreds, perhaps even thousands of sometimes questionable weight-loss methods available everywhere from grocery store shelves to internet forums, it can be near impossible to decide which methods are really worth their salt.
Of course, physicians and nutritionists agree that the most efficient and healthy path to weight loss and long-lasting fitness is a combination of an appropriate diet and regular exercise. Unfortunately, some people experience limited success, struggling with cravings, physical limitations and sometimes an unexplained inability to shed the pounds. Faced with disappointment and questions of their own metabolism, frustrated dieters often abandon the fight and fall back into old habits, regaining the weight they’d previously lost. If struggling dieters would give cannabis treatment a try, say some researchers, they might see better, easier results.
2011 statistics from the American Journal of Epidemiology suggest that marijuana users who smoked 3-5 times per week were roughly 1/3 less likely to be obese than those who did not use cannabis. In 2015, a study published in Health Economics also showed that areas with recently-legalized medical marijuana treatments saw a 2-6% reduction in the obesity rate.
While some strains of marijuana have been colloquially linked to “the munchies,” there are particular landrace strains—like Super Silver Haze and Green Crack, to name a few—that are known to suppress the appetite. The key to such craving-curbing strains is a cannabinoid known as THCV, which blocks the effects of THC and, as a result, reduces cravings.
When it comes to exercise, both THC and CBD are effective in relaxing the mind and increasing pain tolerance, which may mean more reps with a stronger resistance to muscle soreness. Plus, a subtle high (one that allows you to exercise rather than turning you into a couch potato) can help to turn an otherwise grueling physical experience into an enjoyable and peaceful practice.
The research into cannabis as a weight loss aid has not yet been able to nail down the exact mechanism of its function, nor has it conclusively proven that these results are widespread and reliable. Still, the studies are certainly intriguing, and the anecdotal evidence from those who have seen success with the help of cannabis-based substances is very compelling. But remember: before including marijuana or CBD oil in your weight-loss regimen, make sure you’re aware of the laws in your state regarding such substances.