Study: Cannabis Users Less Likely To Be Obese, Possess Lower Diabetes Risk

A history of cannabis use is associated with a lower likelihood of obesity and diabetes, according to population-based data published in the journal Obesity.

Investigators from the Conference of Quebec University Health Centers assessed cannabis use patterns and body mass index (BMI) in a cohort of 786 Inuit (Arctic aboriginal) adults ages 18 to 74. Researchers reported that subjects who consumed cannabis in the past year were more likely to possess a lower BMI, lower fasting insulin, and lower HOMA-IR (insulin resistance) as compared to those who did not use the substance.

Specifically, researchers reported that cannabis users possessed an average BMI of 26.8 compared to an index of 28.6 for non-users, after controlling for age, gender and other factors. Those subjects who reported using cannabis but never having used tobacco, or who were former users of tobacco, possessed on average the lowest BMI.

Authors concluded: “In this large cross-sectional adult survey with high prevalence of both substance use and obesity, cannabis use in the past year was associated with lower BMI, lower percentage fat mass, lower fasting insulin, and HOMA-IR. … The inverse association observed in our work supports evidence from a larger proportion of previous cross-sectional and follow-up investigations. … As a result, cannabinoids from cannabis may be viewed as an interesting avenue for research on obesity and associated conditions.”

Observational trial data published in 2013 in the American Journal of Medicine reported that subjects who consumed cannabis possessed favorable indices related to diabetic control compared to those without a history of recent marijuana use. Separate observational trial data published in 2012 in the British Medical Journal reported that marijuana users had a lower prevalence of type 2 diabetes and possessed a lower risk of contracting the disease than did those with no history of cannabis consumption, even after researchers adjusted for social variables such as subjects’ ethnicity, family history, and levels of physical activity.

Cross-sectional data published in 2011 in the American Journal of Epidemiology similarly reported that the prevalence of obesity in the general population is sharply lower among marijuana consumers than it is among nonusers.

20 thoughts

  1. There was one unclear sentence: which had lowest BMI, cannabis users “never having used tobacco, or who were former users of tobacco”?

    Re Cannabis user diabetes avoidance success causes:

    1. maybe cannabis inspires digestive organs to use more imagination how they process eaten overdose carbohydrate, diverting more of it into interesting action and less into fat.

    Maybe certain cannabinoids promote good exercise by inspiring the autonomous unconscious mind to dream up interesting rhythms to try exercising (or overtly performing) to, as Satch Paige who pitched big league ball to age 57 said, he (unconscious brain?) kept something down there in the body jiggling all the time.

    Those 90 minutes after a toke are time to observe what autonomously tries to jiggle down in you, and to give it encouragement. Or massage including with medium stiff hairbrushes.

    Avoid any hurried eating in the first four hours “OUr fOUr hOUr tOUr”, nothing but water in first hour, maybe a well chewed slice of orange or melon from second hour. Busy Hands, Good Gluck.

  2. I’ve found cannabis Is a weight regulator. If you are too skinny it helps you put weight on, if overweight it helps you loose weight. I’ve seen it happen over and over

  3. NORML fans remember all the ‘Munchie’ jokes through the years. Isn’t this study a twist?!

    I wonder if anti-weed Governor Christie will similarly get the last laugh about all those ‘Twinkie’ jokes.

  4. Hello Normal, this is caused by marijuana’s ability to let people focus on what really counts.

    Even though marijuana gets people high, it improves the function of the nervous system. A large part of digestion is controlled by, guess what?, nerves! The chemicals placed in our food to make junk food addictive don’t work as well when one has marijuana in their system. It is a protective effect. The real drugs cause less harm when people consume marijuana.

    This is also the case for hardcore drugs users. Without marijuana, they would suffer even more because those drugs are poisons that attack the nerves; while marijuana protects nerves.

  5. So the effect is two fold: People are less likely to go for the junk food when they use marijuana, and even if they do, it causes them slightly less harm than if they didn’t use the marijuana. Those sugar rushes cause oxidative stress to our nerves!

  6. I’ve said it before I’ll say it again; smoking pot is GOOD for you! I sensed this way early on when I was still new to smoking . After a night of alcohol-even a few drinks, I’ve never been a heavy drinker-I would wake up feeling tired achy and dehydrated,while after smoking cannabis I would wake up feeling exceptionally GOOD.

    Although the study controlled for variations in levels of exercise and diet, I’ve found smoking cannabis, especially sativa, rather than making me want to sit back and watch t.v. and eat chips, I want to DO something.

  7. Every marijuana consumer seems to know someone who has a poor diet and borderline diabetic in a workplace setting where you feel free enough to discuss legalization but not quite enough to recommend they consume marijuana to control their diet and exercise for risk of revealing one’s own consumption. It’s like “Hey! I got the cure… Buuut I have my kids to worry about soooo… Enjoy you’re diabetes!”

    Meanwhile Congress can sit on the Carers Act while they attempt to grow cannabis from their D.C. address. How fkd up is THAT?

    The only mention of cannabinoids I found 10 years ago in a medical book was mention of CB1 and CB2 in my grandfather’s old Merc Manual. There’s always some mention that “we’re still figuring this out…” but basically CB1, from which THC simulates so well to stimulate the same receptors, is produced in the pituitary gland, including exercise-high feelings that provoke us to… Well… Exercise.

    The other big endocannabinoid our body produces naturally yet requires a diet rich in amino acids to sufficiently sustain is CB2 which is located in every major organ, and are simulated by a host of different cannabinoids found in cannabis, including but not limited to CBD, that stimulate the receptors in our intestines, for example, which tell us we are hungry and tell our intestines to do their job and finish digesting all the crap we eat. CB2, which is stimulated by hormones in the thyroid, is what stops being produced usually around adolescence for people who develop Chrone’s disease. Cannabis helps our organs function, as Mexweed pointed out, allowing our body to better metabolize nutrients, expel toxins, and fight disease.

    ( And that mother in Kansas was separated from her child and faces decades in prison for growing a few plants to treat her Chrone’s Disease? Kansas authorities need to treat their greed disease with a little herb).

    This article says that marijuana treats one of the deadliest most expensive illnesses in the United States today, diabetes, which by the way, is largely due to consuming crap like fast and processed foods, diet sodas (stay the hell away from artificial sweetners and try low glycemic agave syrup), and of course, consume some marijuana. 🙂

  8. I learned about nutrition from the back-to-nature, organic, hippie commune I was living in. I never noticed any connection with marijuana and what I eat other than the munchies. I’ve found I’m too undisciplined to really follow a strict back-to-nature regimen, but do tend to stay away from red meat and white sugar. Works for me with weight gain.

    I talked to the new trainer at the fitness club ($10/month – good deal). She was off meat, because it uses too much energy and resources to be produced efficiently. This reminds me of ‘Diet for a Small Planet’ — we can’t all be eating meat if we ALL want to live our current lifestyle. This notion, that there are limits to growth, has been ridiculed, even demonized as un-American by the right.

    (I’m always delighted when I’m talking to some pretty young girl, and she turns out to be a ‘hippie chick’ left over from my era. Makes me smile just to think about it, especially if they’ve distilled the noble stuff.)

    Sometimes I look back on my counterculture days and think: it was just a kid growing up, we all were. Other times I realize how real the whole thing was and wonder how I sorted out what was truly important at a such a young age.

  9. I’m a fat fuck and I need to lose weight. If pot can help me lose some of this blubber around me belly than I need it. I used to be a daily smoker and it made me anorexic. Now, I know that I blamed some poor girl on my sickness and what I believed to be a pot addiction. Americans put so much pressure on me that I used to piss on her because I was so angry.

  10. Cannabis users are everywhere and living productive and positive lifestyles. LEOs, alongside cultural bias and dredging make the realities of cannabis use a closeted and fearfilled revelation. I long for the days of mutual respect unhindered by irrational and illogical authoritarian efforts to control human nature and freedom orientated decision making.

  11. Come on, why does ga have to be so ass backwards? I agree marjuana is definetely better than pharmaceuticals and recreational drugs. I use it to help me focus in math and science. Smoking is a good way to get my meds considering i have ulcers. If it is good enough for the founding fathers why cant we use it?

  12. I can attest to the fact that regular use of marijuana lowers BMI and helps fight obesity. The several times throughout my life that I have used marijuana on a regular basis I have with each time lost weight. There were 2 instances in which I lost significant amounts. Once I lost over 80 pounds, the other time was 60. The periods in my life when I had to abstain, however, I remained obese. These personal experiences I have had with the use of marijuana and weight loss made a believer out of me. The problem I have now is that it still remains an illegal drug. Legalize it for the benefit of all.

  13. I just want to say,I’ve been smoking marijuana for 35years.I just had a lot of test done.I have a 3% chance of ever having heart disease,my lungs are perfect ans all my bloodwork for liver and kidneys come out perfect.I don’t smoke cigarettes,drink alcohol or do drugs. I don’t think marijuana is bad for you at all.I’ve been getting migraines sence i was very young and use it to manage not only the pain but nausea too.

  14. After a severe poisoning by my employer 26 years ago, being told by doctors that there is no cure. I was told there was no treatment beyond making me comfortable as the mass pulls chunks of needed lung material away…Cannabis has made the pain manageable and consuming it should be anyone right. Anyone who sides with LEOs and continues prohibition of cannabis is promoting slavery, ignorance, and controlling agents imbued with national destruction. Petrol-chemical based medications have killed millions worldwide with their unnatural delivery systems and their accompanied side affects debilitating millions due to overuse, misuse, and abuse, by the patients and their profit seeking healthcare providers.

  15. Duronbo- you are precise. Less pain, more moving. More moving, less weight. In fact, I find myself to be far more a productive individual all around when I am regularly using cannabis.

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