Considering a diet plan in 2016? Your cannabis hobby may be able to help with that.
Recent research suggests that cannabis might actually help people lose weight — and keep it off — despite the notorious “munchie” effect that has users consuming as many as 600 more calories per day than non-users.
Marijuana and Metabolism
A 2013 study published in the American Journal of Medicine found that marijuana users had an average 16 percent lower fasting insulin level and 17 percent lower insulin resistance compared to non-users.
To clarify, insulin is produced by the pancreas to convert glucose into energy. An excess amount of insulin can result in fatigue whereas too little insulin can cause plaque build-up in the arteries. By regulating the production of insulin, cannabis can improve metabolism, increase levels of “good cholesterol” and reduce the risk of developing Type 2 Diabetes characterized by insulin resistance.
A 15-year study published by BMJ Open surveyed 10,896 adults and found that heavy marijuana users had a lower prevalence of diabetes mellitus than non-users and lower levels of C-reactive protein in the blood. Past and light users showed the same metabolic trends though to a lesser extent than heavy users which suggests a direct correlation between marijuana use and a low prevalence of diabetes.
The Secret to a Successful Diet with Cannabis
“Eat less, exercise more” may seem counter-intuitive to the cannabis user’s diet but it most certainly is not. In fact, many professional athletes hail cannabis as an effective personal trainer because of its effectiveness at reducing muscle fatigue and improving stamina. Used topically, it can also help relieve muscle pain and aid in a speedy recovery.
Some marijuana strains can also help curb cravings, specifically strains high in the cannabinoid tetrahydrocannabivarin or THCv. As the name suggests, THCv is very similar to THC — both are psychoactive, both cause feelings of euphoria and both increase energy — but THCv offers a unique set of benefits as well, such as bone stimulation, anxiety relief and appetite suppression.
It is thought that THCv suppresses appetite by blocking other cannabinoids (like THC) from interacting with CB receptors. It also helps prevent the “feel good” sensations caused by eating comfort foods and reduces cholesterol in the blood. Other benefits of THCv include seizure mitigation, diabetes prevention and memory improvement.
Managing weight gain is easy with the right strains of cannabis. High-THCv strains like Blue Dream and Durban Poison act quickly to produce a clear-headed, high-energy buzz that will knock out the munchies while helping users knock out a few more reps at the gym. Now that’s motivation to diet.