Can Marijuana Really Reduce Pot Bellies And Obesity?


“Dude, where’s my fat?”

Attention, daily marijuana users: according to a recently published study, you may be more likely to have a lower body mass index (BMI) or less likely to be obese or overweight than non-users. Got that? Hello? Are you there? Can you hear me?

But, hold on, Mr. Hand, you may ask. Doesn’t smoking weed, ganja, cannabis, reefer, Mary Jane or whatever you call it give you the munchies and make you go to White Castle? Many people who have tried marijuana (and inhaled while doing so) will note this connection. Indeed, a study conducted by researchers from Yale published in the journal Nature consisted of giving mice cannabis (dude, stoned mice) and found that this suppressed their hypothalamic pro-opiomelanocortin (POMC) neurons. Huh? The POMC neurons are a group of nerve cells in the brain that seem to tell you that you are full or at least not hungry. Thus, apparently your brain on weed says, “Full? I’m not full,” leading to situations such as the following from the movie Harold and Kumar Go To White Castle:

Harold: I want 30 sliders, five french fries and four large cherry Cokes.

Kumar: I want the same except make mine Diet Cokes.

Therefore, won’t eating more mean that you will gain weight? You may ask, hasn’t such a relationship already been published in journals like The Journal of Really Obvious Stuff? Well, obesity and weight are more complex than simply eat more, gain weight and eat less, lose weight. (And you better write this down…) Whether you gain weight also depends on what you eat, when you eat, what else do you do and what and who else is around you. Obesity is caused by the biological, behavioral, social, environmental, economic, cultural and other systems around you. Obesity is totally a systems problem. Totally. Indeed, studies have shown that marijuana user may actually have lower BMIs. The most recent is a study recently published in the Journal of Mental Health Policy and Economics. In this study, University of Miami researchers determined that in a sample of over 13,000 people, women who do the dope daily had on average BMIs approximately 3.1% lower than that of non-users. Men who had the herb each day had BMIs approximately 2.7% lower than that of non-users. Another earlier study of the Inuit population published in Obesity Biology and Integrated Physiology found that pot users were on average thinner and had lower blood glucose levels. There are others such as this one in the American Journal of Epidemiology that have had similar results.

News Moderator: Katelyn Baker
Full Article: Can Marijuana Really Reduce Pot Bellies And Obesity?
Author: Bruce Y. Lee
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Photo Credit: Matthew Staver
Website: Forbes