Study Suggests Cannabis Lowers Obesity Rates

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Most cannabis users, whether they indulge recreationally or medically, know exactly how marijuana affects appetite. According to a study published in Nature, the feeling known as “the munchies” is caused by certain cannabinoids in cannabis interfering with signals that tell the brain you are full. This interference gives a cannabis consumer the ability to eat an entire bag of chips and still feel hungry, because the brain believes the stomach is not full. Even though this is true, a study released in the American Journal of Epidemiology suggests that cannabis lowers obesity rates. People who consume cannabis may be less likely to become obese or diabetic.

As stated in the study’s report, “the authors used data from 2 representative epidemiologic studies of US adults aged 18 years or older, the National Epidemiologic Survey on Alcohol and Related Conditions (NESARC; 2001–2002) and the National Comorbidity Survey–Replication (NCS-R; 2001–2003), to estimate the prevalence of obesity as a function of cannabis use.” The authors of the study actually hypothesized that, “the prevalence of obesity would be higher in cannabis users than in nonusers.”

The study actually proved its conductors wrong. The results actually proved there was a significantly lower rate of obesity in those who consumed cannabis than those who did not. In fact, the gap in obesity prevalence between cannabis users and non-users was surprisingly large. According to the report, “the adjusted prevalences of obesity in the NESARC and the NCS-R were 22.0% and 25.3%, respectively, among participants reporting no use of cannabis in the past 12 months and 14.3% and 17.2%, respectively, among participants reporting the use of cannabis at least 3 days per week.”

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