While most people use medical marijuana to treat specific ailments like pain, nausea, or anxiety, cannabis consumers also benefit from the side effect of improved general wellness. In particular, people who consume cannabis are less likely to be obese or to suffer from diabetes.
According to a study from the University of Nebraska, Harvard School of Public Health, and Boston’s Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, cannabis consumers are often thinner than non-consumers, despite that the 420-friendly consume an average of 600 extra calories from getting the munchies.
To conduct the study, the researchers tested 4,600 adults’ blood sugar control, cholesterol levels, and waist circumferences. Twelve percent of the study participants were cannabis consumers, who were found to have smaller waist circumferences than non-consumers. The cannabis consumers also had higher levels of HDL, or good cholesterol, and better insulin levels. Another 42 percent of the study consumers said they consumed cannabis in the past, and even their results were still better than those who had never consumed cannabis at all.
There’s still no clear reason why cannabis consumers are thinner and less often suffer from diabetes, as compared to the general non-consuming population, however researchers speculate it could have to do with the plant’s anti-inflammatory and neuroprotective properties. Cannabis also helps consumers better metabolize carbohydrates.
Nonetheless, it can be hard for anyone to stay thin or to lose weight when you’re munching on pizza and chips at 11 pm from munchies. Certain strains of cannabis, especially those that are high in the cannabinoids CBD or THCV, are not only munchie-free, but might actually suppress your appetite. Strains with strong ratios of these cannabinoids include AC/DC, Durban Poison, Doug’s Varin, Harlequin, or Pineapple Purps.
Moreover, certain terpenes, or aromatic molecules, might also reduce your appetite. For instance, humulene, a terpene found in plants like cannabis, hops, ginseng, and sage, has been found to function as an anorectic, or appetite suppressant. Strains with humulene include White Widow, Headband, and Girl Scout Cookies.
Aside from the properties of weed itself, merely using cannabis promotes a lifestyle based in plant medicine. Upholding the healing properties of plants can extend to other areas like nutrition, as well, promoting an overall healthy lifestyle revolving around wellness and a connection to the earth and what you put in or on your own body.